Kellye Fox | 

10 Best Free Online Games to Play With Friends, Anywhere

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A group game night is always a good time, but syncing up a night to get all of your friends in the same room can be an obstacle. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of free online games to play with friends, and you can be miles apart. These games can be played with your family across the country in New York or with your next-door neighbor (but from your own homes).

To be clear, in this article we’re highlighting online computer games, not mobile games. Meaning, you play on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to game with friends. We even include some gaming console options. In some cases, there are app-based games that offer complementary desktop usage. We’ll mention an app option if it’s available.

If you think online games are only for kids, think again! Data from a 2022 survey from Statista found that adults (ages 18 – 34) are the highest (36%) group of video gamers.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 free online games to play with friends and family, including options for kids and adults.

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The ABCs of Finding the Best Free Online Games to Play With Friends

A teenager playing a video game on a laptop.

Parents have a tendency to rely on games to entertain their kids. Sure, they’re great, but if the device doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi, be ready for a pretty miserable car ride. Keeping sanity in mind, I looked for free online games to play with friends that can be played at home with Wi-Fi and those that are travel-friendly, meaning no Wi-Fi needed. Before we get to the list, here are some ground rules on online games.

Where to Look for Games

There are lots of gaming options, so ask around or do a quick web search. Generally, a PC with 8 – 16GB of RAM is recommended to run games, while Mac users also need at least 8GB.

Here are a few options to find free online games to play with friends:

  • Steam is an online platform with a library of games to download to your PC, Mac, TV, or mobile device. You need an Internet connection to play. After you install Steam, browse the free-to-play games section and download. Choose from action, adventure, casual, role playing, simulation, sports and racing, and strategy. Each game has a description, release date, languages available, a rating (i.e., Blood Violence), key features, system requirements, and a review scale (i.e., very positive or mixed). There’s also multiplayer options.
  • is a free browser gaming platform with over 7,000 games in multiple genres. There are no pop-up ads, and you can download games on a laptop, desktop PC, Chromebook, or smartphone.
  • is a great resource for parents to read reviews on apps for ages 2 – 18. There are over 30 gaming genres to choose from, and you can sort by device type, skill, subject, and topic.
  • Video game developer Jackbox sells collections of casual party games like trivia, drawing, hidden identity, and word games. Great to play with friends! The host (the person who buys a package of games) has friends enter a code when they want to play a game together. Users can play games on or download on a phone, gaming console, TV, or computer. There’s a free demo because most Jackbox party packs and bundles range from $10 – $100.

Gaming Systems and Wi-Fi Speeds

Gaming console systems like Nintendo, XBox, and PlayStation typically have a built-in Wi-Fi chip and antenna, so you don’t have to worry about buying an external Ethernet cable.

However, gaming on a tablet or PC requires a pretty strong Internet speed. If you’ve ever experienced multiple people watching videos on their device at the same time, it lags.

Look for an Internet provider that has high speed and low latency (aka lag or ping rate). A fiber Internet connection is the fastest for online gaming, with satellite being the slowest. Opt for 10 – 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for multiple connections and video streaming. Look for over 50 Mbps plans if you have satellite cable.

Now, onto the games …


1. Drawphone

A screenshot of the Drawphone game on
  • Age Range: All ages
  • Number of Players Needed: 4+
  • Browser Needed: Tablet or smartphone
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

This game is basically “Telephone,” but in drawing form. The basic premise is that players take turns guessing what another player is drawing.

To play Drawphone, you need a minimum of four players, but there’s no limit to how many you can have. Once you have the players, they’ll head to the URL on their tablet or smartphone to join the party. No downloading is required.

When playing, create a room and give the room code to your friends. Every friend is given a prompt to draw; then you press the pass button. Once the drawings are passed, you guess what the drawing is and repeat. You get to choose what kinds of prompts you’ll be drawing, and you can set time limits on draws.


2. Vote’s Out

Vote's Out online game with the words "the free phone party game with friends" on the screen.
  • Age Range: All ages
  • Number of Players Needed: 3 – 12
  • Browser Needed: Desktop computer or smartphone
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

Vote’s Out is a web browser game you can play on any device. Similar to Jackbox, you get a room and a room code. For 3 – 12 players, every game lasts between 10 – 20 minutes and has 12 questions. Every round, you have a minute to input an answer to the question. Questions range anywhere from, “I hope my last words are …” to “My next pet is going to be …”. This game can be played with any age range and is a whole host of fun for any family or friend group.


3. Scrabble Go

Scrabble Go online game with the words Scrabble Go and a lady looking down while smiling.
  • Age Range: 9+
  • Number of Players Needed: 3 – 12
  • Browser Needed: PC, iOS, Android
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

If you’re a word nerd, this is the game for you. Scrabble Go is a free online game that replicates the well-loved classic, but literally on the go. Compete against as many as four people at once. If you’re a little rusty, there’s a Practice Mode to play against the app before a real social game against friends. In the event you don’t know how to play Scrabble, there’s a tutorial for that, too.

The good news is that you can track your progress and average scores in your profile. However, the bad news is that those annoying pop-up ads do appear. The ad-free version is $4.99 per month. You’ll need to download the app to start, but you don’t need an account.

Related: Are the kids bored? We’ve got just what you need — a list of indoor activities.


4. Best Fiends Stars

A screenshot from a Best Fiends game advertisement
  • Age Range: 4+
  • Number of Players Needed: 1+, up to 50 per team
  • Browser Needed: PC or Mac, iOS, Android
  • Need Wi-Fi? No

The concept of Best Fiends Stars is pretty simple: solve challenging match-three puzzles while on an adventure. Oh yeah, you’ll collect characters and treasures along the way and rack up points. Your goal is to help fiends (aka critters) collect treasure chests that fell from a fallen star.

Every level has a new goal. With 1,700 puzzles, there’s always a challenge. This is great for groups and can be quite addicting. While you can play alone, the multiplayer mode allows you to build teams and solve puzzles together, along with winning in-game prizes. You can also connect the game to Facebook to build your friends list. The standard version is free, but there are lots of in-app bundles and packs available for a fee.



5. Wizard 101

A screenshot of the online game Wizard 101 that has a windmill and creek nearby.
  • Age Range: All ages
  • Number of Players Needed: 1+, up to 4 per team
  • Browser Needed: Windows 10 or Mac OS
  • Need Wi-Fi? No

Wizard 101 is one of many downloadable free online games. It’s not supported by gaming consoles, smartphones, or laptops, so play is limited to a desktop computer. In this multiplayer role-playing game, you’ll create a student wizard and select a school of magic, all in an effort to save the Spiral universe from threats. Friends can join you after you sign up for a free account.

The wizards are fully customizable (i.e., name, gender), and every player has a deck of magic cards. In the event of a fight, you use these cards to cast spells. There’s a wide variety of side quests with the goal of defeating dark magic.


6. Apex Legends

Apex Legends a free online game with character in armor with weapons on their back.
  • Age Range: 13+
  • Number of Players Needed: Up to 3 players per squad; up to 20 per team
  • Browser Needed: PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, EA App, and Steam for PC
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

Apex Legends is a battle royale-type game offered by Electronic Arts. A battle royale is an online multiplayer video game genre that blends last-man-standing gameplay with the survival, exploration, and scavenging elements of a survival competition. Meaning there isn’t a solo play option. To add friends, enable cross-play, search for your friend, and add their EA Public ID.

Moreover, in this game, which is also a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), you choose between many legends (the characters that you play) and pick an arena to play in. You play with a squad of people, and every legend has special abilities aiding in the squad’s win. The goal is to outlive the other squads.


7. Rocket League

A screenshot of the banner on the Rocket League website's main page.
  • Age Range: All ages
  • Number of Players Needed: Up to 8
  • Browser Needed: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, GeForce Now, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

Want to play an off-the-walls game where you’re playing soccer … in a rocket-powered car? Found on Steam, Rocket League is a sports-based game where the objective is to work as a team to get the soccer ball down the field and into the opponent’s goal.

This wacky game will keep you and your friends in stitches the whole time you’re playing it. It comes with full customization of your car, then you can hit the track and play soccer with your vehicle. To add your friends, ask for their ID and send them a friend request.


8. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

A banner for Counterstrike Global Offensive from the CSGO website.
  • Age Range: 18+
  • Number of Players Needed: 2+
  • Browser Needed: Windows 7/Vista/XP, MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or later
  • Need Wi-Fi? No

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a traditional first-person shooter game, which is where you’re in the viewpoint of a character who has a gun and is shooting. It’s one of the most played games on Steam. Even better, it’s recently been made available for free — so you won’t have to shell out any money to participate in an amazing, active, competitive community.

Objectives (i.e., disarming a bomb) vary based on the map your team is playing on. Players can’t reach the “competitive” level until they master the “normal” rank.

This game has five roles to be played: entry fragger, support, in-game leader, lurker, and AWPer. To form a team, go into your gaming profile, select the team type (2s or 5s), and add a Team Name and Team Tag (name abbreviation). Next, invite your buddies to the team or share the link with them to join.


10. Fall Guys

A screenshot from the Fall Guys website banner with a download now button.
  • Age Range: All ages
  • Number of Players Needed: 1+, up to 4 for a party
  • Browser Needed: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
  • Need Wi-Fi? Yes

Fall Guys is a quirky game on our free online games list developed by Mediatonic. It’s designed for up to 60 players, so it’s ideal for bigger parties because of its large player limit. You can find this game on Epic Games, which is a service much like Steam.

Run around as little jelly bean creatures and compete against each other in a series of games. The goal is to be the remaining bean. Add friends by searching for them in the Search bar and sending a request to play.



What is Discord?

If you have kids, you’re probably familiar with Discord. And if you aren’t familiar with it, you probably should be. Moreover, it’s a great place to play online games with friends.

Essentially, Discord is an instant messaging social platform. Parents like it because it feels secure, allowing kids to communicate with their friends over voice calls, video calls, and text messaging, plus play games in communities called “servers.”

However, it’s important to note that Discord is used by millions of people, not just kids. And there is some inappropriate content to be found. Their guidelines instruct any servers with adult content to put an age restriction label on it. That being said, you’ll want to keep a close eye on who your child is communicating with on Discord and what they’re seeing.

Generally speaking, my kids use Discord to play Roblox with their friends. But every so often I make sure that they aren’t inviting strangers to their server.

TIP: Children under the age of 13 can use Discord, but only with parental permission. And the guardian has full access and management of the account.

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