Free Steam games to play at home


There’s nothing wrong with indulging in some games every now and then. Steam, a digital video game distribution platform, has a massive library to explore. Thankfully, not all great games require a portion of our paychecks, with some free Steam games offering endless enjoyable entertainment.

Spanning genres such as atmospheric horrors, exciting shooters, and cooperative multiplayer, there are plenty to suit your gaming taste. 

Table of Contents


– Shooters –


1. Team Fortress 2 – Massive community with many game modes


team fortress 2 - free steam games
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Steam

Team Fortress 2 has been around for more than a decade, but the sprawling online community and game servers are still thriving like it was released yesterday. The 9 cartoonish characters each have their own character traits and unique tactical playstyle, giving the game a rare personable touch many first-person shooters don’t have. 

Multiple weapons and equipment for each character are also available, giving you the option to customise to your heart’s content. What’s even more fun is the myriad of game modes ranging from capture the flag and king of the hill to defence against robot hordes. 

Get Team Fortress 2.


 

2. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Iconic, competitive FPS


counter strike global offensive
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Steam

Chances are you’ve at least heard of the iconic Counter-Strike series. Global Offensive, the latest entry, is a challenging but addictive FPS that will keep you coming back despite how many times you die in-game. 

The game is fun for casual and competitive players alike, and any kill you get will stroke your ego the same. The more you play and understand that even the tiniest of variations in the weapons’ recoils can have a monumental difference, you’ll realise how insanely accurate the game is. It’s understandable why CS:GO is still a regular in major Esports tournaments.

Get Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.


3. Destiny 2 – Sci-fi universe with vibrant landscapes


Destiny 2
Image credit: Steam

Destiny was hot stuff when it was released back in 2014, and Destiny 2 has since replaced it. It’s easy to see why this game had a good run in the past: it pairs a visually stunning and vibrant sci-fi universe with some satisfying FPS gameplay. 

Plus, you can play it in different ways to suit your pace, whether it’s enjoying the game’s story mode, slaying missions with your buddies in co-op, or having a showdown with other players in PvP.  

Get Destiny 2.


4. Paladins – Upgrade characters as you battle in teams


Paladins
Image credit: Steam

If you’re #teamOverwatch and #teamTeamFortress, you’ll likely fare well in Paladins. As you shoot and blast your way through 3 intense 5v5 modes, you can upgrade your “champions” to suit your playing style or to drive the outcome of the game. 

Pair all this with vibrant maps and an array of unique playable characters and you’ve got a game that’s both fun and competitive enough to get addicted to.

Get Paladins.


5. Warframe – Sci-fi third-person shooter with amazing graphics


warframe - free steam games
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Steam

In a sci-fi world with aliens, techno-robots, distant planets and space guns, Warframe is an exciting third-person shooter. The graphics and world design are so high quality that you’d think it was an expensive triple A game. You can either slice your way through enemies with a katana, torch them with a flamethrower, or stealthily sneak and leap past them – the choice is yours. 

With a little mix of RPG, you’ll go from area to area to complete quests and loot all the shiny stuff you can find. If you’re feeling lonely, invite some friends for co-op and roam the immersive world as space ninjas. 

Get Warframe.


6. Apex Legends – Battle royale gameplay


Image credit: Apex Legends

Move over Fortnite, there’s a new battle royale in town. Enter Apex Legends, a first-person-shooter battle royale where you’ll fight for victory in groups of 3; solo players will be automatically grouped up with 2 other players to compete against 19 other teams. You also get unique abilities depending on the “legend” you choose.

The weapons in the arena borrow from the Titanfall universe, so those who have played that other shooter would be familiar with them. And unlike other battle royales, you can also respawn in Apex Legends when you die, provided your teammates bring your respawn beacon to the respawn station.

Get Apex Legends.


7. Fistful of Frags – Cowboy & Wild West-themed shooter


fistful of frags
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Steam

Welcome to the Wild West in Fistful of Frags, a period-based multiplayer shooter that masterfully combines absurdity with tactical skill. There’s nothing quite like a classic deathmatch or free-for-all shoot out to get that adrenaline pumping. 

The weapons accurately reflect those of the time, meaning that slow-reloading revolvers and sawn-off shotguns will be your primary arsenal. There are also many alternative ways to engage in combat, be it knife-throwing, machete-hacking or dual-wielding. And if nothing else works, throw your pistol at the enemy and hope for the best.

Get Fistful of Frags.


– Simulation –


8. The Sims 4 – Live a virtual life the way you want


The Sims 4
Image credit: Steam

You heard it right – after having been around for 8 years, The Sims 4 is now free to play on Steam and all other platforms. The base game pretty much includes all of the basics that we love about the franchise: different life stages, a variety of careers and aspirations, and of course, a sophisticated build mode that includes swimming pools and landscaping.

Once you feel the game out, go on and purchase one of the many DLC packs (from $6.90) to jazz up your virtual homes. Else, there are always mods such as furniture, hairstyles, and outfits you can download for free online. 

While you’re at it, check out these Singapore-inspired Sims 4 buildings and download a Paranormal Stuff pack (U.P. $12.90) in time for Halloween. 

Get The Sims 4.


– Strategy –


9. Crusader Kings II – Medieval turn-based strategy


crusader kings 2
Image credit:
Steam

On the surface, Crusader Kings II may seem like your typical era-hopping, turn-based strategy game, but there’s a great world-building aspect to the game that makes it enthralling. Based in the medieval ages from the 11th century, expand your dynasty through warfare, tactical assassinations, strategic marriages, and ensuring your character has an heir. 

With open-ended goals, you’re free to influence the politics of medieval Europe by plotting, warring or whichever way you’d like – just make sure your dynasty survives. History buffs will especially geek out over the chance to battle the Mongols and negotiate with the Byzantine Empire.

Get Crusader Kings II.


10. Battle for Wesnoth – Fantasy turn-based strategy with endless replayability


battle for wesmoth
Image credit:
Steam

Delve into a fantasy realm with orcs and the undead in Battle for Wesnoth, a turn-based strategy with charming pixel graphics. You’ll be able to lead your character through perilous quests across the lands, grow your army to defend the kingdom against other factions and be wholly engrossed in the epic story-driven adventures. 

The strategic combat system will put your skills to the test. What’s better is that the game is open source, meaning that there is infinite replayability via hundreds of community-made maps, characters, campaigns and stories. Rope in your friends for some versus campaigns as well!

Get Battle for Wesnoth.


11. Fallout Shelter – Post-apocalyptic management game


fallout shelter - free steam games
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Steam

Why manage a company when you can manage an underground bunker to house survivors of nuclear fallout instead. In Fallout Shelter, you’ll excavate and build a flourishing underground vault colony, attract all sorts of dwellers and make sure their needs are met. 

You’ll have to plan an optimal layout, generate resources like food and water and regularly send your dwellers out for scavenging. 

As you play the game, you’ll realise that making sure your electricity generator is running while simultaneously feeding everyone is trickier than you think. One wrong move – such as a mutant creature intruding – can ruin everything, so stay sharp. 

Get Fallout Shelter.


– Horror –


12. Cry of Fear – First-person horror game with co-op


cry of fear
Image credit:
Steam

You’re stranded in a deserted town in the dark of night looking for answers. Wandering through the dimly lit streets with a sole flashlight your companion, terrors lurk around every corner as your sanity declines. An atmospheric thriller, Cry of Fear sets an immersively grim, depressing mood for players intensified by the protagonist’s haunting story. 

The nerve-wracking experience will leave you second-guessing every corner in the game like an M Night Shyamalan movie. If you want to watch your friends squeal in horror, the campaign supports up to 4 players in co-op. You might not want to revisit the town after you’re done, but the multiple endings to explore might sway you otherwise.

Get Cry of Fear.


13. We Went Back – First-person horror puzzler in an abandoned space station


we went back
Image credit:
Steam

We Went Back won’t take you more than an hour to finish, but it’s a beautifully crafted puzzle horror game that leaves you wanting more. Abandoned in a desolate space station, find a way to escape while keeping your bearings as the slightest metallic clank can creep you out. The environment is polished and detailed with clues lurking around waiting to be found.

Get We Went Back.


14. Ultimate Custom Night – Mashup of the Five Night at Freddy’s franchise


ultimate custom night - free steam games
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Steam

You might recall the Five Nights at Freddy’s series of survival horror games that went viral on the Internet. Ultimate Custom Night is a mashup of the series, containing characters that span the entire franchise. 

There’s just something inexplicably terrifying about being trapped in a security room of a kid’s pizzeria, defending yourself against wandering animatronics as you watch them crawl from room to room via the security cameras.

The only tools to defend yourself against inevitable jump scares are sliding doors, vents, the A/C and a few more, all of which lead directly to your office. A challenging game in its own right, keeping Freddy Fazbear at bay might take a few tries – and scares along the way.

Get Ultimate Custom Night.


15. Doki Doki Literature Club – Psychological horror


doki doki literature club
Image credit:
Steam

Doki Doki Literature Club comes in the style of a visual novel as you join your school’s literature club. Innocent-looking and cute, you’ll spend the day with Sayori, Yuri, Natsuki, and Monika as you learn more about them and write poems.

But if you’re wondering why this game falls under the “horror” category, let’s just say there’s more than meets the eye. The game is best enjoyed blind so without spoiling too much, just keep playing and there will come a point where things get strange, psychological and horrific. 

It’s more than worth your time and once things pick up, it’s absolutely mental. You’ll end up questioning yourself, the game, your computer and more. Oh, and as you’re playing the game, remember the phrase “Just Monika”.

Get Doki Doki Literature Club.


– Story-based –


16. missed messages. – Thought-provoking visual novel


missed messages
Image credit:
Steam

With visually pleasing pastel art along with chill, lo-fi music, missed messages. hits you right in the feels with a story that’s relatable to many. Described by the creator as a “romance horror story with life, death and memes”, it’s a surprisingly apt definition of the emotions the game puts you through. The best story-driven games are the ones that change your perspective on life afterwards.

Note: the game touches on sensitive issues such as suicide and self-harm.

Get missed messages.


17. Emily Is Away – Interactive & thoughtful story about friendship


emily is away - free steam games
Image credit:
Steam

Emily Is Away takes place in a simple interface, the desktop of an old computer. Aside from the nostalgia trip with Windows XP and Yahoo Messenger, you’ll mainly be having a conversation with your childhood friend Emily over the span of 5 years, starting from when you’re both moving away for college.

The decisions you make during the dialogue will affect your friendship together and the conclusion to the story is hauntingly real and relatable. After completing a playthrough, you’ll be left reminiscing about your teen years and perhaps even contemplating past and present relationships. 

Get Emily is Away.


18. Kyle is Famous – Humorous text-based game with 21 different endings


kyle is famous
Image credit:
Steam

Kyle is famous. Kyle has to prepare for an important interview at the end of the day. Kyle needs you to make decisions that affect his day. How Kyle manages to conduct the interview is up to you.

Don’t let the simplicity of the text-based game fool you, it’s a concoction of absurd humour and hilarity that will leave you laughing at your screen. Control Kyle’s decisions from the outfit he wears to the breakfast he eats, and each one of them sets you on a wildly different path. You could just conduct a perfectly normal interview, or end up becoming a ghost, time travel and swallow a fridge.

Get Kyle is Famous.


– Online multiplayer –


19. Dota 2 – One of the biggest MOBA games


dota 2 - free steam games
Image credit:
Steam

Dota 2 is one of the most played games on Steam, and for good reason. This multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) is played with two teams of five players on either side of the map, with each team aiming to capture the other’s base. Choose from a huge catalogue of heroes with their own unique abilities and work together to win.

Not going to lie, the learning curve is rather steep. But get the hang of it via offline mode against bots and slowly hone your skill and carve a unique set of strategies for yourself. It’s dangerously addictive and you’ll dream of becoming an Esports champion at least once.

Get Dota 2.


20. STAR WARS: The Old Republic – “Live” in a Star Wars universe


Star Wars: the Old Republic
Within the Star Wars timeline, the game takes place some 3,000 years before the 1977 film A New Hope.
Image credit: Steam

If you’re a major fan of a pop culture phenomenon, you might have probably fantasised about what it would be like to live in its universe. Well, you can do just that in STAR WARS: The Old Republic – virtually, of course. 

Choose one of 8 classes – from Siths to Jedis – to begin your story, be it solo or co-op. Then, carve your own way by making decisions and upgrading your character so that your experience can be totally unique. 

Get STAR WARS: The Old Republic.


21. The Lord of the Rings Online – Explore Middle-earth as a hobbit


The Lord Of The Rings Online
Image credit: Steam

So you’ve spent the last 1.5 months eagerly awaiting new episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and now you’ve got to wait another 2-3 years for the next season. Well, tame those urges with The Lord of the Rings Online

The MMORPG game allows you to explore all the nooks and crannies of Middle-earth as one of 7 races, including elf, dwarf, and hobbit. You can run around solo, or tackle story quests co-op. Either way, we hear you can earn points in-game to buy stuff for your characters and even unlock expansion packs. 

Get The Lord of the Rings Online.


22. Brawhalla – Online 2D platform fighter


brawlhalla
Image credit:
Steam

Imagine Super Smash Bros but as an online multiplayer game on PC and you have Brawlhalla. The fighting mechanics are unique and dynamic with a variety of characters to choose from. The highlight comes in the many game modes on offer such as “Brawlball” and “Kung-foot” together with the weekly tournaments and ranked seasons. 

Gather up to 8 friends and engage in 1v1 up to 4v4 battles or a free-for-all deathmatch for some maddening mayhem. 

Get Brawhalla.


– Idle/Clickers –


23. AdVenture Capitalist – Capitalism simulator


adventure capitalism
Image credit:
Steam

In a nutshell, AdVenture Capitalist is about making money, buying upgrades and expanding your business with said money, waiting to make more money, and then buying even more upgrades. The more cash you make, the less effort you need to earn more – kinda like real life capitalism.

Grow your business from a lemonade stand to world-monopoly by clicking and idling. To those unfamiliar with the idle/clicker genre, a game where you simply wait around may seem like a strange concept. But once you get started, you’ll be hooked. 

Get AdVenture Capitalist.


24. Crush Crush / Blush Blush – idle dating sim


crush crush - free steam games
Image credit:
Steam

Crush Crush is a borderline inappropriate idle dating sim that is very much aware of how absurd it is in the genre of anime dating sims. The dialogue is witty with plenty of poking fun at pop culture. There is a surprising level of detail put into the game and there are also astonishingly regular updates from the developers. 

blush blush
Image credit:
Steam

Not to mention that there’s a sequel called Blush Blush that’s pretty much the same ridiculousness, but with anime guys instead. 

Get Crush Crush and Blush Blush.


– Puzzle –


25. Gravitas – Physics-driven puzzle game


gravitas
Image credit:
Steam

If you’re looking for a quick brain teaser to pass the hour, Gravitas does the trick. Inspired by the Portal series of games, the physics-driven puzzler allows you to manipulate gravity to create bridges, move cubes and progress from room to room. 

The playing experience is enhanced by the humorous dialogue in the background with the “Curator” that’s bound to give you a good laugh.

Get Gravitas.


26. What Never Was – Captivating first-person adventure


what never was - free steam games
Image credit:
Steam

It’s remarkable how a good point-and-click puzzle game with pleasing graphics and immersive storytelling can really reel you in. What Never Was is a short, first-person adventure where you’ll spend all of your time exploring the attic, searching for clues and learning about the mystery of your grandfather. 

The puzzles are imaginative and will give you a good challenge. Meanwhile, take the time to read through the journals and enjoy the captivating narrative, complete with voice-over narration as well.

Get What Never Was.


27. We Were Here – Co-op puzzle game for you and your friend


we were here
Image credit:
Steam

You’ll need a team of 2 to navigate the puzzles in We Were Here. Separated in a castle in the frozen wasteland, you and your partner must communicate via microphone. While one tries to decipher the strange patterns or glyphs on the walls and the other tinkers with odd mechanisms in a different room, the both of you must relay essential info across to help each other. 

If you think it’s easy, try describing what a hieroglyph looks like to your friend. If you liked the game, you can also check out the 2 paid sequels in the series, We Were Here Too ($10) and We Were Here Together ($13)

Get We Were Here.


Steam games you can play for free


You won’t have to spend a single penny to get all the satisfaction from gaming. Hopefully, these free Steam games will keep you occupied and entertained at home. So boot up your laptop or PC and get downloading.

Check out more games to play:


Originally published on 16th May 2020. Last updated by Jessica Fang on 20th October 2022.
Cover image adapted from: Steam, Newsweek, Steam, Steam

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