18 Games Like Minecraft (Free and Paid) - Fun Sandbox Building Games
My Top 18 Alternatives To Minecraft - Play Other Great Sandbox Building Games
Are you a Minecraft addict looking for some similar paid or free games? There are many great Minecraft clones and alternatives available and the majority of them are free to play.
I have found the 18 best games like or similar to Minecraft and I hope you find one that you enjoy. They are available for many operating and gaming systems including PC, Mac, Xbox, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Windows Phone.
Minecraft is an extremely fun and popular sandbox building adventure developed by Notch, an indie Swedish developer who is also working on a number of new gaming projects. Notch's game became an overnight success and has been growing steadily ever since. This strong community, the constant stream of updates, and the ease of modding has created what we know, play and love today.
Minecraft was the start of a new love for the open world game genre for me, and I have since spent the past few years looking for games that offer a similar experience. Thankfully there is no shortage of games to try thanks to the influx of developers who have started developing for the genre after the huge success of Minecraft.
Don't hesitate to recommend your own favourite games in the comment section at the bottom of this page. I always love discovering new options and I'm always updating this page with my new favourites (which right now is Don't Starve).
18 Games Like Minecraft
Explore, dig, craft and fight.
1 - Roblox (Free)
A Social & Creative Mix Of Gaming
In terms of free to play options and community size Roblox is far ahead of any other option on this page. Its regular content updates, accessibility and ever-growing community make it definitely a worthy game for this list.
Roblox is focused on the social and creative side of things with players able to design their own playable levels to share with others or instead enjoy the thousands of other user created levels. With a community well into the millions the choice of levels and other players creates endless fun combinations.
Players are completely free to stick to maps created by other users or share their own creations (and hopefully reach the most-popular list!) instead. Chances are you will definitely find a map that you enjoy amongst the thousands of different options, which are the strongest advantage of Roblox (you can find FPS, RPG, racing and many others).
Roblox offers complete character customisation through Robux and also offers a premium subscription called The Builder's Club to give you even more options (although this is definitely not a pre-requisite to enjoy the game) with free players able to get the full experience.
While at launch Roblox had a rocky start and polished user levels were limited, the growth of sandbox games has allowed Roblox to now deliver one of the very best building games on the web and all for a free price tag.
Roblox - What Will You Build?
2 - Minetest (Free)
Free & Runs On Old Computers
Minetest is a great free game. If it didn't have a different name you would swear it actually was the same game. It is easy to see where Minetest draws its inspiration from (just take a look at the screenshot on the right).
Minetest has been around since 2010 and is slowly being developed to include all of Minecraft's features. It was created and is constantly developed by celeron55 (so round of applause to him). The game also has large focus on modding, so there are plenty of mods to try to you can even submit your own.
Minetest aims to be simple, stable and portable, this philosophy has allowed it to run smoothly on many old computer systems that cannot handle the demands of Minecraft. This has several trade-offs though, such as less detailed graphics and a lack of survival gameplay elements (currently). As such you should consider the game to be an alternative to the free version of Minecraft but with good modding support.
There isn't much more to say about Minetest as the gaming experience and gameplay is exactly that of the original Minecraft but with the added benefits of being free and the ability to run on older computers and hardware. Depending on what you are after, this will either be a very attractive option for you or exactly what you aren't looking for (so read on if that is the case).
A Look At Minetest - A Quick Overview of the Gameplay that Minetest Offers
3 - Don't Starve
One of the Spookiest Minecraft Alternatives Yet
Don't Starve is a recent addition to the now popular open-world survival genre and has already been confirmed for a release on the new PlayStation 4 console upon its release.
Don't Starve puts players in charge of their own fate as they attempt to survive for as long as they can in a harsh and extremely scary game world. Players start off with nothing and must collect the necessary resources to craft tools—sound familiar?
These tools and resources will help you avoid insanity, hunger and various enemies. If you grow tired of the sandbox style of gameplay you can access a number of adventure levels with varying objectives.
A unique feature of Don't Starve (and one of my favourites) is that you earn experience for every sandbox game you start, which eventually leads to unlocking additional characters that have their own play-style.
Don't Starve is currently my favourite of these games and I don't see it being moved off this page any time soon. I've featured it lower on this page because I know a lot of readers are looking for free building alternatives (which isn't what Don't Starve offers).
Start Your Eerie Adventure - Grab Your Code for Don't Starve
Don't Starve Trailer
4 - Cubic Castles (Free)
A Free Building Focused Game With A Large Community
Cubic Castles is a free to play game that takes the building components of games like Minecraft and transplants them into a MMO framework. Focused around creation Cubic Castles allows players to create their own worlds with a large range of different blocks and items.
With your own little game area in Cubic Castles you can use this space to build anything from large houses, castles to platform challenges where other players can compete. This is supported by a range of traps and obstacles which allows you to create a brutal obstacle course for others to attempt.
Customisation extends beyond just your plot of land though with a tonne of clothing items and accessories to let you create your own persona along with a number of unique skills that you'll level up as you play more and more.
With solid building mechanics and a wealth of player creations Cubic Castles is one of my preferred free to play titles on this list.
Cubic Castles Gameplay
5 - Ace of Spades
Fun & Runs On Most Computers
Ace of Spades is probably the most fun I have had in a Minecraft-inspired experience in a long time. Ace of Spades is available on Steam and is best described as a mixture of Minecraft, Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty, which are all games that I have enjoyed from time to time.
Ace of Spades is essentially a first-person-shooter, but it provides players with the added ability to create their surroundings for either defensive or offensive purposes. Want to dig to your enemy for an underground sneak attack? Or maybe fortify your position with a bunker? You can do both and much more.
This game also offers a good mixture of game modes to keep things interesting and gives you variety from just deathmatch modes.
Ace of Spades features very simple graphics, but this should not be considered a disadvantage since it allows it to run on any computer (although some people may be turned off by it).
Ace of Spades is an extremely fun alternative and is a must play for Minecraft and Call of Duty fans alike. There are also plenty of game servers and a good sized community of gamers, so finding a game is never to difficult, which I always find is a problem with multiplayer focused games as the community slowly dies after release. Thus far though this hasn't been the case with Ace of Spades and will likely continue going forward.
Ace of Spades Introduction - Watch the Ace of Spades Launch Trailer
6 - Blockland
A Lego-Inspired Building Experience
Blockland is often considered the Lego version of Minecraft. The characters and the world (built entirely by the player) are very block-like as if they are made of Lego blocks, which makes for an enjoyable and friendly art style.
Blockland offers many fun adventures and mini-games to keep the player interested and is less focused on mining and gathering materials than Minecraft. There is a wide variety of mini-games available, or you can create your own by building your creations and scripting them to perform certain actions.
Blockland encourages players to build objects on a grand scale and incorporate the amazing Physics Engine in the design or destruction (much more fun) of your creation. The game is also impressive on a visual level and very addictive.
If you love the idea of playing with Legos or enjoy watching amazing physics in action (generally related to destruction) then you'll find Blockland to be extremely satisfying. I purchased the game because I thought my younger sibling would love it. He really liked the game and got a lot of gameplay from it for a small price.
7 - Terraria
One of the Best Games like Minecraft
Terraria offers similar gameplay to Minecraft but is played in a 2-D world with a few additional features that change the gameplay slightly. Terraria is heavily inspired by by other sandbox adventures, but also takes the genre into new and exciting directions. It has proven to be very popular with a wide audience.
The main difference between Minecraft and Terraria is that Terraria is focused more on adventure as opposed to the open game world and building. This means you'll spend your time adventuring through the variety of biomes that the game offers as you battle a vast number of monsters and even bosses which add great variety to the world.
Terraria also has NPCs that allow you to buy and sell the many items and resources available, which gives the game a somewhat RPG feel as you manage your inventory and upgrade your equipment to continue your adventure.
In terms of gameplay features, you'll find that Terraria has a large number of game mechanics to explore and learn about (this brief review barely scratches the surface of what is possible).
Terraria is great for anyone who enjoys adventuring deeper and deeper into the depths of an unknown world and is particularly enjoyable with friends. I personally got just as many hours from Terraria as I did with Minecraft so don't pass up the experience even though it isn't a free option.
Terraria Official Trailer - See the Game in Action
8 - Block Story
One of My Favourite Options, Especially For Mobile
Block Story is available across a number of platforms and combines the gameplay of Minecraft with MMORPG elements such as items, drops, pets, quests and a variety of equipment.
If you've always enjoyed the experience of casual MMORPGs like MapleStory but also like open-world survival games then consider this your perfect gaming experience.
The possibilities in the game world are endless, and it all comes for a very reasonable price. Much of your time will be spent following quests to level up your character, but you can easily ignore quests completely and head out to explore the wider game world if you choose to.
Other things to expect from Block Story include: levels, skill points, torches to light your way in caves, crafting, lots of equipment and a large selection of biomes (including the very unique sky, reefs and Hell).
I started playing Block Story on iOS since I was looking for something portable (I recommend an iPad as opposed to an iPhone) and really fell in love with the gameplay and quickly started playing on my computer instead, since I am more of a computer gamer.
The Block Story Trailer
9 - King Arthur's Gold
Like Minecraft, But Enjoyably Different.
King Arthur's Gold (KAG) is a game like Minecraft that lets players build castles, mine minerals and fight enemies.
It offers fast paced 2-D action with a focus on players building weapons of destruction to help them destroy their enemy or defend against them.
King Arthur's Gold features three playable classes: the Knight, who is a brute-force fighter equipped with a sword and a shield; the Archer who uses his long range and is capable of deadly ambushes; and the Builder who is capable of building defences and traps to defend your team's castle. So regardless of your play-style, there will be a class for you.
There is no doubt that King Arthur's Gold offers an amazingly fun and unique experience. The fact that so much of the content is available for free only sweetens what should already be at the top of your list.
After only playing the game for a week I decided to make the purchase and was not disappointed in the extra options and game modes which the premium status came with. It was well worth the price and is definitely something to consider if you enjoy KAG.
King Arthur's Gold Gameplay - A Wonderfully Fun Game
10 - Epic Inventor (Free)
Terraria-Inspired Side-scroller, RPG and RTS!
Epic Inventor is a Terraria-inspired experience, so if Terraria interests you (and the price is holding you back) Epic Inventor is a great free alternative.
Epic Inventor is described by its creators as a "ball of epic" and offers a mixture of side-scrolling, RPG and RTS elements. Quite frankly I have to agree with the creators on this one, Epic Inventor is incredible.
The early gameplay is pretty standard and has you gathering resources while you learn the basic mechanics and then quickly shifts its focus to building your own city. This city will eventually be complete with lumber mills and other neat buildings that reduce the need for resource gathering in time.
From there, the player (that's you) has to defend their wonderful city from enemies using a variety of traps, turrets and defensive options. Eventually you find yourself in more of a real-time strategy game similar to Age of Empires or Warcraft.
You also get access to regular updates and bug fixes, so its never short on content. If you do enjoy the experience, don't forget to donate a few dollars to support the developers. After all, it is free to play!
I found Epic Inventor to be one of those games I continue to return to every now and again to start a new game or load up an old save. You can get good enjoyment from an hour or two of gameplay or really push the game mechanics further with longer gaming sessions if you want.
Epic Inventory Gameplay
11 - Clonk Series (Free)
Weird Name, Awesome Game
Clonk is a game similar to Epic Inventor, it's a mixture of Terraria and management simulations. The series requires you to advance your civilisation as far as possible by mining ores, wood and other resources.
Similarly to Epic Inventor, you use these resources to create buildings that serve numerous purposes. Explore the massive generated worlds and experience varying types of terrain, changing weather conditions and unique physics.
The Clonk series is a very entertaining mix of action, strategy, tactics and skill. It has multiplayer capabilities (either via a single computer, LAN or the Internet) making it a great option to play with friends.
Clonk currently has several available versions all of which are available for free, while they originally were paid they have since gone freeware allowing anyone to experience this series.
When I first found out about this game I admit I wasn't sure what to expect but it proved to be addicting, unique and fun so it is worth checking out the free versions of Clonk that you can access.
Clonk Rage Trailer
12 - Cortex Command
Action-Packed and Something Different
Cortex Command is probably a stretch for most people who are looking for a game like Minecraft. I thought exactly the same until I played it for myself.
Cortex Command is simple (and addicting) by design, with the primary objective being to destroy the enemy's base on various generated worlds.
So what does that have to do with Minecraft? Well, it's the way you go about defending or attacking, mining gold, building a base and creating items and objects within the world (starting to sound familiar yet?).
Cortex Command also features physics, making for an exciting style of gameplay. If you are a fan of the Worms series but looking for a Minecraft touch then this is right up your alley.
One of the strangest games that I have featured on the page, it probably needs the most explanation of why I chose to include it. I admit most people might not find it appropriate, but I urge you to check it out before making a final decision.
I was originally told about this game by a friend a few years ago and didn't really make the connection to Minecraft at first, but slowly I started to see the similarities. I always felt the game didn't get enough notice for what is a very unique experience.
Cortex Command Gameplay
13 - Mythruna (Free)
Still Being Developed, but Already Amazing
Mythruna is still being developed but is still very much playable. You can only imagine how impressive it must be to already have earned an inclusion on this list when there is still a large amount of features to be added.
The real attraction of the game is its visual elements, which will definitely wow players and are a nice change (graphically) from the usual cube-inspired games that feature here.
Little is known about the direction that Mythruna will eventually take but its goal is to combine role-play elements with an endless randomly generated sandbox world (completely living and modifiable). So far the game is highly polished and simply breathtaking. If it continues on this path it will only grow in popularity.
Mythruna's attractive visuals are the first thing that will draw you into the game. The game's beauty is definitely ahead of most other options currently available on the market and the freedom of objects you can create only enhances this experience, as you aren't limited to block objects.
The game is constantly being developed, so new features and bug fixes are never far around the corner. Development, though, has mostly been a slow process, so don't expect the full-fledged game anytime soon.
14 - Total Miner
A Game For Xbox, Available from Xbox Live Indie
Total Miner (Total Miner: Forge) is published by Greenstone Games and was released in late 2011 for the Xbox Live (indie game section). It is probably one of the best experiences next to Minecraft (and the closest). You can purchase it through the Xbox Marketplace for only $3 and with the amount of game time you will get it is well worth the small investment.
Total Miner offers players many different game modes including Creative (unlimited resources and building blocks to be as creative as possible) and Dig Deep where players explore the many cave systems killing various monsters and hunting for hidden treasures (great for players who enjoy the adventure side of open-world adventures).
Just like other options in the genre, players can combine resources to create various tools and items. Total Miner also offers stores where players can purchase weapons and other items. The best feature is a 24-player multiplayer mode allowing you to get together with all your friends and explore your Total Miner worlds.
Total Miner offers little new content compared to Minecraft but it is a great Minecraft-like game for the Xbox that me and some friends have spent many nights exploring.
Total Miner: Forge - The Launch Trailer
15 - FortressCraft
Game for PC and Xbox (Available from Xbox Live Indie)
FortressCraft is a game like Minecraft for Xbox users that serves as a good alternative to Total Miner. The game's focus is definitely towards building and social elements, but there are some fun multiplayer game modes.
The focus of FortressCraft is definitely on building and exploring. It does away with tedious activities, in particular resource collection. There is also a very distinct focus on the multiple options within FortressCraft.
FortressCraft is a very cheap purchase ($3) and is available from the Xbox Live Indie Games section. There is also a trial edition available so you can try the game before committing to the purchase.
If you are an Xbox player and feel like you are missing out on Minecraft this game is for you. Making the purchase decision with some of your friends makes FortressCraft an even more attractive experience.
16 - Eden: World Builder
Game Like Minecraft For Your Apple Product
Eden: World Builder is Minecraft for your iOS Device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) and is a bargain in the App Store at only $0.99.
The features of Eden, however, are somewhat limited, focusing on building your own creations and supplies users with an unlimited amount of blocks (it is unknown whether Eden plans to implement a survival-type mode). Of course this limits the game's potential to only your imagination, so the creative-minded will love the experience (particularly on iPad).
Eden World Builder's greatest feature and the attraction to it in general lies in the ability to easily share your creations with other Eden players. If you enjoy the building aspect of Minecraft and are interested in building epic creations at any time (and share them with a decent sized community), then Eden is well worth the purchase.
The only issue with Eden is the control scheme, which does take some practice to get used to and can still be annoying at times. It is still the best creative sandbox building game available for any iOS device. Eden is currently ranked 4.5/5 stars on the iTunes App Store based on all game versions, so you know its been well received.
Eden: App Review
17 - Survivalcraft
Another Minecraft Clone for Your Phone
Survivalcraft is your answer to Minecraft for the Windows Phone and is reasonably priced at $4.99. Survivalcraft currently has a 4.5/5 star rating from its users on the Windows Phone App Store. The game is also available on iOS and Android and often rated more highly than the Minecraft Pocket Edition by players.
The game is just an amazing experience and in line with what Mincraft and other games have to offer in terms of creative freedom. The graphics are also well presented.
At the start of Survivalcraft you are abandoned by a ship on the shores of a deserted (and randomly-generated) world, but after that point players will recognise the "all alone" feeling of those first few nights in Minecraft. Survivalcraft provides all the features that you would expect including the standard punching trees, mining, crafting and building.
Like most phone re-creations of Minecraft it suffers the usual issue: a fiddly control scheme that makes playing sometimes more pain than pleasure. It's something you will get used to over time, and if you spend a lot of time gaming on your Windows Phone you probably won't even notice.
Survivalcraft Let's Play
18 - Manic Digger (Free)
One of the Best Free Alternatives
Manic Digger is a simple free (and open source) building game that is reminiscent of Minecraft in design. Manic Digger is a great free alternative to Minecraft (if not the best).
By looking at the small screenshot thumbnail on the right its easy to see that the game isn't a cheap knock-off with the high-quality cube graphics that you've come to enjoy from Minecraft.
Manic Digger has nearly all the features you would want in a building game. Through its you'll find plenty of fun mods and servers to play on that offer both survival and building-based gameplay.
The game hasn't seen updates since late 2012 but still offers a strong single-player experience, or a multiplayer one if you want to get your friends online together and play on one of the available servers.
My group of gamer friends used Manic Digger as a fun little alternative to building on Minecraft and served its purpose well for a few months. So if you have similar requirements you'll find it a good option.