Originally released in 2018, Subnautica is a first-person, open-world, and survival action-adventure themed game that lives up to the hype that all of its encompassing genres suggest. The game sees you exploring the ocean on 4546B, an alien planet that you crashed on. Your job is to survive by collecting resources and protecting yourself against the planet’s vicious creatures. The game received rave reviews and continues to sell very well. For many, it was the first step into a game like this. If you’re a big fan of Subnautica and want to know where you can find more like it, look no further. Below are the 26 best games like Subnautica.
The 26 Best Games Like 'Subnautica'
Games Like 'Subnautica'
1. '7 Days To Die'
Developed by The Fun Pimps and published by Telltale, 7 Days To Die is a very popular open-world survival game with horror elements. It puts players in a post-apocalyptic world where zombies rule over the night. You must gather resources, build a base and do what you need to survive the week, which only gets harder as time passes.
A lot of games on this list will naturally let you roam the ocean since that’s such a big part of Subnautica. That’s something that Abzû does really well. The ocean is vast, colorful, and full of life. If your favorite part of Subnautica was exploring, then this game is a must-try.
3. 'Alien: Isolation'
Alien: Isolation is a game that’s based on the classic film series and set a decade and a half after the events of the first film. Amanda Ripley investigates the disappearance of her mother on a ship which she later discovers has been taken over by an alien. Your job is to avoid, outthink and outfight enemies as you traverse the ship.
4. 'Aquanox Deep Descent'
You might recognize Aquanox as a series of deep-water adventure games. Deep Descent is the latest in the series released in 2020 and brings players over to the darker side of what lies beneath the surface. Customization of your submarine and weapons is an especially great feature here. For seafaring gamers, this game is a definite must-play for avid seekers of games like Subnautica.
5. 'ARK: Survival Evolved'
In general, ARK: Survival Evolved shares many of the same elements as Subnautica. The idea is to loot, explore, craft and fight when you need to. Of course, this mostly takes place on land, but you can explore the water too, which has its own fair share of aquatic creatures for you to encounter.
As you may be able to guess from the title, Astroneer takes place not underwater, but in a different vast environment: space. Funnily enough, it has a lot of similarities, with its colorful vibe that’s begging to be explored and looted. You’re a space explorer and must build bases, vehicles, and more to survive. If you're looking for a space-age take on survival games, look no further than this pick - it's easily one of the most recommended games like Subnautica.
Released in February of 2021, Breathedge is another outer space survival game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The concept is that you must take your grandfather’s body to an outer space funeral, but things go wrong and a wonderfully strange story unfolds. The game’s foundation is the same as Subnautica but builds so much upon it.
8. 'Escape The Pacific'
Escape The Pacific gives way to its concept in its title. This game does a really great job of giving players a chance to experience the realism of a situation like being stuck on the ocean and having to deal with hunger, weather conditions, creatures on islands, and more. It’s a complex and immersive survival game that’s worth a play.
Firewatch’s setting will grab you from the first few minutes of gameplay. It’s an immersive world that’s incredibly easy to fall in love with and get lost in. On the surface, it’s not totally the same as Subnautica, but it has enough abstract elements that fans of Subnautica will find something they love about this.
10. 'Green Hell'
In Green Hell, which takes place in the Amazon rainforest, aggressive sea creatures are replaced with native clans who are equally unwelcoming to visitors. Your next meal is never confirmed and gathering resources truly feels like a bold task in this game. If what you liked about Subnautica was getting lost in a world, this will do that for you too.
Just like the ocean is vast and awesome to explore, so is…your backyard. That is, as long as you’ve been shrunk down to the size of an ant. Luckily, that’s exactly the concept of Grounded. Consuming enough food and water is a real mechanic here and getting away from spiders and bees is key for survival too. You'll leave the vastness of the ocean and be thrown right into the vastness of the forest in Grounded, which is highly deserving of its spot on this list of the best games like Subnautica.
12. 'Horizon: Forbidden West'
Horizon: Forbidden West was the highly anticipated sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn that came out earlier this year. If you’re at all familiar with the first game, then you know some of what you can expect with this one. This game has some great underwater moments that’ll give you Subnautica nostalgia, with even better graphics too.
Minecraft is the best-selling game of all time so there’s a good chance you’ve already given it a try. Even if you have, perhaps you haven’t tried out many mods which might appeal to you even more so after playing Subnautica. The aspect of crafting and gathering resources is also similar.
14. 'No Man’s Sky'
Another space exploration game, No Man’s Sky arguably gives the player the most freedom. You can move quite fluidly from planet to planet and the speed at which you do so will make the massive galaxy feel small in comparison. The game greatly benefitted from developers sticking with it, which fans have been appreciative of. The immense sense of discovery at play here makes No Man's Sky one of the most rewarding games like Subnautica featured on this list.
15. 'Out Of Reach'
If what you liked most about Subnautica was the feeling of having to take care of yourself and balance all of the aspects that keep you alive, Out Of Reach also does those elements really well. You’re in the middle of nowhere and have to fend for yourself, which includes getting food, resources, building shelter, and more.
With this game, you start out on a very small raft and must fish for resources. If you put enough time in, you can build a big enough raft that it’s the size of a cruise ship. Of course, the hungry sharks around you make that a little harder, constantly trying to bite off parts of your ship. The water is a fun, but dangerous place to be here, just like Subnautica.
If survival games are your thing, then you can graduate with Rust, which is notoriously hardcore in the genre. You start off with nothing to your name other than a rock and a torch. If you die and respawn, you will do so with just a rock and a torch once again. Rust certainly earns its spot here as one of the most challenging games like Subnautica.
Released in 2019, Satisfactory was developed and published by Coffee Stain. Your job is to set foot on an alien planet and carry out research and harvest resources to research new technologies. You’ll also have to survive alien attacks. You can play this game with friends too.
19. 'Space Engineers'
Speaking of games you can play with friends, Space Engineers also has a co-op option which makes the game more fun. Like a few other games on this list, Space Engineers is set in space and sees you exploring it to get resources. A unique part of this one is that it takes physics like mass and force seriously and a lot of the material is destructible.
20. 'Star Citizen'
Instead of being provided with your own submarine in, Star Citizen gives you access to your own spaceship so you can explore the depths of space and bask in its incredibly lifelike visuals. It's worth noting that this game is still technically only in the alpha stage of development.
21. 'Stranded Deep'
While it’s not set on an alien planet, Stranded Deep does take place mostly in the ocean. However, you can also move throughout the islands and reefs. You’re a plane crash survivor who must keep track of your vitals and do what it takes to survive.
22. 'Sub Culture'
The oldest game on this list, Sub Culture was released in 1997, although its gameplay doesn’t reflect that at all. The game only sold a few thousand copies in the U.S. but is considered underrated by everyone who’s played it since. Sub Culture walked so Subnautica could run.
23. 'Subnautica: Below Zero'
If you’re a fan of the original Subnautica, you probably know that a sequel was released in 2021. In case you don’t though, Below Zero is the obvious next step. The game carries over all of the features fans loved from the first game and gives them a breath of fresh air here in an arctic region.
24. 'The Forest'
Set on a remote island, here you’ll be fighting off cannibals in search of your son, who was kidnapped after you both survived a plane crash. If you liked the combat in Subnautica, you'll get a lot of mileage from this game since that element is a big part of the gameplay here.
25. 'The Long Dark'
A challenge is always fun in a game and the makers of The Long Dark were aware of that. Here, there are multiple difficulty options and you’ll have to balance hunger, exhaustion, the Canadian cold, animals, and more. The storyline can feel like it happens in the background at some points, but it’s enough to keep you pushing through the cold.
26. 'The Solus Project'
Last but not least, The Solus Project is a game about you and your team heading over to Gliese-6143-C, an alien planet. Unfortunately, the ship malfunctioned and crashed and you’re the sole survivor. The simulation here is quite detailed and there are oceans for you to explore just like Subnautica. The game is also available to play in VR.