There are not many games out there at the moment that have the level of cultish following that Rimworld does. This game’s ability to snag the imagination and free time of its users is second to none.
The mechanics are smooth and enjoyable, the art style is the right blend of distinctive yet similar to feel welcoming, and the level of detail put into all the little micro-decision trees is astounding.
It is the sheer absurdity of this game that keeps players coming back for more. Everyone who has enjoyed Rimworld and played a decent amount of the game has their own wacky stories about a particular run or colony that got completely out of hand.
These are the lifeblood of Rimworld and keep people interested in the game. Nothing is better than finding yourself knee-deep in the chaos of this game and telling your friends about it later.
Rimworld is a game that can be enjoyed by any spirited gamer who loves to share their experiences with friends. However, should you be an avid fan of colony management and strategy games, Rimworld is the perfect concoction for you.
With that said, if you have found yourself on this list, you likely already know just how brilliant Rimworld is and want something else like it to fill even more of your free time.
After all, there is only a finite amount of time we can sink into any one game before we need a little change, especially if you have already managed to master the survival mechanics of the game regardless of the difficulty or horrendous starting conditions you find yourself in.
So, with all this in mind, this list will take you on a whistle-stop tour of all the best games like Rimworld currently on the market for fans of Rimworld. Let’s go!
I hate nothing more than coming to a list like this, finding a couple of recommendations appealing, only to find out that the games in question are nothing like the title that inspired my search.
Therefore, to ensure your eyeballs and discerning tastes are served with only the best Rimworld-like content, I have set a couple of ground rules to ensure my suggestions are the best of the best. Let’s take a look at my selection criteria.
- Every game included on this list must have an overall positive review or score rating either via Metacritic or Steam. After all, Rimworld is one of those games that are universally loved, so recommending some niche game that only the crazy side of the internet enjoys simply won’t do. In most cases, this review score must be higher than 60% where available.
- Only one game per franchise can make it onto this list; regardless of how good multiple entries in a series may be, only the best of these games will make our list.
- While the indie game market thrives on early access and beta releases of games, I simply cannot include games that have freshly hit the market under the fateful ‘Early Access’ banner. Rimworld has been with us for so long and is incredibly well-polished that I don’t think it would be suitable to recommend games still in that teething phase of early development.
- Every game in this list must be in some way similar to Rimworld so that players who enjoy the core elements of the titular game can scratch that same itch in one way or another.
The Best Games like Rimworld that You Need to Download Right Now
- Developer: Introversion
- Metacritic Score: 83%
- Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch.
Yes, you expected this one to make it onto our list at some stage. After all, the Prison Architect series is one of those franchises that, like Rimworld, gives players experiences that they will remember for years to come.
In this game, the colony-survival and management experience that you get from Rimworld will be intensified as the manic energy that can be found in the aforementioned game is shoehorned into the confined and scary surroundings of prison life.
A lot of the management quirks and gripes you may have with Rimworld are absent in Prison Architect, as this game streamlines a lot of the micro-decisions you might get stuck within Rimworld, allowing you to poke your head above the surface every now and then to enjoy the craziness of the prison you have created.
Your day-to-day life in Prison Architect will be spent designing and building your prison, making both subtle and massive changes for the sake of efficiency along the way. Of course, any prison worth it’s salt will require a lot more of the player than this to keep everything running smoothly.
Therefore, you will find yourself also taking on tasks involving prisoner well-being, operational security, cash management, and much more. At its heart, this game is similar to Rimworld because of the stories and interactions you have with the prisoners.
- Developer: Bay 12 Games
- Metacritic Score: 93%
- Platform: PC
When talking about alternatives to Rimworld, we cannot skip the game that kick-started the entire genre and is probably the only reason we have most of the games on this list to date.
This game, when played after a good session on Rimworld, can be seen as part of the Rimworld DNA, with so many elements having been lifted and tweaked for the later game.
Therefore, I will argue that if you enjoy Rimworld in any way and can get over the slightly dated graphics, there is no possible way that you won’t enjoy Dwarf Fortress.
Much like Rimworld, Dwarf Fortress shines in its ability to generate wacky and compelling storylines on the fly, turning each playthrough into something unique and story-worthy the next time you meet up with a bunch of friends.
The AI-generated stories are always something to remember, helping to make this game an instant classic at the time of release.
If you like the sound of Dwarf Fortress and want to get your hands on the title, you are in luck as it has recently received a massive reboot, being made available on Steam for the very first time in December 2022, making now the perfect time to get involved with the Dwarves.
- Developer: Colossal Order, Tantalus Media
- Metacritic Score: 85%
- Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
While you might think this one has come a little out of left field, please give me some time to justify this game’s inclusion on this list.
First of all, while you may not be managing a colony on the macro and micro level you may be used to in terms of dealing with the trials and tribulations of unique NPCs, you are able to customize and create entirely new cities that have never been seen before with imagination being your only boundary.
I love Cities: Skylines and honestly think that anyone who enjoys the creative side of Rimworld or Prison Architect could get behind this game.
You have so many unique and interesting buildings, roads, and city creation methods laid out before you at the start of each run that you can basically create anything you can dream of.
Whether you want to roleplay and create a city street out of your favorite fantasy novel or min/max your way to the most efficient city you have ever seen, the choice is yours.
If you do download this game, prepare to get lost in the weeds of traffic and tax management to ensure your city can continue to grow indefinitely.
- Developers: Pipliz
- Metacritic Score: N/A
- Platform: PC
While this game is completely different from the design and feel of all the other games previously mentioned on this list and Rimworld itself, I do feel that the colony building, survival, and management aspect of this game more than earns it a place on our list.
Yes, this game is still in early access, but since it has been on the market for so long at this point, and the majority of the gameplay comes from its sandbox nature, it should be given a pass and included in our list.
Colony Survival is a first-person colony management and survival game with all the sandbox elements you might expect from a game such as Minecraft, and when you get into the nitty gritty of this title and see just how much complexity has been crammed into the title by the two-man development team, you will be incredibly impressed.
The core idea of Colony Survival is rather simple. In the beginning, you can recruit a set number of colonists and assign them jobs such as farming or mining. Eventually, as your colony grows and the night starts to draw near, you will need to set up defenses to protect your colonists from a zombie attack.
This cycle repeats into infinity, allowing the player to build complex and mesmerizing structures with the compound’s backbone, your colonists, working away to provide the required materials and resources. Under your careful watch, of course.
- Developer: Klei Entertainment
- Metacritic Score: 86%
- Platform: PC
While this game may not run exactly in the same race as Rimworld, they are both heading in the same direction. Oxygen Not Included is, like Rimworld, a space-colony management game with a bigger focus on survival and progression than the titular game of this article.
In essence, a successful playthrough of Oxygen Not Included will see the player explore the insides of an alien space rock with their handy crew, expanding and learning along the way while hurtling through space.
On your journey, you will come up against many weird and difficult scenarios, which can only be helped via the mastery of several different disciplines, such as science, combat, and other much-needed skills.
Much like Rimworld, most of your time will be spent simply trying to stay alive and keep your colony ticking along as you deal with threat after threat in the short term while simultaneously operating projects to help yourself out in the long term.
Of course, you will also have to deal with this game’s minorly complex survival system wherein your Duplicants (this game’s version of colonists) must have adequate supplies of water, food, and oxygen to keep on fighting another day.
- Developer: Wube Software LTD
- Metacritic Score: 80%
- Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch
To be completely honest with you, as much as I love the idea of Factorio and all of the other games on this list, the sheer amount of data that one image from a fairly advanced game of Factorio presents to the untrained eye did scare me at first. Of course, they don’t throw you in at the deep end when you first buy and boot the game.
Instead, you are given plenty of time to get familiar with the base concepts and needs of each system before you move on to the mega-complex builds that pro-Factorio players pride themselves on their Reddit forum.
Factorio as a concept is fundamentally simple. The player’s sole objective is to set up and run a series of factories to continue the progression of your game toward a better and brighter tomorrow.
As you progress through the game, the player will be setting up factories for mining operations, researching new and initiative technologies, and building a great deal of infrastructure so that these factories, when applicable, can communicate with one another and share resources.
Through this, the player will try and build a world that can look after itself, running a fully automated production line while simultaneously beating back the hordes of enemies that want to strip away everything you have worked so hard to build.
If you love the nitty gritty micro-decisions that Rimworld occasionally throws at the player, this is a game for you as it is capable of providing moments of sheer ecstasy when everything begins to run smoothly.
- Developer: Rebellion Developments, Elixir Studios
- Metacritic Score: 75%
- Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC
One thing that I can find lacking in games such as Rimworld and Prison Architect is the real-world strategy that other games, such as the Civilization series, brings to the table alongside the colony management theme. When searching for this rather niche amalgamation, I came across Evil Genius.
One of the things I like about this game is that you start out with evil intentions in mind, unlike other games such as Rimworld (where I usually quickly turn evil), wherein you can be actively encouraged to be the good guy, whether you want to or not.
The core of this game and the reason so many players still rave about it is how seamlessly it blends together real-time strategic gameplay with the simulation and management demands of games like Rimworld, allowing the player to experience the best of both worlds.
The gameplay in this title revolves around the player building their own secret base and undertaking several missions to help further their evil desires and hopefully achieve global domination.
As you progress through the game, your ability to bring havoc will only increase as your dastardly research schemes come good and you provide your cronies with better and better weapons.
- Developer: Shining Rock Software
- Metacritic Score: 73%
- Platform: PC
After you and your friends have been kicked out of your last village or settlement, the idea comes to you that you would be better off setting up your own civilization to ensure your future security.
At its heart, this game is a simple city-building strategy game that involves the player making several strategic and operational decisions to set up the best possible city.
To do this, you will need to manage your city, the land it sits on and near, the people within said city, and the buildings therein to ensure growth and wealth are maximized for your future benefit.
Much like Rimworld and other games on this list, there are so many things that the player must keep tabs on to ensure their city grows in the way they expect. Everything from food production to leather-making capabilities falls under your purview, leaving quite a lot of responsibility at your door.
This experience is only intensified as you progress up the difficulty ladder and become more familiar with the game. At base, this game loves the idea of resource scarcity, ensuring you scrimp and save every possible resource or possible bounty you can along the way.
However, as you crank up the difficulty, you will also receive some worrying setbacks, such as the removal of starting settler numbers and a loss of resources, making getting started and the possibility of success all the more difficult to achieve.
- Developer: Electronic Arts
- Metacritic Score:
- Platform: Android, IOS, PC
Back again with one of the classics in the genre and the game that many will argue to have inspired Evil Genius. Dungeon Keeper is the name of a whole series of strategy survival games that began production in the late 1990s. However, the first entry in the series still stands tall amongst the giants of the industry today.
As you might imagine, due to the title, in this game, the player’s main drive is to keep, manage, and progress a dungeon that is fully under their control. Throughout the game, many things will be thrown at the player to try and ruin their party and dungeon simultaneously.
However, outside of mere survival, there is one ultimate goal in this game, and it is nothing short of time. In Dungeon Keeper, the hard work is only over once you have achieved total world domination.
To do this, the player must repel back the forces of good and their knights of honor whilst simultaneously going on the front foot and attacking the homes of these heroes.
Of course, you are not the only game in town, and so you must also deal with your fellow dungeon keepers along the way, slowly picking them off one by one across all regions of the world until world domination is yours.
- Developer: Two Point Studios
- Metacritic Score: 83%
- Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last while and somehow missed this massive game that took YouTube by storm, I will quickly compare this game to an amalgamation of Prison Architect and The Sims.
Two Point Hospital flows much like Prison Architect, but its art style and wacky occurrences can only be associated with The Sims.
In this game, you serve as the CEO of a newly opened hospital in dire need of direction. The environments and issues your hospital will have to serve are as wide and varied as experiences in Rimworld, forcing the player to adapt on the fly to some crazy occurrences that range all the way from earthquakes to ghostly infestations.
Much like your staff in games such as Game Dev Tycoon, the people you recruit to this hospital will be integral to your future success, but each will require specific management styles and compromises to be at their best.
Along with the staff, you will also have a full plate to keep the hospital afloat financially and ensure that no massive medical mishaps occur under your watch.
In the end, this game is perfect for those of us who loved the medical stories and possible intervention methods of Rimworld and the stories that came out of these incidents. Of course, just like Rimworld, these happening can just as easily turn sour, resulting in some grisly ends.
- Developer: GSQ Games
- Metacritic Score: 73%
- Platform: PC
When you first open up Amazing Cultivation Simulator, you will be treated by a simple Martial Arts School management game. After this, you will be wrapped in the complexity and madness that ACS.
When playing this game, you will be surprised just how detailed and in-depth every procedure or task turns out to be. The most minor of tasks can become incredibly complicated, requiring a high level of knowledge and gaming skills to get the most out of your playthrough.
Due to this high skill cap, the game can become incredibly addicting for players who have pushed through that initial barrier. Especially when you begin to explore the endless possibilities that this game can throw your way. Much like Rimworld, ACS will throw stuff at the player that simply astounds.
- Developer: Subterranean Games
- Metacritic Score: 78%
- Platform: PC
Much like Dungeon Keeper, the game that inspired War for The Overworld, this game concerns the player with the setting up and management of a dungeon. Therefore, players who enjoy the intense organizational and management aspect of Rimworld will love this game.
Also, much like Evil Genius, the core gameplay loop of this title involves the player slowly expanding over time, knocking through walls and expanding the boundaries of their underground lair.
In the end, the player will have such a diverse range of fully customized rooms and locations that it might seem a little intense to the uninitiated.
- Developer: Eremite Games
- Metacritic Score: 85%
- Platform: PC
Here we are again, yet another city builder wherein the player is placed down in a new world at the end of some terrible scenario. In this particular game, the player must start off building their city in the middle of a rainshower that never ends.
As the viceroy of this land, you must take the reigns of this rogue-lite city builder in order to protect the humans, beavers, lizards, and other creatures under your protection.
This game can be incredibly punishing at times, however, since it is a rogue-lite title, you will be able to carry your progression and experience onto your next adventure, allowing you to constantly improve on past mistakes.
While not every game I considered for this list has made the final cut, I do believe that many of you will enjoy some of these titles. Therefore, it would be a real shame not to include them in some way. Let’s take a look:
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Rimworld as Good as Dwarf Fortress?
Answer: In many ways, Rimworld can be seen as a spiritual successor to Dwarf Fortress. Due to the fact that Rimworld was made much more recently, the game runs much smoother than Dwarf Fortress, with everything feeling much easier and better laid out than in the previous game. However, it is hard to beat that nostalgic feeling for some.
Question: Does Age Matter in Rimworld?
Answer: As with everything in life, age matters. When a character is older in Rimworld, they will usually have a higher base skill level in certain areas due to their extra years of experience. However, they are much more likely to experience several health concerns much like the IRL elderly.
Question: How Long does it Take to Beat Rimworld?
Answer: While the game is not necessarily designed to be played like this, if you only focus on the main objectives and keep your head down while everything around you runs super smoothly, you can complete the game in about 65 hours.
Rimworld is a powerhouse when it comes to games in the colony survival and management genre, dominating the field for many years now. However, many of us have sunk so many hours into the title that we need a little change every now and then.
Hopefully, through this list, you have found a game that suits your requirements perfectly for those horrid hours of boredom wherein Rimworld just isn’t working for you.
I really do hope you enjoyed this guide and found something that works for you, perhaps several somethings. To that end, I wish you luck and look forward to seeing you again soon.