Challenging yourself to survive against hostile environments, zombies or other players and seeing just how far you can go is what makes survival games so fun. It’s all about looking danger in the eye and saying “Bring it on!” Oh, and some of them also happen to be free.
Unturned Release Trailer
Unturned is a free-to-play multiplayer survival with Minecraft-ish, simple graphics. Zombies are your worst enemy here, and don’t make the mistake of underestimating them. They are highly perceptive, persistent and not as easy to kill as you might expect. And while there are lots of different kinds of zombies, they are all a nasty nuisance. Oh, but that’s not the only challenge in this game. You have stats: health, hunger, thirst, radiation exposure and energy, and must do your best not to let them drop too far or guess what - you’re dead. Tools and weapons have durability, which has an impact on their effectiveness, so watch out for that as well. Single player is an option, but my advice is play multiplayer for much more fun. While there is an option to pay for a premium account, it’s mostly a way to support the developer and not a pay-to-win kind of deal.
9. Romero's Aftermath
Romero’s Aftermath - Open Beta Trailer
Romero’s Aftermath is a pretty cool zombie-infested sandbox, and if that’s something you’re into, you may be in for a treat. It’s a free-to-play multiplayer zombie survival, but this time the developers dropped the controversial decisions and terrible mistakes of the previous game. Building a base, liberate towns and defending yourself from bandits and zombies are what you’ll be doing for the most part in the game. You’ll also have lots of fun gathering supplies, deconstructing them to craft new materials, as well gas gathering resources from vegetation and stones to construct your shelter. And if fashion is your thing, there are various unlockable cosmetics to choose from.
Einar - Release Trailer
Now here’s a multiplayer survival with hack and slash features, as well as an odd and unique story twist. Set in a norse, viking-like environment, you’re set on a quest to kill the inhabitants of a fishing village. Why? Well, they’ve all been affected by a strange rock and turned into undead lava monsters. Bet you didn’t expect that. You can use either a hammer, axe or bow to deal with the fiendish villagers, engaging in a simple but fun hack and slash style combat. The visuals are impressive for a free to play game, with character and environment design, but the game still has a long way to go in terms of updates and bug fixes.
Yet another Minecraft-looking survival, Creativerse lets you do many of the things you can typically do in Minecraft, such as building houses, forts and castles, growing trees and interacting with the terrain. Your character can be visually customised, and will be carrying tools, weapons and armor which are also customisable or upgradable. Your stats are simply health and energy, and the character inventory shows your crafting materials, blueprints and map. The map, by the way, is enormous and gives you a vast amount of space to explore and interact with. Land can be claimed with either resources or coins, which will let you control access to it by other players. If you’re looking for an open world multiplayer in which you can let your imagination run wild, this is your game.
6. Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing Steam Trailer
Now here’s a real battle royale: compete against 100 other players to be the last man standing! As you explore the wilderness you’ll discover 30 possible weapons, but also attachments for your guns which alter their handling and function, allowing your weapon to suit your play style better. Attachments can also be found in crates which are occasionally dropped throughout the map, but be careful as you might not be the only one to spot them. The matches last up to 25 minutes, which means the action happens fast and you need to be quick on your feet. Another fun feature are cosmetic items, which can be unlocked through leveling up. These include various avatar and gun skins, as well as emotes. And if you’re really feeling up to the challenge, compete in the monthly and seasonal tournaments for special awards.
5. Infestation The New Z
Infestation: New Z - Official Trailer
An mmo survival zombie shooter, it’s worth noting that this is a complete rework of Infestation Survivor Stories by new, independent developers. Although the difference is not huge, some useful improvements have been made, such as an anti cheat system and more loot throughout the maps, in addition to the battle royale mode. There is a vast open world map for you to explore, and in battle royale you compete against 100 other players which is definitely a fun addition to the classic game. The entire Infestation The New Z gameplay revolves on fighting zombies and other players, while scouring the map for useful supplies to up your survival odds. There is a wide array of equipment and weapons you can use, although getting a hang of the controls can be tricky at first. In addition to purchasing items from the in-game shop, you can also rent private servers, for which prices vary depending on your preferences.
Maui - Launch Trailer
Maui is a great game to just sit down and relax with. It’s based on Hawaiian culture, and you play the role of Maui, who strives to restore his sister, who was, along with her lover, turned into a flower by the gods because of their forbidden love. Aside from the simple and straightforward basic controls, Maui can use 4 additional special abilities to help him on his quest. Considering it’s a free to play single player game, it has decent 3D graphics and some nice, soothing music going on in the background. However, the game is pretty buggy and the game mechanics are less than average, to put it mildly. If you don’t mind all that, plus the story being kind of bland, by all means give it a try - it’s free, after all.
3. sZone - Online
Official trailer for sZone-online
The game gives you great freedom in playing your character any way you want. You can customize your character by setting your origin (native or alien), sex and appearance. Be a scientist, soldier, warrior or engineer, and participate in PVE, PVP action or both. The quests have you killing rats and dogs at first, progressing to things like mutants and other players later on. Try not to die, as you’ll lose everything you happen to be carrying. The quests can be confusing, and you can often feel lost in the game without knowing what to do, or how to do it - the map is unclear as well. The mysterious anomalous zones are quite amusing: results of man-made disasters, they’re full of mutants and totally weird phenomena. Collect and equip various artifact, weapons and gear, or craft new things by yourself.
Survarium Gameplay Trailer
Survarium is another free-to-play online game on this list. However, far from being a vast, irradiated world exploration, this is primarily a small-scale PvP shooter on maps that will seem cramped if you expected another STALKER. Gunplay is decent if a bit twitchy, but since the game is still in early access, improvements are expected. Aside from the opposing team, the players also have to contend with the environment, including the mysterious anomalies which will force you to take into account different tactical opportunities and hazards. This is what gives Survarium its own unique feel, allowing it to stand out from many other competitive shooters. The game sports several game modes in addition to the standard team deathmatch and it’s small-scale, faster-paced variant Slaughter. Teams can compete in researching anomalies, collecting batteries or they can engage in artifact hunts. At the moment, there is only one PvE (tutorial) mission, but the devs have said more are on the way, and PvE game mode is supposed to be a major component of the game. But if you’re in the mood for a competitive shooter in an irradiated, anomaly-blasted landscape and you’re not turned off by the fact it’s still in Early Access or the microtransactions, then Survarium might be just what you need.
1. No More Room In Hell
No More Room in Hell Steam Release Trailer
NMRH is a survival co-op game taking place in a zombie horror setting. Each server holds up to 8 players, who team up to clear certain objectives together and, of course, kill zombies. Each time you’ll start of with a very basic weapon, such as a crowbar, and collect guns, ammo, bandages and other supplies on your way to completing your objective. As far as zombies are concerned, there are a bunch of different types, which all differ by how they look, behave and how resilient or powerful they are. Watch out for getting infected or bleeding! Stock up on pills to cure yourself and bandages to stop the bleeding. Coordinating with your teammates is the most important factor though, as you’ll need to work together to survive the tough combat and undead swarms. Both visuals and audio are impressive, giving you a spooky but realistic sense of environment and a great soundtrack to accompany it.
Most of these games are pretty impressive, being free to play. Each one is different, so go ahead and try the ones that suit your cravings the most. And most importantly: survive!
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