10 Must-Play Survival Games Releasing in 2024

Looking for some gritty survival games in the new year? We have you covered with our top 10 upcoming survival games in 2024.
player flying on a winged creature towards a tower in light no fire
Screenshot by Hello Games

With plenty of exciting survival titles announced and some that are already out, 2024 is looking incredible for those who enjoy survival games. There are single-player experiences to enjoy alone and online ones for co-op and PvPvE alike. Here are my Top 10 upcoming survival games in 2024.

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10. Enshrouded

player in armor with a sword and shield facing an enemy in enshrouded
Image via Keen Games GmbH

Enshrouded is a base-building action RPG survival game set in an epic fantasy setting. From your very first Flame Altar to cooperative base construction with up to 16 players, you craft and fight monsters with various RPG tools. There’s a weapon and spell system and plenty of monsters and bosses to fight. What makes Enshrouded unique is, well, the Shroud.

It’s a mysterious, deadly fog in which you venture for a limited time. While it’s dangerous, it can also help you gather rarer loot, secret artifacts, or reach locations inaccessible from the outside world. There are enemy camp instances to eliminate stealthily — or by brute force. What I like about Enshrouded is the class progression system, where you mix and match class abilities to create your very own build.

9. Palworld

palworld character looking at a giant green creature
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Palworld is already well on its way through Early Access and takinggaming by storm. The best way to describe it is: Fortnite-inspired aesthetics meet Ark-like Pokemon training elements. Besides crafting and building bases like traditional online survival games, you also catch and tame Pals, magical creatures that fight by your side.

It’s a light-hearted open-world survival game that doesn’t take itself too seriously but provides some epic fun. I mean the Pokemon, sorry, Pals can wield guns as you and your friends ride them into combat against massive-scale bosses. What more can you want than a bulwark army of Sheep critters that you trained and outfitted with M249 machine guns?

8. Nightingale

player using magic and a hammer to fight a monster in nightingale
Image via Inflexion Games

Coming out on February 22, Nightingale is what happens when you adapt Carnival Row into a survival game. It’s dark, creepy, and beautifully horrific. Its PvE Fae Realms world is filled with creatures of the occult and the mystical. You play the role of a Realmwalker stranded in this fantastical world, trying to survive by constructing bases and crafting weapons and tools to stave off the creatures of the night.

It’s a blend of steampunk and fantasy. Your weapons include medieval arms like axes and crossbows but also flintlock guns and doubled barrel shotguns. The best part is that you’re always moving to the next mysterious destination and facing down new foes and bosses alone or with friends in co-op.

7. Pacific Drive

the player driving his car through a forest in first person in pacific drive
Image via Ironwood Studios

For a more story-focused solo experience, we have the upcoming survival horror game Pacific Drive. Here, you’re stuck in the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a mysterious and abandoned zone where all sorts of aberrative phenomena intertwine with the landscape. Your only tool for facing these strange storms and gravity shifts is your trusty car. And you must take good care of it and repair it on the fly to survive.

Similar to Firewatch, though a horror version, you learn more about the world, the general story, and the circumstances of how you can escape. Despite the eerie setting, the game can be quite relaxing when you’re not diving into dangerous areas for rare loot. Discover what the ARDA organization did to the surroundings and drive like hell to escape.

6. Sand

player running toward his mech with other players in sand
Image via Hologryph

Sand is a massive open-world PvPvE sci-fi survival game set on a wasteland desert planet called Sophie. To explore it, you team up with other players. To survive, you utilize Tramplers, gigantic steampunk mech vehicles serving as means of movement, a base, and storage. You also outfit them with weapons, armor, and various abilities.

Besides your mech, you find and craft new guns and engage in FPS-style combat both against other players and the creatures of Sand. Additionally, scavenge for resources and loot as you roam around this desert planet. There’s a story based on an alternate space-faring reality of a 1910 Austro-Hungarian Empire, too, which has me intrigued.

5. Frostpunk 2

frostpunk 2 player colony
Image via 11 Bit Studios

Swapping sand for snow, we have the long-awaited Frostpunk 2. For newcomers to the series, this is an RTS city builder set in a post-apocalyptic world. A planet-scale blizzard has ravaged the Earth and brought an ice-age wasteland. From the frosty ashes, your job is to start a new civilization in a single-player story setting. You deal not only with construction but narrative decisions that affect the story.

In essence, Frostpunk is about human nature, survival, and an insatiable thirst for power in a dying world. You navigate the political landscape, organize your city, deal with various factions, and research new technologies that change how you play. Propel your colony into a new age and upstart beneficial ideas with the Council mechanic. But try to avoid detrimental conflict for your people as their Steward, ok?

4. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Heart of Chornobyl

stalker player and his allies approach a windmill in stalker heart of chornobyl
Image via GSC Game World

An irradiated blast from the past is coming on September 5. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is back with a brand-new sequel called Heart of Chornobyl. It aims to open the Zone up to newcomers to the franchise. For those unfamiliar, this is a post-apocalyptic FPS with survival mechanics where you explore the Zone, a radioactive wasteland filled with anomalies and horrors. There are also other folk and Stalkers, adventuring scavengers like you, trying to survive and make a name for themselves.

It’s also like a life sim with photorealistic graphics and an interactive story centered around various factions. Furthermore, the gunplay is exceptional. It presents a satisfying, gritty tactical combat system where each bullet matters. You can modify guns to the extremes crafting custom weapons from the 30+ base models in the game.

Your enemies? Mutated monstrosities from the depths of the zone wielding psionic powers that you’ll have to outsmart. It’s a highly immersive experience, and I can’t wait to see how they developed the choices-matter type of story from the prequels.

3. Dune: Awakening

players running from an erupting sand worm in dune awakening
Image via Funcom

I touched on desert planet exploration with Sand, but the OG desert planet is definitely Frank Herbert’s Dune. Funcom aims to bring Arrakis to life with Dune: Awakening, a massively multiplayer online game that pits the various factions of Dune against each other. From the brief gameplay trailer, we see a massive open world. Players navigate in groups, using various vehicles like bikes, dune crawlers, and the iconic ornithopter aircraft.

We can also be from different factions, clashing for key points, resources, and loot. Meanwhile, there’s always the desert planet itself. It brings hazardous terrain, major sandstorms, and, of course, Shai Hulud, the titanic sandworms.

Funcom states that the combat has RPG elements and is in third-person, letting you alternate between infantry, ground, and flying vehicles. Overall, this seems like a dream come true for Dune fans like myself, and I hope they do the worldbuilding justice.

2. The Alters

the alter player looking towards a chasm
Image via 11 Bit Studios

From the Frostpunk team, The Alters follows Jan Dolski in a story-based single-player experience. We journey through his peculiar survival story on a distant planet. To survive, Jan uses a mysterious Rapidium substance to clone himself and create Alters. These alternate versions of himself have different backgrounds and specializations, like scientist, botanist, ranger, and engineer. Amidst the madness, you explore this strange planet, experience choice-based social interactions with your Alters, and manage a moving base escaping the deadly rising sun.

Overall, this is a sci-fi survival game with many of the mechanics we’ve seen before, like exploring, resource gathering, and crafting. However, they’re organized and packed neatly into a unique perspective as the player essentially depends on versions of themselves. I find this makes each moral decision the game offers much more personal, and I’m very curious to see how 11-bit Studios has structured the story.

1. Light No Fire

players gathering resources from a forest in light no fire
Image via Hello Games

Last but not least, I present Light No Fire, a 2024 survival game highly focused on its cooperative multiplayer aspect. It’s set in a whimsical world filled with anthropomorphic critters, strange beasts of the land and sky, and a breathtaking fantasy landscape. The world is procedurally generated. Random encounters and narrative worldbuilding are the main characters. You’re just there to uncover its secrets.

Hello Games seem to pride themselves on the fact you can reach and explore every nook, cranny, and mountain you see in the distance. Every shot in the trailer evokes an incredible sense of wonder. That said, I don’t know much about the mechanics. However, the core systems are based on RPG elements, such as picking different races and class abilities. I find myself eagerly awaiting release date confirmation as Light No Fire’s fairytale survival world has me intrigued.

That’s my list of the Top 10 most exciting survival games releasing in 2024. For more top 10 features, check out our best upcoming RPGs and my list of 2024 roguelites you shouldn’t miss.

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Author
Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.