Survival games make the player feel vulnerable through atmosphere, low health, slow movement speed and/or limited supplies. Ammunition, health, and resources are scarce and must be collected and rationed or combined to create new items. You are challenged to find items, explore, solve puzzles, build and react to unexpected encounters from enemies. Chopping wood to build a home and fishing to obtain food are common elements of the genre.
'Horror' is the most common theme used with the survival genre, but it can have any setting.