The 7 Best Base Building Games for PC in 2019

0

While base building is a part of many different games, only some are truly base building games – and where exactly that line is drawn is a somewhat up for interpretation.

That said, what are the best base building games that stand out from the pack? This list breaks down the best games that focus on building and growing a thriving base and colony.

1. RimWorld

RimWorld is arguably the best base building game and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the community. It’s a sci-fi colony simulator where you harvest resources, construct buildings, defend attacks, manage colonists, build (and destroy) relationship, and explore the world.

While the main goal of the game is to build a ship large enough to get your colonists off the planet, many players ignore that goal entirely and focus on building a colony that can withstand the most intense 100-person late-game attacks.

One of the coolest parts about this game is that there isn’t really a storyline – you create your own through character interactions, world events, random encounters, and faction relationships.

Why it’s On the List

RimWorld is the quintessential base building game. The main objective of the game is to build a base suitable to grow your colony and ultimately launch off the planet (or you just keep building…) and that includes everything from food and defence to entertainment that prevents mental breakdowns.

Not only that, but RimWorld is a highly versatile game. The customizations, interactions, and random encounters make every new game a unique experience.

Game Info

  • Developer: Ludeon Studios
  • Reviews: 96% Steam, 91 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle

2. Factorio

What’s better than a crafting system? A crafting system can be perfectly optimized and entirely automated. Factorio is a fun and unique base building game where you create automated systems to gather resources and craft items.

  • Turn ore into metal bars
  • Metal bars into wire
  • Combine wire and plastic into circuits…

And that’s just a start.

But beware; pollution and expansion attract some unfriendly guests (pro tip: you can play on safe mode if you just want to focus on building). For most people, what starts out as a fairly organized an optimized assembly line quickly turns into chaos – can you manage the factory?

Why It’s On the List

Factorio is about building a colonist-free base. It’s about constructing an assembly line that pumps out everything from ammo to research points. In-depth reports help you sniff out bottlenecks in the system so everything is flowing smoothly at all times (that’s the goal at least).

Game Info

  • Developer: Wube Software LTD
  • Reviews: 98% Steam
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle

3. Oxygen Not Included

Oxygen Not Included is a calm and complex survival-style base building game and one a great one at that. You start with 3 colonists inside a space rock and immediately need to start working to keep them alive.

Running out of food, water – and yes, oxygen – is a constant threat.  But that’s not all. Your colonists get over-stressed, your base overheats, germs spread, and electrical circuits breakdown. It’s up to you to manage your “duplicants” and create a thriving colony.

Something worth mentioning about Oxygen Not Included is that it can take some time to really understand the game mechanics and physics. Understanding how the different gases interact with each other or how heat is dispersed through different materials can take some time to figure out. All that said, it’s still a ton of fun even while you’re learning.

Why It’s On the List

While Oxygen Not Included could be considered a survival game in some ways, but the complexity and customization of how you build and grow your base make it more of a base building game for me. I’ve sunk over 100 hours into this game and am still managing to find new ways to kill my colony.

Game Info

  • Developer: Klei Entertainment
  • Reviews: 93% Steam, 93 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Steam

4. Surviving Mars

mars-base-building-game-2018

Despite being made by the developers of City Skylines, Surviving Mars is definitely more of a base building game than a city-building game. You land a rocket on Mars and start by using drones to build a base suitable for human inhabitants. Create specialized domes, entertainment districts, and educations centers to keep your ever-expanding colony of alive.

Why It’s On the List

Surviving Mars ticks all the boxes for base building games. The main focus of the game to create a Mars colony that can sustain life as you work towards upgrades and new technologies that help you expand and improve.

It also has many of the familiar challenges of a base building game: managing resources, job specialization, and organizing the chaos.

Game Info

  • Developer: Haemimont Games
  • Reviews: 80 PC Gamer, 78 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle

5. Prison Architect

prison-base-building-game-2018

In this game you have to build and manage a maximum security prison – and if done well, things can get messy.

First, you need to plan the layout of your prison.

  • Where will the rooms go?
  • The canteen?
  • The yard?
  • The holding cells?
  • The infirmary?
  • The guard room?

But once you start bringing prisoners is when thing really get interesting. You can choose between low, medium and maximum security inmates, just make sure you’re prepared before bringing in a bunch of hardened criminals.

Why It’s In The List

Prison Architect is a base building game unlike many others. It’s a top-down lock-em-up style game that involves not just building but also managing a maximum security prison. Keeping your finances in the green is one thing, but handling the violent gang feuds inside your prison walls is another. It’s a fantastic game and well deserving of a place on the list.

Game Info

  • Developer: Introversion Software
  • Reviews: 87 PC Gamer, 86 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle

6. They Are Billions

zombies-base-building-game-2018

They Are Billions is a “steampunk strategy” game where you build and defend a colony against zombie hordes. Surviving the regular zombies attacks is difficult enough, but making it past the final horde requires some serious planning and strategy.

This game has many of the classic base building elements, with some RTS aspects to the game as well:

  • Planning your base layout
  • Optimizing space
  • Managing resources
  • Creating units
  • Defending your base

Why It’s In The List

They Are Billions is a challenging but fun game. Not many other base building game encourage you to delete entire chunks of your base to prevent them from succumbing to the zombies invasion (which just makes things worse.)

Game Info

  • Developer: Numantian Games
  • Reviews: 85% Steam, 82 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle

7. Subnautica

subnautica-base-building-game-2018

Part survival game and part base building game, Subnautica is on of the few (and best) base builders that takes place almost entirely under water.

As with any survival game, you need to maintain hydration and nourishment while also battling some nasty creatures. But along the way, you can build some pretty incredible bases to help grow food and store resources.

Why It’s In The List

One of my favorite parts of this game is exploring the various biomes. They’re big, beautiful, and a bit scary.

I have never considered myself thalassophobic – but playing this game did make strongly reconsider the diving lessons I had planned.

Game Info

  • Developer: Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • Reviews: 89 PC Gamer, 91 GGEZReviews
  • Where to Buy: Humble Bundle