Surviving the Apocalypse: Top 5 DayZ Alternative Games Worth Exploring

For fans of open-world survival games, DayZ has long been a go-to choice. Set in an atmospheric post-apocalyptic world packed with zombies, it challenges players to survive against all odds. However, for those seeking fresh adventures or different settings, there are many other games that offer similar experiences. Let's dive into the top five alternatives to DayZ that you should definitely check out.

1. State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 game

Intro to State of Decay 2

State of Decay 2 is another game set in a zombie-infested world where survival is key. However, unlike DayZ, it incorporates elements of base building and community management, adding an extra layer of strategy to the gameplay.

Gameplay and Setting

The game takes place in rural America shortly after a zombie apocalypse. As a player, your task is not only to survive but also recruit survivors and build up your base. This involves scavenging for resources while dealing with hordes of zombies and managing the morale and skills of your group members.


While State of Decay 2 doesn't follow a linear storyline like some traditional games, it does have a narrative thread running through its gameplay. The decisions you make will affect the fate of your community and determine how your survival story unfolds.

2. The Forest

The Forest game

Intro to The Forest

The Forest trades zombies for cannibalistic mutants as the main threat but maintains that same atmospheric tension found in DayZ. It places more emphasis on crafting and base-building, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy these aspects.

Gameplay and Setting

You play as a survivor from a plane crash, stranded in a mysterious forest. The gameplay revolves around exploring the vast wilderness, gathering resources, and building shelters during the day while defending yourself from terrifying creatures that emerge at night.


The Forest features an intriguing storyline involving your missing son and the secrets of the forest. As you explore deeper into the wilderness, you'll unravel more about these mysteries, adding an engaging narrative dimension to your survival endeavors.

3. Rust

Rust game

Intro to Rust

For those who relish player-versus-player (PVP) combat in DayZ, Rust is a perfect alternative. It's known for its ruthless player interactions and unforgiving survival mechanics.

Gameplay and Setting

Rust drops players on a procedurally generated map with nothing but a rock and torch. From there, players must gather resources to craft tools, build bases, and survive against both environmental hazards and other players. Trusting others can be risky as players can loot or raid each other's bases.


Rust doesn't have a traditional storyline; instead, it focuses on emergent gameplay narratives created by player interactions and events within the game world.

4. Subnautica

Subnautica game

Intro to Subnautica

Subnautica offers a unique twist on the survival genre by setting it underwater on an alien planet. It’s less about combating enemies and more about exploration and resource management.

Gameplay and Setting

After crash-landing on an aquatic planet, you must explore diverse underwater biomes to gather resources for surviving while ensuring oxygen supply. Building submersibles for deeper exploration is crucial as not all areas are accessible by swimming.


Subnautica has an intriguing storyline that unfolds as you explore the ocean and discover alien structures. It's a tale of survival, exploration, and uncovering the mysteries of a strange planet.

5. 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die game

Intro to 7 Days to Die

7 Days to Die combines elements from first-person shooters, survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. Like DayZ, it features zombies but with a unique mechanic related to time passage.

Gameplay and Setting

Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by the undead, you must scavenge for supplies, build fortifications, and fend off zombie hordes that grow increasingly aggressive every seven days. The game features an extensive crafting system and destructible environments.


While there's no explicit story in 7 Days to Die, players create their own narratives through their interactions with the environment and their struggle against the recurring zombie hordes.

Each of these games offers its own unique take on the survival genre. Whether it's community building in State of Decay 2, the eerie atmosphere of The Forest, ruthless player interactions in Rust, underwater exploration in Subnautica, or surviving hordes of zombies in 7 Days to Die - all offer compelling alternatives to DayZ.