Best online games to play with friends right now


Although Vaccines against covid-19 are still rolling delta variants Spreading may cause you to take a break from some of those in-person gatherings in the fall. Until you feel safe, there are always games online that you can play with family and friends even from afar.

Whether you’re looking for old school favorites, board games, escape rooms or exciting board games, there is probably a virtual option, as more people technology-oriented for creative socialization during the pandemic. Watching movies and shows together via browser extensions, such as Netflix party (now called Teleparty), Amazon Prime video watch party, Disney Plus Group Watch, Hulu Watch Festival and Airtime for YouTube, is another popular way to get out virtually.

Here are some of the best online games that you can play with friends for whatever type of experience you are looking for. We will update this list regularly.

Read more: The 30 best iPad games to play right now


To me, Jackbox Games is the holy grail of remote social gaming: its multiplayer board games are easy to learn but still great fun to play, and it’s also easy to stream or share screen games from one device. to a group for a virtual game. night. Everyone plays through a web browser on their phone, so no apps or consoles are needed. You can even mirror your Android or iOS device to your TV.

Here’s how the Jackbox Party Pack works: A person must purchase one of the seven Jackbox Party Packs, or one or more individual games, on Steam (for PC, Mac, and Linux). The packs contain five games and typically cost $ 25 each, but sometimes you can find them on sale for less. The packs are also available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and other devices.

After purchase, you can participate in a video chat via Zoom call, Skype, Google Hangouts or wherever you prefer for a video call, start the game on your laptop and use the screen sharing option so that all other players in the call can also see the screen. As mentioned, everyone is playing on their mobile device using a browser and heading to, where you’ll be asked to enter a room code.

Other options include using Steam Remote Play Together, Discord screen sharing, sharing through your game console, or just setting up a webcam in front of your TV. Jackbox also provides information on how to distribute its games.

Each pack includes a variety of different games that may ask you to answer questions, draw weird doodles, or write the best joke. The games are light-hearted, humorous, and include clear instructions, so they’re easy to understand for the most novice gamer.

Interior laziness

If you’re a fan of games like Mafia or Werewolf, you’ll love Among Us, an online multiplayer social deduction game from developer InnerSloth. Play as a crew member aboard a spaceship, sky headquarters, or planetary base, trying to keep your ship together and return to Earth with a party of four to 10 people (that be it those you know IRL or strangers online). But one crew member has been replaced by a parasitic shape-shifting alien who wants to wipe out the rest of the crew before the ship arrives home. Problem is, the impostor looks like everyone else and will sabotage the ship, sneak through vents, trick other players and try to trap others, all with the aim of not being detected and kill the rest of the crew.

During this time, the non-alien crew members must complete tasks to repair the ship and cannot speak unless a death is reported. Then the surviving crew can openly debate via chat who they think the impostor is and make their best guess as to who to vote for the ship. If the impostor is rejected, the crew wins. But if the group accidentally rejects a crew member, everyone starts servicing the ship again until another body is found, and they vote again.

Among Us is free to play on iOS and Android devices (you can download it from the App Store or Google Play Store). Or, it costs $ 5 to play on a PC (you can download it on Steam or One of the main advantages is that you can play with people seamlessly across all platforms.

Be warned: the free mobile version contains ads. Once you have downloaded and opened the game on your device, a pop-up window will appear detailing its AdMob usage and data collection. If you want to opt out of ads and data collection, you can purchase the ad-free version of the app for $ 2 by tapping Remove Ads and following the prompts to select your payment method.

Although this game was released almost three years ago, Twitch streamers picked it up in the past year and it hit half a billion monthly active users in November. And if you’ve tried it before, in March the developers added a new free Airship card to play on for a new experience.


If you want to play games virtually together but don’t want to have to set up a Zoom or a separate chat, you can try Backyard, a platform that combines games, video and chat all in one. It is still in beta, but has been released to the public.

Sign up with your Google or Apple account and create a space. You will get a code to share with others (similar to Jackbox Games), so that they can join your private area. Then choose a game to play. Backyard offers slightly modified versions of popular games, like Letter Tile (Scrabble), Codewords (Codenames), and Wordplay: Cards Against Humans (Cards Against Humanity). You can play directly from your web browser on your – no app download needed.

The games vary in size from one to 12 players. The creators initially said Backyard would be free to use until 2021, but as of April it still appeared to be free.

The escape game

Put your puzzle-solving skills to the test with a virtual escape room. Try to solve all the puzzles and follow the clues to escape the computer room before the time runs out, just like you would when playing the real world version.

An option for ages 12 and up is TEG Unlocked: The Heist from The Escape Game. In the two-part game for one to four players, you will work as a secret agent trying to outwit a suspected art thief. Each piece costs $ 10, or $ 18 for a set of two and $ 26 for a set of three.

If you’re looking for a more kid-friendly choice, there’s a free Harry Potter-themed escape room created by the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA using Google Docs.

Read more: Dating during the coronavirus: 7 ideas for virtual dating while socially distancing yourself

Tabletopia / Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

If you’re looking to play traditional board games online, check out Tabletopia, which bills itself as an “online arena” for playing over 900 board games the same way you would in real life. You can play on a desktop browser for Mac or Windows, or download the platform from Steam, the App Store, or the Google Play Store.

You’ll find fun classics like chess and Texas Hold ‘Em, or more in-depth options like Scythe and Clans of Caledonia to play. Start your own game with friends or join an ongoing game with free seats.

You can play fun game options for free with the Bronze package, or upgrade to the Silver ($ 5 per month) or Gold ($ 10 per month) package to access premium games.

Another similar option is Tabletop Simulator, which includes classic game options like chess, poker, dominoes, Mahjong, and puzzles. Create your own original games on the platform, as well as play those created by others.

You’ll see a few familiar titles here, but note that most of them were created by other users, as opposed to actual game developers. You can buy Tabletop Simulator on Steam for Windows and Mac for $ 20, then share your screen to play with friends.

Angela Lang / CNET

Houseparty is a video chat app owned by the developer Fortnite Epic Games that lets you play popular online games like Trivia, Heads Up, and Uno with friends. The app is free and up to eight people can join a video chat “room” at a time and play games together.

However, Epic Games recently announced that it will be shutting down the Houseparty app in October. If you have already downloaded it, you can use it until then. But if you haven’t, it has already been deleted from the app stores.

Houseparty was available for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Chrome.

Epic games

You may already be familiar with the popular mobile games that you can play with friends anytime. Fortnite, Words with Friends 2, Scrabble GO, Uno & Friends, and Draw Something are all great options for simple games that let you keep in touch and take turns sneaking around when you have time throughout. the day.

If you play mostly solo, you might want to check out a mobile gaming subscription service. Apple Arcade has a library of over 150 original games, including nostalgic favorites Pac-Man Party Royale and Frogger in Toytown, as well as new hits like Crossy Road Castle and Ultimate Rivals: The Rink. For $ 5 per month, you can play on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, and Apple TV devices.

For Android users, Google Play Pass offers access to over 350 games, including Monument Valley, Risk, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, also for $ 5 per month.

Read more: Best gaming subscription services: here’s how to choose

There’s always the option to go as old-fashioned as possible in your virtual game – you can find free online versions of some classics like Battleship. You can also work on a crossword puzzle with friends through the Washington Post. Tabletop Simulator, mentioned above, also includes games like chess, poker, dominoes, and puzzles that you can play with friends if you both purchase the platform.

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