EVE Online is a huge sandbox game that allows you to explore the galaxy, kill pirates, take over ships, mine, join alliances, create huge fleets, and then lose it all in a single battle. This open-universe aspect has made it one of the most popular sandbox MMOs to date. However, like all games, people get tired of the same old thing and want to play something different. Here is a list of games like EVE Online that can scratch that sandbox itch in a new environment.
Perpetuum is a sandbox game that was built by using EVE Online as a template. Although it has a different story, and a few minor nuances, it really is quite similar.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars for similarity.
The amount of time put into skills and upgrades is very similar; players are required to wait in real time to learn new traits. This can be annoying for people who just want to get to the highest tier, but people who are willing to learn a whole bunch of skills and figure out how they go together, this is one of the best parts of the game.
The open world acts in a similar way as well. Picture EVE Online on the ground with robots and you've basically got Perpetuum. The world is also rather large and can take a long time to travel from one end to the other. Due to the danger of PvP combat, players should travel in groups when going long distances. Additionally, there are quite a lot of skills available and players should research their end goal before they start.
The focus is on robots rather than space, and this opens up a lot of new options that EVE Online doesn't have available. This means you don't have to worry about a pod or a clone, but you will have to pay to replace your robot each time it is destroyed.
The ability to terraform and take over land is also important to the game. You can physically claim areas and make them yours. This gives players a reason to defend territory and encourages them to fight for the most lucrative areas.
Because Perpetuum was designed using EVE Online as a template, it is currently the MMO closest to EVE Online. However, it has enough differences that it does actually feel like a different game. This difference is important for people who really just want to get away from EVE for awhile. That being said, Perpetuum currently has a very small player base, which means new players should try to get involved in a tight-knit community.
Star Citizen is an upcoming space MMO best known for how much its raised through fundraising and the massive scope of the project. It already has a huge following and could be the game to knock EVE Online off its pedestal in terms of space MMOs.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars for similarity.
The game is obviously set in space and is expected to have a fairly large universe. Although it won't be quite as large as EVE Online, it will still possess the beauty and serenity of space that has drawn in thousands of players to EVE. There will also be a lot of industrial skills that will be extremely important in Star Citizen. Finding raw materials to construct new ships and sell them on the market will play an important role in the game.
The combat system is going to be completely different and much more action oriented. While EVE Online does give you large-scale space battles, sometimes it can feel like you are working on a spreadsheet as opposed to actually playing a game. This has made PvP a bit more stat based than skill based and has made it feel a bit different from the newer games coming out. Star Citizen seeks to get rid of that divide and has been working on a more modern combat system that has a lot of people excited.
Overall, the two games are fairly similar, but Star Citizen will definitely appeal to space fans who want something fresh.
Wurm is a survival sandbox that is a bit outdated, but it offers one of the best immersive environments around. It has a steady fan base that keeps the servers going. However, it isn't exactly overcrowded, which gives new players a chance to get themselves to a higher level and really enjoy the world around them.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars for similarity.
Building ships is important in both games. Although the ships built in Wurm are water based rather than space, they do allow you to travel almost anywhere. The world is always expanding, just like in EVE, which means there is always something new to do. There are people who have played for years and have yet to discover everything about the game.
The sandbox design of this game is fantastic, offering the near limitless play that is similar to EVE Online. This sandbox nature makes it feels like there are many different games in one and that choices have to be made to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved for any and all characters. This is not a game where alts are really used, which makes it similar in time investment to EVE Online.
Wurm takes place on land instead of space. It's also set in more of medieval time period, bringing it more into the realm of fantasy than of sci-fi. However, this allows for a new set of challenges and gameplay elements.
The game engine for Wurm is actually based on Java, which unfortunately means that it is rather outdated and isn't going to run as smoothly. This is something that will be disappointing for people who are expecting the flawless speed of EVE Online. However, those who aren't too picky about having the best graphics, the game has a lot to offer.
Overall, Wurm has a lot to offer and is going to be one of the most immersive experiences for people looking to play games like EVE Online. It will, however, take a lot of your time, and many people find that once they start playing they don't want to go back to whatever game they were playing before.
The space concept is very popular, but the sandbox and learning aspects of EVE Online make it a very niche design. This means that there aren't a large number of games like EVE Online, but there are a handful that borrow key elements. It is easy to get lost in any of the games on this list, and they each offer opportunities to get lost in their respective worlds.
The games on this list prove that the open world exploration component of MMOs is alive and well. It will be interesting to see if any games in the future evolve the EVE Online formula or if it will remain the sandbox king for years to come.
Do you know of any other games like EVE Online? Let us know in the comments below!