Valheim is a special kind of open-world action adventure. You get to play with skill-based combat and an ample repertoire of resources to harvest, gear to craft, and structures to build.
It’s an instant hit, and it may have opened your gamer’s heart toward what it offers. So, let’s find games like Valheim you may like to play.
These may include friendly story-driven survivals with randomized open-world, Viking adventures, sandbox adventures, or something in-between.
Subnautica is an offline-only open-world survival craft game. It delivers a thrilling campaign and an incredible world to discover. Also, after you finish the campaign, you can dive in for the Bellow Zero expansion.
Rather than a procedurally generated world, you explore a set underwater alien planet. You’re a survivor of a ship crash, and your only option is to go deeper to gather the resources you need to survive and escape the planet.
The underwater adventure relies on two key stats. There’s oxygen supply, and there’s water pressure. You need to create oxygen tanks, as well as underwater suits, to survive. Moreover, you can build a base around your Life Pod or anywhere, but you’d need to craft the proper tools for the task.
Minecraft offers a similar sense of freedom. It’s a sandbox crafting/adventure with a procedurally generated “voxel” world. “Voxel” means you can mine or destroy every square of the map if you have the proper tools.
The game has no story and no goal. Instead, you can do whatever you wish, and there’re hundreds of activities in the game. However, the main gameplay is about mining resources to build structures and craft your way to the best gear.
The best gear, for example, Enchanted Bows, would allow you to visit the game’s most exciting locations, and kill the most difficult bosses (like the Ender Dragon). But like Valheim, you can play the game as many hours as you want without minding the bosses you must defeat.
Outward is an open-world survival RPG with skill-based combat. It has a story-driven focus, but you can play the campaign solo or co-op (online or split-screen). Alternatively, it has tons of side content and an open-ended story that grants plenty of player freedom.
You explore the fictional world of Aurai, but rather than being a hero, you’re a commoner. That’s why most of the experience focuses on survival, not saving the world. Your progress relies on paying experts to get training, which allows you to learn spells.
That said, the title includes traditional RPG aspects. You fight, level up, gear up, and develop skills. Also, you have to manage warmth, fatigue, thirst, hunger, cold, indigestion, and disease. You can do so with the game’s fair crafting systems.
The Forest is a first-person open-world survival craft game with a story-driven campaign and survival horror elements. You can face the story alone or at a party with up to 8 players traveling together.
Because of its story-driven focus, it easily grasps player attention. You play as a lone crash survivor or as a group of survivors. You wake in an unnerving forest, and your goal is to survive until you get back to civilization. However, cannibal tribes are all around you.
As you explore the open world, you’ll gather resources to develop a base and craft gear and tools. Lastly, the world is fully interactive, as you can chop, cut, mine, and change everything you see in the forest.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is the friendliest open-world adventure game, it’s online-only, and it supports 32 people per server. It has no PvP, foot or ship combat is very scarce, and it allows you to craft your character and pursue any activity you wish.
You play around in an “infinite” randomized universe where you explore whatever’s shiny out there. Take your ship, go to a planet, land on it, explore, mine its resources, and invest in your ship, weapons, and suit. You may miss combat, but the sandbox freedom it offers can be more than enough.
There’s also a vast building system. You can build on any planet or across space, which allows you to skip gravity. You can build massive structures with your resources and become an overseer of your settlements to micro-manage many aspects of the location.
Terraria is an open-world survival craft and sandbox game in full 2D. It uses its 16-bit graphics and old-school style to great effect, though, as it’s one of the most popular games in the genre.
The gameplay revolves around exploring below and beneath the surface. You’ll gather resources, find tools, and loot weapons as you explore. These three things will “progress” your character, as all of your skills and stats depend on your gear.
There’s also a wider storyline about rescuing and helping NPCs. You can find these characters in different parts of the world, save them from a monster, and create a house that suits their needs. Also, you can do so alone or in co-op, with up to 8 players online.
V Rising is an isometric action-RPG / survival-craft hybrid. You play as a Vampire lord looking to rise in power by building up a castle. It’s also an online experience: its servers support 12 players, and anyone can play with or against you.
You start with a basic melee weapon, no armor, and a quest line to find resources. Moving and fighting in the open world happens through a WASD combat scheme, so you need to aim your melee and ranged skills.
Then, you level up, customize your skills, gear up, defeat bosses, and loot up. There’s a night/day cycle, so, while you explore at night, you can craft your gear and continue building your castle.
Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve Together is an isometric open-world survival craft game with hand-drawn visuals. It’s also the stand-alone co-op version of Don’t Starve, and it supports up to 6 players. Moreover, buying it on Steam includes an extra copy you can send to a friend.
The story takes you to a weird world with no sense of direction or purpose. You’re to discover what to do, how to craft, mine, and every other in-game mechanic. For example, you can farm, hunt, build, and explore alone or together.
You can build a base, craft tools, and gather resources on the maps. However, there’s a day and night cycle, and monsters are out to hunt you at night. Combat relies on isometric hack & slash action, but melee abilities are quite simple (like heavy and light attacks).
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Dying Light 2, like Valheim, is a highly-rated indie action-adventure game with survival elements. It also features skill-based combat, an open world, and co-op support. Also, the character levels up its two skill trees by performing specific actions, like it is in the Viking game.
It differs in its gameplay, though. This is a first-person “parkour RPG.” The character can jump, run, vault jump, drop kick, climb, glide, and perform various maneuvers for traversal and combat. Combat also relies on melee weapons, dodges, parries, bows, and tools you craft.
Your ammo, healing supplies, tools, and weapons are scarce, as you play in a post-apocalyptic world. Here, you play as Aiden, a survivor looking for his long-lost sister. The decisions you take in the story will change the balance of power between the surviving factions.
Niffleheim is a 2D action-adventure. You play with a customizable Viking avatar in the afterlife. The Gods put you on a test to enter Valhalla: you must collect special pieces to create a portal to Asgard.
The game offers building, crafting, and upgrading mechanics. Whatever you harvest and loot in the world you can use back at your base to upgrade your gear and craft new weapons and armor. Additionally, you have to build a fortress to protect yourself from enemies.
Lastly, combat features simple hack & slash mechanics. You slash, kick, and use potions to defeat enemies and survive. Other elements include PvP and co-op, world events, and hand-drawn settings. Character progression is very slim, though.
Conan Exiles is an open-world MMORPG focusing on survival, simple combat, and building. You play as a customizable barbarian on a journey to build an empire in the prehistoric “Hyborian Age.”
The survival aspect comes from the setting’s oppressive weather and environments. Extreme heat, punishing cold and sandstorms force you to use proper clothes and build structures to take refuge. Additionally, you need to manage hunger and thirst.
Lastly, you play in a vast open-world sandbox. You can build your own home, create a shared city, dungeon-crawl, scavenge, and level up to customize your character in melee, sorceries, or ranged combat. High-level characters can participate in siege wars.
Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic is a 4-player co-op FPS. It features a procedurally generated cave system, randomized quests, and an intuitive crafting system. Moreover, it’s a co-op PvE experience with no PvP, like Valheim.
You pick one of the four Dwarf classes to play solo or co-op. Then, you get a randomized mission about finding resources. You use these items to upgrade your gear and improve your character. Additionally, you can level up to unlock apparel, abilities, and ability slots.
You can dig anywhere, mine anything, and fight bug-like creatures as you “work.” Enemies attack in swarms, fast and vicious, so combat is often better when you’re part of a team. The best part of the game is how different Dwarf abilities mix very smoothly to hold enemy hordes and waves.
Project Zomboid is a classic-looking sandbox zombie adventure. It grants a plethora of gaming mechanics and systems to role-play as a survivor, either solo or alone.
Zomboid servers support up to 16 people, which can be your friends or random players. There’s also a local 4-player split-screen co-op, which many say it’s the best way to play it.
You play in a zombie-ridden town, and the zombie horde mechanics and AI make it very challenging. The gameplay is about scavenging buildings and surviving the zombie horde. You have to manage supplies and stats while the game manages real-life calculations of light, shadows, sound, and day cycles.
Grounded is a more standard story-driven game with open-world and RPG elements. Yet, you can play the campaign in co-op with three friends, and the title supports cross-play.
You play as a kid, or a group of kids, in the backyard. You have the size of insects, and you must come back to your real body. The adventure takes you to face giant spiders and other insects. You plan the quest from the main hub, a base you build and develop.
As you explore the world, you’ll find various kinds of insects. Some of these are food to fill your hunger bar. Others are resources, and the fiercest ones are enemies. Then, you play from a first-person perspective and enjoy a fair combat system with attacks, skills, dodges, levels, loot, and gear upgrades.