Our huge collection of the best building and crafting games you’ve never heard, of based on learning curve, fun, creativity, and price.
Plus a “kid-safe” summary to make it super easy for parents to find the right titles.
We track down lesser-known games on PC, Mac, Linux / Steam OS, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android in every genre, click to jump to:
We’re proud to be an Amazon Associate and Humble Bundle Partner, the two best places to buy games. Links are affiliated. Image from a screenshot by Boundless forum member NerArth.
These are games that support playing casually in a sandbox, where you don’t have to survive or win.
The great thing about games with creative mode is the ability to get unlimited resources for building, without having to mine or gather.
As block-based games go, Boundless takes the cake in almost every way. There’s probably more to do and explore in this game than any other title in this list.
Planets upon planets of randomly generated landscapes combined with one universe of every player-built structure ever made.
Planets are connected through portals, and portals can be put anywhere. This means a single hallway can contain portals to all the best shops, houses, castles, and more.
Alongside all this is a deep player system that will have you increasing your power in unique ways at every turn.
If you enjoy crafting video games and true limitless creativity, you’ll love this endless title and it’s incredible price.
If you want to make and break stuff to your heart’s content, this is for you. If you’re looking for objectives, challenges, or a campaign, you might get tired of this game quickly.
A staple in the survival and base-building category, if you like either of those you’ll absolutely want to take this game for a spin. It’s only gotten better with many free expansions, and it now has a sequel if you finish this and want more.
Well-priced fun for adults, while this might isn’t the simplest or the most creative title it remains easygoing and calm. This allows you or a child to learn at your own pace, without being punished for mistakes.
This title has been transformed with free updates and has become a full-fledged space exploration and crafting game. There are literally endless worlds to explore, a lot to do, and a base building system that leaves you with more than enough room to be creative.
This isn’t the most creative game on here, but it’s certainly one of the most fun and the most soothing. Slime Rancher creates a peaceful environment that will keep you coming back.
You’ll fall in love with the creatures and characters, and find just enough mystery to keep you wondering what comes next.
Slime Rancher has outstanding ratings and reviews on almost every platform, and we highly recommend it as well!
KSP could have easily made it into our “popular” category, it’s got a huge following and for good reasons.
You’ll find a complex crafting system hidden behind a simple objective: flying.
KSP’s best quality is keeping you challenged for hours on end without being frustrating. Mastering flight is just the beginning, the real fun is in building any type of spaceship you can imagine.
There’s a few DLC expansions for those who need more, and a sequel is coming in 2020.
Starmade is basically Minecraft in space, but with much more depth.
Instead of just making structures, you can actually program blocks and structures.
If you like crafting and space exploration, you’ll love Starmade. Limitless building is combined with endless space and deep crafting.
It’s also a great co-op title to play with a friend. There’s something satisfying about building a giant spaceship that you can actually fly.
The humor in this game might be it’s best quality, but it’s second best quality is chopping physics challenges into bite size chunks.
Unfortunately there isn’t always room to build bridges in creative ways, many times you’re forced to find a the single answer.
Bridge Constructor Portal is short (unless you download user-created challenges) and sweet, but the price is fitting.
Starbound is a lot like Terraria, a 2D Minecraft. What’s unique about it is a focus on exploration and the ability to travel to other planets.
At it’s core is a simple but fun process of exploring a planet, fighting a boss, then traveling to a new planet. If you get bored, Starbound allows you to restart the game with a new character and totally new planets.
You can also stay on a planet and build as long as you want.
We highly recommend playing on casual difficulty, it’s still challenging but you won’t lose items if you die.
This game is an architects dream. You have full creative control of building a prison with an immense level of detail.
You’ll have to design everything from electricity wiring and water pipes to which type of doors to use in different areas.
Thankfully you can pause time, use planning mode to figure out what you want before buying it, and there’s deep difficulty controls that let you play however you want.
Overall Prison Architect is a fantastic time-sink for those who want to solve problems creatively.
Satisfactory is a lot like other base building video games that revolve around factories.
Where it really shines is being a first-person factory builder with fantastic visuals. This is definitely aimed at people playing games on PC.
There’s something more rewarding about walking through your creations in video games like this, versus games like Factorio.
It’s early-access but already packed with content, and we’re excited to see how this title grows.
This game is the modern day evolution of what started with Sim City in the 1990s. If you’re looking for video games in the city building genre, this is all you need.
Full freedom to shape the land however you like, and build the city whatever way you like…with some limits.
You’ll have to deal with issues like traffic flow, food supply, finances, and just about anything that affects morale.
With that being said, you can control the difficulty and save/load your game whenever.
In the same way that Satisfactory is focused on factories, Scrap Mechanic is a building game focused on building vehicles.
It’s in early access but already has a ton of promise. It feels similar to Besiege but with modern vehicles instead of medeival ones.
Vehicle building is pretty rare if you look across other building games, this actually might be the only game to do it well.
Scrap Mechanic executes well on it’s goals, it’s simple to get the hang of and has a very flexible crafting system. If you’re looking for games on PC, this is one you won’t find anywhere else.
Games with Creative Mode that ended up in other categories on this list:
Potential future reviews: Fantastic Contraption, Infinifactory, The Universim
These games make you use your creations to defend yourself or your friends against other players, animals, or nature.
RimWorld is a game like no other, it’s a unique blend of storytelling and totally dynamic gameplay. It begins with three survivors of a shipwreck, but from there out it’s different every time.
You’re building an entire colony and helping them survive but during the journey you’ll be accompanied by an AI storyteller of your choosing.
RimWorld also challenges your moral compass with constant grey-area decisions to make about your colony.
Overall this is one of the highest rated games on Steam and is endless fun, even before you get into mods.
The Forest is a fantastic base building game layered underneath a jump-scare horror story that will have you building out of fear.
The environment is compelling and the co-op experience is seamless, we highly recommend playing with friends.
The Forest’s crafting system let’s you to discover new recipes by finding new resources on your own and then attempt to combine them with eachother.
This is a survival game you don’t want to miss.
Astroneer is a space exploration game with a crafting system based purely on increasing your abilities to explore.
It’s got beautiful landscapes and a great tutorial system that makes it easy to learn quickly.
Your primary resources are oxygen and power, you have to generate, store, and transport these if you want to extend your exploration to other parts of the planet.
Ultimately the goal is to build a ship that let’s you travel across multiple planets and continue to build your exploration abilities.
Far Cry Primal is more of a survival game than a crafting game, while there is base building involved it’s mostly linear and doesn’t require any creativity.
The high points of this game are it’s graphics and combat system. While this is a prehistoric-times game, Far Cry is a shooter at it’s core and it shows.
While it doesn’t score well overall, we do recommend this for people looking for a challenging survival game. On it’s higher difficulties this is potentially the most difficult survival game on the list.
Space Engineers is a true crafting game that let’s you build just about anything.
It’s also a true survival game that makes basic exploration and surviving quite difficult.
Originally an early-access game, the developers have since pushed a ton of major updates that improved the graphics, sound, survival mode, multiplayer mode, and more.
There’s a ton of content, difficulty, and gameplay to explore here. It’s well worth the price tag.
Factorio by all appearances may seem like a dull repetitive game, but don’t be deceived. It’s probably the most addictive game in this genre.
The premise is simple: build your way from chopping logs to assembling a spaceship. In the process your factory will be constantly under attack so you’ll have to build defenses at the same time.
Unlike most crafting games Factorio is driven by automation. The real goal is not to build things, it’s to automate building things.
In the process of all this you’ll realize that the design of your factory has limitless room for design and improvement, and that’s where things get creative.
This is one of the highest rated games of all time on Steam for a reason, give it a try.
This game can be difficult and intimidating for newcomers, but if you enjoy depth and a challenge then you’ll find it quite rewarding.
Atomicrops is a retro-style twin-stick shooter where you play a farmer defending and growing crops.
This game focuses more on resource management than crafting, but growing crops is not as simple as it seems at first.
Everything you grow you’ll be forced to monitor and defend, plus as you progress you’ll be increasing your strength and abilities.
Atomicrops is a short and sweet but very enjoyable title.
This game has the most advanced ship building mechanics on this list. Players create giant warships or small fighters, with tons of detail.
What’s even better is having battles against bots or players inside the ships you make, or having ship vs ship battles in space.
Interstellar Rift also has mining and resource gathering, if you want to spend your time doing something more peaceful.
The best quality of this game is the combination of mining, fighting, and exploration. It’s early-access right now but it’s already one of the only titles to deliver promising results in all three of these areas.
At it’s core, Surviving Mars is a city building game. However, unlike most games in the city building genre the most important resource here is your colonists.
You’ll have to make your own food, minerals, and infrastructure. Naturally things will go wrong while you try, but when things are going right you’ll also have the opportunity to explore Mars’ secrets.
Surviving Mars also features a randomized research tree, so your colony’s scientific breakthroughs will never be the same. Plus support for third party mods that add unique gameplay.
All together, this is a very unique and well-polished take on a city builder. If you like games like Cities: Skylines, you’ll love Surviving Mars.
While this game has been in early-access a long time, it’s still one of the most beautiful space exploration games out there.
It’s similar in some ways to No Man’s Sky but designed to be more realistic. It has first-person and third-person views and includes space exploration, planet exploration, hostile alien species, and of course, building and crafting.
In Osiris: New Dawn players create their own habitat and mine resources to survive, after which they can focus on growth and even colonizing.
If you like space survival or exploration, this is a great combination of both.
Raft is a simplistic survival and building game where you scavenge the ocean and slowly expand your sea vessel.
While it does have shark attacks and other survival elements, it’s a much more casual game than some of the others here.
What makes it unique is the…well…raft! Unlike other survival games that put you on an island, in this game you have to survive just to find an island.
Raft is an early-access game that’s a bit overly simplistic right now, but it’s priced appropriately and quite fun with a friend.
Unlike those games though, ONI is more focused on constant management and efficiency then building. Which is why it’s in the survival category.
If you’re looking for a challenge and enjoy resource management games, you’ll love Oxygen Not Included.
Conan Exiles is one of the more realistically styled and down-to-earth combat games in this list. If you’re sick of getting sniped in games like Rust, look no further.
It has a huge world where you can build vast castles and fortresses or humble homes and hidden nooks. On top of all the built-in content, you get access to over 450 community made add-ons.
Instead of purely fighting other players, eventually your game will spawn bot players and monsters who attack your structures. This is a big deal because it allows you to optionally play by yourself, plus you aren’t dependant on the game having a thriving playerbase.
The downside to Conan Exiles is mostly it’s price, the base game is expensive and a lot of the content is in DLC that you have to purchase separately. If you don’t mind the price and are looking for the primal side of survival games, this is for you.
Rust is a survival game, yes it has crafting, building, and gathering. But all of these activities take place only in the specific server you’re on. All of your progress is tied to that server, which might not sound bad at first.
The risk is that many servers are ruled by clans that have been building resources for months and could raid you at any minute. Be prepared!
If that’s not your style, you can always make your own server and build in peace. Rust is compatible with either style of play.
Great base building / survival games that ended up in other categories on this list:
Unturned is battle royale combined with zombie survival. It’s easy to judge this book by it’s cover (bad graphics), but this game a ton of personality.
It’s a free-to-play game with a crafting system that allows you to build barricades, traps, machinery, furniture, and even vehicles!
Unturned also has great mod support and an active community of creators. But the best part is it’ll cost you nothing to play and your friends have no excuse not to join in.
There’s no reason not to try this game out, go try to stay “unturned” by zombies for as long as you can.
7 Days to Die is an early-access title that combines survival and battle-royale. In a land ruled by zombies, other players might be the least of your concerns.
It has an extensive crafting system that lets you turn scavenged materials into weapons and armor, as well as a building system that let’s you create structures from scratch or build on top of ruins that you find in the world.
7 Days to Die also has a skill tree with 5 major disciplines and tons of perks to unlock, so your progression isn’t tied only to what you build.
While it isn’t the most visually stunning game here, it’s widely available, supports multiplayer and co-op, and has a great progression system with tons of things to do.
Cuisine Royale has very little crafting, but it’s such a fantastic and underrated battle royale title that we had to include it.
This game was originally made as a joke by a development team working on a totally different game, but it took off so well that they made it a standalone free-to-play.
Cuisine Royale is a third-person shooter similar to games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds except all of your armor consists of pots and pans. It’s just as hilarious as it sounds and the humorous nature of this game makes it exceptionally enjoyable.
Overall this is a great battle royale game for free and (in our experience) it’s community is much more lighthearted than most multiplayer titles.
Realm Royale is a free-to-play, cartoonish, and medieval-take on the battle royale genre. It’s a great alternative to games like Fortnite, since it’s free and just as easy to learn and play.
It’s got a very simple crafting system that you use by spending Shards collected during the round. First you’ll have to find a forge (they’re always in the same place on the map). Then you’ll have to defend it as you wait for your random item to be created, otherwise other players could take it.
Realm Royale has other unique gameplay features too, like spells, horses, character classes, and even chickens.
Yes, chickens are a vital part of the game. This is probably our favorite feature, but you’ll have to play it yourself to see why.
Games with Battle Royale that ended up in other categories on this list:
The Cycle is a free-to-play unique combination of crafting and battle royale.
You’re tasked with killing aliens, gathering resources, crafting, and gaining in power as fast as you can before everyone else in the arena does.
Everything you do is motivated by being the last person standing in the current round of battle royale. But unlike other battle royale games you’re mostly fighting against bots (aliens) for the first half of the round.
The Cycle is very early in development, but it’s something you won’t find anywhere else. We recommend giving it a try.
Don’t Starve is what it sounds like, a survival game. What makes it unique is both the visual style (almost like Paper Mario) and the lack of tutorials.
You’re thrown into a punishing world with no instructions on how to play, left to figure out survival on your own. This rewards curiousity and makes every discovery feel more rewarding.
The expansion “Don’t Starve Together” let’s you play co-op survival with friends and learn together, but you can also play alone.
Overall this is a super unique, fun, and rewarding survival game that’s made even better with friends. The world is randomly generated so you’ll never get the same experience twice.
Great Multiplayer / Co-op games that ended up in other categories on this page:
CHKN is a unique expansion of the crafting genre, in this game you’re able to make creatures.
Crafting works similarly to Minecraft, animals are made of simple building blocks. But once you finish creating them they come to life, require taming, and will even help you survive.
CHKN also includes a resource gathering component and the ability to pit your creations against other players’. In reality you could end up spending hours just trying to build the best creature for fighting, almost like a Pokémon.
In our opinion the best part of this game is how it reveals the value of life. You don’t care about your creation at all until it suddenly comes to life, responds to you, and quickly becomes your companion. It’s quite endearing!
Roblox is hard to even call it a game, it’s really more of a platform that contains tons of games. The core platform itself is block-based but visually cartoonish.
Once you create an account, download the game, and sign in, you’ll be able to choose from thousands of “games”. Similar in some ways to multiplayer games on Minecraft, these are games that players create in the Roblox community. Of course, you can make your own games too.
As you might imagine, this leaves endless opportunities for exploration and creation. Unfortunately the community created games can often be very low-quality and difficult to figure out, but the game is free-to-play so you get what you pay for.
Overall Roblox is free and a kid-favorite, but might be underwhelming for adults.
Kid-safe games that ended up in other categories on this page:
Mobile games that ended up in other categories on this list:
Free games that ended up in other categories on this list:
Games we reviewed that didn’t make this list: Signs of Life, Fallout 4, Creativerse, Fortnite, Minecraft, FTL: Faster Than Light, Planetside Arena, Ring of Elysium, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, Block N Load