The 10 Best Survival Maps for Minecraft

Crave a challenge? Here are the 10 best Minecraft survival maps, crafted specifically to test the skills of even the most skilled Minecraft players.

Minecraft has been around for a while, and the seemingly endless possibilities of the game lend themselves to ridiculously creative maps, mods, and recreations. This list of Minecraft maps gets back to the roots of the game: survival. Each map is designed to test your Minecraft survival skills, or give you a different locale to experience outside of the randomly generated terrain you usually see in Minecraft.

Before we begin, here’s a quick tutorial on how to install these maps (on PC):

  1. Download the map you want (links are on each slide)
  2. Open a file explorer window to your Local Disk (usually C:)
  3. Search for “%minecraft%” (without the quotes)
  4. Open the folder titled “.minecraft”, usually located in your AppData\Roaming folder
  5. Extract the contents of the .zip file you downloaded into .minecraft\saves
  6. Open up Minecraft and play the selected save!

Ready to check out the best Minecraft survival maps? On to the next slide!


Download SkyBlock 

SkyBlock by Noobcrew is the granddaddy of survival maps. Most maps that want to make your survival harder than vanilla Minecraft take their cues from this gem.

You spawn on a floating island, with nothing but a tree, a chest, and the dirt blocks the island is made of. Using these, the map expects you to complete challenges like: build a house, make a wheat farm, craft a variety of wool, and build and light a nether portal. The map is challenging, but completing objectives gives a huge sense of achievement.

Survival Island

Download Survival Island

Survival Island by Ashien is the natural progression of survival maps. Like SkyBlock, you find yourself on an island, but this time you’re surrounded by water. Dirt is a precious resource on this map, as most of what you find will be sand. Like its predecessor, Survival Island gives you objectives to complete, like building an underground tree farm, a cart system, and gathering 10 diamonds.


Download Eldaria

Eldaria by Aurelien_Sama takes the idea of a survival map and turns it into a beautiful, explorable paradise. Where other survival maps limit the resources you can obtain, Eldaria wants you to explore the massive area the author has created, gathering resources along the way. The island has several different biomes to explore (such as mountains, forests, volcanoes, and rivers), and the arching landscape is reminiscent of an exotic island paradise.


Download Arctic

Arctic by Icrafting breaks the mold for survival maps, basing your fight to live in an icy wasteland instead of the usual island. Arctic adds a layer of difficulty to the game by severely limiting the number of resources you have available to you. Like other survival maps, dirt is a premium in Arctic, and while the established buildings have numerous chests with items, you’ll need everything in them just to scrape by.

Chunk Error

Download Chunk Error

Chunk Error by HYDRO54 is a half-survival, half-adventure map with a quest to follow to escape the “corrupt” save file that created the cut-off islands in the map. The map puts you on a floating island to start, and each time you complete a quest, another island will appear. Chunk Error is a fun diversion from the usual survival map because it’s more guided than others.


Download Skylands

Skylands by TheTobin1 is what happens when SkyBlock meets more complex Minecraft builds. Set on a large group of floating islands, your objectives are to explore the 13 large floating islands, as well as the 16 special islands that contain rare resources and the map's 2 dungeons, which contain dangerous mobs. Skylands also has shops to trade farmable resources for items normally unattainable within the map.


Download Underground

Underground by MinecraftPG5 is exactly what it sounds like: you start underground, and unless you cheat, you’ll never see the sky. You have to mine your way through the dark, collecting resources and finding enough food to survive. Like other survival maps, Underground has a list of challenges to complete, some much harder than others.

Coarse Sands

Download Coarse Sands

Coarse Sands by NEXAREUS puts you in a huge desert after a plane crash and tasks you with, of course, surviving. The difference with Coarse Sands is that it gives you a Thirst meter to manage, as well as forcing you to sleep at night or suffer negative side effects. Coarse Sands is also unique in that one of your objectives is to get rescued – if you survive that long.

Stranded Raft

Download Stranded Raft

Stranded Raft by ErminCaft takes the island survival genre and adds in thirst (like Coarse Sands) and Cold. You’ll have to manage your hunger, thirst, and heat all at the same time, making Stranded Raft much more like new survival games, while still retaining the charm of Minecraft. Stranded Raft has multiple islands to explore, and includes a list of optional challenges to complete while you survive.

Planet Impossible

Download Planet Impossible

The second map on this list by Icrafting, Planet Impossible is ambitious. Using custom content and mods, Planet Impossible tasks you with exploring an alien world, building shelters for other survivors of your spaceship crash, conquering alien dungeons, and taming dinosaurs. Why? Because taming dinosaurs, that’s why. You’ll need to download Minecraft Forge, Paleocraft, and Dungeon Mobs to get Planet Impossible to work correctly, but the extra effort is definitely worth it.

Download Minecraft Forge here.

Download Paleocraft here.

Download Dungeon Mobs here.

There you have it! The ten best survival maps for Minecraft aficionados. Everything from the simple-yet-challenging SkyBlock to the detailed, mod-enabled Planet Impossible.

Is there a Minecraft survival map you think we missed or should have included? Let us know in the comments!

Images courtesy of,,,, and the respective Minecraft map authors