Strike a tree, pick up a rock, collect any plant material and quickly smash an ax. 2023 is shaping up to be a pretty strong year for new survival games, and you’ll need something sharp to hack your way through.
The year ahead looks promising for the survival genre, which is great news for fans as 2022 was a bit disappointing when it comes to new survival games. There were a few gems scattered throughout the year, especially in Early Access, like a vampire survival game V rises (opens in new tab)colony builder Stranded: Alien Dawn (opens in new tab)and survival city builder Farthest border (opens in new tab). And Dwarf Fortress (opens in new tab)‘s Steam release finally closed out the year.
For the most part, though, 2022 felt lighter than the past few years for new survival games, mainly due to delays as several major games missed their release dates and slipped into 2023.
But leave the past behind and look forward to the future. It’s the New Year and we’re sharpening our axes for the months to come. Here are 12 survival games to look forward to in 2023.
11 bit studios don’t precisely confirmed that frostpunk 2 will be released in 2023, although a leaked date of 2024 was said to be “false”. In other words, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that “coming soon” doesn’t mean we have to wait until 2025 for the sequel to such an influential game. The sequel to the post-apocalyptic survival city builder and society simulator continues the struggle to stay warm on a frozen planet, this time from the coal burning era to the oil era. Of course, the biggest threat to survival is still exactly what you’d expect: humanity itself.
Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl
It’s been a long, long road stalker 2, which will actually be the fourth Stalker game. Originally slated for 2012, the open-world survival FPS was later canceled, but announced again in 2018 when developer GSC reformed Game World. The most recent delay was completely understandable: the developers were based in Kiev and had to move to Prague due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We’re still hoping that Stalker 2 will make it to the late 2023 release date.
Who’s ready for some dinos and Diesel? The sequel to the Early Access survival game hit Ark: Survival Evolved is due out this year, alongside an animated series, both of which will feature Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel. We don’t know very much about it Arch 2 not yet, but the trailer shows what you’d expect from Studio Wildcard: lots of dinosaurs and humans riding around on them.
Sons of the Forest
Hopefully fans of the horrific horror survival game The Forest won’t have to wait too long for the sequel. Sons of the Forest was originally scheduled for May 2022, was then pushed back to October and is now scheduled for February 2023. This time you search a remote island for a missing billionaire, but we expect things to go wrong soon, forcing you to take a life there, building and crafting and fending off bloodthirsty cannibals.
The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria
The first survival game set in Tolkien’s world (opens in new tab) takes you deep into the ruins of Khazad-dûm, the former dwarf kingdom, in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth. Play solo or co-op as you mine for minerals like mithril, build a base, battle orcs and goblins (and probably a lot worse), and craft weapons and machines deep beneath the mountains.
We’ve called it “Pokémon With Guns” because, quite frankly, it looks just like it. A cheerful fantasy world with cute and cuddly creatures to collect, but also heavy machine guns and forced labor camps. Palworld is bizarre, but we can’t say we’re not interested in playing it. Farm food, survive harsh weather and gather an army of critters to fight alongside you. (If one of them dies, you can always eat them.)
The day before
This is a bit of a wild card. Based on a few lengthy trailers with some heavy DayZ and The Division vibes, The day before rocketed to the top of Steam’s most-wanted games, but we haven’t heard much about it since. It is ambitious: a large open world with both rural and metropolitan areas, zombies, vehicles, PvP, looting and survival. That’s a lot of moving parts to manage, and while we hope it will perform, we’re not entirely sure it’s going to be as good as it looks.
Like many of the games of 2022, Nightingale Early Access release slipped to 2023. In the survival and crafting game set in the Victorian era, you are stranded in a bizarre realm full of monsters and magic, where you can build an estate and craft weapons and equipment. Portals to other realms containing precious resources can be opened, and interestingly, combat isn’t the only way to deal with enemies: you may be able to make truces with certain factions, such as giants, to avoid solving every problem with a shotgun -explosion.
Also notable in 2023:
Lost: A cute and cartoonish survival game where you hunt, craft and fight against zombies.
State of disrepair 3 (opens in new tab): Announced in 2020, recent news about State of Decay 3 has been quite sparse, but we’re still hoping for a 2023 release.
Ascent of ash: RimWorld Modders create their own standalone survival game with a focus on real-time tactics combat.
Wizard with a gun: Craft enchanted ammunition and unload your enemies in this base building survival sandbox.