Top 20 Survival Games Like DayZ

Survive and thrive with these immersive open-world games like DayZ!

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Imagine zombies, apocalypse, hostile players and an incredibly cold city. We would like to talk about Dayz, which is considered the ancestor of survival games with its extremely realistic gameplay. Any hardcore Dayz player can have hundreds of hours of gameplay. But you may get bored of the game because you play too much. Therefore, games like DayZ can solve this problem.

Games Like Dayz List 2023
Games Like Dayz List 2023

We know that it is difficult to fill the void for Dayz. Nevertheless, we decided to make a list of survival games that are just as adventurous. In our list, you will find many games focused on simulation, strategy, and FPS. Now if you’re ready, let’s get started and take a quick look at our games similar to DayZ.

How Do We Find Games Like DayZ?

First of all, if we want to find a game like DayZ, we need to understand the game genre well. As you know, Dayz is a unique game that includes survival, zombie, crafting and simulation categories. While preparing our list, we tried to research specifically about the games belonging to these categories. At the same time, we have some important criteria;

  • The first important criterion is to examine the player communities on platforms such as Reddit and Twitter. In this way, we can do a detailed research on which games other players are playing like DayZ.
  • Another important point, in our opinion, is to check authoritative sites like Metacritic. In this way, we can easily understand how highly rated the games are in Metacritic and whether they are of good quality.
  • Our last and most important criterion is our own experience. As DayZ players, we can easily say that we are quite picky. We don’t like every game because we really like quality survival games.

Considering all these, we have prepared a list of DayZ like games with a total of 20 games. Let’s start!

20. Scum

  • Release Date: January 4, 2001
  • Developer: Gamepires
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Genre: Survival

Welcome to the massive open world of Scum. We think it is very similar to Dayz due to its multiplayer structure and violent elements. We also know that survival mechanics work wonders in Scum. If you need zombies in a survival game, Scum will give you satisfaction guaranteed.

Especially when playing Scum, you have to pay attention to every detail of your character you control, just like in Dayz. You should constantly keep an eye on metabolism, bleeding and other health summaries. Otherwise, your character may be mortally wounded or die slowly. By the way, zombies are not your only enemies in the game. There are also real player enemies. If you are going to play the game alone, you have to be very careful. Since the loot mechanics are the same as Dayz, we think you can quickly adapt to the game.

Considering all these gameplay features, we put Scum at the bottom of our games like DayZ list. The most important reason why Scum is last is optimization problems. Unfortunately, because the game received slow updates, it alienated a certain audience from itself. If you’re just starting out, you can give it a chance.

19. Fallout Shelter

  • Release Date: June 14, 2015
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Platform: Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Construction and management simulation, survival

You are stuck in a Vault with people who survived just after the nuclear disaster. There is no longer a life to be lived outside. You can accept your fate and wait to die here, or you can gather all the survivors to improve your Vault and build a huge underground city.

Shelter, a classic Fallout themed game, is a strategy and simulation based game. If you like Dayz’s bleak and post-apocalyptic atmosphere then you won’t get bored playing Fallout Shelter. If you are looking for a game like DayZ with an FPS perspective, you may not like Fallout Shelter. Because, as we just mentioned, this game is completely strategically based.

18. 7 Days to Die

  • Release Date: December 13, 2013
  • Developer: The Fun Pimps
  • Platform: Linux, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Survival horror

Zombies are everywhere! Although a handful of people struggled to survive after the epidemic, humanity has now completely disappeared. At this point, we enter the challenging world of 7 Days to Die. It has crafting, looting and base building mechanics. 7 Days to Die is the most popular among games like DayZ.

Due to the mechanics of the game, there is a horde raid every 7 days. All zombies are after you by smelling your scent. Dozens, hundreds or even thousands of zombies go on a hunt every 7 days to kill you. You will try to get rid of the zombies thanks to the bases and traps you have built. If you want, you can build a reliable castle underground. Whatever you do, try to survive.

17. Subsistence

  • Release Date: October 25 2016
  • Developer: ColdGames
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Genre: Action Adventure, Survival

On our Games like Day Z list, now comes Subsistence with its open world. In this game, we are again trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world in the form of PvE. You can hunt, farm and develop new technologies. If you want, you can make your living spaces comfortable by building a great base for yourself. The point is to survive against deadly AI enemies. By the way, we think you can have a lot of fun with your friends since the game is co-op.

You will always need help in the open world of Subsistence, as surviving in the wild is quite difficult. You can get armed by discovering new technologies in the game. Considering the surrounding predators, you will need more than enough weapons.

16. Fallout 4

  • Release Date: November 10, 2015
  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
  • Genre: General, Role-Playing, Western-Style

We are here with a second Fallout game in our Dayz like games guide. However, this Fallout game is purely FPS oriented. Fallout 4 is considered one of the most important masterpieces of the last 10 years. You will witness the story of people who survived the nuclear apocalypse, coming back to earth years later. It is difficult to survive among mutated creatures and corrupt radical organizations.

That’s why you need to be armed and reveal your survival instinct. Generally, most players are looking for games similar to DayZ like PvP style games. Unfortunately, Fallout 4 does not have online PvP mechanics. Since it is a single-player title, it may not be for everyone’s liking. Still, if you like Dayz’s uncanny cities and serene solitude, we highly recommend giving Fallout 4 a shot.

15. The Last of Us 2

  • Release Date: June 19, 2020
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Platform: PlayStation 4-5
  • Genre: General, Action Adventure, Survival

We are here with another non-online production among games like DayZ. We think The Last of Us series is indescribably excellent. We are embarking on a journey towards a post-apocalyptic dystopian world inhabited by people who have turned into zombies due to fungi. With its emotional story, open world and survival mechanics, The Last of Us 2 is very similar to DayZ.

If you like violent cinematic games, The Last of Us 2 will definitely take its place in your favorite games list. Moreover, TLU will be a rare option for those looking for games like DayZ for Xbox. Because you know that it is very difficult to find DayZ-like games on consoles. Although the console version of DayZ for Xbox has been released, there are many optimization problems. Until DayZ gets new updates, it may be a good choice to give games like The Last of Us a chance.

Do you like post-apocalyptic themed games? Then check out our best games like The Last Of Us article. We have listed some very enjoyable apocalyptic games. We are sure that you will like some of them. 

14. Arma 3

  • Release Date: September 12, 2013
  • Developer: Bohemia Interactive
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS
  • Genre: Tactical shooter

It’s time to talk about a classic game from Bohemia Interactive, the producer company of DayZ. Arma 3 and DayZ have a great bond. There are not only zombies in Arma 3, where the gameplay mechanics are completely similar to Dayz. In Arma 3, you develop military and tactical mechanics in a fictional world without zombies.

You can be a soldier, a cop or a criminal in Arma 3, which is usually played online. Or you can have fun with gunfights by playing the game completely as a single player. As we mentioned at the beginning, it is very realistic to manage your character as the game is similar to Dayz. We can even call Arma 3 a game similar to Tarkov.

13. The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series

  • Release Date: April 24, 2012
  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Platform: Android, iOS, OS X, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
  • Genre: Compilation, Miscellaneous, Adventure, Compilation, Point-and-Click

We want to take you on a journey towards a cinematic zombie universe with plenty of dialogue. There is no one who does not know The Walking Dead, one of the most successful TV series of the late 2000s. We wanted to add The Walking Dead to our game like DayZ list just because of its story. Due to gameplay, it has nothing to do with Dayz.

However, when it comes to zombies, cinematic storytelling is pleasing to most players. If you want an epic zombie story with cinematic gameplay and plenty of dialogue, then you should definitely play the TWD game series.

12. Green Hell

  • Release Date: September 5, 2019
  • Developer: Creepy Jar
  • Platform: Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action, Action Adventure, Shooter, Survival, First-Person, Arcade

The number of games like DayZ is quite large when it comes to survival. As one of these games, Green Hell welcomes us with its magnificent atmosphere. You have to survive among creatures and native cannibals in an Amazon-like jungle. You can craft, kill animals and build yourself a shelter.

However, your character is completely intertwined with the atmosphere of the game. For example, if a spider bites you, you may start to get poisoned slowly, or when we eat spoiled food, you start to vomit by poisoning. If you like crafting and open world gameplay, you might like Green Hell, one of the games like Day z. Although there is not much variety in the game, you can spend pleasant moments with your friends.

11. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

  • Release Date: 20 March 2007
  • Developer: GSC Game World
  • Platform: Windows
  • Genre: Action, Shooter, Shooter, First-Person, Sci-Fi, Sci-Fi, Arcade

After a second Chernobyl accident, huge explosions took place and a large part of Russia became uninhabitable. In the world of Stalker, where we try to survive in single player, our main enemies are radiation and mutated creatures.

The highlight of our games similar to DayZ list is that it always consists of games set in the post-apocalyptic world. Stalker has a reality that strikes us in the face of the danger of nuclear war brought by the cold war. Especially as we move towards the regions where the explosion took place, we have to fight with many mutated creatures. However, we are lucky to be able to strengthen our character by leveling up in the game. Because the stronger you get, the easier it is to fight the enemies.

However, mutated creatures are not the only danger. Some radical armed groups are also in the game. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this game is old, because the action is on the line. Give it a chance and feel the atmosphere of a dystopian world down to the last detail.

10. ARK: Survival Evolved

  • Release Date: August 29, 2017
  • Developer: Studio Wildcard
  • Platform: Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
  • Genre: Action Adventure, Survival, Sandbox

Are you ready to jump into a high-tech primitive world? When we thought and researched whether there is free games like DayZ, we came across a completely free game. ARK is a game set in the first age where you can craft and build bases. Don’t think it won’t surprise you just because the game takes place in a primitive age. Because this game also includes alien technology.

In addition, since it can be played online, it is quite possible to encounter other enemy players. You will have a lot of fun in the first ages of the world in the company of various kinds of dinosaurs. You can even tame a T-rex and make it your mount. As we just mentioned, the best example of games like DayZ for free is ARK: Survival Evolved. All you have to do is find ARK in the Steam store. Then you can add it to your library and enter this open world with a wonderful atmosphere with your friends.

9. Valheim

  • Release Date: 2 February 2021
  • Developer: Iron Gate Studio
  • Platform: Linux, Windows
  • Genre: Action Adventure, Adventure, 3D, Survival, Third-Person

How about a fantastic story set in the age of the Vikings? 9th on our games like DayZ list is Valheim, thanks to its survival gameplay. In this game, which we started in the first age, we try to strengthen our character by making various crafting operations.

There are also some evil creatures in the game that bother us. By killing these creatures, we can increase the level of our character. Thanks to the ovens and workshops, you can produce any kind of material you can think of. For example, you can cut wood and burn that wood in ovens to turn it into charcoal. Then you can use this coal to melt the bronze, copper and iron you collect from the mines.

Again, to give an example, you can produce magnificent weapons with these irons you produce thanks to the weapon workshop. Now that you’ve gotten so strong, we can talk a little bit about the bosses of the game. There are very powerful bosses that allow you to progress in the game and unlock craft recipes. You need to do some tactics or join forces with your teammates to kill these bosses. If you like fantasy-themed DayZ like games, Valheim will definitely keep you busy for hundreds of hours.

By the way, do you think fantasy-themed games appeal to you? Take a few moments and check out our games like Wizard101 guide. We’ve listed some great fantasy games that will mark the year 2023. We even think that some games will take you back to the past.

8. State of Decay 2

  • Release Date: May 22, 2018
  • Developer: Undead Labs
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action Adventure, Survival, Open-World

When civilization disappeared, a handful of people rolled up their sleeves to make the world habitable again. However, there is another danger. The zombies who want to kill you have taken the whole world captive. State of Decay, an open world survival fantasy game, left its mark on 2020. We can easily say that this game, which offers a unique experience, is among the games like Day Z. Because you can craft and build shelters to live in. Moreover, you can do all these online with your friends.

If you fail to be strong, everything you build will be destroyed. Brutal mutant zombies and NPCs want to destroy the territory you have built. If you die once, there is no going back. Therefore, you should play carefully and be careful when making your decisions.

7. Days Gone

  • Release Date: April 26, 2019
  • Developer: Bend Studio
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Windows
  • Genre: Action Adventure, Open-World

Exactly 2 years after the zombie apocalypse, we start the game by controlling the motorcycle gang member Deacon St. John. 7th on our games similar to DayZ list, Days Gone is a single player game. Stunning environments, brutal battles, ever-changing environments and survival mechanics will be enough to tell us about Days Gone.

If you like gripping and cinematic zombie stories, then Days Gone is for you. But if you’re looking for online gameplay, unfortunately Days Gone doesn’t have it. So don’t forget to check out the other games on our list. Maybe you can find other games you might like.

6. They Are Billions

  • Release Date: December 13, 2017
  • Developer: Numantian Games
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Real-time strategy, survival, defense

Hordes of millions of zombies travel the world in search of the handful of survivors. In this game set in the distant future, we take over a community of people and do everything to survive.

best zombies games like dayz – they are billions

We need to build all kinds of buildings that will allow us to survive in the city we have built. For example, you may need to meet your energy needs by building Tesla towers, or you must build walls with towers to see and fight incoming zombies. At the same time, cutting-edge weapons and colonists who will come to help you in your war are also very important.

In short, strategy is vital in this tactical turn-based game. If you want to keep your community alive in this game like DayZ, you have to spend hours and apply your best strategies. If the army you’ve built is weak, it’s not very likely that you’ll be the dinner for millions of zombies. So play carefully and change the destiny of humanity!

5. Project Zomboid

  • Release Date: 2021 – Base41
  • Developer: The Indie Stone
  • Platform: Microsoft Windows
  • Genre: Role-Playing, General, Survival

Although developed by a small team, Project Zomboid is among the best games of the last few years. It has an isometric appearance and is very enjoyable to play. We can say that Project Zomboid is almost the best in games like DayZ. Because you have to perform the most realistic actions to survive.

games like dayz – project zomboid

For example, you can’t see behind you while escaping from zombies. Because it is designed to be the same as the real-life perspective. When you turn your back suddenly, you see a zombie coming towards you to bite your neck. If you run too much, you will quickly get tired and have to rest. If you don’t rest and sleep in a safe place, your character’s psychology will deteriorate.

If it’s hard realism you’re looking for in games like Day Z, then Project Zomboid is definitely a must-play. All details such as shelter building, crafting, loot mechanics, character and ability customization are in this game. In the meantime, you don’t have to endure all this hardship and realism alone. You can immediately invite your friends to the game and fight zombies as a team.

4. The Forest

  • Release Date: 30 April 2018
  • Developer: Endnight Games
  • Platform: Unity, Windows, PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Horror, Action Adventure, Survival

The Forest is at the top of the survival games in the list of games like DayZ. After a plane crash, we wake up on a strange island. We need to get over the shock right away, as our child has been abducted by the cannibalistic locals living on the island.

To save your own child, you have to become as ruthless as those savages. You have to make radical changes in order to solve the strange things going on on the island. You must build yourself a shelter to live in and simple fields to meet your need for food. You can also find weapons or craft them.

You can cut down trees with your ax and build creative buildings from the logs you collect. There is no limit in The Forest, a story-driven open world game. From the deepest caves to the dark forests, the gameplay is quite varied. However, there are some zombie-looking creatures on this island. You may need your friends if you want to survive. Because the game is very cheap, it is possible to get a long-term survival experience with your friends.

3. Dead Space Remake

  • Release Date: January 27, 2023
  • Developer: Motive Studio
  • Platform: PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S
  • Genre: Action, Shooter, Third-Person, Sci-Fi, Arcade

We want to take you away from the similarity of games like DayZ games and take you to a more dystopian universe. Dead Space is an immersive game that is purely science fiction and survival horror. Since the game is a series, it is very important that you play it from the beginning. We play as Isaac Clarke, an ordinary spaceship engineer. When Isaac Clarke finds the ship’s crew murdered, he realizes that his lover, Nicole, is missing. This is where our story begins.

You have to use your own skills and survive with the engineering equipment you have. So you have to fight the creatures on the spaceship without losing your sanity. So what’s really behind this mystery? If you want to find out, give the Dead Space series a try. We are sure that you will not regret it.

2. Escape From Tarkov

  • Release Date: 27 July 2017
  • Developer: Battlestate Games
  • Platform: Windows
  • Genre: Action, Shooter, First-Person, Tactical

Escape From Tarkov is perhaps one of the most realistic games in the simulation and FPS category. Due to its gameplay that has fascinated FPS players in recent years, Escape From Tarkov was able to reach the top 2 in our games like DayZ list.

We have to say that this game is more realistic than Dayz. If you don’t even treat a bullet that grazes your body, your wound will deepen when you move. At the same time, you should check the bullets of the weapons you use one by one. Your gun may jam or your diaphragm may swell from running too much. In fact, when you are very tired, you even need to apply cream to prevent your lips from drying out. In short, you have to play the way a professional commando behaves in real life. Moreover, a single bullet can cause you to lose the game.

In Escape from Tarkov, you have both real players and AI enemies with high level artificial intelligence. In fact, some AIs play so realistically that players complain about this. In short, if you are looking for a game better than the reality of Dayz, you will adore Escape from Tarkov.

1. Rust

  • Release Date: 8 February 2018
  • Developer: Facepunch Studios
  • Platform: macOS, Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Survival, Action Adventure

Rust is one of the most popular in its genre and consistently topping the list of most played games on Steam. There is an important reason why we added Rust to the top of our games like DayZ list. This is because everyone who plays Dayz has definitely played Rust at least once in their life.

best Games Like Dayz rust

Set in a typical dystopian universe, Rust is purely PvP oriented. You have to play the game with hundreds of other different players on the servers that are reset at regular intervals. Of course, if you want, you can set up a group here and play with your friends. Weapons such as spears, arrows, pistols, rifles or the purely technological C4 are available in the game.

Games Like Dayz
games like dayz for free

In order to produce all these items, you need to farm. It is very important to collect metals such as wood, stone, sulfur and iron. You also need to melt these metals you collect in the furnace. Then you can use all these mines to craft.

The most important thing in Rust is to build a safe and strong base. If you build an ordinary base, enemy players can blow up your house and loot all you have. That’s why it’s vital to build complex bases that cannot be entered even if the enemy attacks.

At this point, when we came to the end of our list of games like DayZ games, we wanted to dedicate a special section to Rust. We all know that we all love Dayz’s loot storage and base building mechanics. The same, and perhaps better, is found in Rust. So, if you’ve never played before, we think you should give it a shot. Good luck and have fun!

Avatar for Sergen Çelik

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Although years have passed, I still continue my adventure of RPG and Strategy games passionately, which started with World of Warcraft. And combining this passion with my editorial career, I try to prepare the best video game guides for you.

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