The Best Mobile Survival Games (2022)

These mobile survival games don't disappoint!
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As a fan of mobile games, survival-based mobile games are often my go to. Generally, they are packed with either strategy or RPG elements, are more detailed and complex than many mobile games, and have bigger, more explorable worlds.

Mobile gamers can enjoy a little bit of fighting, a little bit of basic survival (foraging, building, crafting, eating), and a little bit of exploring. For me, this really is the perfect combination for a mobile game, sure to keep me entertained much longer than a puzzle-based mobile game, which seems to be one of the most popular game-type on mobile. While I enjoy a good puzzle game, I just can't get lost for hours in most puzzle games.

In this shortlist of the best mobile survival games, you'll be sure to find zombies, time-period role playing, and tons of survival elements that will keep you immersed for hours, if not longer.

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I have been playing the action survival game Don't Starve for years, but I usually play it on PC. What drew me to the game was the quirky art and open world. When Apple Arcade released this pocket edition of Don't Starve, I was really excited, because for the price of the other pocket edition of Don't Starve, I get full access to all Apple Arcade games? $4.99 for one game or $4.99 for a slew of games? Not a hard decision to make. However, for those of you who don't have Apple Arcade, there is a Don't Starve: Pocket Edition that's also by Klei Entertainment that costs $4.99 and only has slight variations from the Apple Arcade version.

The goal of the game: forage, survive, avoid creepy, nighttime bad guys, and whatever you do... don't starve! Don't Starve is a survival game that takes survival seriously, from the wilderness skills of finding supplies and trapping food to trying not to die in total darkness, and the gameplay is seriously good fun.

Gameplay

There are two modes of gameplay for Don't Starve, either players can play the "Classic" version of Don't Starve which is extra heavy on the survival, or players can play a "No Sweat" game that allows them to explore the world a bit more and avoid the consistent threat of death that comes with Don't Starve.

If players choose the "Classic" version of Don't Starve, players need to forage as much as possible so that they can build weapons and tools, start a fire, build traps to catch food, and create comfort items to stay sane. It's incredibly fun gameplay that is addictive and full of surprises from scary nighttime monsters, wormholes, and very creepy spiders.

If you enjoy survival games, Don't Starve is tons of fun and just as good on mobile as it is on PC.

Developed by

Klei Entertainment

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 13.0 or later on Apple Arcade
  • iPad iPadOS 13.0 or later on Apple Arcade
  • iPod iOS 13.0 or later on Apple Arcade

Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG is a survival RPG, if the title didn't give that away, that allows players to embark on a medieval survival experience. The player has been plagued by a zombie disease and exiled, apparently immune to death and zombification, and left to fend for themselves in a rugged landscape.

Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG really appealed to me since I am such a fan of RPGs. This mobile game packs a lot of survival strategy into a tiny package, giving me major PC gaming vibes. Not only is it fun to play, but it's detailed, allowing players to really customize their own isolated, medieval, apocalyptic paradise.

My bit pick with this game would be that it involves some in-app purchases and monetization strategies, though players can play for free, they just won't have full-access. Gameplay in Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG is simple but detailed, allowing players to forage, fight, build, and more.

Gameplay

Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG has some pretty impressive gameplay, especially considering it's a mobile game. Players are sure to feel like they are playing a PC survival RPG, only they aren't. Gameplay in Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG allows players to forage, learn and craft tools, build a home/castle, plant a garden, hunt, and much, much more all while killing zombies and wolves.

What makes Grim Soul: Survival Craft RPG so enjoyable is that there really are so many options, giving each player the opportunity to play how they want to play, and individualizing gameplay to their preferences. I was pretty quickly put into a trance as I began to build a home base, plant my garden, and forage my little heart out, and I felt immersed in gameplay fairly instantly.

So, mobile gamers who love RPGs and love a good survival game are sure to get the best of both worlds, being immersed in a medieval world while trying to survive exile.

Developed by

Andry Pryakhin

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 11.0 or later
  • iPad iPadOS 11.0 or later
  • iPod iOS 11.0 or later
  • Mac macOS 11.0 or later (M1 chip or later)
  • Android

ARK: Survival Evolved is an adventure survival game that most gamers probably know as not being an exclusively mobile game, since it, of course, isn't. Cross-platform games are becoming more and more popular, and when I realized this game was cross-platform, I was really excited because there are very few great mobile games that can live up to console and/or PC games in my opinion. This is often because they are smaller and pack less of a punch with less detail and complexity, often sacrificing graphics, etc.

ARK: Survival Evolved, however, maintains a lot of what makes it a great game overall. Players are transported into what is referred to as a "dino-adventure" in a "massive game," and they aren't wrong. The prehistoric survival style of this game is in-depth, massive, and tons of fun.

Gameplay is absolutely great, especially for a mobile game, and isn't sacrificed by the cross-platform model of the game.

Gameplay

ARK: Survival Evolved players are able to play either single or multiplayer games, which is really great for gamers like me who don't want to be forced into multiplayer gaming. They can choose to play either casual, survivor, or hardcore, depending on their gaming skills and preferences, and are able to customize the difficulty. This is pretty uncommon for mobile games, since mobile games do simplify and streamline most of the time.

Gamers get to experience all of the excitement of a PC or console game in mobile form, while surviving this prehistoric dino-filled world, and fighting the good fight (A.K.A surviving). Foraging, building, and fighting to survive are just some of the many elements of gameplay players experience with ARK: Survival Evolved.

For gamers who like mobile games, but need them to hold up to the standards of PC or console gaming, ARK: Survival Evolved is the game for you!

Developed by

Wildcard Properties LLC.

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 9.0 or later
  • iPad iPadOS 9.0 or later
  • iPod iOS 9.0 or later
  • Android

State of Survival: Zombie War is a strategy survival game that involves building a settlement, training an army, and fighting zombies. Of course, State of Survival: Zombie War is an extremely popular mobile game that was sure to make this list of survival games, given that the main goal following a zombie apocalypse is survival. State of Survival: Zombie War certainly gave me Walking Dead flashbacks from the get go and includes some interesting characters that can be a bit stereotypical, but amusing nonetheless.

And, what is a mobile survival game list without at least one zombie strategy game? Hint, hint... there is more than one zombie-related survival game in this list.

State of Survival: Zombie War is a free mobile game, though there are some sneaky monetization strategies that crop up during gameplay. Gameplay, however, in State of Survival: Zombie War is pretty strategy heavy and a lot of zombie-filled fun.

Gameplay

State of Survival: Zombie War involves a ton of strategy when building up the settlement, forming and training an army, rescuing people who need help, going on various missions, and fighting some pretty scary looking zombies.

There are various types of zombies to kill or be killed by like crawler kings, lurchers, and giant regenerator zombies, and as players complete chapters and upgrade their buildings and settlement, they are able to recruit various Heroes to fight those zombies.

As players continue to upgrade buildings and unlock new areas, they get to rescue more people to fill out the army and rebuild civilization. It's a pretty simple concept with basic strategy that becomes very quickly addictive and enjoyable.

If you love strategy and survival, State of Survival: Zombie War is that wrapped in a big red bow, plus it's free!

Developed by

FunPlus International AG

Platform(s)

  • iPhone iOS 11.0 or later
  • iPad iPadOS 11.0 or later
  • iPod iOS 11.0 or later
  • Mac macOS 11.0 or later (M1 chip or later)
  • Android
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