There’s nothing like challenging a buddy to a game to get your competitive juices flowing. Here are some of the best multi-game apps and websites to play with friends online.
Instead of downloading several different apps or signing up for lots of websites, the simpler way is to use apps that already have multiple games in them. One account, many games, and the ability to play with friends—what’s not to like about that?
From playing card games online with friends to recreating tabletop games, strap in for some player vs. player action.
1. Plato (Android, iOS): Play Games and Make New Friends in Chat Rooms
You might enjoy playing games online with friends, but what do you do when they’re busy? Plato focuses on making new friends as you play with a strong and smooth chat messaging feature, and “social lounges” to meet like-minded people.
Social Lounges are Plato’s version of chat rooms. Scroll through the list to find people from your area, your country, or with similar interests. Join a room and you might just find a new friendship over the internet.
In each game, there’s a “type here to chat” window at the bottom. Press it to see your chat overlaid on the current game, and use your main phone keyboard. It’s the best implementation of chatting in mobile games that we’ve seen.
Once you sign up, you can join or create any game. Plato has more than 30 social games, including excellent versions of pool, table soccer, Ocho (same as Uno), and mini-golf. The physics, graphics, and gameplay are smooth as butter, so when the game is functioning well, it feels nice to chat along with the opponent.
PlayingCards.io is the best version of playing card games with friends online. The website has a few game templates ready, and you can customize the table and card deck to create any card game you want. No one needs to sign-up or download anything to use it.
On the canvas or table, you can add a standard 52-card deck, an empty cardholder, other types of card decks, a spinner for turns, a counter, and so on. Set it up how you want, and share the link to play with friends online. Once the friends join, they can control what is happening on the screen too. All movements are synced.
Now, here’s the catch. You need to know the rules of the card game, the website isn’t going to teach you or restrict wrong moves as many apps do. Think of it like having a deck of cards with you, just virtually. PlayingCards.io also doesn’t have built-in chat, so you’ll need to set that up in a second window or device.
Compared to a lot of other apps, PlayingCards.io is more work. But the simplicity and customization make it feel more homely, which is what you often want with card games, right?
3. Bunch (Android, iOS): Video Chat With Friends While Playing Games Online
Bunch combines video chat and video gaming into one slick app. You need to register with a Facebook account to use it and invite your friends to join before it can work. Once that’s set up, choose from one of Bunch’s built-in games or other games you have installed on your phone or tablet.
That’s one of the cool things about Bunch. By including support for other apps, it doesn’t restrict what you play. Many popular games already work with Bunch, including Monopoly, PUBG, Uno, Ludo King, Scrabble Go, and Chess. Of course, you and your friends will both need to have these games already installed on your phone.
You can have up to eight people on a video call in Bunch. The video calling is smooth, but low-resolution so that the gameplay and calling can work well simultaneously. The game itself plays just like normal, but only in a miniaturized window inside the Bunch app, while you also get to see your friends’ video calls.
4. Board Game Arena (Web): Play Classic Board Games With Friends in Browser for Free
A large collection of classic board games is waiting to be played online at Board Game Arena (BGA). It’s the simplest way to play games with your friends in your browser. Create an account, ask your friends to create one too, and add them.
You can start or join a game for free. The collection of games at BGA includes Carcassonne, Connect Four, Battleships, Yahtzee, Terra Mystica, Lost Cities, Clans of Caledonia, and many more. In case you aren’t familiar with any game, you can learn the rules on the website itself, and even play a trial game against AI.
BGA allows both real-time games as well as turn-by-turn games which you can play at your own leisure. It also has a simple chat window, and tracks all moves played so far. You can disconnect and reconnect easily, and can also play against random strangers online.
5. Couch Friends (Web, Mobile): Play Games With Friends on a Smart TV
Don’t have a video game console to play games against friends on the TV? Couch Friends makes games that you can play at a party, with as many friends as you want. Everyone plays on their phones, and all you need is a smart TV or a computer screen that all players can see.
Here’s how it works. Visit Couch Friends from the browser of the main screen, and choose from one of the five games: Bombergirl, Breakout, Space Shooter, Football, and Asteroids. They’ll all feel instantly familiar as they’re recreations of classic games. The chosen game creates a new room with a unique code.
Then visit Couch Friends on your phone’s browser and enter the code. The phones become remote controls for the game playing on the big screen. It’s like you’re playing on a video game console with your friends!
Free Browser Games to Play With Friends
When you want to quickly play a game online with friends, the best option is to go for a browser-based game. No one has to install anything, and most of them don’t even need you to sign up.