Top 10 Best Survival MMOs of 2021

Survival Games don’t get enough love! Even though these games don’t have thousands upon thousands of players per server, they all are multiplayer games with PvP. That being said, we wanted to show survival games some love.

We have taken the time to research and deliver to you what we believe will be the top 10 best survival MMO games of 2021. Some are currently strong staples in the genre, while others are new to space. The list is in no particular order, we hope you enjoy!


DayZ Twitter
DayZ Steam Store
DayZ Gamepedia


  • Survival multiplayer
  • Shooter (first & third person)
  • Zombies
  • Crafting
  • Base Building
  • Cooking
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Day/Night Cycle
  • Clothing & Equipment & Weapons
  • Gathering Resources
  • Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

DayZ published by Bohemia Interactive is an old, but still very popular open-world multiplayer (MMO) survival shooter. The game started out as a MOD of the 2009 tactical shooter game ARMA 2. Over the years DayZ has grown to become its own fully developed game independent of ARMA 2. As of January 2020, the game has expanded from Microsoft Windows to now being available on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One marketplace. Currently, as of January 2020, Steam Charts calculated an average of 19,000 players a day still invested in this game (this does not include the average players on console).

The origins of the DayZ outbreak is a mystery, but it has turned a large population of the (fictional) post-Soviet Republic of Chernaurus into rabid, violent, infected zombies. Survivors and the infected are all that remain in this post-apocalyptic universe. Survivors must scavenge and defend their loot to survive.

As you may have guessed, you are the survivor, and you must survive the world by sneaking around hordes to find food, clean water, medicine, and weapons to aid in your ultimate survival. In addition to scavenging, building a base will be key to storing all your hard-earned loot.

TIPS (if we have any):

DayZ building requires a lot more interactions. It sits on a more realistic side in comparison to the other survival games on this list. Building a structure requires things like; splitting bush branches to make rope, using a shovel to dig the earth and lay the foundation, carrying the tree logs back to the camp, etc.… You get the picture, it is much more effort than simply gathering enough wood to place a wall. Kane from YouTube has a really great video demonstrating Base Building Basics if you are interested in playing this game and want to learn more about building in DayZ.

The Last Oasis

Last Oasis Twitter
Last Oasis Steam


  • Nomadic Action Survival MMO
  • Third Person Shooter
  • Player Economy
  • Weather Conditions  
  • Base Building
  • Mobile Base Building
  • Crafting
  • Cooking & Hunting
  • Gathering
  • Microsoft Windows

New to the genre, The Last Oasis by Donkey Crew released to early access sometime in the first quarter of 2020. Earth as we know it no longer exists, still in orbit, but no longer rotating has created two polar opposite weather conditions on either side of the world. Facing the sun, the earth is ablaze with a heat that will roast you into jerky. On the opposite side, no sun means freezing temperatures halting all forms of life.

A narrow strip of earth between the hot and cold is all that remains. This Nomadic Survival MMO will force players to constantly travel through harsh weather Wastelands as they scavenge from Oasis to Oasis. Bases will have mobile capabilities, a new form of transportation, “Walkers”.

The game aims to contain all the best features of a survival MMO. Promising a player-driven economy, a vast world to explore, PvP interactions, PvE interactions, base building, mobile base building and more. This is a new concept that we are excited to see come to fruition.

Rough Launch with a Promising Future

The highly anticipated Last Oasis launch was met with the unfortunate server crashing curse. So many nomads were excited to play day one, while only a few were able to actually get into the game. The server issues were so bad that Last Oasis had to completely rework their server architecture. Which in turn forced the servers to remain offline for over a week.

When the game eventually did relaunch, although the server issues were fixed, many players did not return. The players who stayed were quite content with the gameplay for a period of time until hackers, dupers, and gitchers started abusing the game. Donkey Crew has taken many measures to prevent game abusers and have a strict no-nonsense policy.

As far as gameplay goes, Last Oasis is a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed the idea of traveling around with our mobile bases. One thing we did not anticipate were the detrimental effects of massive clans.

Solo, duo, and even small clans of five players are finding it very hard to maintain a sustainable life inside Last Oasis. The problem lies with massive clans simply overrunning and outlasting the mechanisms in place to fight for your Walker.

The current course of action for Donkey Crew is to first, fight off the hackers and players who take advantage of the game. Second, they are working on different mechanics that protect the smaller groups of players. Currently they are looking into separating the different oases into large clan oases and small clan oases.

For players who want to control their own destiny, private servers are available to purchase.

Conan Exiles

Conan Exiles Twitter
Conan Exiles Facebook


  • Action-Adventure Survival MMORPG
  • PC, Xbox, PlayStation
  • Crafting
  • Building
  • Hunting & Cooking
  • Day/Night Cycle
  • Exploration
  • Resources
  • Weapons & Gear
  • Siege
  • Gods

Conan Exiles is a survival, action-adventure MMORPG. It is available on PC (Microsoft Windows), Xbox One, and PlayStation. Exiled in the lands of Conan, you must hunt, craft and build to survive the barbaric wastelands. Steam Charts only display the average player base on PC playing through Steam, however, it is still a great representation of the average people playing. Currently, based on Steam Charts, Conan Exiles has an average of 14,000 concurrent players daily.

Conan Exiles is set in barbaric times, meaning the weapons and clothing are that which a caveman would assumed use, or be seen wearing. Game Expansions provide different aesthetics that move away from the barbarian theme if this caveman aspect is unappealing to you.

Since its official launch date, May 8th, 2018, the game has added all kinds of new features. They have expanded the world, added different aesthetic packs, added dungeons, added pets, and our favorite, mounts! Making traveling around the giant map allot more rewarding.

The game has evolved into something really great and worth sinking time into, so if you are someone who enjoys farming, crafting, gathering resources, base building, dungeons, base raiding, mount collecting, pet collecting, and more, then this is a game you will want to explore.

TIPS (if we have any):

Players of this game have set up private role-playing servers where players focus less on-base raiding and more on working together in a fun fictional way. If you like being a part of a community that role-plays, this game has an active role-playing community. For those of you looking for Role Play Servers in Conan Exiles, this link will point you in the right direction.

Ark: Survival Evolved
ARK Facebook
ARK Twitter
ARK Google Play Store (Android)
ARK Apple Store (IOS)  


  • Action-Adventure Survival Multiplayer Online
  • Exploration
  • First & Third Person
  • Mobile, PC, Mac, & Console Compatibility
  • Exploration
  • Climate
  • Day/Night Cycle
  • Hunting
  • Cooking
  • Crafting & Building
  • Sieging
  • Mounts & Pets
  • World Boss Battles

ARK: Survival Evolved is one that surprised me personally. Out of all games on this list, ARK consumed the largest portion of my life. Studio Wildcard BETA released ARK in June 2015 and has since created multiple expansions and new content for the game. My only complaint, the game is old, and the graphics reflect its age, even on the mobile version. Personally, I feel like the game could use a graphical revamp.

ARK is available on nearly all platforms; Microsoft Windows, Linux, IBM PC compatible, IOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Making it one of the most accessible survival games currently in the marketplace. I can’t speak to the average players across all platforms, but as far as Steam Charts are concerned, roughly 50,000 players are online daily.

The world of ARK takes you on a journey through the evolution of technology as you the player fights for survival on an uncharted island. All the survival necessities are monitored and effect your ultimate survival (this includes pooping). For those who enjoy a bit of storytelling, the expansions introduce new boss battles, and in defeating each boss unlocks a portion of the story. If you want a spoiler to the story, Syntac has taken the time to string all the cutscenes together in his ARK: THE MOVIE – EVERY CUTSCENE & ENDING SO FAR video.

ARK has all the features of a typical survival game. Loot drops on death, you have to eat and drink to maintain your survivors’ health and wellbeing. Unlock blueprints for crafting, and the building is a necessity for survival and storage of all your loot, but they are unique in one major way. All the creatures.

ARK Unique Feature: The Creatures

The game has grown to include all sorts of animals and creatures, but the core focus has always been dinosaurs. Ark stands out among the rest because all creatures can be tamed and most can be saddled, turning them into mounts; making traversing the land easier as well as defending yourself against all threats.

ARK: Genesis

The most recent update for ARK: Survival Evolved is the Genesis DLC Update. It comes in two installments, one will release early 2020, the other will be late in the year 2020. The newest update is predicted to release new creatures, new items and a new zone with; new biomes, including a massive water biome, an active volcano, an all-new lunar biome and more. For those interested to see a teaser, take a look at the announcement trailer below. 

TIPS (if we have any):

This game is heavily resource-oriented. You can go out and find loot spawns, but nearly everything you need can be unlocked through blueprints and crafting. Your biggest investment will be the protection and location of your base. When starting out, all higher levels are ready to pounce on a newly built structure. There are friendly PVE servers, so if you hate the idea of people stealing your loot, check out a PVE or an RP server, or possibly consider getting your own server if you like flying solo.

Rust Instagram
Rust Facebook
Rust Twitter


  • Survival Multi-Player Online
  • First Person Shooter
  • Base Building
  • Crafting
  • Hunting & Cooking
  • Sieging
  • Exploration
  • Loot Scavenging
  • Gear, Armor & Weapons
  • Cosmetic Skins (weapons, building, clothing, etc.)

Rust, another oldie, but a goodie. Developed by Facepunch Studios has come a long way since it’s very first early release back in December 2013. Back when the map was one looped road, overrun with zombies (anyone else remembers?!). Since then, Rust expanded the map tenfold, removed the zombies and focus on what players truly love – stealing everyone’s loot.

The official release date of Rust was back in February 2018 and is still going strong. Available on Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux, purchasable through the Steam Marketplace. Currently, on average, Steam Charts calculate 65,000 players online daily.

The world of Rust is procedurally generated, meaning no two servers are the same, and cannot be altered. The map created is the map you get, if you don’t like it, tough tater tots.

Rust has all the basics of survival MMOs; seasonal elements (i.e. weather/climate changes), open-world sandbox, health, thirst, hunger, radiation danger zones, base building, base raiding, scavenging for loot, storing loot, crafting blueprints. Survival elements include all the following but more importantly, on death, all loot and items on your body will be lost, dropped where you died making them available for other players to grab.

TIPS (if we have any):

Make some friends (friends you can trust). This game is dangerous alone, there will always be someone out there lurking in the shadows waiting to either kill you or follow you back to your base revealing the hidden location of all your loot.

Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves Twitter
Sea of Thieves Facebook


  • Action-Adventure Online
  • First Person Shooter
  • Sea Exploration (underwater & islands)  
  • Weapons
  • Clothing Cosmetics
  • Tale Tales (storyline)
  • Voyages (questing)
  • Pirate Ships
  • Fishing
  • Exploration
  • World Events (Forts, Skeleton Ship battles, Kraken Battles)
  • Treasure hunting
  • Achievements & Collections
  • Alliancing
  • Skin Customizations
  • Character Customization Update

Put on your pirate hats, peg legs and fill your tankard with some grog, it’s time to set sail on the Sea of Thieves. The Sea of Thieves, developed by Rare, is only available via Microsoft Windows, and the Xbox One Marketplace. It is an action-adventure open world pirate game. Sail and search for hidden treasure while protecting your booty from other players.

First, I’d like to say that this game is like no other. The water (ocean) is spectacularly designed. You get the feeling of being out in the salty air sailing the seas. The sounds the graphics, overall a beautifully designed game.

The game activities have come a long way since it first released in March 2018. Players can embark on Voyages (aka quests), they can take up a Tall Tale (tall tales would be equivalent to a storyline in a traditional MMO) or you can roam the ocean looking for world activity spawns. All loot is can be stolen by other pirates. You have the freedom to squad up by alliancing other ships, or go straight pirate code. Take what you can, and give nothing back. – Jack Sparrow

It’s not so much a massively multi-player, but a small-scale multi-player. Servers, currently at the time of writing this article, only hold 6 ships. This means there could be anywhere from 6 to 24 players on a server at any given time based on the number of players each ship can hold. Sloops hold max 2 players, a brig holds 3, and galleons hold 4.

Cross-Platform for Xbox and Steam Gamers

Sea of Thieves is cross-platform. Xbox players can play with the PC community. June 3rd marks the official launch of Sea of Thieves on Steam! Previously, players who wanted to play on PC would have to purchase the game through the Xbox store.

image sourced from the official Sea of Thieves Website

TIPS (if we have any):

For those who want to be friendly, equip the alliance flag found in the crow’s nest (climb up the central mast of any ship). This lets players know you are friendly and gives them the opportunity to join your alliance. To join an alliance, access the same flag box within the crow’s nest, nearby ships with an alliance flag will be joinable. When in an alliance, all ships in the alliance will be visible on the map. When it comes to loot; the ship that turns in loot will receive 100% of the value of goods, and the alliance members will earn 50%. The funds are not divided, therefore a great incentive for playing nice. Also, players in an alliance are not in a party, so you can still kill and be killed by them.

Hurt World
Hurtworld on Steam
Hurtworld Twitter


  • Survival Multi-player
  • First Person Shooter w/ Competitive Gunplay
  • Map Control
  • Crafting
  • Building
  • Hunting
  • Vehicles

Another new game with promise, Hurt World, moved out of early access December 2019 and is officially fully released. Steam Charts show on average 1,500 players during peak hours daily. It is not overwhelmingly popular but has legs and a small, dedicated user base. Reviews are mostly positive which is a great sign considering this game lived in early access for 6 years.

Hurt World is what I would describe as a more cartoony/animated graphic style. The art style is unique and in my opinion, gives me the feeling of clay-like textures. It is a basic, survival MMO with all the core features of such a game.

Wake up on a beach, gather wood and stone to craft your first weapons, build a shelter, kill animals for food, craft a fire for warmth, craft clothing to protect from weather, find vehicles to drive around, etc. If you are someone who likes a basic survival game, with an emphasis on shooter skills Hurt World will pique your interest.

Dead Matter
Dead Matter Twitter


  • Survival Multi-Player Online
  • First Person Shooter
  • Zombies
  • Base Fortification System
  • Hunting
  • Crafting
  • Cooking
  • Scavenging

Dead Matter is bringing back an old tradition in the survival genre, survival in a zombie infected world. The stage is set in Alberta, Canada two weeks after the outbreak. Fight for your loot, and fortify in-game structures to secure your resources.

Fortify being the keyword here. This game does not have full, base-building capabilities, but instead a fortification system. Items will allow players to set up a home within in-game buildings.

The world is predicted to transform as you live through the apocalypse. Dead Matter starts two-weeks into the apocalypse, and as time lapses the world will begin to decay, reflecting the damage scavenging and zombies have done to the world. Similar to The Walking Dead. Over the years the zombies have decayed, zombie numbers have increased, loot has become scarcer. You get the idea, time will have an effect on gameplay.

For more information, please visit our in-depth Dead Matter Article where we discuss all the things this game has to offer.   

Population Zero

Population Zero Twitter
Population Zero Facebook


  • Survival-Action Multi-player Online
  • Third Person
  • Questing / Story
  • Hunting
  • Crafting
  • Base Building
  • Alien Planet
  • Exploration
  • Research and Skill Leveling

Survival on an alien planet is Population Zero’s motif. Currently still in BETA, with a successful BETA test in December 2019 through January 6th. We had the opportunity to jump in and explore the world for ourselves.

So far, Population Zero has a No Man’s Sky feeling, without the space travel. When first landing on this alien planet, the start of the game takes you through a tutorial of sorts. Walking you through how to follow along with the questline, gather and craft all the essentials while in the infant levels of the game.

The first playthrough gave us great potential. The game already has functional quests, a skill system-defined (not fully functional, as half of it was in a different language), functional crafting items, building/housing, creatures, and combat.

The issues I personally had with the current BETA stat of the game were combat-related. It felt very clunky and unnatural when swinging the weapons. Your character stepped forward every swing, which I hate, I like to stand back and shift from left to right, but that wasn’t really an option. Every swing propelled me forward making it difficult to dodge side to side. Needless to say, I died a lot, almost every encounter with alien wildlife killed me swiftly.


Scum Game

SCUM Twitter
SCUM Facebook


  • Open-world Survival Multi-player Online
  • Third Person Shooter (first-person capabilities)
  • Skills
  • Customizations
  • Armor & Weapons
  • Mechs (big giant robots that KOS)
  • Base Building
  • PVP Arenas
  • PUPS (zombies)
  • Advanced bodily function monitoring and managing
  • Crafting & Cooking

Survival with a twist, the criminals rejected by civilization are sent to Scum Island where they are monitored and mocked as mere entertainment. I’d relate this with the Hunger Games, but instead of zone representation, all the criminals and “scum” of the world are sent to this sentinel guarded island to live out the rest of their lives.

Scum offers players a land of challenge and progression. Currently in Early Access, with on average 4,000 players during peak hours according to Steam Charts.

Character creation provides players with stats that your body type that will affect the initial character skill selection. Weight, muscle mass, and body type all affect how your character first starts out. Scum focuses heavily on character progression, skills, and bodily functions throughout the entirety of the game progression.

I’d call this game an extreme survival simulation due to the monitoring of all bodily processes. In addition to the usual crafting and foraging, you must monitor your health, hunger, hydration, stamina, energy and more.

To give you an idea of the intensity of this game, I will describe how to refill hydration. Upon drinking water, you will find that your hydration doesn’t immediately rise and become satisfied. Water first has to be drunk, enter your stomach and digest into your body before your hydration levels begin to rise. It will travel through the kidneys and eventually need to be pee-peed out. This is true for all bodily functions in the game; from hunger to weight/muscle gain, to stamina usage, to metabolic rate, etc. 

In addition to these intensive survival systems, players can; build, craft, PVP in arenas, defend against pups (aka zombies), hide from massive robots defending restricted zones and scavenge for loot. This game offers a unique experience for those who enjoy extensive realism, from the graphics to the survival game aspects.


Never purchase an early access game without proper knowledge of the company creating it. Do your due diligence and make an educated decision when choosing to purchase something in early access. As we all know too well, some games never make it out of this stage.

Yes, some games are slimy, dirty-rotten, disgusting POS cash grabs (I won’t name any but you know who I’m talking about). If you feel skeptical about early access games, do not purchase and wait for the official release. If you find yourself unable to resist early access, give the necessary feedback required to make a game successful. If you feel taken advantage of, ask for a refund. Always use your best judgment and do research before buying something advertised as early access. We do discuss early access games. But we do our best to only display the early access games we feel won’t fail you. However, we cannot account for life happening. Always research and be mindful of the risks when purchasing any game in early access. 


When I'm not grinding levels in my favorite MMOs I'm creating or crafting something for fun.

More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *