As for the serpentine locomotion, the gaits affect the snake-like robot’s adaptability. In order to speed up the adaptation, a novel control method, called passive creeping based on energy balance, is proposed. This method considers the relationship among the robot, the environment and the control in the view of energy balance. The essence of this passive creeping method is that to realize the energy supply on-demand, adjust the gait of the snake-like robot according to the environment and the locomotion requirement, and finally obtain the gait which can adapt to the environment and also satisfy the locomotion requirement. With the obtained gait, the robot can stay in the desired optimal status, in which the robot has the optimal torque distribution and keeps the dynamic following of the body and also supplies the energy on demand. Because the gait is adjusted by the environment and the locomotion requirement, the gait is generated passively. In simulations and experiments, the amplitude of the joint and the adjustment process of the gait show that the adaptability of the proposed passive creeping. Compared with the other two methods, the robot can adapt to the environment faster with our method.