Why Survival Crafting Games are Among My Favorites

Last Updated on September 21, 2019 by Michael Brockbank

Survival crafting games pit you against the environment for the simple purpose of living to see another day. Some of the best will also involve some kind of back story to keep the player engaged. At any rate, they are among my favorite types to play. Why should you consider these for yourself?

I suppose it all really depends on the player. After all, every genre has a core of die-hard fans. But if you love League of Legends, does that mean you can’t like Minecraft just as much?

Not really. But like I said, it’s all about the individual player and what he or she wants out of a game.[template id=”145″]

Based More in Creativity

Perhaps the most important aspect to survival crafting games is how most center around creativity. For example, two people who have never met are extremely unlikely to build the same floating support in Raft.

I am a builder. I like to create new objects and more efficient “bases” in just about every survival crafting game I play. This is what engages my mind in most instances…being able to design something on my own without input from the game itself.

Although you are still restrained by the actual mechanics and the recipes allowed in these games, some of them offer a wide scope of creative possibility.

This creativity can actually play a role in improving brain power. In reality, studies show that certain types of video games stimulate the growth and development of the brain itself. And anything that inspires creativity is among the highest on the list.

Gives the Player More Control of the Environment

In many survival crafting games, you’re capable of influencing the world around you in various ways. You have more control over the surrounding environment. It’s not simply a “go here and do this” type of layout.

For example, you’ll need to devise strategies to use certain elements more efficiently. Take Subnautica, for instance. Placing the Moonpool over a deeper section of the ocean makes it far easier to get in and out of your base.

In H1Z1, chopping down a tree removes it from all the players on the server – for a short amount of time. Actions you take in these games affect the overall environment, which then affects how others play as well.

Allows the Player to Progress at Own Pace

Another aspect that keeps me interested in games like this is being able to progress at my own pace. Sure I can power through and speed run Raft within a few game days. But I am an explorer and relish in finding the different nuances developers toss into the world.

Why kill the Ender Dragon in Minecraft inside 30 minutes when I can spend days building an elaborate golden castle before making my end move?

In Subnautica, I have five deep-sea bases spread across the map and have yet to start building the escape rocket to finish the game.

For me, it’s all about the open world crafting and getting every thing out of the experience I can before coming to the very end of the journey.

Can Be Quite Engaging in a Team Environment

Some of my favorite gaming moments is when others try to “help” me survive. While usually it’s the team environment that usually gets me killed most of the time, it’s fun to work together to build something spectacular.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who only play multiplayer games. In fact, I often prefer single player titles. However, it’s fun to group up with friends and work together to survive the premise of a game – whether it’s zombies or the scope of an entire ocean.[template id=”505″]

Some of My Favorite Survival Crafting Games

My lack of funds doesn’t give me the library of survival crafting games I’d like, but I do have several favorites that you may find engaging as well. While some are best played alone, others shine when adding friends and family to the mix.


Among the newest games in my Steam library is Subnautica. This game puts you on an alien planet with a diverse ecosystem of plants and creatures. While trying to find a way to escape the planet, stick around and venture the ocean depths.

Not only does it have quite the story to uncover, but progression requires a bit of exploration.

This game taps into my anxiety when faced with deep bodies of water very well. As a result, I often find my pulse racing during certain situations. From that aspect, I play this game the same reason many people watch horror movies – it’s the emotional response caused from it.

H1Z1: Just Survive

As far as zombie apocalypse survival games go, H1Z1: Just Survive is an engaging title. As you craft equipment and scrounge for supplies, you have to be mindful. You’re not the only one looking for something to eat.

Whether you thrive on PvP style survival or simply want to avoid becoming a meal yourself, this game has great potential.

I’ve been a fan of the zombie apocalypse genre since the first days of the DayZ mod for Arma II. H1Z1 also prompted me to start watching the Walking Dead. Then SOE was bought out by Daybreak, and most of the games started to suffer.

Unfortunately, now it’s all about the money.


Raft is another of the newer games I’ve added to my list. Unlike Subnautica, you spend most of your time above the deep water. So now I have two games that tap my ocean anxiety.

It’s my “Panic Attack” summer sale.

In Raft, you’re stranded on a small block of floating wood and plastic. Using a hook, you start to build yourself a suitable floating home all the while avoiding a series of vindictive sharks who will eat away at the platform.

When it comes to survival crafting games, Raft has superb potential. At the time of this article, it’s an early access game offered on Steam. But, it’s one that I don’t feel I wasted money on. I just hope the developers keep adding more in the near future.

DayZ Epoch Mod – Not the Standalone!

Not to be confused with the hot mess that was the DayZ standalone game, the DayZ Epoch mod was incredible among survival crafting games. Not only did you have to survive the onslaught of fast-moving zombies, but you had servers loaded with aggressive NPCs and raiders.

This was aside from the servers that also included PvP aspects. When everything is potentially trying to kill you, the difficulty goes up exponentially.

It’s been years since the Epoch servers were live for Arma 2 DayZ, but it was probably one of my favorite eras in gaming. My brother and I logged in a ton of hours on the DayZ mod in a variety of modifications and definitely got our $30 worth out of Arma II with DayZ.

Coincidentally, it was also the reason why I started a Steam account in the first place.

Fallout Franchise

In some ways, the Fallout franchise from Fallout 3 on can be considered part of the survival crafting games genre. Especially when you get to Fallout 4, where you build settlements and modify your weapons and armor.

It’s not exactly the same premise as other games on this list, but Fallout still offers a layer of creativity and world modification. I am expecting Fallout 76 to go even further with open world crafting and look forward to it.


What survival crafting games list would be complete without at least mentioning Minecraft? Although it’s far more popular for the younger audience, I still find a great deal of value in the game as a 42-year old.

Minecraft is what a lot of open world games aspire to be. Players have complete control over the landscape and can build nearly any kind of layout anywhere they wish. I’ve even seen replicas of starships, real life castles and mansions in the game.

My preferred way to play Minecraft is through hardcore mode. This means if my character dies, it’s over. In the Java Edition, I can reload the world I was in. But all of my possessions and constructs are wiped out.

Hardcore mode just makes gaming more intense for me…which is why I love it.

It’s OK to Enjoy Other Genres

Enjoying one type of video game doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them all. Whether you love RTS or FPS, there’s nothing wrong with exploring other possibilities. You’ll never know when you come across something that simply keeps your attention for the long haul.[template id=”543″]

Michael Brockbank
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Michael Brockbank

Michael developed ColoradoPlays to help various charities through his favorite pastime. Since then, the blog and Twitch channels have donated several hundred dollars to Extra Life, Geeks of Grandeur and Operation Supply Drop to name a few.

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