All Upcoming Survival Games of 2021 & Beyond: Ultimate List

What makes a survival game? Of course, it’s right there in the name. Players should be thrown into a desolate wasteland or onto a distant alien planet, equipped with nothing but their instincts to combat the elements and whatever horrors await. The genre has been around for generations, some say dating back to the late 19th century. But we’re not here to discuss the old and obsolete.

Since its inception, the survival genre has evolved and become a staple of the industry. Games like Rust, Ark: Survival Evolved, and The Forest have all delivered heart-pounding experiences of exploration and growth, but the future of the genre is all-the-more exciting. Below, we’ve laid out the future survival titles you should be keeping an eye out for across all platforms. They’ll test your abilities, pit you against impossible odds, and send you to unknown worlds alone or with your closest companions by your side. Above all, they promise countless hours of entertainment that you don’t want to miss out on.

These are all of the (good) upcoming survival games of 2021 and beyond.

Away: The Survival Series

Developer: Breaking Walls
Publisher: Breaking Walls
Release Date: Early 2021
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Have you ever found yourself watching an Animal Planet nature documentary and wished you could experience that awe of Mother Nature first hand? Away: The Survival Series provides you with that opportunity, but be mindful. Mother Nature is as dangerous as she is beautiful. As a cute and cuddly sugar glider, players explore the wonders of the vibrant world around them.

Unfortunately, that world is full of horrors waiting to make a snack out of the gliding critter. Away isn’t your typical survival game as you won’t be building shelter and scavenging for resources. However, living from one moment to the next is the name of the game in nature, and nothing captures that better than a game where you’re at the bottom of the food chain. Explore, hunt your prey, and evade predators in a linear adventure that puts a unique spin on survival.

The Day Before

Developer: FNTASTIC
Publisher: MYTONA
Release Date: Summer 2021
Platform: PC

Take Tom Clancy’s The Division, add some DayZ, and sprinkle in a little The Last of Us for good measure, and you have The Day Before. It may sound like an unbalanced conglomeration of games, but what FNTASTIC has presented so far of this zombie survival title has been nothing short of exciting.

The world you once knew is gone, desolated by hordes of infected and opportunistic survivors. At this point, all you can do is survive from day to day, and you’ll need the right resources – food, water, transportation, firearms, and people you can trust. The Day Before thrusts players into this open-world MMO and sends you on a quest to locate survivor colonies and evade the many things (and people) looking to kill you.

Undying

Developer: Vanimals
Publisher: Skystone Games, Inc / Vanimals
Release Date: Summer 2021
Platform: PC

What happens if the debate is no longer about whether or not you could survive a zombie apocalypse? You’ve already been bitten, and all that matters now is trying to protect a loved one from the gnashing maw of the undead. That’s Undying, an upcoming zombie survival adventure that dooms you from the start as infected protagonist Anling and makes her son’s survival your only goal.

To keep him safe, you’ll need to find shelter, ration supplies, and teach him basic survival skills. Undying features a unique map that’s created through Anling’s memories, which players can strategically place. No two playthroughs will be the same, as you can lay the map out differently each time. Amongst all the survival, Anling and her son will share tender moments together that make her inevitable fate all the more tragic.

See Also: Best Zombie Games of All-Time

The Eternal Cylinder

Developer: ACE Team
Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Release Date: 2021
Platform: PC

We’ve become so used to survival games being about scavenging for resources and tucking away in shelters when things get dicey. The Eternal Cylinder tweaks the concept quite a bit and introduces us to Trebhums, a unique race of aliens that can only survive under our care.

Control the strange Trebhums and explore their unusual world of eccentricities while avoiding being crushed by the titular Cylinder. To survive, you’ll have to mutate your Trebhums and imbue them with unique abilities that make navigation and traversing the extraterrestrial world much easier. The Eternal Cylinder keeps your mind moving with puzzles and retains elements of the survival genre through resource management and stat upkeep.

The Riftbreaker

Developer: EXOR Studios
Publisher: EXOR Studios / Surefire Games
Release Date: 2021
Platform: PC

Base-building, tower defense, hack ‘n slash, and survival come together in a unique experience with EXOR Studios’ The Riftbreaker. Manning an impressive Mecha-Suit equipped with the ability to cross dimensions, construct buildings, and research materials, players explore a distant land ripe for adventure.

Unfortunately, that adventure often comes with a swarm of denizen wildlife displeased with your presence. As you build your base, hoping to amass the necessary resources to build a rift back to Earth, you’ll encroach on the local wildlife. Fend off the perturbed beasts with an assortment of interchangeable weapons and building defenses. In your downtime, you’ll want to research new tech, study the planet’s specimen, and craft better gear to prepare for the next wave of chaos.

Endling

Developer: Herobeat Studios
Publisher: HandyGames
Release Date: 2021
Platform: PC

Not every game puts your survival first. Endling puts you in the role of a caring mother fox desperately trying to protect her three cubs after a fourth is snatched away. To do so, she must carefully maneuver a dangerous world ravaged by mankind.

Normally, food and shelter may be found all over the wilds. Endling makes a strong case for an eco-friendly lifestyle by showing us a world ravaged by our own growth and recklessness. The mother fox will have to hunt for food, find suitable shelter, make difficult decisions, and guide the pups to safety on her quest to find the missing cub.

WiLD

Developer: Wild Sheep Studio
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: TBD
Platform: PS4

It has been a long time coming but the development of Wild Sheep Studio’s Neolithic open-world survival game is still underway. Since 2014, the studio has been hard at work creating the procedurally generated worlds that players will scour for supplies and traverse to find safety and shelter.

The Neolithic period is ripe with predators looking for a quick snack (like bears), but luckily survivors can equip themselves with all manner of weapons. Tired of being killed by Mother Nature? Then it’s time to break out your shamanic powers to control the beasts surrounding you. Use the environment to your advantage, take down cannibal camps, and do all you can to survive these massive and dangerous worlds. 

Icarus

Developer: RocketWerkz
Publisher: RocketWerkz
Release Date: TBD
Platform: PC

There is a universe full of riches out there. Do you have what it takes to build your fortune? Icarus tasks players not just with surviving a harsh environment full of deadly monstrosities but also using what resources they have to mine these extraterrestrial worlds. The moment you land on a planet in search of its rare and exotic resources, the timer is ticking.

Oxygen, food, water, and shelter are in limited supply. Unfortunately, you need them all to survive. In between harvesting the planet’s resources, you’ll have to navigate the alien world to find the supplies to build more advanced equipment, construct life-saving shelters, and improve your chances of survival. Icarus will be a free-to-play multiplayer survival experience crafted by the mind behind DayZ.

Smalland

Developer: Merge Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Release Date: TBD
Platform: PC

Contrary to what the name may imply, Smalland is quite the grand adventure. Players just happen to be shrunken down to a minuscule size and sent out into a vibrant, beautiful world with one task – survive.

Bustling ecosystems of usable plantlife, dangerous animals, terrifying insects, and so much more await in the tiniest grand adventure yet. On the search for answers behind your small stature, you’ll navigate an unkind world, gathering resources to build shelters, weapons, and the necessities to survive. Track down food and water, avoid predators, and search for clues that may help unravel the mysteries of Smalland.

Occupy Mars: The Game

Developer: Pyramid Games
Publisher: Pyramid Games S.A. / PlayWay S.A.
Release Date: TBD
Platform: PC

You’ve likely contemplated what it would be like to navigate the barren lands of Mars. Thanks to Pyramid Games, you’ll finally have the opportunity to do so in a game that blends survival, curious exploration, and base-building into a thrilling experience that unravels on the surface of the Red Planet. As a lone engineer, players will turn Mars into their personal playground.

Gather resources, plant crops, local essential parts, explore different regions, construct essential tech, and keep things running smoothly in this colonization simulator. While you’re fixing machinery or enjoying a leisurely ride in your rover, Occupy Mars will throw chaos your way with “Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.” Work through these dangerous and hectic moments, and you may just survive your time on the fourth planet from the sun.

Dead Matter

Developer: Quantum Integrity Software, Inc.
Publisher: Quantum Integrity Software, Inc.
Release Date: TBD
Platform: PC

How do you properly balance the core mechanics of a survival game and rich, engaging gameplay? Apparently, Quantum Integrity Software aims to answer that with Dead Matter, a rogue-lite that thrusts players into a world ravaged by the undead. The developer touts a “true sandbox survival” experience spread out across the wilds and industrial centers of Alberta. To survive the undead plague, players will need to perfect crafting, farming, hunting, and, on many occasions, running.

Unlike most zombie survival titles, Dead Matter won’t keep players in the dark. Literally. A fleshed-out electrical system adds a unique element of gameplay that enhances crafting and building. Dead Matter has so much planned content that the developer has put more emphasis on the world and gameplay than it has on the undead threat. The Kickstarter, which delves deep into every aspect of the game, only mentions zombies six times, which indicates they’re simply a piece of the puzzle and not the whole picture.

Dysterra

Developer: Reality MagiQ
Publisher: Kakao Games
Release Date: TBA, Early Access Late 2021
Platform: PC via Steam

Dysterra is an upcoming online survival game set on abandoned Earth. While we don’t know much about it just yet, we do know that it will be a large-scale multiplayer game and will have deep crafting systems for construction and production. Dysterra will utilize Unreal Engine 4.

Join our mailing list

Get the best of Nerd Much? right in your inbox!

Mark LoProto
is a horror-loving gaming enthusiast who has a soft spot for Ghostbusters, bubble wrap, and kittens.

Related Articles

Popular