Best crafting games for the craftiest gamers among us

The best crafting games allow you to let your creativity shine and your imagination run loose. With so many different sandbox settings to play around with, crafting games are home to underwater planets, alien worlds, spooky landscapes, blocky terrains, and so much more. From farming sims to survival games and procedurally generated adventures, there are plenty of different experiences that will let you get crafty with a variety of tools and setups.  

Crafting games often center around discovery, as you set out to explore a setting and see what resources you can gather and transform into something useful. They also let you realize the house of your dreams and so much more besides. Happily, if you’re on the hunt for some crafting goodness, there’s no shortage of options out there. Read on below to find our pick of the best Crafting games you can jump into right now. 

25. Dig or Die

Dig or Die

(Image credit: Gaddy Games)

Developer: Gaddy Games
Platform: PC

Instantly recognizable as a crafting game inspired by Terraria, Dig or Die is a mixture of defense and crafting complete with side-scrolling and platforming elements. Your task is in the title – after crash landing on a strange alien planet, you need to get digging in order to find as many resources as possible before the inhabitants out for your hide come to knock on your door. 

What makes Dig or Die special is that besides crafting items that will help you survive in a hostile environment and work on a new spaceship, you also build your own home and its defense systems. If you’re new to this type of building and crafting gameplay, Dig or Die is simple enough to quickly get you going.

24. Creativerse 

Creativerse

(Image credit: Playful Corp)

Developer: Playful Corp.
Platform: PC

This is probably the best Minecraft competitor, a free-to-play alternative to Mojang’s mega-hit with a more polished look and user-friendly menus. However, Creativerse does more than offer quality of life improvements over Minecraft. There’s a stronger focus on combat and subsequent enemy loot, and the variety in biomes makes it great for multiplayer role-playing.

The game is still being updated with features like camera modes and rotatable blocks, and there’s also a Creativerse Pro DLC, which includes a glider, stamina and inventory upgrades as well as the option to create your own worlds.

23. Junk Jack

Junk Jack

(Image credit: Pixbits SRL)

Developer: Pixbits SRL
Platform: PC

If you like sidescrolling crafting games but you’re looking for less of a challenge in the survival department, then Junk Jack is the game for you. A relaxing crafting experience with plenty of depth, Junk Jack lets you pick whether you’d rather have a slightly more difficult crafting experience via a grid, or if you simply want to click to put items together to create something new. Build a cosy home with a large variety of items, breed farm animals or waste hours upon hours growing plants and fishing. While there’s still more than enough combat, the procedurally generated worlds are smaller than in comparable games in order to encourage you to spend more time working on your virtual home.

22. Craft the World

(Image credit: Dekovir)

Developer: Dekovir Entertainment
Platform: PC

In crafting games you tend to spend a lot of time underground, so it makes sense to play as the number one cave-dweller, a dwarf. As you craft and build in Craft the World, your dwarven populace also grows, ready to help you with large-scale battles. This aspect makes Craft the World feel less like a Terraria-style dungeon crawler and occasionally more like a real-time strategy game, with a lot of bearded friends around you keeping busy. Craft the World is a game for all those looking for a beautiful fantasy crafting game with large-scale battles against well-known fantasy monsters such as Beholders.

21. Graveyard Keeper

Graveyard Keeper

(Image credit: Lazy Bear Games)

Developer: Lazy Bear Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Android, Nintendo Switch

Here, crafting meets “farming” – you may be able to grow crops, but this is no Stardew Valley. Instead you need to get digging to create final resting places for the corpses that land at your door. You can’t simply dump corpses in a hole and call it done, since embalming and creating graves are sciences in and of themselves. It’s a unique idea, implemented with a great love for detail. Crafting is essential to build a modern, partly-automated graveyard, as well as finding, er, alternate sources of income. Just don’t tell anyone where the meat for those tasty burgers came from.

20. Raft

Best survival games

(Image credit: Redbeet Interactive)

Developer: Redbeet Interactive
Platforms: PC

This absolutely gorgeous survival sim takes crafting to the high seas. The home you expand upon here is, you guessed it, a raft. Not much more than a few planks of driftwood hastily cobbled together in the beginning, the raft can grow rapidly over time. Of course, it’s not just smooth sailing, as sharks are quickly lured to your floating home, eager to get a piece of real estate. Once you learn to manage the immediate dangers of starvation, dehydration and unwanted visitors, you can fish for debris in the ocean and start seeking out islands to explore. Raft is still in early access, it’ll be interesting to see what else developer Redbeet Interactive will come up with.

19. Valheim

Valheim

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Developer: Iron Gate Studio
Platforms: PC

Taking you into a procedurally generated purgatory that’s greatly inspired by all things Vikings, Valheim lets you craft all manner of items as you explore the lands as a soul who was killed in battle. In this open-world survival game, you can also play with your pals, so this is a great option for anyone looking to scratch their crafting itch as they work together with friends. From constructing a raft to building up your very own longship, you can take to the seas, or forge weapons and items on land, and build up strongholds. With a vast landscape to venture through, you can also go in search of valuable resources to create even more effective gear. 

18. Factorio

Factorio

(Image credit: Wube Software)

Developer: Wube Software
Platforms: PC

Crafting in Factorio is the end product, rather than a feature, and may thus seem like a bit of an outlier on this list. This is a factory builder, where you can produce items using fantastically intricate systems. If offshore pumps, engines and motors are your passion, this is the game for you. It’s just as much fun to work out what you want to make, as how to make the biggest, most productive factory ever. In multiplayer you can build factories so big you need to delegate in order to keep everything running. While there’s manual crafting, and the most interesting thing about Factorio is the journey and not the end product, you’re still crafting many, many things.

17. The Escapists 2

The Escapists 2

(Image credit: Team 17)

Developer: Mouldy Toof studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

To successfully escape prison, you need to of course transform unsuspicious items into the perfect escape tool. A broom handle, a tin of paint and some duct tape make a sledgehammer, the classic pillow stuffed into a bed sheet makes a bed dummy. It’s great fun to see The Escapists 2 get creative with crafting, and of course the use of those items during your actual escape. Team17, who are also responsible for co-op cooking mayhem in Overcooked, just know how to make games that come from simple initial ideas. This game, too, is best when enjoyed together, even though you can play it solo just fine.  The large number of craftable items, be it security passes, outfits or weapons, in turn imbues the gameplay with a lot of variety, and by now there’s a whole host of additional content waiting for escapees.

16. Forager

Forager

(Image credit: HopFrog)

Developer: HopFrog
Platforms: PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Crafting is often all about the soothing repetitive motions of foraging. Mine this, chop that, until the loop of gathering, building and more gathering becomes all but hypnotic. In order not to run out of uses for the literally hundreds of things to gather, Forager goes increasingly off the rails – both in what you can craft to use against enemies (laser beams!) and also what to do with all your leftover items (engage in unfettered capitalism).

It’s nothing you don’t know when it comes to features like building, crafting and exploring, but as a clicker game, it’s simplicity and thus the speed at which you can succeed at whatever you set out to do is the very thing that won’t let you go.

15. Rust

Best survival games

(Image credit: Rust)

Developer: Facepunch Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Make no mistake, Rust is mainly about killing other players. The crafting portion of this game, which you start absolutely naked, is based around a few really simple ingredients, but the deadly arsenal you can craft is quite impressive. Just be careful – no game manages to make you wary of other people quite like Rust does. 

The fact that most players you come across are out for your hide means that base building is rather simple, but it’s interesting to start the whole process from zero, smashing trees with rocks, painstakingly putting a roof over your head and clothes on your back, making each item pretty hard-won.

14. Portal Knights

Portal Knights

(Image credit: Keen Games)

Developer: Keen Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

If players are hankering for some RPG flavorings to sandbox crafting games, they usually have to put the work in themselves. Portal Knights on the other hand is a co-op crafting adventure with all the RPG trimmings – levelling, different classes and fun combat. Crafting exceeds weapons, as you build sprawling castles and other buildings Minecraft-style. 

Just roaming around looking for resources isn’t for everyone, and Portal Knights stands out for enhancing sandbox gameplay with the quest system and regular seasonal events typical for MMORPGs. It’s the clear dedication that went into making the two genres work together that makes this one a lot of fun.

13. My Time At Portia

My Time at Portia

(Image credit: Pathea)

Developer: Pathea
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

On first sight you wouldn’t peg My Time At Portia as a post-apocalyptic game. However, a catastrophic event is the very reason you’re tasked with breathing new life into the town of Portia. In order to restore the different buildings needed, you need to gather resources or gain them through simple but fun hack and slash combat with a large number of different cute enemies.

Everything about My Time At Portia is downright adorable, from your new home to its big-headed inhabitants. The more you build, the more you grow in prestige, but there’s also a large cast of town folk to befriend. Besides the flow that usually sets in when you play relaxing crafting games like this, it’s especially the variety in quests here that makes time pass in a flash.

12. 7 Days To Die

7 Days to Die

(Image credit: The Fun Pimps)

Developer: The Fun Pimps
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

Among the survival games that offer crafting, 7 Days To Die is one of the darkest and most surprising. It doesn’t feature the kind of zombies that come at you no matter what, but when they do come, it’s very easy to be left unprepared.  By far not a pretty game and likely doomed to forever remain in Early Access (the console versions are a bit not good), 7 Days to Die nevertheless shambled its way to the top of the Steam charts following release thanks to the strength of its atmosphere and sheer challenge. 

Here, successful teamwork means building a zombie trap that does the job, instead of sprawling castles, so if you’re looking to build for your life, give this a go.

11. The Long Dark

Best survival games

(Image credit: Hinterland Studios)

Developer: Hinterland Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

The Long Dark brands itself as a “thoughtful” survival and crafting game, meaning it’s less about animals mauling you at every corner, and more about the even distribution of dangers. The ever-icy landscape, scarce opportunities to feed yourself and of course the occasional bear of wolf you can’t just take down as you please make the game a tense experience.

Even if you like your games a little more mellow you don’t have to give this one a miss – the different modes offer anything from a quiet and contemplative time with fewer dangerous animals to a story mode or regular survival challenges.

10. Don’t Starve

Best survival games

(Image credit: Klei)

Developer: Klei Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

The fun art style is as recognizable as it is deceptive, giving the impression of a simple bit of fun. Only that behind its cartoony façade, Don’t Starve is actually a game of life and death, with fire, disease and insanity lurking just around the corner. That sounds harsh, but the game is a lot of fun in how it applies real-world rules to its virtual landscapes. Would you normally make a campfire this close to a row of trees? Would you really stand that close to a herd of beefalo? (They’re a thing, look it up.) You wouldn’t, now, would you.

So it’s upon you to find out what is dangerous to you and when, and how to use that to your advantage. It’s difficult, no doubt, but your first few crafted items are as much a necessity, as they are a triumph – another way to eek by.

9. The Forest

The Forest

(Image credit: Endnight Games)

Developer: Endnight Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5

Fear is a powerful thing, and the most entertaining games are those where you might drop dead at any minute. In crafting games you’re more likely to slowly waste away, but not in The Forest, because here you start eating others before you starve to death. You can spend more than enough time doing nothing but building a surprisingly elaborate, beautiful dwelling and roasting the ol’ forest animal or two, but it’s the horror elements that makes everything from crafting to resource gathering pretty unique and pretty hard to stomach at times (literally!).

Venturing into a cave or out into the night is more terrifying than you would think possible seeing the lush forest during the day, but here we are, doing truly disgusting things in the name of survival and crafting with the very ingredients other games make a wide berth around.

8. ARK: Survival Evolved

Ark

(Image credit: Studio Wildcard)

Developer: Studio Wildcard
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

By now you’d think this list had covered every scenario, right? Wrong. One word – dinosaurs. Rideable dinosaurs. ARK: Survival Evolved has you starting off with nothing, and you build yourself a hut with a nice roof and some weapons to clobber dinosaurs over the head with.

You can either use them for resources (of course) or tame them. Like with Minecraft, the base game has grown into something that isn’t just about crafting – it’s a great community experience. By now, ARK: Survival Evolved has Battle Royale servers and many servers dedicated to roleplaying and building huge dinosaur farms.

7. Dragon Quest Builders 2

Dragon Quest builders 2

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix, Omega Force
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

Combining the sprawling Dragon Quest JRPG franchise with a sandbox builder doesn’t seem like a very intuitive thing to do, but perhaps it’s that mix of opposites that makes it so successful. You have an island to shape in whatever way you please and specific building quests besides, so you can be sure to craft everything the game has to offer at one point or another. 

Since crafting is block-based, you can, of course, start to go absolutely crazy, but it’s really the story that makes Dragon Quest Builders 2 such a standout. In a genre full of survival, tower defense and general killing sprees, a real, heartfelt story, not to mention one of JRPG proportions, is simply so very hard to come by.

6. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Developer: ConcernedApe
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

Stardew Valley rekindled everyone’s obsession with Harvest Moon-style farming, and when I say everyone I mean everyone – across six platforms it has by now sold 10 million copies, an unbelievable success story for something made at home by a single person. The secret doesn’t only lie in the charming pixel art with its fat chickens and deliciously colored fruit, there’s simply so much to do that Stardew refuses to get boring, as much as you’d love it to around 3 am. 

From fishing to exploring an old mine to dating your favorite villager, you will sink hundreds of hours into this game, only to come back and do it all again in multiplayer.

5. Starbound

Starbound

(Image credit: Chucklefish)

Developer: Chuklefish
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

There are a lot of games on this list that ran with the style of gameplay and presentation that originated with Terraria, but none do the formula justice as well as Starbound does. No wonder – after all it initiated with one of Terraria’s original creators. As the name suggests, Starbound is all about exploring different planets, and developer Chucklefish has crafted a number of quests and background as diverse as the different planets and biomes.  

What Starbound has over Terraria is a story – one that fits into things so seamlessly that you can engage with it at your own pace. Simply craft items and build your base at your leisure and you may stumble upon quests that give you something interesting to do next. 

4. Subnautica

Best survival games

(Image credit: Unknown Worlds)

Developer: Unknown Worlds
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

\It’s not always better where it’s wetter – there’s still plenty under the sea that can kill you, but Subnautica lives not so much of the excitement of clashing with the marine populace, mostly because more often than not they come out clearly victorious. 

Instead, you want to craft equipment that allows you to explore more of its beautiful alien ocean, for longer. You may be going out to find resources to enhance your base but oops, you fled from an undersea monster to God knows where or an interesting bit of undersea landscape caught your eye.

3. No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky

(Image credit: Hello Games)

Developer: Hello Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S,. Nintendo Switch

Thanks to the huge updates Hello Games implemented, crafting is one of the aspects in No Man’s Sky you can keep busy with for hours. You’ve always had ample options for upgrading your suit, multitool and ship, but now you can also put work into your exocraft and a base worthy of a hardworking astronaut. The number of blueprints and ingredients is huge, so you will definitely find multiple uses for whatever you pick up and even refine further in a multitude of  ways. Essentially No Man’s Sky is about two of the great joys of gaming – exploring landscapes until you fall off a random cliff and lining your pockets with all types of stuff the use of which will not become apparent until much much later.

2. Terraria

Terraria

(Image credit: 505 Games)

Developer: Re-Logic
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Don’t accept anything but the original. Chances are if you’re one of the 20 Million people who have bought Terraria since its release in 2011, you haven’t had much of a need for any other crafting game since, not just because the updates steadily kept coming over the years. Every aspect of Terraria is enhanced through the crafting options, so if crafting is what you enjoy most, it hardly gets more varied and intricate than this. 

One on the other side of the crafting medal is battle that is as manic as it is difficult, making  Terraria great for all those who love the relaxed atmosphere of crafting but don’t want to boot up another game to have a go at SNES-era  2D combat a la Mega Man.

1. Minecraft

Best survival games

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Developer: Mojang Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Some games start a genre but don’t stick around long enough to see it grow. Others will be replaced by better games. But not Minecraft. By now this game is a symbol for the ingenuity of millions of diligent crafters around the world, and no less than an absolute pop cultural phenomenon. With the AR spinoff Minecraft Earth in early access, the story of the main game continues, not that it ever went anywhere. With most of the over 170 million (double that if you’re counting the free Chinese release) enjoy the block builder that started everything. It’s a crafting game for everyone, not only because the only violence you find here is the fantasy kind – it’s simply the best game to create something of your own. If you can think it, you can build it, and it’s as much fun to play yourself as it is to watch others create.


Why not check out our best fishing games now that you’re done here?

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