Open-world, survival-craft, and zombies are the main elements we’re looking for in games like 7 Days to Die.
The Early Access title debuted in 2013, and it’s incredibly popular. Currently, it has about 30K concurrent players on Steam, and it’s available for Windows, macOS, PS4, and Xbox One.
If you’re one of these players, you may be wondering if they’re similar experiences. Or, perhaps, after one too many hours, you’re looking for a new game to try. Regardless, we’re showcasing the best games like 7 Days to Die.
Selecting Games Like 7 Days To Die
We believe 7 Days to Die fans would like games featuring a mix or a twist of its elements:
- Genre: 7 Days to Die is an open-world zombie survival sandbox. It also has crafting, RPG, and tower defense systems.
- Voxel Space Game: It also has a voxel design. Geometrical blocks build the entire game, and you can harvest, destroy, and construct everything you see.
- Setting: The story happens after a nuclear Third World War. You’re a survivor of Arizona, an area full of zombies, flu, and radioactivity.
- Survival: There’s no campaign. Instead, you enter a server to survive for as long as possible.
- FPS Combat: You fight against zombies and zombie hordes in first-person. You can use melee weapons or firearms, but you craft most weapons yourself.
- Work Activities: Aside from the action, you’ll craft, mine, loot, explore, repair, use schematics, and trade.
- Character Progression: You level up to unlock skills and perks under 5 core attributes. You can also find collectibles to learn extra perks or abilities.
- Challenge: There’re over 60 zombie types. Each comes with unique skills, attacks, and behaviors. As you level up, they become stronger as well.
- Exploration: The map is vast and rich. It includes 5 biomes and about 100 square kilometers of extension.
- Driving: You can drive the vehicles you craft, and there’s a vast amount of cars. There’re bikes, minibikes, gyrocopters, 4×4 trucks, etc.
- Crafting: You can create and repair weapons, armor, tools, vehicles, clothes, etc. It requires you to find the schematic.
- Building: You can design shelters, houses, forts, traps, power systems, turrets, and defensive structures.
- Farming: You can plant and grow a farm to create a sustainable supply income.
- Hunting: You can also hunt animals in the wild to harvest their meat, skin, and fat for crafting and cooking.
- Tower Defense: The zombies will attack your main base with bigger hordes every 7th day. You’ll rely on your defensive structures.
- Modes: You can play the campaign world or play in procedurally generated worlds.
- Questing: Tutorial quests and trading quests help you learn the game’s basics. There are also co-op-only quests.
- Survival Stats: You have to micromanage thirst, hunger, and other survival stats with about 50 buffs.
- Death Mechanics: You may spawn on your bed after death. You will lose items, but it depends on the option of the map you selected.
- Multiplayer: Lastly, you can play alone or on multiplayer servers. It supports two players on split-screen or up to 4 players online.
Overall, 7 Days to Die is the first game to mix zombies, open-world, crafting, RPG and survival. But because we already have other survival lists, we’re doing something new for this list.
For this time around, we need zombies, and we need co-op. And because these are co-op games, the list order responds to the player base numbers, according to Steam Charts. Titles that didn’t make the cut don’t have enough players currently – you wouldn’t have anyone to play with.
Games Like 7 Days To Die
- Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
- Publisher: Smartly Dressed Games
- Release Date: July 2017
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS
Unturned is a voxel-based open-world zombie survival RPG. It’s the only free-to-play title on the list, and it also has the biggest player base. But because it’s free, it also has the simplest visual design, as it’s a blocky game like Minecraft.
You’re a survivor, society is in ruins (and blocks), and you must work together to keep breathing. Servers support up to 48 players, but there’re offline and PvE modes. Also, you can deal with other players in multiple ways: cooperation, arrest, raids, and murder.
When you spawn on the map, you must explore to find supplies and weapons. You also level up to unlock character upgrades and become more powerful. Additionally, you must manage your supplies’ food, water, health, and radiation levels.
Zombie enemies have various special attacks, ranging from invisibility to lighting and fire. You have a huge arsenal for combat and stealth, and crafting. For example, you can build furniture, traps, barricades, and machinery; or build entire structures with your supplies.
You can also play the Arena Game mode, a multiplayer-only Battle Royale. The method lacks key features from the main game, such as foraging fruits, hunting, fishing, farming, taking shelter from the weather, or completing NPC quests.
- Developer: Bohemia Interactive
- Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
- Release Date: December 2018, 2013 (Early Access), 2013 (mod)
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4
DayZ is one of the original multiplayer open-world survival craft games. Titles like Rust or Ark: Survival Evolved has tweaked their formula for newer audiences. And, still, DayZ is one of the biggest in the genre.
It also has the zombies you’re expecting it has. See, you spawn on a large map, full of zombies but lacking resources. Up to 60 players can join your server, and you can team up, join in with friends, or wander as a lone wolf.
The action, though, and the survival stats you have to manage are hardcore. For example, survival mechanics are complex if you lose everything when you die. FPS combat is quite punishing, as a couple of enemy shots may take you down.
The mechanics force you to manage crafting, hunting, building, looting, and exploration. It becomes a game of using your resources properly and evaluating the risk of each adventure you take in the world.
Lastly, the map is 230 Km2, and it features real-life locations, wildlife, and zombies. There’re also environmental threats, like weather, pitch-black nights, and infected skills.
- Developer: The Indie Stone
- Publisher: The Indie Stone
- Release Date: November 2013 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux
Project Zomboid is an open-world zombie survival sandbox game. You can play alone or play on servers with up to 12 people. Either way, the adventure is chaotic, randomized, and highly reactive.
As a survival game, it includes a plethora of systems. You scavenge, loot, explore, craft, farm, hunt, and manage your stats. And as it is a sandbox, you can play the game as you want, explore anywhere, craft anything, and create your own story.
It also includes RPG systems, as you can level up different skills and professions by doing relevant actions. For example, sprinting increases your Sprint stat, or sneaking increases your Nimble stat.
To deliver a challenging experience, the title offers a series of immersive mechanics. That includes zombie horde AI, natural lighting and sound simulations, night and day cycle, and weather.
Lastly, an additional mode lets you create and customize your game modes. You can share these maps with your friends or play them yourself. It allows you to create rules, environments, challenges, and more.
Left 4 Dead 2
- Developer: Valve
- Publisher: Valve
- Release Date: November 2009
- Platform: Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, Xbox 360
Left 4 Dead 2 is a highly praised co-op third-person zombie shooter. One of those Valve titles that left a huge imprint on the industry, like Half-Life. As evidence, we note that 13 years later, it has over 25K peak players every month without any significant developer support.
You can only play it on Steam, though, or find an older version for consoles. Also, you can play alone and fill your 4-player squad with AI bots; or join three other players for a zombie third-person shooting fest.
The carnage takes you to five campaigns across cemeteries, cities, and swamps. It offers 20 hours of playtime for the average gamer, but you’d likely replay it many times as a co-op shooter. Also, the action is fast, dynamic, and fun, yet straightforward and explosive.
You choose one of the four survivors, and each has a personality and preference for a weapon. The characters have a certain charm, and so does the story. Moreover, the amount of user-generated content and mods keep the title fresh and going.
Lastly, Director A. I. keeps the campaign dynamic. The system evaluates your skills to tweak many in-game elements to challenge you. That includes enemy spawns, items, music, sound effects, level layout, etc.
- Developer: Crytek
- Publisher: Crytek
- Release Date: August 2019
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One, PS4
Far Cry’s original creator, Crytek, is continuously trying to push the boundaries of the FPS genre. Hunt: Showdown continues the trend, but it’s a highly punishing game, not for the faint of heart.
You play as a Hunter on servers with up to 12 people. There’s no offline mode, but you can and should join as part of a 2-player squad. The year is 1895, and you’re hunting for a bounty on southern USA lands full of monsters and zombies.
The title emphasizes 3D audio to find your enemies, sneak, or show your position. Everything you do and every gun you fire creates a sound, so you’re constantly balancing exploring, looting, killing, sneaking, or hiding.
Playing against others is also a test and a game of patience. Guns are unreliable, enemies are all around you, characters are weak, and there’s no RPG progression. So, rather than going guns blazing, the gameplay is often about cleverly waiting, moving, and surveilling the environment.
Lastly, your goal is to track your bounties by finding their clues. If you hunt the monsters, you’ll reveal your position to everyone else. And if you escape the map with the bounty, you reap the reward: currency and guns for your next run. Or, as usual, lose everything on the trip.
- Developer: Gamepires
- Publisher: Gamepires
- Release Date: August 2018 (Early Access)
- Platform: Windows
SCUM is an open-world survival game with zombies, complex mechanics, and healthy developer support. In fact, every time I revisit the game or write about it, I find it has something new.
The setting explains how you’re a prisoner on SCUM island and part of a reality TV show. Other prisoners (64 players) are on the island with you, and the whole lot is fighting for survival in a world full of zombies and other monsters. You fight for fame, gifts, and a chance at freedom.
You play in third-person perspective. You can scavenge, explore, loot, hunt craft, and build many things as with other survival titles. At the same time, you have to micro-manage hunger, metabolism, health, thirst, etc. It makes SCUM significantly harder than most, and it keeps evolving with every passing update.
The simulation is complex, and it forces you to micro-manage many aspects of your characters and crafts. Other systems you don’t see consider many realistic details, like how fast your clothes dry or your inertia during movement.
Lastly, the land is vast. The game offers 225 sq km. It has gas stations, abandoned towns, beaches, serene fields, rundown airfields, dense forests, etc. Each area has a story to tell, dangers, loot, and weapons to find.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
- Developer: Techland
- Publisher: Techland
- Release Date: February 2022
- Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch, Windows
Dying Light 2: Stay Human is an open-world first-person RPG game. It’s the second part of Techland’s popular Dying Light, with a similar fan and critical success.
It also has a hefty co-op system, and developers made huge improvements to its multiplayer on its latest update. It is a drop-in/drop-out method that allows you to join others’ campaigns or join yours for as long as you want.
You play as a wanderer, looking for her long-lost sister in a post-apocalyptic world. The journey takes you to Old Villedor, one of the last human settlements after a zombie outbreak. Your enemies are zombies but also rivaling factions. As an RPG, your decisions influence the fate of these factions.
Combat relies on acrobatics, melee weapons, bows, explosives, and other tools you loot, buy, or craft. You level up your character by combat and parkour and unlock new combat, acrobatics, and parkour moves as you level up. Similarly, you traverse the city by jumping from roof to roof and gliding.
Lastly, you’ll explore the open-world and dungeon-like areas, full of zombies and mini-bosses. These areas are full of loot you can use to craft modifiers and upgrades. You’d greatly enjoy this close-quarter combat by playing with another friend.
Back 4 Blood
- Developer: Turtle Rock Studios
- Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
- Release Date: October 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Left 4 Dead developers created a new studio after leaving Valve. Their debut title is Back 4 Blood, L4D2 spiritual successor. If you like that game, you’ll like this one, but it has its shortcomings.
This is a co-op first-person zombie shooter. It takes you across a short but frenetic narrative campaign against the “Ridden.” As you’d expect, the gameplay is straightforward, the arsenal is vast, and the levels are exciting.
The co-op story makes you a part of a 4-player squad, either real players, AI, or both. Alternatively, you can play in PvP modes, matching humans against Ridden monsters. Both sides have special abilities, weapons, and specialties in the latter case.
For replays, there’s a “rogue-lite” card system. You loot cards on each gameplay and use these cards to “modify” the next gameplay by making it easier or more challenging. Additionally, the Game Director AI adjusts levels to match player actions.
So far, it sounds really good, but it has issues. Namely, the campaign is too short, and the card system is not for everyone. Moreover, the Game Director often makes the challenge game-breaking, with unnecessary challenge spikes. Lastly, the enemy variety, while fun, is also very slim.
Killing Floor 2
- Developer: Tripwire Interactive, Hardsuit Labs, Saber Interactive
- Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
- Release Date: November 2016
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
- Average Players: 2.5K
Killing Floor 2 is a co-op zombie shooter. It has a heavy tone, though, as it increases the gore, violence, and guitar riffs compared to other titles on the list. Also, it uses a simpler formula, as it’s simply a linear FPS title with no crafting and no survival stats.
You can play as part of a 6-player squad. A match takes you into a European post-apocalyptic world. A zombie outbreak destroyed humanity, and you’re part of a group of mercenaries and civilians trying to restore order.
There’s no campaign, though. Instead, you go on a map, kill all enemies, and go out. Alternatively, you can join 12-player versus matches, and you could play as one of the zombies against the other users.
Regardless, the game uses a proprietary gore system that makes blood persistent. It increases the game’s fidelity and increases the number of limbs and body parts you’d find on the field.
Lastly, you could play the missions alone with an AI companion. An NPC voice would guide you towards the objectives, and the levels will end after defeating a boss or finding a special item.
State of Decay 2
- Developer: Undead Labs
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Release Date: May 2018
- Platform: Windows, Xbox One
State of Decay 2 is a survival open-world sim game that supports cross-play co-op between Xbox and PC. Either alone or with a friend, you scavenge, kill zombies, and help build a community in a post-apocalyptic world.
The setting introduces a fallen civilization after the dead have risen. Your job is to gather survivors to find resources. Then, you use these resources to build, maintain, and upgrade settlements. You decide who to recruit as part of your team, where to make, what to create, and how to survive.
Then, you explore the world from a third-person perspective. You can use melee weapons, firearms, bows, crossbows, grenades, and other tools for combat. Yet, the game encourages you to remain silent, as zombies are quick to swarm you when you shoot.
Regardless, you must scavenge resources on your trips and take them back to base. And as your bases grow, others may move in, and you can decide what to do with these newcomers. Also, depending on your choices, the game will present dynamic challenges and quests.
The co-op support allows you to visit your friend’s communities or your friends to visit yours. Either would bring additional rewards for your communities. Other game modes include a 10-hour campaign and a 4-player “siege defense” mode.
World War Z: Aftermath
- Developer: Saber Interactive
- Publisher: Mad Dog Games
- Release Date: September 2021
- Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia
- Average Players: under 1K
World War Z: Aftermath is a co-op zombie shooter within the World War Z universe. It has never been a huge title, but this is it if you’re looking for the most dangerous zombie hordes.
Like in the movie and the books, these zombies don’t play games. They are fast and vicious, and they can climb. They also come with various behaviors, infection levels, and skills.
On the other hand, you rely on FPS combat, either with AI companions or co-op (up to four players per match). The mission is to take back Vatican City in an epic campaign across Rome and the Kamchatka peninsula.
You can also play the campaign as one of the eight available classes. Each one levels up to unlock unique skills, perks, and playstyles. Additionally, you can customize weapons and complete daily missions to get special weapon mods.
There’s also a complex zombie swarm AI game mode, the Horde Mode. It features increasingly difficult zombie hordes with hundreds of enemies. You can play it with AI companions or real players as well.
- Developer: 10 Chambers
- Publisher: 10 Chambers, Level Infinite
- Release Date: December 2021
- Platform: Windows
GTFO is a co-op survival horror shooter. It doesn’t have zombies by name, but you fight against fleshy, hostile monsters in a cavernous underground laboratory, the Complex.
You play as a prisoner following orders. The Warden sends you un Rundows, seasonal missions deep below the jail to find loot and retrieve items. These missions rotate every few months, so if you mix one, you won’t get the chance to play it later.
Squads support up to four players, and you’d better join others for missions. There’s no difficulty scaling, so enemies will be equally tough, regardless of how many people are traveling.
You explore dark, semi-open underground lab levels to scavenge ammo, weapons, gear, boosters, and other resources. Then, combat is FPS with sci-fi weapons but low supplies. It means your success highly depends on what you loot, which, at the same time, is randomized.
Lastly, the game encourages coordination and stealth. Maneuvering across the Complex is challenging, as the place swarms with enemy creatures. These monsters are hibernating, and they will wake up if you make too much noise.