Survival games are some of the most popular titles in gaming, and now even the mobile gaming scene is joining the trend with its share of survival games. The sub-genre has evolved throughout the years, starting with surviving from hordes of zombies. Now, it has reached out to other realms like aliens and other post-apocalyptic settings such as a world of radiation-infested mutants or even just a warzone with you versus other soldiers in a last-man-standing match.
We’ve listed our top 20 picks of Android and iOS survival games that focus on survival and standing out from the rest in terms of replayability and quality. Of course, we also focused on the free-to-play survival games so everyone can hop in and try out these titles.
1. PUBG Mobile
Developer: PUBG Corporation
This survival game that started the hype in battle royale games, PUBG (Player Unknown’s BattleGrounds) is a competitive multiplayer game where players are dropped in a remote area where they must survive and become the only person alive. Everyone starts with no weapons or equipment and they must scavenge around the area for items. After several minutes, the map area will start to shrink and everyone must be within the safe zone to avoid being eliminated. The game can be played solo or with friends in a duo or squad modes, and the victor will claim the chicken dinner.
2. Mini DayZ: Zombie Survival
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
It’s somewhat a portable version of DayZ; which is a survival game for the PC and consoles. Instead of a full-fledged 3D game, it is designed as a 2D sprite-based game but still maintains the core of DayZ. Here you can explore a beautiful pixel art open world as you try to survive from zombies lurking in the dark. You need to watch out for your health and hunger level and make sure not to bleed to death during any encounters. Equip yourself with weapons to fend off zombies in your area, but also be careful of other human survivors, as not everyone is as friendly as you think.
Developer: NetEase Games
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, LifeAfter puts you as one of the survivors where cooperation is the key. Explore the area and find any items that can be useful to your survival. There are different areas to explore and a ton of scary creatures that are waiting for you. Find a camp for refuge, build it, and create a sanctuary for other survivors. However, once night time comes, the dark creatures will start attacking, so be sure to prepare. LifeAfter has that blend of survival and sandbox game that anyone can easily pick up the game and have fun. And the best part—it’s free to play.
4. Last Day on Earth
Another zombie survival game that employs the third-person shooter style of gameplay, Last Day on Earth is more of an isometric action game. Set in an alternate future in 2027, the human population is wiped out by an unknown infection. Now zombies roam the lands and only a handful of survivors must find refuge. Arm yourself with weapons to defend against zombies and to hunt down wild animals for food. Create your own camp to stock up on supplies and to keep you safe. There is also a multiplayer feature where you can join other survivors to escape or clear out zombies in your area.
5. Day R Survival
Breaking from the usual shooter survival games found in the Play Store, Day R is offering a classic RPG gameplay but still maintaining the survival theme. Set in an alternate USSR in the 1980s, survivors must find ways to go to a safe haven for them to live. The area changes seasons to make it more challenging. Like in any RPG titles, it features an engaging story with quests to accomplish. You also need to check your character’s status and make sure your avatar is in top shape; otherwise, you will be an easy target of zombies or other mutants in the area. This survival game also has to craft features where you can create items or tools out of the materials you have scavenged. With Day R having a full RPG experience, the game is free to download.
6. Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
Developer: Kevin Granade
This is more a simple yet fun game and develops with help from its community. Cataclysm is an open-sourced survival rogue-like game that has simple visuals where in some cases could remind everyone of the classic ASCII type of video games. And being a rogue-like game, it will have permadeath where if your avatar dies in the game, it’s gone for good and you have to restart a new game with a different character. The game allows mods from the community to give it more options for customization, and its save data will transfer and continue its game progression in the PC version.
7. Stormfall: Saga of Survival
Developer: Plarium Global
Breaking the zombie survival themes, Stormfall is more on medieval. As one of the masters of Stormfall, you will be deemed a traitor and cast as an exile. Now, you must survive the harsh outside world so you can have redemption against those who betrayed you. You must fight and hunt in order to acquire food and raw materials for your weaponry, build your home and craft items that will be useful for your survival, and create runes to unlock new spells to challenge even the most formidable foes. Complete quests in order to win the favor of several factions in the area.
8. Survival-Quest: ZARYA-1 Station
Developer: Your Story Interactive
Focusing more on the story narrative than on action-packed gameplay, Zarya-1 is a text-based survival game that has a combination of science fiction, horror, and few doses of humor. In this game, all your actions and decisions will affect the entire story and ending, so there will be different possible outcomes. That said, you can play the game as many times as you want, and expect different endings every time.
9. ARK Mobile
Developer: Studio Wildcard
Based on the PC and console version of the same name, ARK puts players in a bizarre setting, where dinosaurs still rule the Earth. Survive the wilderness and create your camp to protect you from the prehistoric creatures in both land, sea, and air. The core features from the PC and console survival games are retained in the mobile version, which makes any veteran players feel more welcome. You can even capture and tame the dinosaurs that will assist you in your survival, and there are more than 80 creatures to discover. Play alone or with friends in this large scale open world.
10. Ares Virus
Developer: Qcplay Limited
This game combines the survival and top-down shooter genre and some hint of the roleplaying for a very arcade-like experience. It is already doomsday, and the city is already under threat of a deadly virus with zombies already amassing. In order to survive, you must fight. Fight your way with powerful weapons and collect resources and food to survive longer, and craft new equipment and items to help you in clearing our missions. This survival game features a very old-school art direction that makes it look like it was from comic strips in newspapers. The gameplay features the twin-stick top-down shooter system that lets you aim while moving.
11. Live or Die: Zombie Survival
Though this survival game is still under development, players can try the game by downloading it from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. With a virus outbreak turning people into mindless zombies, you as one of the survivors must rely on your wits and skills to survive the apocalypse. Search for raw materials and food in deserted areas, improve your stats by battling and evading zombies, and build your fortress from the collected resources that you have obtained to help you in battling the restless undead.
12. Jurassic Survival
Developer: Mishka Production
Going back with surviving from dinosaurs, Jurassic Survival puts you on a remote island where dinosaurs rule that area. You need to survive from the hungry beasts if you want to escape the island. You can team up with other players to increase your survival chance or go solo and see how far you can last. The game allows you to tame the dinosaurs that can give more benefits, such as unleashing a tyrannosaurus rex at unsuspecting enemies, which is a nice sight to watch.
13. Rules of Survival
Developer: NetEase Games
Another battle royale game that is getting more attention from mobile gamers, it features a modern-day setting where players are dropped into a remote area, and they must survive by looting items from abandoned towns and facilities. Other players would do the same and mayhem ensues in key locations where every player will try to kill each other. The last man standing wins. Rules of Survival also features a 300-player Battle Royale mode, where more players can join a match that is triple the capacity of typical Battle Royale titles.
14. Dead Trigger 2
Developer: Madfinger Games
Despite being a survival game, it focuses more on the action with its first-person shooter setup. Dead Trigger 2 is one of the popular action shooters in mobile, and the sequel adds more improvements and contents to keep players hooked. There is also a unique control feature where players can choose between the virtual joystick or with a touch control target system. With tons of weapons to use during your missions, there are plenty of upgrade functions to enhance your character and beat out the invading zombie horde.
15. Cyber Hunter
Developer: NetEase Games
Having a futuristic take on battle royale games, Cyber Hunter gives out a refreshing feel to the game to keep gamers interested. In the age of the virtual world, where the AI computers have dominated, humans have discovered a new technology called the quantum droids that materialize any quantum energy into any tactical items. To add unique gameplay, each character has certain skills and abilities that can assist them in battles such as optical camouflage, invisible force barriers, and more. You can explore the area further by diving into the sea or gliding in the sky.
16. DEAD WARFARE: Zombie Shooting
Developer: VNG GAME STUDIOS
Mixing the theme with zombies and futuristic elements, this first-person shooter game offers a ton of fun. A group of survivors called the MPS-16 continues their search for survivors that will aid them in their battle against an empire of zombies. The game features different character classes that play differently from one another, and the weapons can be customized and upgraded based on the players’ preference. Each level offers a unique theme and some secrets that are waiting for everyone to uncover it.
17. Shadows of Kurgansk
Developer: Gaijin Distribution KFT
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Shadows of Kurgansk puts players in a tight spot as they are in a radiation-induced area and must find a way to survive. Gather supplies, materials, and build your own fortress to protect yourself from the zombies that roam the land during the night. But players need to be careful, as the game features a day and night cycle. Things start to get dangerous as the nighttime starts, as more zombies appear.
18. Westland Survival
Developer: Helio Games
The survival game craze has hit the Wild West. In Westland Survival, the life of a Lone Star can be difficult. Outlaws are lurking in the desert and towns, and you have to make sure you aren’t one of their targets. Build your ranch and upgrade your arsenal. You can gather materials by logging, mining, and hunting to help you survive the deadly plains of the Wild West.
19. Identity V
Developer: NetEase Games
Featuring an eerie setting and very unique gameplay, Identity V has been getting a lot of attention after it was released. Set up in a Gothic world with a 1 vs 4 multiplayer battle, players choose as either one of the four survivors or as the hunter. As survivors, you must work together and avoid being spotted by the Hunter, find ways to hide, and solve puzzles in order to escape. As a Hunter, you must find and dispose of the Survivors before they could escape the area. It’s a fun and scary cat-and-mouse game that everyone will have a great time playing.
20. Last Shelter: Survival
Developer: LONG TECH NETWORK LIMITED
A part city builder and part survival strategy game, the Last Shelter puts you in the role of the small shelter in the zombie-infested world. Your job is to make sure the survivors will last long after each zombie attack in your shelter, so you have to build and upgrade your facilities to produce better equipment. Then you can invade other nearby shelters to pilfer supplies and food, but be careful as other players would do the same thing to you, so stock up on ammo and ready your troops in defending your shelter.