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There is something about survival games that really gets you going.
Rather than hacking and slashing your way through a linear story, survival games force you to think and offer dire consequences for those who don’t.
Today we’re going to explore some of the top survival titles available for the Nintendo Switch for getting your survival fix.
Recommended Read: Best Nintendo Switch Games Like Stardew Valley
Whether you’re in the mood for fast-paced ‘thinking on your feet’ titles or laid-back, clever crafting, there’s a little something for everyone.
Let’s take a look at some of the must-have survival titles that you should be playing on the Nintendo Switch!
Table of contents
- Don’t Starve
- ARK: Survival Evolved
- The Flame In The Flood
- The Survivalists
Klei Entertainment starts off the fun with a special version of ‘Don’t Starve’ for the Nintendo switch.
For those of you who have played this 2013 classic, the Switch version has a lot to offer, as the adventure has not only gone portable, but it now includes the ‘Reign of Giants’ expansion, giving players a whole new world to play when they are ready.
If you are new to the game, you are in for a dark and cartoonish survival treat.
In Don’t Starve, you play the role of a gentleman scientist by the name of Wilson who has been tricked by a mysterious figure named Maxwell into building a special device. This device transports poor Wilson into a dangerous wilderness world fraught with science, magic, and hungry monsters.
As the title suggests, Wilson must use his wits to avoid starvation, and the game title is all of the instructions that you’ll be getting.
Wilson will need to craft, farm, hunt, and fight if he wants to stay alive long enough to learn all of Maxwell’s secrets so that he can get out of this world alive.
This is one single-player adventure that will really keep you on your toes! No instructions, just your courage and wits. Are you up to the task?
If you like your survival games to be heavier on the ‘adventure and building’, rather than ‘riddles and running’, then you might be happy to know that the building-block classic ‘Minecraft’ is available on a special edition created for the Nintendo Switch.
Veteran players are in for a treat, as the Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft comes with Super Mario skins pre-loaded into the game, adding a Nintendo look and feel to this classic game.
You don’t have to be a veteran to enjoy it, however, as new players can discover the pleasures of Minecraft all on their own – Nintendo style!
Minecraft is playable in two modes, with the first being ‘Survival’ mode, where players must find food, create tools, and build shelters to survive.
The second mode is called ‘Creative mode’, where players have unlimited resources to build and let their imagination go wild!
Minecraft can be played alone or multiplayer. Instead of you against the world, it’s going to be you and your closest friends planning, farming, crafting, and building together to survive.
Don’t let the cute and blocky look and feel of Minecraft fool you, though! Depending on what you choose, Minecraft can be an exercise in clever building and survival against the most dangerous of foes.
ARK: Survival Evolved
Studio Wildcard has an entry that you are going to love. It’s called ‘Ark: Survival Evolved’, and while you’ll have to fight to eat and subsequently survive, you are in for a treat that will make your inner child jump for joy. You get to tame and ride dinosaurs!
Playable as a single or multiplayer adventure, this first-person survival title starts with you stranded on a mysterious island, populated with over 80 creatures who are quite eager to make a meal of you – unless you are very, very clever.
In Ark, you can kill these creatures, but you can also capture, train, and ride them!
You aren’t even limited to the ground, as crafty players might capture a Pteranodon and soar the skies in style.
It’s not just about the creatures, though, as you’ve got to find and grow food, locate and store water, and survive different temperatures while trekking long distances with heavy gear.
Items may be crafted to aid you, and you can breed your creatures to get customized monsters with the traits that you are trying to isolate.
Whether you are playing alone or trying to survive with the help of your friends, Ark: Survival Evolved gives you a challenging and exciting world that you’ll want to visit time and time again!
The Flame In The Flood
With a distinctive, stylish art of its own and a solid soundtrack that fits it to a ‘T’, The Flame in the Flood is a definite must-own single-player survival title.
In this game, water has risen with a vengeance and flooded the lands. You play as a girl named ‘Scout’, who, along with doggy-companion ‘Daisy’ is on a quest to locate a radio tower to investigate a mysterious radio signal.
The premise seems deceptively simple. You need to avoid enemies, collect supplies, and sail the river in order to get to that station, but it’s not going to be easy.
You’ll need food and weapons, for one thing, and medicine is important too, as you can get sick simply by spending too much time in the rain.
Don’t get a broken leg, either, or it’s definitely going to be rough-going for you.
The Flame in the Flood offers an immersive survival adventure with enough realism to make it tough.
If you see poison ivy, for instance, you’d better have a good reason to go through it.
You’ll also have to carefully pick what you keep, as there’s no such thing as ‘infinite storage’.
Don’t let the beautiful scenery and perfect soundtrack fool you.
You’re going to need some clever crafting and strategies to survive and make it up that river in the Flame in the Flood.
If you love creative crafting and a little more laid-back atmosphere in your survival games, then the Survivalists might just be perfect for you.
Supporting up to 4 players, it’s also a game that you can share with a few close friends.
In the Survivalists, you’ve washed ashore and awoken on the sands of what appears to be a deserted island.
Each island is uniquely generated, so you’ll want to explore carefully.
Resources are plenty, thankfully, allowing you to build and craft your way to survival while recruiting some furry little helpers to help you. That’s right, you’ve got monkeys!
These monkeys can be tamed and put to use for tasks including gathering resources and defending your camp.
A mysterious stranger who has also been washed ashore has tasks for you as well. These tasks will put you in peril but reward you with useful prizes that will make it worth your while – if you survive.
It’s got the classic feel of a ‘top-down craft-and-survive’ like the early Warcraft games, but it’s got some twists and turns of its own, just waiting for you to explore and exploit them.
If you like the building aspects of survival games more than the feeling of panic, then give Survivalists a try!
If you are looking for something that feels familiar but ramps the weirdness factor right up to 10, then check out 505 Games’ survival title ‘Terraria’.
It takes Minecraft-type elements and gives them a new twist, forcing them into a 2D world that gives the title a unique and exciting freshness and a style of its own.
It’s not so much about story, but it sure is heavy on survival.
You and up to 7 other players have been dropped into a strange and dangerous world with an ecosystem that supports bizarre scenery and a host of monsters that will be very happy to see you indeed!
It’s got caves, dungeons, jungles, desert wastelands, and more – yet somehow, it all fits together in a way that never seems forced.
Best of all, it’s an open-ended sandbox of an adventure. So if you and your friends want to build a village, decorate your homes with your trophies, and meet up to plan your adventures, then you can do just that.
You aren’t forced into a linear adventure, but as you learn to craft increasingly difficult items, you’ll definitely have to find new resources if you want to keep things interesting.
Did we mention that a nicely made village can attract NPCs who might want to set up shops there?
It’s challenging, fun, personalized, and really, really strange.
Give it a look and see what you think because this little gem is nothing short of addictive.
Single-player ‘Windbound’ looks and feels a lot like a Zelda title, but instead of solving riddles, you are in a constant fight with nature.
In a common survival standard fashion, the ocean has spit you onto the shores of a mysterious island where wonders and horrors certainly await you.
Here you’ll find temples peppered with technology and other fantastic scenery, and unlike a lot of survival games, you can get back on the sea that spit you out and do a bit of sailing!
Windbound is truly a treat if you like your survival to be heavy on the story side, as you’ll be playing a girl named Kara who has become shipwrecked at the machinations of a Kraken-like sea-creature whom she will learn more about if she survives.
To do so, Kara will need to find or make food, supplies, and weapons, and progress from island to island in order to solve the mystery of what has happened to her and to ultimately escape if she can.
Come for the scenery, but stay for the action!
Windbound certainly has something to offer to both sci-fi and fantasy fans who feel like losing themselves in a beautiful world for hours at a time.
Those are our picks for the best survival games on the Nintendo Switch!
Know of any other great Nintendo Switch survival games? Let us know in the comment section below.