Free online games to play with friends

free online games cover image
Free online games

Image adapted from: @jenleereeves, Pretend You’re Xyzzy

With the coronavirus situation in full swing, Singaporeans are encouraged to play their part by socially distancing themselves and avoiding going outdoors. Physical meetups with friends where everyone gathers and screams over party games will be missed for now, but there are still many online alternatives out there.

These free online games are so accessible that for some, you can just play from your phone or laptop browser without any downloads. There are even clones of popular games like Cards Against Humanity and Codenames. 

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1. Cards Against Humanity

cards against humanity
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You’ve probably played the popular card game at least once in your life, but did you know that there’s an online clone of Cards Against Humanity as well? There’s no login or download needed, it’s as simple as opening a tab on your browser and creating an online room for you and your friends.

cards against humanity - Free online games
Image credit:
Pretend You’re Xyzzy

On the website Pretend You’re Xyzzy, game rooms can facilitate up to 20 players and its database includes cards from the base game, as well as the myriad of expansion packs. 

The chaotic party game is all about funny, weird, morbid and sometimes inappropriate humour as you amuse one another with outrageous answers – perfect for keeping spirits up during this period.

How to play:

Open the website, create a game room and send the invite link to your friends. You can customise the score limit, player limit and decks to play.

  1. If you’re the “Card Czar”, choose a winning card from the white cards that you find funniest, corresponding to the black card given. That winning card is awarded to its owner.
  2. If not, choose a white card in your hand that you think best fits the prompt in the black card, one that the “Card Czar” would pick.
  3. The participant that has the most number of cards wins the game.

No. of players: 2-20 players

2. Codenames Online

Image credit:
Wikimedia Commons

Codenames is a word-based party game that’ll test how well you and your buddies can communicate with each other. Awarded as one of the best board games in 2016, there’s an online variant that’s free and just as fun.

codenames online - Free online games
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Codenames Online

Players are split into two teams – red and blue – with one spymaster on each side. The spymaster gives one-word clues and the team guesses the corresponding words until all of their colour has been cleared. Nothing will beat that “Eureka!” moment when your friend correctly guesses “School”, “Temple”, “Hotel” and “Crane” from a single word – “Building”.

How to play:

Open the website, create a game room and send the invite link to your friends.

  1. Split players into 2 teams and assign a spymaster on each. Only the spymaster is able to see the coloured board.
  2. The spymaster will give one-word clues followed by a number for the team to guess their coloured words. For example, “Music, 2” will prompt the team to guess “Flute” and “Pitch” from the above example.
  3. If the team guesses a neutral black word or the opposing team’s word, their turn is lost.
  4. If the shaded black tile is chosen, the team automatically loses.
  5. First team to clear their words wins.

No. of players: Minimum 4 players

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Bringing you back to the old-school days of Pictionary and Draw Something, is an online alternative for these drawing-guessing games. Regardless of whether you’re a Picasso or failed art class, anyone can have a go.

How to play: 

Open the website, create a private room and send the invite link to your friends. You can customise the number of rounds, time for drawing and add custom words.

  1. If you’re the artist, attempt to draw the prompt given.
  2. If not, guess what the artist is trying to draw.

No. of players: 2-8 players

4. House Party

house party
Image adapted from:
App Store

Combine Skype/Zoom/Facetime and party games into a single app and voila – you have House Party. See all of your friends’ faces when you enter the “house” as the app notifies them whenever you log on. 

There are in-app games such as Heads Up, basically virtual charades, for some energetic acting fun. There’s also the unique Chips and Guac; a word-association game where you match what you think is #cancelled, sneaky AF or sparks joy. If you can’t physically be with your loved ones, at least face to face interaction always gaps the distance.

How to play:

Download the application from the App Store or Google Play. Invite your friends and create a room together.

No. of players: 2-8 players

5. Spyfall

spyfall - Free online games
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Put on your best lying face and fake it till you make it in Spyfall, a game where the spy tries to remain “hidden” while the other players deduce who it is. Everyone will get a role and know a certain location, except for the spy who has to lie their way out of a barrage of questions.

spyfall - Free online games
Image adapted from:

It’s also a perfect companion game for Skype or Google Hangout calls so you can catch who’s being all shifty-eyed. 

How to play:

Open the website, create a private room and send the invite link to your friends. You can customise the number of players or number of locations.

  1. Each player gets to ask any other player any question, for example “Is this place underwater?”
  2. The player must answer the question. Answers should be discreet enough that the spy cannot guess the location, but also clear enough to prove their innocence.
  3. If you are notified to be the spy, pretend like you know what the location is. 
  4. After one round of asking, everyone guesses who the spy is.
  5. If the spy is exposed, they can still win by correcting guessing the location.

No. of players: 3-12 players

6. Telegram Werewolf

telegram werewolf - Free online games
Image adapted from: Billy Tran

Telegram Werewolf is one of the most well-known games on the messaging app, and for good reason. Based on the iconic party game, the werewolves hide among villagers and eat one every night, while the villagers use their character’s own special abilities to expose the werewolves. It might actually even be easier playing through Telegram than IRL as the bot handles everything for you.

With over 40 unique characters and roles such as The Harlot and The Wolfman, prepare for all the chaos that can ensue as fingers are pointed and names are lynched.

How to play:

Invite @werewolfbot to your Telegram group.

  1. Type “/startgame” and get everyone to join.
  2. The Werewolf Bot will DM you to tell you your role as well as DM you lynching options when it comes.
  3. For the villagers, deduce who the werewolves are and lynch them. For the werewolves, the aim is to “kill” all the villagers.

No. of players: Minimum 5-6 players

7. Quizarium on Telegram

quizarium - Free online games
Image adapted from: Billy Tran

Spice up your Telegram groups with Quizarium, a free-for-all trivia game that will make use of your general knowledge. There are questions on geography, history and music all with unlimited attempts at answering. And don’t worry if you think they’ll be too hard, the bot automatically gives hints.

Faster fingers get more points, so it’s a game of speed and wits. As a heads up to your friends, it’s best to also warn everyone of the impending spam that’s about to dominate the chat during this game.

How to play:

Invite @QuizariumBot to your Telegram group.

  1. Type “/start” and pick your desired category and game length.
  2. Type the correct answers as fast as you can!

No. of players: Minimum 2 players

8. Psych!

Image adapted from:
Google Play

It’s rare to find an app game that is both free and has online capabilities like Psych!. The aim of the game is to outwit your friends by giving fake answers to real trivia questions. Depending on which game deck you pick, the prompts could range from making up a fake definition for an uncommon word or faking a plot of an obscure movie title.

Among the free party packs, “And The Truth Comes Out” involves your friends by personalising the prompts. For example, questions will be like “If Jessica were to be arrested tomorrow, it would most likely be because…” and the best answer wins. It’s a true test of friendship to see how well you know each other – and how strong your friendships really are.

How to play:

Download the application from the App Store or Google Play. Invite your friends and create a room together.

No. of players: Minimum 2 players

9. Game Pigeon

game pigeon
Image adapted from: Billy Tran

Game Pigeon is like a library collection of party games that’s available on iMessage. You have classic phone games like 8 Ball and Basketball along with more traditional games like Chess and Mancala, all entertaining in their own way.

While most of the games here are 2-player games, you can still send them in an iMessage group chat and the first one to accept your invite will be your challenger. For more virtual interaction, Crazy 8, which is similar to Uno, is a game that can have multiple people playing at once.

How to play:

Download the application from the App Store. Get your friends to download it too and send each other game invites via an iMessage group chat.

No. of players: Varies on game

Bonus: Jackbox Party Games

drawful 2 - Free online games
Image credit:
Jackbox Games

Although Jackbox Party Games are a popular collection of paid online party games, the developers are kindly giving away Drawful 2 for free in light of this Covid-19 scenario. 

drawful 2
Image credit:
Jackbox Games

The game revolves around terrible drawings as ridiculous and challenging prompts will be given to the chosen artists each round. Everyone else will try to make sense out of the child-like doodle and then vote on what they think is the correct answer. 

The game is usually played on a couch, but that’s a bit of a problem with this Covid-19 climate. So instead, there’s a guide to show you how to play the game remotely, either via Google Hangouts or Steam.

Note, it’s only available as a free download for 3 weeks from March 20th 2020, but once you have it, it’s yours forever!

How to play:

Get the game via various channels here and follow this guide for instructions on how to play remotely.

No. of players: Minimum 2 players

Social distancing with free online games

Hopefully, these free online games will be enough to keep you and your friends entertained and make up for the lack of physical social contact. In the meantime, remember to stay safe and be socially responsible!

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