“A real Gem” – Destructoid at E3 “Offers a different experience for zombie game veterans” – Co-Optimus “Has a lot more going for it than smashing brains and gory, red goo ... With a surprisingly deep crafting system” – GamesRadar You're shipwrecked on an isolated island, a desperate castaway in a total freakshow world.
User reviews: Very Positive (4,343 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 23, 2013

Sign in to add this game to your wishlist or mark as not interested

Buy How to Survive

HALLOWEEN SALE! Offer ends November 3


Packages that include this game

Buy How to Survive - Dead Summer Days Bundle - AUG'14

Includes 6 items: How to Survive, Heat Wave DLC - Abby's pack, Heat Wave DLC - Kenji's pack, Heat Wave DLC - Jack's pack, Kovac’s Way DLC, Hello my name is... Nina. DLC

SPECIAL PROMOTION! Offer ends November 3

Buy How to Survive - Storm Warning Edition

Includes 7 items: How to Survive, Heat Wave DLC - x 3 pack, Kovac’s Way DLC, Hello my name is... Nina. DLC, One Shot Escape DLC, Barricade! DLC, El Diablo Islands - Host

SPECIAL PROMOTION! Offer ends November 3


Recommended By Curators

"Looking for a different sort of ZOMBIE-HORROR-SURVIVAL game,look no further than this absolute gem of a game"
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (15)

October 21

How to Survive New DLC NOW LIVE!!!!!!

Survivors! A number of you asked for a free roaming mode while others wanted an endless survival mode. Well, check out the 2 DLCs being released on Steam today!

On One Shot Escape (http://bit.ly/1wk7HQ2) you’ll have just one chance to fix a vehicle and flee the islands, but watch out… resources are scarce and highly randomized…

On Barricade! (http://bit.ly/1rnH88t) you’ll have to spend your days gathering resources and fortify your position with barricades, obstacles and turrets to protect your friends at night from the incoming hordes of creatures…

We have also bundled all available DLCs on the “Storm Warning Edition” you can check it here (http://store.steampowered.com/sub/45469/).


7 comments Read more

September 4

El Diablo Islands DLC is now live!

Great News Survivors!

El Diablo Islands – brand new DLC for H2S Steam version - is now available!


Don’t wait any longer to download it and venture to a new set of volcanic Islands: discover new fauna and characters and learn to craft fantastic tools and weapons taking advantage of the different weather effects to face the most surprising enemies.

New exclusive contents of the DLC are:
  • Extension of the original story
  • New main and side quests
  • New characters: Scientist & Scientist's Assistant.
  • Fog and Storm weather effects
  • Environment: Volcano (3 islands)
  • Weapon: Electro Gun, Blower Gun
  • New zombies
  • Game element: Toxic clouds, Lava flow, Electric pylons, Weather remote controller, Electric backpack, fireproof boots.
  • Living Animal: Iguana.
  • Zombie Animal: Iguana

Players will have the choice to continue playing the original story or to restart it in its extended version.

You can also invite a friend to play online the new quests with you even if he doesn't have the DLC yet!

27 comments Read more


“How To Survive is more than just a solid zombie role-playing game, it's also one of the best games of the year. With its mix of Diablo-esque hack and slash and dual-stick shooter action, 505 Games' newest Xbox Live Arcade game is a real surprise. It has a deep crafting system and a world you can't help but want to explore. How To Survive rewrites the book on zombie RPGs!”
90% – Gaming Nexus

“While there have been several games that have recently released that fall into the growing zombie survival genre, How to Survive manages to do enough differently to earn its place among the crowd. The game’s strong emphasis on crafting and juggling basic human needs helps distinguish itself from other titles. Additionally, the story campaign features a tale that manages to contain a few plot twists despite its simplicity. One area where How to Survive shines is the game’s strange brand of humor which is helped along by the title’s decent voice acting. In all, How to Survive is recommended to any fans of either the undead or survival simulators. Those who enjoy intricate crafting or top-down gaming should also give it a look.”
4 Stars – Examiner

“In terms of graphic and sound design, How to Survive looks good and sounds even better. The lighting gives real-time shadows based on not only the source but the time of day as the shadows move with the passing sunlight. The island is beautifully rendered, and animations are fluid and zombie deaths are pleasingly gory, chunks of body parts will liter the ground and roll depending on the shape of the surface”
8/10 – Gamer Horizon

About This Game

  • A real Gem” – Destructoid at E3

  • Offers a different experience for zombie game veterans” – Co-Optimus

  • Has a lot more going for it than smashing brains and gory, red goo ... With a surprisingly deep crafting system” – GamesRadar

You're shipwrecked on an isolated island, a desperate castaway in a total freakshow world. How will you survive?

Collect the pages of a Survival Guide and figure it out, of course! Find food, water, and shelter before you perish. Uh oh, is it getting dark? Figure out how to get through the night! While you’re at it, gather up some of this awesome stuff and piece together over 100 handmade weapons and tools—from shotguns to Molotov cocktails. Now you can defend yourself and your friends like a boss!

• Choose one of the three playable characters, each with different characteristics and skill trees.

• Explore four islands filled with unique flora and fauna and a variety of abhorrent monstrosities.

Collect “Survival guide” video chapters to learn tips that will save your life!

Play with a friend offline through the story mode or go online and play with a friend through 8 demanding challenges..

• Try the “Iron Man” difficulty for a demanding hardcore game experience.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Ati 5700 series/NVIDIA GeForce GT240 or equivalent
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
Helpful customer reviews
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Pretty good game, but camera work ruins whole gameplay in a cooperative mode. It's just annoying. It really bothers me and many other players too (i have seen a few posts about it, players actually begged developers to fix this). However, single mode is interesting and provides fun for couple of hours and i think that if you like zombie survival type games (and playing alone also) you will like this game. Is it worth buying? For single playing only, yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
46 of 78 people (59%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
Addicting. Stayed up all night playing this with my husband. We lost track of time, so he got 3 hours of sleep for a 12 hour day of work.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
20.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
NOTE that for the record I use a Xbox 360 Controller for this game 100% of the time. There will also be a bullet point Pros/Cons review near the bottom of this.

How to Survive is in my opinion a well done game to say the least. The game has a simple yet elegant combat system that I found satisfying, it takes patience to truly master zombie slaying as you must take time to zero in your aim for those rewarding headshots. This is better then many other games as it adds a touch of needed skill to it. The game also contains a decent variety of zombies to slaughter including some undead animals that prove to be quite scary when encountered. Many zombie types also require you to change up your strategy as a nice bonus, while you normal zombies can be dispatched with melee weapons, zombies such as Fatties require a ranged approach as they will otherwise blow up in your face upon death. One issue I had here though was running zombies tend to get ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ when right on you and I found it hard to aim at them as they attacked while running circles around me. The island settings also do nicely, between varied terrain and well done lighting the game's presentation is both beautiful and terrifying. One of the game's strongest points is its well done crafting system, playing the game I constantly found myself wanting to find new items to combine to produce more deadly weapons and armor. This is further expanded by crafting and adding attachments such as scopes for homemade guns to decrease aim time or pulleys to give your bow more damage. Another nice mechanic the game has is a day and night cycle where at night an abundant number of more mutated and aggressive zombie type foe come out to play, what really sets this apart from other games is your ability to fight these off by simply staying in the light. With a campfire your safe and to travel you can simply grab a torch from the fire, however you will drop the torch to the ground if you need to use any other weapon, and while you can use a flashlight with a weapon it is a directional light, so if your not careful these creatures can come up from behind you and attack. The game also sports a decent Hunger/Thirst/Sleep system that adds just a little more spice to the difficulty, however if you acquire both skill perks to double these meters you'll find yourself rarely having to maintain them. The game contains a few different character to play as each with different stats and available skills to acquire. A couple of which have a unique ability to craft a specific item only as them. As said the game does contain a leveling system in which each level grants a skill point of your choosing, however out of the 12 or so skills I had playing Jack I only found 4 or 5 of them to actually be worth something. While the story isn’t the best it was still rather entertaining and when taken the time to scavenge and keep yourself properly equipped the main story ran about 15 hours for me across 2 days of constant play. Now though the game lacks any sort of structure building mechanic the game does allow you to drop items anywhere and will never disappear which really came in handy as I tended to have a hording problem in this game. I have a friend that I got to also get the game and together we found the multiplayer gameplay just as fun, you can either to a simple challenge which is essentially an island with a single goal such as finding a plane to escape. You can Co-Op the story, this part was especially cool as while my friend was just starting his story I was well into mine and I retained both my stats and all the items on me allowing me to easily aid him in his story. All in all I'd say this game is worth trying especially for any fan of zombie and/or survival game, to those of you I'd say you wont be disappointed.

So in a nutshell:
-Satisfying combat system
-Addictive crafting system
-Well done setting
-A decent story both in quality and length
-Enemy variety
-Day/Night cycle
-Hunger/Thirst/Sleep systems
-Level and skill progression
-Multiple playable character
-Rebindable Controls

-Zombie AI can be a little wonky but rare
-Camera style made some areas extremely difficult to navigate
-Some what low variety of melee weapons
-Controls for aiming seemed to be off at times (Xbox 360 Controller)

One final note is that I found that getting information on more advanced stuff was hard, especially seeing how typing "How to Survive..." in an internet search engine usually found unwanted results.

My finally score for this game as a long time zombie and survival game lover is a solid 8/10, while its of course not a AAA title it does very well with what it has and I find myself strangely addicted to continue playing and watching as my character started as a hopeless shipwreck survivor and evolved into the perfect survivalist.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
This game is awesome. a lot of things to do ,kill and craft. only thing i dont like is the lack of players online and that the online is only 1 other player besides yourself( im sure i got this game when ppl stopped playing). I wish more ppl still played or that they would make a newer version or updated. Besides that thumbs up
Was this review helpful? Yes No
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
this game is actually is fun to play....good story and variety for weapon to craft also its not to hard to search for weapon parts..well i enjoyed play this game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 15 people (60%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
I met this dude who got bit and he told me to get some @#$%in' drugs so I ripped some plants out of the ground and force fed him those. He was all right. Mission accomplished.

He said to look for his old boyfriend who I found hangin' out on a beach surrounded by @#$%in' zombies! Like, how old you gotta be to know that zombies=bad? Damn. And he was on crutches 'cause he sawed off his own @#$%in' leg. Man, that's hardcore.

This old dude and I become butt-buddies and he sends me on a series of fetch quests to get rope and engines and batteries, blah blah blah. On one of these missions, I meet the guy from Dead Space who's all like "woo I am an angel, come to my secret lair and I'll give you my gun" *wink wink*

No thanks, Dead Space guy. But I go with him anyway and learn a whole @#$%-ton more about crafting. I learned some pretty sweet @#$% from this guy. So I get sucked off by a bunch of zombie @#$%in' ostriches and start selling drugs to monkeys for mystic sigils.

I finally get a little creeped out by Dead Space guy and split to go find my crippled BFF. He's aight, just kickin' it on another island. Then there are these planes and a 9/11 conspiracy and little girls and a fishing sidequest. I @#$%in' love fishing sidequests.


4 islands of increasing size
cramped but great inventory / crafting
loads of zombies but it doesn't seem tedious
probably fun online
lots of opportunities to min/max
linear gameplay w/ sidequests

My only beef with this game is that you walk too @#$%in' slow.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
This game is a solid buy if on sale. If this game is on a steam sale and you are even remotely interested just buy it. Some criticism has been levelled against this game for the simple nature of the combat but IMO it's still entertaining (if you play the strength orientated character he performs a suplex finisher... come on!!). If you have someone to play co-op with it's even better. The ideas are good, even if a little borrowed from other games but I think the game is put together very well indeed. The system requirements are minimal also and on my system my GPU fan doesn't even step up a notch!

All in all this is an entertaining, amusing hack and slash romp with a little more depth than average and on sale I would 100% recommend... full price it's a little more difficult to recommend.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Awesome gameplay! Loved it! :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
Awesome overhead zombie shooter totaly recomend it to everyone. Great crafting system, isnt totaly serious like most games and has a lot offunny parts.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
I don't know why people rate this game that low, for me it's a good and fun experience playing this, the story is okay not that well made but the co op, skills and crafting system totally make this game a fun game to buy and play :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
well what can i say apart from i pay 30 odd pund for a game and is not has much fun its a steal at this price get it ..
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
I'm about 48% through the game after having bought it 6 hours ago. I love it. I'm hard to please when it comes to games. This one, I only have 1 gripe about, and it's not a big one. The gameplay is smooth and polished, the combat is a pleasure, and the crafting... Oh, God, The crafting. Just all around Excellent. I don't see a lot of people playing this game, and that's a shame.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
awsome but could do with some improvements like showen us an xbox instrutions instead of pc
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Nice survival game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Good game very Diablo like. Fun in single, haven't tried multiplayer yet but i'm sure its fun. The dlc's are cool to, and each character is different and i heard has a different story so you don't get bored playing it again on story mode i guess.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
How did I miss this gem!?

Snatch meets Sean of the Dead.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
The main and foremost tragedy of this game is that when you`ll bit it, you still will not know How to Survive :(
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Crashlanded on a zombie-filled island, your goal is to survive. With a couple pointers from Kovac, you'll learn how to kill zombies, craft armor and weapons and find food/water/shelter.

Can't say I particularily liked the story, but between the exploration, crafting, and combat mechanics it was a very acceptable waste of time. Game is a little buggy and could be a bit more polished, but did not have any major issues.

Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Really fun game. Got your walking zombies, who sometimes run at you. And at night the running zombies come out. All of the zeds have something unique about how to fight them. The night zombies are much easier in the beginning stages, but later they become hectic by just adding in a few more, but still fun. If you are craving good excitement, just venture out at night.

You craft food, weapons, and armor. Most weapons you can uncraft too! But if you craft two of the same armors, its mostly unsalvagable. Lame thing is that you can not take off armor, unless by putting on another armor so you can work on your favored armor.
Really cool thing is that if a zombie is wearing an armor, you can take that armor. But there is no point in having 30 of the same helmet, except that they stack.
Ammo is unbundant, unless you craft a shotgun, which depletes many ammo per shot.

Sure bullets come easy, but what makes the game hard is trying to survive when you are rushed by what didnt seem like a horde until it was too late. Healing plants are not as abundant as bullets. Which means... if you are swarmed you could eventually run out of health.

Best thing! Is if you die... it leaves your gravestone where you died in singleplayer... where all other players in the world can see how bad you suck! There is no way to show others how well you did. If you don't have a gravestone, then you are either really good, or havent reached that area yet. But I still like the gravestones!

So ya! This game is a "hell ya" from me!

Light Spoiler?
I carry a pistol machine gun, a bow, and a boomarang all at the same time. I use the bow to attack rare mobs, or when I am swarmed by certain mobs. I use the boomarang when I dont need to spend ammo, and when I want my attacks to destroy normal groups of mobs. But when it gets hectic, I pull out the machine gun to take out an overwhelming force. None of this is necessary, but it sure is fun! Lets see... the boomarang is not good against zombies wearing chest armor, but you can aim for the head, it just takes longer than with a pistol. The pistol machine gun is great cause you can aim for the heads fast, but also if you miss, you can push back the armored zombies for a second shot by shooting them in the chest. And the bow, is always my favorite in video games cause of the silence, but this is all mixed up. Sometimes I use the bow when armored zombies are chasing me, cause it is fast to aim. But if you are overwhelmed, you need to use the machine gun. Also, the bow was much more satisfying way to kill before you upgrade it to push through enemies, but still, having the arrows penetrate is better than before. So its a difficult one to think about.

Someone said "you can kill the toughest zombie on the island with a pistol". Sure... pistols do damage, and if you are great at dodging you can try to kill the boss anyway you want. But I am guessing the comment was directed at bloat style zombies, where if they get close to you will explode on you causing severe damage. So... yes, using projectiles is a good strategy to killing bloats before they get close enough to do damage, which is still not easy. Using projectiles is the only way to kill seagulls. Its just a silly thing to say.

Someone else said the night zombies are like kittens. Well... if you shine your flashlight at them, they freeze. You could turn off your flashlight, like I did. But in later stages even having 2 or 3 coming from different directions at the same times can be overwhelming. You have to shine your flashlight on them each, then try to focus at one of them. And when there are 6 coming in and running away, its the closest to panic I have gotten in a game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 13
Got this game on sale and I have to say it's a lot better than what I thought it would be. If you are deciding to buy based on the meta score, it's more like a 80 than a 60. I just started but so far, it's been great. Definitely worth getting.
Was this review helpful? Yes No