The Forest is an addictive survival adventure game, a perfect entry for genre fans. It’s not forever, though, and there’re similar experiences. What are the best games like The Forest?
In particular, The Forest is not available for Xbox. It means owners of Microsoft consoles are missing out on the fun. Additionally, it’s not available for Nintendo Switch, as survival games are not common on Nintendo’s consoles.
Therefore, our mission is to find alternatives for all consoles, even mobile devices. The Forest fans and survival adventure enthusiasts are sure to find something new down below.
Selecting Games Like The Forest
The Forest has the classical setting of most survival games. You’re a lone survivor stranded in a dangerous wilderness. Even so, it adds some creative elements for a unique experience.
By seeing these elements, one by one, we could identify other games like The Forest. In essence, the titles we’re sharing feature a mix of the following elements:
- Genre: The Forest is an open-world survival adventure / survival-craft game.
- Setting: You’re trapped in a forest with terrifying monsters but gorgeous sights. There’s no civilization and no structures, so everything depends on you.
- Resource gathering: Everything you see in the world is available as a resource. You can chop and harvest every plant and every flower.
- Crafting: Likewise, there’s a simple but large crafting system. You can start building small shelters and make-shift melee weapons. However, you can advance in tech trees to build fortresses, ocean palisades, traps, defenses, and guns.
- Survival stats: The game also forces players to manage necessities. Characters suffer from hunger, thirst, diseases, and weather conditions.
- Open-world: The world is vast and has different scenarios. There’s a large network of underground caves and lakes. There’re also mountains and rivers across the forest.
- Day & night cycle: You can explore and build safely during the day. At night, you should defend your base and spend your time crafting.
- Enemies: The forest is full of cannibalistic monsters, aside from the wildlife. They are intelligent humanoids, though, thus they have morals, goals, and motives.
- Plotline: While the character attempts to return to civilization, he will unveil the mutants’ secret. This is the game’s main plotline, although you may choose to play the game as you wish.
- Sandbox: Apart from the freedom to create whatever you want, you can also engage the enemies in two distinct ways. In specific, the game has a strong stealth system, as well as a strong combat system. You have both options on either encounter.
- Co-op: The Forest is a single-player experience. Yet, the developers have added co-ops with up to eight players online.
Overall, The Forest is a story-driven game. The character explores, crafts, and fights for a reason other than simply surviving. So, if there’s no story, we expect refined survival mechanics with a mix of open-world, sandbox, and crafting.
That’s what we’re looking for: survival adventure games with a strong-enough plot to carry you forwards. That said, the different gameplay mechanics in The Forest are top-notch.
Games Like The Forest
- Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Publisher: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
- Release Date: January 2018
- Platform:Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series, Nintendo Switch
Subnautica is opening our lists. It checks almost every box you may be looking for. On top of that, the game has grown in popularity during recent months, currently enjoying about 3K concurrent daily players on Steam.
The game comes from an indie studio that pours a lot of effort into its product. They promise and deliver daily, weekly and monthly patches.
Moreover, they added an expansion, plus a ton of features since its debut. Because of its size and its continuous growth, you’d never run out of things to do.
Subnautica is an open-world survival adventure / survival-craft title. The setting is underwater, an aline ocean where you crash-landed. Escaping the planet means going deeper and deeper for resources. Moreover, as you go deeper, you’ll uncover the secret of the planet and the secret of the crash on a surprisingly riveting plotline.
As for the crafting, the systems are wide. You can make machinery, weapons, bases, and gear. In particular, you have to manage pressure, depth, and oxygen. To do so, you need proper equipment, and the appropriate gear can take you further away to explore the world and the story.
Lastly, the game also has enemies, dangerous creatures looking to eat you, and a day/night cycle that makes predators more difficult when the sun goes down.
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 seems like the game everyone is playing right now. It has over 100K daily players on Steam, and the numbers seem to keep growing. That means this is a successful first-person, open-world, action-adventure RPG.
It’s definitely a story-driven first-person action game, more than The Forest. In fact, it feels like a fully-fledged AAA RPG, but it actually comes from an indie studio that took over 6 years to create the sequel.
Its gameplay features many advanced systems. Combining all of its different elements makes it easy to understand its popularity. So, there’s an amazing parkour system to traverse the open-world, smooth shooting, fast melee hacking, crafting, scavenging, and choices to make.
Crafting is key for survival. You gather or buy resources and find recipes to create necessary consumables. These include health kits, grenades, weapon mods, and accessories.
On top of that, exploring the world feels real. Every inch of the land is full of things to see, zombies to fight, loot and roofs to jump. You’re never safe, so you’d better be sure of your surroundings before you save the game.
Lastly, there’s a story to follow. You’re Aiden, a survivor of humanity that lost the war against a virus. The protagonist, a wanderer, can change the fate of The City through his actions, choices, and character progression. However, he has his own agenda, a loved one he must find.
- Developer: The Indie Stone
- Publisher: The Indie Stone
- Release Date: November 2013 (Early Access)
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Linux
Project Zomboid is a zambox…I mean, sandbox and open-world zombie-infested game. You play in a post-apocalyptic world with isometric graphics. The goal is to survive for as long as possible. And like The Forest, it allows a co-op with 4 players online.
First off, let me be clear. This game is on Early Access, but not because of slacking developers. Instead, in 2011, they suffered the theft of two laptops with the game’s code. It was hard to take as the title comes from an indie studio.
Moreover, since December 2021, it has seen a massive spike in its player counts on Steam, going from about 2K players daily to over 20K users.
Specifically, December correlates with the patch that introduced multiplayer to the zombie game. You can now play co-op in dedicated servers that support up to 16 players.
That said, the gameplay comes through drop-down menus and interfaces. You have to survive a zombie-ridden area in Kentucky, the Knox Country, currently in quarantine. Here, you create a character, customize its appearance, occupation, traits, and start town.
Then, aside from combat, you manage stats like stress, fatigue, boredom, and hunger. You can also loot, set up a fortress, craft weapons, cook, and gather resources from the wild. Lastly, a free-form sandbox mode allows you to customize various difficulty presets.
- Developer: Creepy Jar
- Publisher: Creepy Jar
- Release Date: September 2019
- Platform:Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
Green Hell is a first-person open-world survival sim. The game introduces extreme survival conditions to imitate the Amazon jungle. So, players need to use realistic techniques to hunt, scavenge, fight, craft, build shelters, and heal wounds.
As you would expect, the setting is quite similar to The Forest. And like The Forest, you’re alone in a jungle without food or equipment. The goal is to survive on a lonely journey against dangerous animals in the jungle.
On the journey back to civilization, you’ll be fighting on your own until you go back to society and, along the way, learn survival techniques to defend and survive.
That said, you’ll face both wild animals as well as tropical illnesses. These are your enemies, and only a radio, and the voice of a loved one, can guide you back home. The story is emotional, dark, and because of its realism, often frightening.
Overall, Green Hell is a realistic survival sim that conveys how endless a jungle would feel and how meaningless a human could feel in the wild.
It’s a challenging game, naturally, and thus we recommend it ford hardcore or experience survival genre fans. Lastly, fans can play the game in co-op, at a party of four players.
- Developer: Iron Gate Studio
- Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
- Release Date: February 2021 (Early Access)
Valheim sets itself apart from other survival games by delivering stellar combat. Its combat can feel as smooth as Souls-like games by using blocks, parries, dodges, light attacks, heavy attacks, and ranged attacks.
Because of its combat, Valheim is an action-adventure open-world game with crafting and sandbox features.
That’s not the best part, though, or the only positive point about the title. Its lore, story, and setting are some of its major selling points. You’re a Guardian in Valhalla, a servant of Odin, with the task of maintaining order in the afterlife.
The Viking set is through and through; you’ll hear it in the music, see it in the dozens of enemy types, and enjoy it as part of your gear.
Speaking of which, exploring the world will raise your character’s levels to develop skills and progress down tech trees. That’s because, aside from combat, you can scavenge resources, craft gear, structures, trade, and progress as a character.
As for character progression, you gain skills depending on what you do. So, if you cook, you progress your cooking skills. Or, if you shoot a bow, you can improve your bow skills. The progress carries on single player, and in co-op as well. You can play Valheim on dedicated servers with up to 10 people.
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
- Release Date: July 2020
- Platform:Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Many would prefer Obsidian working for a new Fallout title. Still, they have made a top-tier Western RPG game-maker reputation, and this is the game they delivered after The Outer Worlds.
Grounded is another story-driven RPG action-adventure survival title. It’s also an Xbox Exclusive title that has seen massive success. According to its developers, there have been over 10 million players on its servers.
You play as a shrunk group of kids in a vast backyard. But if you’re the size of an ant, a backward may look like the entire world. Here, you explore, build a shelter, and survive in a first-person adventure you can play offline or co-op.
It’s a persistent world as well. That means other insects react to your actions. Speaking of which, there’re various kinds of insects. Some, like the spiders, are your enemies. Others are a source of food and other resources.
So, crafting tools and building shelters is critical for survival. Your baser is the game’s hub, the place where you’ll return while you complete the mission of going back home.
Overall, Grounded is a heart full survival adventure game with more systems than it seems. The game includes combat, crafting, scavenging, health, hunger, and thirst. There are also choices and consequences. Lastly, there’re skills, as you can level up and build different characters through “mutations” and gear.
Ark: Survival Evolved
- Developer: Studio Wildcard
- Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Release Date: August 2017
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Ark: Survival Evolved is a straightforward open-world first-person survival game. You choose a server, create a character, choose a map, and select a map area. That’s because the maps are easier on the starting positions but become more challenging the further away you go.
So, you start naked on an ARK, the map. Here, the gameplay is simple. You hunt and harvest for resources. Then, you use your resources to craft gear, structures, and supplies.
Over time, you’ll want to grow in tech trees. This requires going deeper into the island, facing increasingly dangerous dinosaurs. You can tame them, though, allowing you to ride them or use them as your personal workforce or bodyguards.
On top of the wildlife, you’ll also suffer hunger, thirst, weather conditions, and more. All of your actions cost food, water, and fatigue. Moreover, inventory is limited, and theres’ a day/night cycle to make everything more complex.
These systems require you to master crafting. However, crafting requires blueprints, as well as leveling up your character. Moreover, everything you craft has durability and can wear out in time.
Lastly, there’s a multiplayer feature. You can play offline, and everything’s safe. Online, though, other players can steal your resources, even if you’re not on the server. And, speaking of which, servers can hold up to 100 people.
No Man’s Sky
- Developer: Hello Game
- Publisher: Hello Game
- Release Date: August 2016
- Platform:Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5
No Man’s Sky is a sci-fi open-world sandbox game. Rather, it’s an open-Galaxy, as every light you see in the distance is a planet you can explore.
So, exploring the Galaxy is the gameplay loop. You hop on your ship, fly off without any loading screens, and then land on any planet, asteroid, derelict ship, and more.
You can explore these places for the sights and the wildlife. And, most importantly, for the resources. You can mine almost anything you see, like certain block-builder out there.
Then, you can use these resources to improve your ship or gear and construct bases and weapons. The crafting system is complex and requires you to find better and better resources and recipes.
There’re also enemy NPCs in the game, just not as many. Sometimes, you could find derelict fighters and revels for some third-person combat during your explorations.
Other than that, No Man’s Sky is fairly relaxing. It’s also an MMO with thousands of players. Anyone can help you at any time, as there’s no PvP in the game.
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Publisher: Klei Entertainment
- Release Date: April 2013
- Platform:Windows, PS3, PS4, PSVita, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, macOS X, Linux, iOS, Android
Don’t Starve is a story-driven survival video game. You play as Wilson, a scientist lost in a dark and surreal parallel world. Here, in The Constant, your goal is to survive until you get back home.
The gameplay follows a story, and you need to complete a set of quests to end the game. However, it’s also a sandbox, as you can get lost in its gameplay loop of exploring, hiding, fighting, and crafting.
See, The Constant is full of monsters trying to eat you. The player, as Wilson, must manage his health pool, hunger, and mental health. Moreover, as the adventure goes on, Wilson will uncover the lore alongside Maxwell, the antagonist. But the world is dark and dangerous, and resources are scarce and hard to find.
The mechanics are challenging and uncompromising. You start in the world without any instructions. There’s science, there’s magic, there are monsters, and there’s you. But you need to learn the mechanics on yourself, therefore gathering items to see what kind of structures and tools you can craft.
Overall, Don’t Starve is a mix between Minecraft mechanics and Tim Burton’s visual style. It’s a single-player experience, but if you’re looking for a co-op, it has a multiplayer expansion as well (Don’t Starve Together).
- Developer: Facepunch Studios, Double Eleven
- Publisher: Facepunch Studios
- Release Date: February 2018
- Platform:Windows, macOS, Xbox One, PS4
Rust is half toxic, half fun. Likewise, Rust players are half toxic, half entertaining. The game allows players to do and how the gameplay loop shapes into form.
In essence, you enter an island, a server that may hold up to 60 people. You may go alone, or with your friends.
Either way, there’s no goal. You only need to survive, and if you die, you lose all of your progress: items, loot, resources, blueprints, bases. All of it is gone.
That’s the thing. Rust is about building yourself up while defending yourself from other NPCs, animals, and players. You can kill others for their loot or help others for their friendship. Be that as it may, Rust also includes a comprehensive crafting system that works through blueprints, workstations, and resources.
Rust is a popular first-person survival multiplayer game with shooting, looting, and crafting. It’s a sandbox, though, with no objectives, no significant lore, and no plotlines.
Lastly, just like Subnautica, the developers constantly upgrade and update the game. There’ve been over 300 updates to add more loot, recipes, safe zones, enemies, and more.
- Developer: Funcom
- Publisher: Funcom
- Release Date:May 2018
- Platform:Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Conan Exiles is a popular MMO game that mixes survival mechanics with action adventure. Overall, it’s an outstanding genre entry and one of the only games capable of using survival mechanics in a persistent online world.
You play in the lands of Conan (the famous barbarian) as an exiled warrior, learning how to survive in a cruel world. The iconic warrior saves you from certain death and leaves you to explore the map at your will.
The world is an open-world, vast sandbox. You can play alone, with strangers, or with your friends to build a home or create a shared city. Along the way, though, you have to survive the cold, explore dungeons for loot, progress your character, and participate in team-based PvP siege battles.
There’s also a story to follow. You’re to forge your clan’s legacy to reclaim your place in the Exiled Lands. You can use a comprehensive building system to create even cities, piece by piece.
Aside from building, there’s a battle system that includes skills, melee weapons, siege weapons, and ranged weapons. There’re also PvP systems, co-op, a large world to explore, main quests, side quests, and trading.
Conan’s main experience is about surviving in a savage, barbarian land. Cold is not the only state you have to manage; you also have to drink and eat to stay alive and healthy. Additionally, you have to build shelters to protect yourself from sandstorms.
- Developer: Redbeet Interactive
- Publisher: Axolot Games
- Release Date: May 2018 (Early Access)
Raft has a usual setting. You’re alone, trapped on a small raft in the middle of the ocean. You have nothing but a plastic hook, but vast resources await underneath the wooden titles.
Either alone or with up to 8 people, the gameplay revolves around building a stronger and bigger raft. And that’s the whole deal about the game: how big and how good can you build your makeshift home-boat?
The adventure is about traveling the sea for construction resources and food. You can dive into the ocean to fish and catch floating debris with your hook to keep building. You can also scavenge reefs and islands for better loot. All in all, it’s an open-world survival craft adventure with an oceanic setting.
And even though the game looks silly, it has a lot of systems to manage. For example, you need to get clean water to drink, cook food to eat, store your fish on ice, and fend off sharks. At night, in particular, sharks get more aggressive and prevent you from exploring the sea freely.
Lastly, you can use debris to build multi-store rafts, weapons, and the tools you need to process and store your raw resources.
Overall, Raft is a fun game that feels slightly simpler than The Forest. It could be the perfect choice for those looking for a more relaxing experience.