Whether it’s puzzling strategy games or hilarious battle royales, the amount of free online games you can play with friends is growing quickly.
As an international student, these fun online games can be an excellent way to stay connected to family and friends back home. Or, they can offer a cheap and entertaining night-in with local friends (or, a way to meet new people!).
With a huge variety of games to choose from, such as free online card games or team-focused strategy games, there is a game to suit all tastes. Let’s take you through some of the best free online multiplayer games to try.
Number of players: Up to 30
Best feature: It’s extremely easy to play
Gartic Phone, a.k.a. The Telephone Game, is a hilarious mix of Pictionary and a game of ‘whispers’ (which you might remember from your childhood). Players draw a picture or write a sentence based on what another player has drawn or written, resulting in very weird and funny misunderstandings. There are also a huge number of additional mini-games offered by Gartic Phone.
You can play with friends in a group of up to 30. Or, join a group of strangers and challenge people across the globe.
Genre: Platform fighter
Number of players: Up to 4
Best feature: The beautiful visuals and the iconic characters you can play as (with new ones being added all the time)
Batman versus Arya Stark? Steven Universe versus Bugs Bunny? MultiVersus is a cross-platform, free online multiplayer fighting game, where you play as characters from across the Warner Bros. roster (like characters from DC and Cartoon Network).
You can co-operate with your friends in a 2v2 match, or try a battle royale where you all compete against each other.
Genre: Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA)
Number of players: 1-5
Best feature: The enormous variety of characters (there are 161 to choose from!)
If you’re looking for online games to play with friends that require some practice and skill, League of Legends (LoL) is the perfect option. This extremely popular game relies on teamwork to defend your own ‘Nexus’ and destroy opposing teams. There are more than 140 unique ‘champions’ to play as, which allows you to find your favourite playstyle and master it. For example, if you’d prefer a character that can fight from a distance, there’s an option for that. Maybe you’d rather have a sneaky character with powers of invisibility – there are champions that do that, too!
League of Legends will guarantee that you and your friends stay in contact, no matter the distance, through in-game communication. You can make new friends this way, too.
Number of players: 4-15
Best feature: Hilarious discussions
Do you think you can trust your friends? Among Us might be the best online game to put that trust to the test…
Among Us is an atmospheric survival game where you are joined by up to 15 players. Use your deception and detective skills to work out who among your group of players is a killer. Players meet for discussion throughout the game, which leads to some hilarious accusations. Among Us is free on iOS and Android.
Number of players: 1-3
Best feature: Portability
Brawl Stars is a fun game to play with your friends online while you’re on the move (like when you’re stuck on public transport) as it’s available for free on iOS and Android phones. One of the best things about Brawl Stars is that each match takes up to five minutes, so you can sneak in a quick game before a lecture starts or during a study break.
Genre: Battle royale
Number of players: Up to 4 per team
Best feature: Celebrity ‘skins’ you can dress your character in (see if you can spot any Ariana Grande or Keanu Reeves as John Wick lookalikes in-game)
Famous for the viral dance trends it has spawned, Fortnite is one of the world’s most popular battle-style games, with thousands of concurrent players every day. There are three game modes, but only Battle Royale and Creative are free to play. Battle Royale is a player-versus-player battle, where you fight to survive against 99 other contestants. In Creative, you can create and publish your own custom islands, or explore the islands of others in the online community.
It’s easy to play with friends, and you can even join the same game regardless of the console you’re using.
Genre: Everything from multiplayer board games to card games
Number of players: It depends!
Best feature: The variety of games available
Board Game Arena is a free online multiplayer game that gives you access to hundreds of board games, allowing you to enjoy your favourite board games with your buddies, even if you’re not in the same room (or country!). You can pick from classic games like CATAN and Yahtzee, or discover something new.