Horde survival games, more commonly tagged as action roguelike games, have been growing in popularity since the release of Vampire Survivors — a game inspired by Magic Survival. The games all feature waves of enemies that become increasingly more difficult as you level and power up your character with unique abilities and stats.
You might enjoy our list of best action roguelike games on PC if you’re looking for games like Vampire Survivors. They all have a few things in common: auto-shoot mechanics, top-down perspective, bullet hell shoot-’em-up gameplay, and roguelite elements. The genre is still new, so many games in our list may be relatively unknown to most gamers. Many are also still in early access, so development is ongoing, and they will likely improve over time.
Best Action Roguelike Games for PC
- Vampire Survivors
- Boneraiser Minions
- Soulstone Survivors
- Rogue Genesia
- Nomad Survival
- Scarlet Tower
- 20 Minutes Till Dawn
8. Vampire Survivors
Vampire Survivors is the game that reinvigorated the action roguelike genre, but it is not the first of its kind. Inspired by a mobile game called Magic Survival, Vampire Survivors is a casual gothic-horror-themed survival game with rogue-lite elements. Players pick from one of many characters, load into a stage, and kill hordes of incoming monsters to gain levels, acquire unique skills, and try and survive until death shows up.
Vampire Survivors features pixel graphics and permanent unlockables that players can purchase after accumulating enough money. Developer Luca Galante’s background in the gambling industry (slots, specifically) is apparent in the game’s balance between reward and difficulty. The game is available on PC and macOS via Steam, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Brotato is an arena-style roguelite where players control a badass potato that can hold up to six weapons simultaneously. Unlike Vampire Survivors, Brotato is a round-based game. After each wave, players can pick their level-up skills and purchase weapons and items from a rotating pool of options. The objective is to fend off waves of aliens and ultimately kill the boss to complete the run.
There are roguelite elements in Brotato in that certain characters can only be unlocked by hitting specific in-game milestones. Each character has unique starting stats, some of which are better for particular builds. Brotato is developed and published by Blobfish and is currently available on PC via Steam. It is also coming to consoles soon.
6. Boneraiser Minions
Boneraiser Minions is a game where players control a Necromancer who must control an army of undead to fight off the living. You can think of it like Vampire Survivors, but instead of shooting enemies with an arsenal of weapons and skills, you’re raising an army of the undead. Collect bones from downed enemies to summon minions like warriors, mages, bombers, boomerangers, witches, and more.
As you level, you can unlock new minions or power up your current army. Fuse your zombies and undead to make super minions, and experiment with new combinations. You can also upgrade enemies, so there are more of them, allowing you to create a bigger army to take down the boss more easily. Boneraiser Minions is developed and published by caiys and is currently available on PC via Steam.
5. Soulstone Survivors
Soulstone Survivors is an action roguelike game where players can pick from a variety of fantasy characters like an Elementalist, Pyromancer, Barbarian, Death Knight, and more to kill the Lords of the Void and their minions. Each character has a unique starting weapon that can be upgraded. The weapon has a skill attached to it, and some skills are class-specific. However, players can also equip runes that allow skills to carry over to other classes.
The game has many similarities to Vampire Survivors, but it has a totally different graphics style. The rune system and skill tree are two roguelite elements that provide room for some highly customized builds and theory crafting. Overall, it’s one of our favorite games in this genre. Soulstone Survivors is a game developed by Game Smithing Limited and is currently available on PC via Steam.
4. Rogue Genesia
The main difference with Rogue Genesia is that it’s primarily a roguelike game first and foremost and a survival game second. Most notably, the map progression system is what you’d come to expect from a roguelike — it’s randomly generated and features various paths to explore. You can see a lot of inspiration from FromSoftware games regarding graphics and menu styles.
Like many games in the genre, it has much of what we’ve come to expect. There’s a shop where you can buy things using currency obtained from killing monsters, a few different progression systems, and several achievements to unlock new items. Rogue Genesia is developed by Huard Ouadi and published by iolaCorp Studio and is available for PC via Steam.
3. Nomad Survival
Nomad Survival is a game that took lots of inspiration from Vampire Survivors and tried to evolve it into something new. The objective is to defeat hordes of enemies and defeat the Boss encounters. Players have several character “heritage” options with unique special effects. You can choose a few different modes, and the game speed is also adjustable.
Overall, Nomad Survival is extremely similar to Vampire Survivors but still maintains a unique feel. There is no limit to your abilities, and with the heritage choices, there’s a lot of room for experimenting with builds and playstyles. Nomad Survival is developed and published by The Fox Knocks and is available on PC via Steam.
2. Scarlet Tower
Scarlet Tower is one of the newer action roguelike games on the list. It’s still in early development, so things are rough around the edges. The game is a more challenging Vampire Survivors-style game that incorporates some unique twists. The items and power-ups will look familiar, so there is a lot of overlap in that regard. Scarlet Tower excels in its pixel art graphics and sound design, with excellent music and effects that keep things interesting.
Where the game differs is that every character has unique passive abilities that are chosen before heading into the map. Glyphs also add modifiers to the way each class behaves. There are also character races, such as Humans, Elves, Vampires, and Demons. Each race has unique passives and can be upgraded — a new type of progression system we haven’t seen before. Scarlet Tower is developed and published by Pixeralia LLC and is available on PC via Steam.
1. 20 Minutes Till Dawn
20 Minutes Till Dawn is another game similar to Vampire Survivors, featuring waves of Lovecraftian-style monsters that get more challenging as time progresses. As the name suggests, the goal is to survive for 20 minutes by killing monsters, leveling up, and making your chosen character more powerful. You can make yourself more powerful between runs with Runes and purchase new characters with unique abilities.
It’s not all the same as VS, though. First off, weapons are character-specific and require a bit more maneuvering as they don’t fire automatically. Weapons and upgrades require some planning, as certain combinations synergize much better than others. For example, a crossbow has one ammo, so getting power-ups that activate when your clip is empty can be quite devastating with this weapon. 20 Minutes Till Dawn is developed by flanne and published by Erabit and is available for PC via Steam.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any games similar to Vampire Survivors you want to recommend!