Ever ask yourself how you’d survive in the apocalypse? The best survival games for Android let you play out those scenarios from the safety of your own home. From basic wilderness survival to the zombie apocalypse, from outer space to fantasy realms, each game we reviewed offers its own storyline.
In these games, you’ll build fires and shelter, and battle creatures or even just other survivors. You’ll also craft your own weapons and supplies — whatever it is that you need to survive at all costs. If (hu)man versus nature is your idea of a good time, keep reading.
15 Best Survival Games for Android, Ranked Worst to Best
The fifteen best survival games for Android are coming up next. We’ve got them ranked, starting with last place. Just keep in mind: this is the worst of the best overall!
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
- Mature 17+
- Automatic in-game contextual shortcuts
- Bug fixes with code and content additions
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead is the first survival game for Android we reviewed. In this turn-based game, players survive in a post-apocalyptic world. You’ll scavenge for what you need to fight zombies, but also giant insects and robots. Not before gathering food and water supplies or building or securing adequate shelter, though.
Features in the game include tile sets, sound, localization and mod support, and we also like that it’s backward compatible with desktop save games. Few games are ported as well from PC to mobile. The controls are a bit unwieldy, but you’ll get the hang of it. Gameplay is otherwise customizable through preloaded mods. It’s overall realistic, with great replay potential.
The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout
- Multiplayer limited to LAN
- Maps could be more diverse
Up next in our list, The Escapist 2: Pocket Breakout blends elements of survival with prison escape. The game offers an authentic lock-up experience. You’ll barter for what you need while you plan your escape. The combat system is revamped from earlier versions, and there are different types of prisons to choose from.
It’s important to hatch your plans without attracting attention from the guards. Overall, this survival game is based on strategy rather than violence.
Otherwise, this game has a great concept, with controls that are easy to get the hang of. Each location is uniquely rendered. If you’ve played The Escapist on console, chances are you’ll love the mobile version.
Out There: Ω Edition
- All ages
- No combat
- 350+ multiple choice handwritten game book adventures
Out There: Ω Edition takes the survival game formula to outer space. Your character has just awakened in an unknown part of the galaxy after cryosleep. To survive, you’ll encounter and fight new forms of life and take on forms of ancient power that control your destiny. Most importantly, your spaceship must be maintained and updated to support life in such an inhospitable environment.
If you like strategy with resource scavenging and management and elements of RPG, this game is for you. Acting carefully, with thoughtful planning and even a little bit of luck, is required to be successful. It’s too challenging for some players, though. But otherwise, the game is story-driven and intuitive.
This War of Mine
- Ages 17+
- Some crashing and freezing reported
- Craftable weapons
This War of Mine is a survival game in the context of war. Players are elite soldiers that must fight to live in a city under siege. The few remaining residents in the city rely on you for food, shelter, medicine, and protection. Inspired by actual warfare, you and your team of survivors will dodge sniper fire during the day. You’ll also venture out in the night to scavenge or trade for supplies. Sometimes tough choices need to be made for the good of the group — not everyone will not make it through.
Fans of the game call it fantastic, with a well thought-out storyline and graphics. A few familiar with the PC or Xbox version prefer those platforms over the mobile version. But overall, the game is addictive, challenging, and immersive.
The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands
- Google Play Best of 2019 winner for Best Indie
- Lag issues fixed
Next up in our list is The Bonfire: Forsaken Lands. In this idle survival game, you and your people have set up camp in a remote and inhospitable landscape. Your task — survive the monsters that might attack at any moment. You’ll need to all work together to build shelter and manage your resources. Some strategy is necessary, such as hiring more farmers to tend the land, or guards to help defend against the next monster attack.
We like how the scene shifts from dungeons to city building, among other possible areas of exploration. It all starts pretty basic, but develops quickly. You’ll be intrigued once the mystery begins to deepen. The mechanics are also easy to learn.
Live or Die: Survival Pro
- Gear could be more durable
- Similar to many other games
In our next game, Live or Die: Survival Pro, the zombie apocalypse has hit. Blending elements of RPG, action, and open world, your job is to survive and explore. You’ll build shelters while constructing and upgrading your all-terrain vehicles with an arsenal of weapons.
Look out, though, because in this game, animals mutate — what can seem friendly at first might not stay that way as gameplay goes on. The primary objective, though, is to uncover the full extent of civilization’s destruction, what caused it, and if there might be some areas left free from zombie infestation.
We like how sophisticated your shelter can be in the game’s complex construction system. It can be played both online and off, with free PVP, cooperative PVE quests, and MMO raids on bosses. Tasks also occur in real time, from growing food to cooking, and from collecting rainwater to travel.
Survive – Wilderness Survival
- Everyone 10+
- Can be played offline
- Resolution issues reported
Survival at its most basic, Survive – Wilderness survival, is the next app we reviewed. In it, there are few actions, but each is important, and each one could make a big difference: build shelter and fire, or gather food and water.
With updated crafting skills, new levels, and other options, there’s now also the freedom to move back and forth between levels of difficulty. A paywall expansion called Stranded now offers an even more extreme survival simulation — this time, in a warmer climate.
Fans of the game call it an amazing survival simulator that’s punishingly difficult, especially in the mountain levels. There’s not a lot of customization available, though, as far as clothing, animals, and weapons. We like that it’s available with no Wi-Fi.
Mini DAYZ: Zombie Survival
- No in-app purchases
- Rated Teen
- Violence, Blood, Use of Alcohol
How would you react should the zombie apocalypse ever happen? Play out those scenarios in our next app, Mini DAYZ: Zombie Survival. A mobile version of the popular PC game, the challenge is to gather or craft what you need without falling victim to zombies.
Action takes place on a pixel-style open world map. Examples of gameplay include supply gathering, plant growing, and navigation. You’ll also meet and befriend AI NPC survivors. Beware — the infected, both human and animal, could be lurking around every corner.
This is a pretty large game and loading time is slow, we found out. It’s also quite a challenge, so settle in for the long haul. Once you get the hang of it, though, it’s truly immersive. There’s a good selection of items to craft or discover, and the different types of zombie represented are truly frightening.
Ocean Is Home: Survival Island
- Mature 17+
- Too challenging, some say
- Great details
Ever wonder if you’d survive being stranded on a desert island? That’s just the scenario in the next game we reviewed, Ocean is Home: Survival Island. In the game, everything will need to be built or discovered. There’s tons of room to explore, and as time goes on, your survival skills will improve.
Activities include mining for stone, gathering wood, and finding fresh water. You’ll also need to hunt and fish for all your food, building the weapons you need with only what’s available on the island.
There’s not much customization available for your character, based on feedback. But besides that small drawback, fans of Ocean is Home call it fun to play, with great graphics and audio. Many recommend watching the ads to receive seeds and a garden kit — a definite advantage right up front.
- Mature 17+
- Spendy in-app purchases
- Interface could be improved
There’s just something about a survival game and the zombie apocalypse that pair well together. In LifeAfter, you’ll survive after just such an outbreak. Zombie hordes swarm the land and newly infected hatch from eggs. You’ll explore, find other survivors, gather essentials, and fight back. Locations range from snow-covered mountain tops to sandy beaches and big cities.
Through strategy, cooperation, and resource sharing, you’ll build shelter, set up watch, and plan other types of defenses both for the zombies, but also for other survivors. Just look out for the half-man-half-zombie infected creature called “The Revenant.”
Quests do get a bit complicated, we learned. But otherwise, characters are highly customizable. The graphics are amazing, and PVP mode is fun. Overall, the app is full of console-level gameplay. Some experienced players prefer it on PC, though.
Day R Survival: Last Survivor
- Multilevel crafting system
- Dynamic maps
Our next app, Day R Survival: Last Survivor takes place in 1985. Nuclear fallout has left a post-apocalyptic USSR a wasteland. Your job — survive in this vast expanse. You’ll uncover or craft all the supplies you need, gather weapons to fight the zombie hordes, or sometimes just the other survivors. That is, if the radiation doesn’t get to you first. Offering a blend of survival with RPG mechanics, Day R Survival has nearly 3,000 different locations to explore, quests to complete, and skill trees to build.
Available both online and offline, premium multiplayer mode allows for chat, shared resources, and cooperative battle.
The artwork, music, and overall concept earn high marks from fans of this game. It’s definitely a hardcore survival game. The tutorial is a bit lacking and gameplay can get repetitive, according to some. But otherwise, there are great graphics, with an interesting storyline and challenging quests to complete.
Ark: Survival Evolved
- Dynamic parties supported
- No ads
Set in a Jurassic-era world, Ark: Survival Evolved breaks the top five in our list. In this game set on a mysterious island, you’ll capture dinosaurs, craft the tools and weapons you need to hunt and survive, and build shelter from what scant supplies are available.
Over time, and in cooperation with other players, the shelter you build may become an entire village or even a large city. Or instead, go it alone if that’s more your style.
The final objective is to escape the island on the ark with your dino pets in tow. Otherwise, Ark: Survival Evolved exceeds most mobile game expectations. If you’ve played on other platforms, you won’t be disappointed, despite a few bugs and some reports of crashing.
Raft Survival: Ocean Nomad
- Everyone 10+
- Improved in-game graphics
- Better doubloon mining
Not all survival takes place on land. Raft Survival: Ocean Nomad asks what it’s like to survive on the ocean without much more than a raft. In this post-apocalyptic game you’ll hunt, fish, and fight other water nomads. You’ll encounter sharks, get what you need only from the water, or perhaps from one of the many uninhabited islands you’ll discover.
Get ahead in the game by collecting barrels and chests you find floating by. The story of exactly what happened and how the world has ended up flooded is also fun to unravel.
Exploring the uninhabited islands is otherwise a popular part of the game, we found out. Fishing and building also earn high marks. It’s easy to learn how to play, but some find it grows stale over time. Mostly, though, fans call it an addictive and immersive experience with great graphics and satisfying rewards. The shark is an especially nice touch.
Last Shelter: Survival
- Similar to “Command & Conquer”
- Good mechanics, well-matched battles
Returning to the zombie genre, Last Shelter: Survival is the next game we reviewed. In the app, war is raging. Through strategic gameplay, there are elements of survival, RPG, and tower defense. You form alliances and build your empire with what’s left of civilization and with the few other survivors that can be trusted.
With realistic graphics, a hero system, and strategic gameplay, players also farm, build, train for battle, and forage. It’s a fun game, if a bit complicated, with lots of interactive things to do with your base, and lots of freebies to keep things interesting.
Overall, experienced players call it a good strategy game along the lines of Command and Conquer. Be prepared for commitment, as things do get complicated. There are a few unpopular recent updates. Otherwise, though, it’s addictive, with lots to do — especially early on.
Last Day on Earth: Survival
- Real-time travel gets mixed reviews
- True apocalyptic solitary feeling
Finally, the top spot in our list goes to Last Day on Earth: Survival. In this popular and incredibly well-reviewed game, you’ll fight zombies, create a character, build shelter, and scavenge and craft all your own supplies. The game also allows for pet companions.
We like cooperative play, including clans you can join, but also PVP. Available vehicles range from choppers to ATVs and motor boats. While weapons include an AK-47, mortars, and even C4. In this fun and solid game, each map and subsequent challenge is unique.
We like how realistic the crafting and fighting can be, with tons of tricks to learn.
If you’ve played earlier versions of this game, you’ll be pleased to know several glitches and bugs are now fixed. It gets described as the Sims meets Zombie Apocalypse. If you like grinding resources, building, slaying zombies, and crafting, then this game is most definitely for you.
Join the High Ground
If you enjoyed this article and found some excellent survival games for Android, we highly recommend checking out more of our game guides on the site. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch with the latest, and comment below if there’s a game you think deserves a spot on our list.