Best underground mining games?

I’d prefer 1st or 3rd person view. Other criteria are:

  • a sense of mystery / going into the unknown
  • finding treasures / secrets
  • exploit resources and put them to good use / progress via mining
  • satisfying mining in terms of audio-visual implementation

Games I already know:

  • Minecraft
  • Fortresscraft Evolved
  • My Time in Portia
  • Empyrion

Games I’m not sure if they are worth playing for the mining part:

  • Astroneer
  • Miasma Caves
  • Deep Rock Galatic (??)
  • Eco
  • Garden Paws(??)

2D games that I have already played:
Terraria, Steamworld Dig, Starbound, Dig or Die, Niffelheim

Which games did I miss? What would you say is the best mining game / best mining in a game and why?

I’m not sure if Portal Knights is quite what you’re after, but it ticks off your first two criteria. The mining is mostly about resource gathering, used to craft things, build a base and supplies (weapons, armor, potions, etc) to help you while you explore multiple “shards” connected by portals.

I personally enjoyed Portal Knights for being a game that let me build elaborate homes and such. (there are so many decorations to be found/gathered/purchased from NPCs.) It does have a main quest, and minor NPC side quests, but it’s really more about the gathering and exploring than anything else. But if the mining aspect of it must be front and center, it may not be what you want.

Space Miner for iOS?

Space Miner is great

Not a mining game in the same sense, but No Way Home on Apple Arcade has a STRONG Space Miner Vibe.

You’ve played the second one?

Astroneer and DRG both have mining but I don’t really think they are what you after in terms of progression.

I seem to recall quite enjoying Mine Quest 1/2 on iOS

There just aren’t enough mining games in the world.

Mr. Driller?

You mentioned Steamworld dig, but have you played Steamworld dig 2? It’s much better in every way and is one of my favorites in the last few years.

The most mining I ever did by far was in Ultima Online. Go find a server running the old 97-98 era skill gain rates and try to get to Grandmaster mining and smithing. If you do it on a proper pre-Trammel era server the sense of adventure will come from trying to avoid the player killers while mining. I recommend getting Grandmaster hiding while you’re at it ;)

What about Satisfactory? I like that one a lot.

Satisfactory and Factorio are excellent games, but I’m not sure they are in the spirit of what gingerturtle is going for. You aren’t going for secrets or treasure or mystery, you are going for ruthlessly optimizing your resource chains.

However, I also feel Fortresscraft Evolved doesn’t fit either, for the exact same reasons and it was actually mentioned in the list. If that meets the criteria, then I revoke my statement above about not applying and you should get one or both of these games ASAP.

What about Gold Rush!

Haha, I have been binge-watching the show from season 1, so bought the game for shits and giggles when it was on sale.

Jumpgate has amazing mining.

I bought this game when I first got my Switch because everyone seemed to like it. Played the intro and it just seemed like another plat-former, so I wrote it off. After seeing it mentioned in this thread I went back to see if I was missing something and actually made it to the first town and into the mine. It’s quite fun, I’m really enjoying it. I had no idea there was more to it than the intro section, I was expecting more of the same. So thanks everyone who mentioned it.

Elite dangerous has mining - its a beautiful game, but it is very time consuming to do anything. The mining is in astroid fields and can be with lasers or explosives.

Have you played Subnautica? Mining isn’t the main verb of the game but it’s a key one alongside crafting, construction and exploration. It’s incredible and unique.

Thank you all for the recommendations so far. I should clarify. Although I love mining some asteroids mining in space is not what I’m looking for here. It is missing the part where you have to clear a path, dig deeper etc. The topic should be underground mining. I should have mentioned this.

It’s a good one and it meets the criteria. I consider discovering new metal deep down to meet the second criterion.

Great! I had forgotten about it. It could be the one to play instead of FortressCraft Evolved.

It’s indeed a bit tempting. But then there’s just, well, gold to find. And it’s a bit too much on the ‘simulator’ side of things. Wishlisted nevertheless.

Interesting! It also led me to Dragon Quest Builders 2. Does anyboby have thoughts on the mining in that one?

And how is No Man’s Sky’s mining?

Yep, I love it. (And strangely enough it fits. You need tools and strategies to go deeper step by step. You evolve by exploiting the resources.)

Yeah, I was afraid it wasn’t mining enough but it (just!) fits your criteria! Glad you’ve played it though; it’s awesome.

I somehow missed the word “underground” in the title but I’m glad Satisfactory is.

It’s not the focus of the game, but I had some memorable times digging through underground caves in NMS. Might be worth trying out if you already have the game, but I wouldn’t buy the game for spelunking.

If underwater caves/exploration is an option you’d like, there’s also Subnautica.