Good mobile survival games are often difficult to find. This is due to a large amount of P2W garbage in the app stores and the difficulty to implement controls. Here we have selected the 13 best survival games 2020/21 for Android and iOS.
Many developers have failed because of their releases and ports. However, some have made it: there are actually mobile survival games for Android and iOS.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: Action MMORPGs | Developer: NetEase Games | Cost: free
This is LifeAfter: LifeAfter stands out among most survival MMOs on mobile because of its excellent visual design. In instanced base construction and raids, players can fight zombie hordes solo or in groups. The server-wide cities are reminiscent of classic MMOs with many other players, dealers, and interaction options. No P2W.
This is what makes LifeAfter so special: Great solo and multiplayer experience thanks to an interesting story and server-wide cities that give the game a strong MMO character. At the same time, it is up to the player whether he wants to do the quests alone or with friends.
For whom is it suitable? Survival gamers with a penchant for RPG feel they are in good hands in character and story progression. You level your character, forge new weapons, and work hard on the hideout.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Recalls: Crashlands | Developer: Klei Entertainment | Cost: € 4.49
Many of you are already familiar with Don’t Starve from the desktop version. The control is also ideal for mobile devices. The game impresses with its charming style and high level of difficulty – perfect for on the go.
This is what makes Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition so special: The cute graphics initially distract from the high level of difficulty. Don’t Starve makes you sweat quickly without being really frustrating.
For whom is it suitable? Hard-core survival gamers and lovers of the desktop version will not be disappointed by the mobile version. Even newbies are easy to get started with thanks to the loving presentation.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: DayZ in 2D | Developer: tlt Games | Cost: free or € 2.99 for the premium version
Day R Survival is also rock hard. The gameplay is very reminiscent of DayZ: eat, drink, loot and fight. Despite the simplified graphics, the mobile title motivates for a long time. You even have the opportunity to try out the title, but be careful: you are guaranteed to want more.
This is what makes Day R Survival so special: The high level of difficulty and the motivating loot draws the player out of the safe camp every time. “Just explore one more place” is as captivating as “just one more turn” in the Civilization titles.
For whom is it suitable? Lovers of the flair of the Russian post-apocalypse, the Metro or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. have gambled. Despite the simple graphics, the game looks very immersive.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: Fallout Shelter | Developer: 11 bit studios | Cost: € 11.99
In terms of atmosphere, no mobile title comes close to This War of Mine. Those who do not let themselves be bothered by the consistently melancholy mood will find a masterpiece in style and game mechanics here. In contrast to other shelter games, you control your characters not only in their accommodation but also in the raid.
This is what makes This War of Mine so special: Despite the small screen, the rousing stories of the characters often bring you to tears. You should bring a thick skin with you before you get involved in This War of Mine.
For whom is it suitable? Micromanagers and lovers of dark atmospheres have fun with the growing Hideout. At the same time, the gaming experience is enhanced by player-controlled raids and is therefore not only suitable for fans of Fallout Shelter & Co.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: DayZ in pixel art | Developer: Bohemia Interactive | Cost: free
What many do not know: Mini DayZ is also available for the PC. The pixel art shooter not only has retro charm but also has a lot under the hood. Loot, base building and zombie / multiplayer battles keep the player on their toes and skilfully transport the DayZ feeling to the mobile phone. If you haven’t tried the mobile version yet, you should definitely do so.
This is what makes Mini DayZ so special: The tried and tested DayZ formula of survival and looting dares the artistic leap into the deep end. It works so well that addiction is also guaranteed on the mobile phone.
For whom is it suitable? Pixel art fans and DayZ veterans meet here and hopefully unite to form an even larger community. Even casual gamers get their money’s worth and quickly find their way around the modes and the world.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: The big desktop & console brother | Developer: Studio Wildcard | Cost: free
ARK: Survival Evolved is one of the most sophisticated survival games for Android and iOS. With the almost console-ready graphics and the implementation of all game elements of the big brother, hardly anything is left to be desired. Only with the controls, we couldn’t get along now and then. However, this is a matter of taste.
This is what makes ARK: Survival Evolved so special: The successful mix of dinosaurs and sci-fi sounds strange at first, but then ensures immense fun. Crafting and the game world are inextricably linked and create a seamless and believable gaming experience.
For whom is it suitable? Everyone who wants to experience desktop survival on their mobile phones and also dinosaur fans. Because the dinosaurs also look really good on the mobile phone!
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: Dwarf Fortress | Developer: CleverRaven | Cost: free
The “hidden gem” of mobile survival games. Cataclysm: DDA is often compared to the tough Dwarf Fortress and rightly so. The steep learning curve and the cryptic user interface are entirely to the taste of many hardcore survival players. Although there is now a pimped up version, we advise you to play the original with all its rough edges first.
This is what makes Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead so special: The focus of Cataclysm: DDA is clearly on gameplay instead of graphics. This admission results in arguably one of the most complicated and deepest survival games we have ever seen. Those who do not give up too soon will be rewarded with great satisfaction.
For whom is it suitable? Dark Days Ahead: Gamers who miss the old-school vibe, because the ASCII graphics can only look dusty in black and white. But don’t be put off. Young players will also find the attention to detail here if you look closely.
Platforms: Play Store Link| Reminds of: text-based adventure games | Developer: Juuso Hietalahti | Cost: free
Survive – Wilderness Survival approaches the genre a little differently: in the text-based simulation you are forced to take care of all body functions. Body temperature, thirst, hunger, and other elements play a role. The aim of the game is to get to safety.
This is what makes Survive – Wilderness Survival so special: The relaxed gameplay and the minimalist graphics clearly slow down the otherwise stressful genre. We really like this variety.
Who is Survive – Wilderness Survival for: Players who prefer to use fitness apps than joysticks feel at home here. The surface and controls are stylistically crisp and functional.
Plattforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. | Developer: Atypical Games | Cost: free or € 4.49 for the premium version
Radiation City tries to give you the full survival shooter experience from the PC. Except for a few small quirks, it manages that too. The controls and the large game world are very well implemented for the mobile experience. Only one or the other texture loads a little too late and the gameplay is described by some as bumpy.
This is what makes Radiation City so special: Outstanding graphics, scary zombies, and the smooth gaming experience make Radiation City unique on the mobile phone. While Mini DayZ has chosen the path into the 2D world, Radiation City has chosen the full survival shooter experience.
For whom is it suitable? fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, shooter enthusiasts, and zombie lovers are equally served here. The gunplay is fun, the balancing is good and the zombies scare the player all the time, especially at the beginning.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: Faster Than Light | Developer: Mi-Clos Studio | Cost: € 4.99
On the huge success of Faster Than Light, Out There: Omega Edition rides through space and brings real space survival to the mobile platforms. The now second iteration of the game doesn’t quite come close to FTL but is great for the mobile phone in terms of gameplay and atmosphere. Definitely try it out!
This is what makes Out There: Omega Edition so special: The unique game mechanics and the loving art style make Out There a game that you probably won’t forget that quickly even after years. The survival parameters are all embedded in the game world and don’t feel artificial. In addition, the story is a blast!
For whom is it suitable? Pretty much everyone who values a good story and a believable game world. We think everyone should try Out There: Omega Edition.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: Real-Time-Tactics Shooter | Developer: D3 Go! | Cost: € 0.99
The Alien franchise has already proven with Isolation that it can deliver a lot of atmosphere. As a fan of the films, we might be a little biased, but the reviews speak for themselves. The gameplay and the scarce survival or, in the worst case, even death, will no longer let you sit still. Alien: Blackout is guaranteed to entertain you for many hours.
This is what makes Alien: Blackout so special: The perspective play via the surveillance cameras forces the player into a helpless and claustrophobic situation. It works so well that you should take a break after an hour to get your pulse down again.
For whom is it suitable? Anyone who likes the Alien films or who played Alien: Isolation with enthusiasm should also play Alien: Blackout. The simple but demanding game principle convinces quickly and sustainably.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: UnReal World | Developer: Blue Bottle Games | Cost: free
NEO Scavenger is for real hardcore survival lovers. If you can overlook the grayed-out graphics, you will quickly lose yourself in the deep gameplay. In addition to the classic survival elements, you will also find attributes and talents here. Since the game is turn-based, you should be patient.
This is what makes NEO Scavenger so special: In the detailed survival and crafting system, which is in no way inferior to console and PC games, you can quickly and above all get lost.
For whom is it suitable? Survival players who are looking for deep game mechanics and who are difficult to get frustrated will be busy here not just for hours, but for weeks or months.
Platforms: Play Store Link, App Store Link | Reminds of: the PC title of the same name | Developer: Behavior Interactive | Cost: free
We probably don’t have to tell you what Dead by Daylight is about. What is important, however, is that Behavior Interactive did a fantastic job porting the successful title. Multiplayer is just as fun as on the PC. The only thing that bothers us is the choppy animation, which the PC version already had. Dead by Daylight is without a doubt one of the best survival games on the go for Android and iOS.
This is what makes Dead by Daylight Mobile so special: The player can slip into the skin of well-known villains from numerous horror films and hunt down poor teenagers. In the asymmetrical game, it goes the other way, of course: Be hunted and let creep!
For whom is it suitable? Fans of asymmetrical multiplayer and horror films slaughter and flee here. The successful desktop version now allows old and new players to hunt on their mobile phones.
The best mobile survival games for Android and iOS are not easy to find amid the deluge of P2W titles. If you want to look around outside of our recommendations, you should definitely avoid the following titles: Last Day on Earth and all clones of the game or the engine are pure P2W games.
So now go ahead – get the games and let us know what you think of them in the comments below!