15 Best Free Online Board Games to Play with Friends

Playing board games with friends is a favorite pastime of many people all across the world. When you're not able to be with those closest to you in person, joining together to play an online board game is the next best thing!

Some online board games are offered through a web domain, while others are available for you and your friends to play on your smartphones. Below, you'll find a list of some of the best free online board games that you and your friends can play together, no matter where in the world you're all located!

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The Best of the Best Free Online Games for You and Your Friends

Nearly every board game you can think of is available in a free, multiplayer, online version. You just need to know how to find them! When you search for them, you can find all types of board and card games available online. Some of the available types include:

  • Family-friendly games
  • Skill and strategy games
  • Thought-provoking brain games

All you have to do is ask your friends or family members what type of game they'd prefer to play, and you're sure to find something online that everyone can enjoy!

Many families and friend groups are spread out across the country (or maybe even throughout the world!) but still value spending as much quality time together as they can. So if you're looking for an online board game that you can play everyone in your group, or even with both the older and younger members of your extended family, try playing some of the ones listed below.

One of the Classics: Online Monopoly

Monopoly is a game that almost everyone is familiar with and one that's appropriate for players of all ages. You and your family or friends can spend hours on end buying up properties, collecting money from other players, and trying to avoid being sent to jail! Monopoly is a highly competitive game, but one that is still incredibly fun to play.

With the option to play between two to eight players, Monopoly is one online board game that can be played with big or small groups. This is a top-rated game that's offered on many different platforms for free, so the most challenging part is choosing which you would rather play on!

Something Simple: Four in a Row

Four in a Row, also known as Connect 4, is easy for people of all ages to follow along with. However, it can still be very intense and require quite a bit of skill when you're up against someone who really knows what they're doing! 

The rules of the two-player game Four in a Row are simple: each player is assigned a chip color, and they take turns dropping their chips into a slot. The first player to connect four of their chips in a horizontal, diagonal, or vertical line wins the game! If you notice your opponent getting close to four in a row, you can block their path with your own chip to throw them off course. 

Many online free platforms offer Four in a Row, but if you and your friend both have Android devices, you can download this smartphone app to play on the go!

The Ever-Popular Dice Game: Yahtzee

The classic version of Yahtzee is easy to play but hard to win. You start the game by putting five dice into a dice cup, giving it a good shake, and seeing what you get on your first roll! Some dice combinations are worth more points than others, so after your first roll, you can choose which dice to keep and which to re-roll. 

You get three dice rolls per turn, and you can choose to re-roll all, some, or none of the dice after the first two rolls to try and get the highest-valued combination possible. After your three rolls are complete, you mark the points on your scorecard. The game lasts for 13 rounds, after which all players must total their scores. The player with the highest number of points is the winner.

If this sounds like the perfect thing for your next online board game night, you can play by downloading this free app on your Android device. In addition to multiplayer games, you can also play against a computer or participate in tournaments with players across the world to become a true Yahtzee champ!

Go on a Cross-Country Adventure with Ticket to Ride

In Ticket to Ride, you and up to three friends or family members can embark on a train adventure across North America, collecting matching train cards to claim different railway routes and connect cities together. Whoever claims the most full train routes wins the game at the end! This game is also educational and a great way to help younger children learn about geography.

Most platforms require you to purchase Ticket to Ride, but there are a couple that offer free gameplay for you and your friends. You might have to do some digging to find the free versions, but they're out there!

Free Online Board Games That Require Skill and Strategy

Perhaps you and your friends are up for more of a challenge than games like Monopoly can offer. If you're looking for something that requires more skill, strategy, and planning, try some of these games!

Establish Colonies with Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is a game where three to four players work to establish the best colonies on the island of Catan. The goals are to create the most settlements with the longest roads and the strongest armies, all while trading and acquiring resources to build a better colony. 

Some say that Settlers of Catan is even more addictive than Monopoly! If you'd like to see it for yourself, many online platforms offer this game for free. But, if you don't mind spending a few dollars, you can also download an app for your Android mobile device to play against friends or to play against computer players and brush up on your skills before the next game night!

Risk: The Game of Global Domination

Risk has been a popular board game choice for years, and it's just as fun to play with friends online as it is in person! Risk lets you play with up to five other players, and the objective is to use your own army to eliminate others and take over as many territories as possible. You can also form alliances with other players to further your goals and dissolve them when the alliances no longer serve you. If you're able to capture an entire continent, you'll also get bonus troops!

There are many free versions of Risk available online, all with:

  • True-to-the-original rules
  • Different difficulty settings
  • Multiple maps

You can also purchase this smartphone app to dominate the world from anywhere on Earth!

Dominion: The Strategic Card Game

Dominion is another game that's pretty straightforward in terms of rules but requires a good number of skills and strategies to play. The goal is to accumulate the most wealth through "victory points," and it is played with a deck of cards. At the end of the game, the player with the highest number of victory points is declared the winner.

Dominion is free to play online and is an excellent option for anyone looking for a challenge! You can play with up to three other friends at one time. 

Save the World by Playing Pandemic

Although it sounds pretty morbid, especially nowadays, playing the game Pandemic is actually quite uplifting! In this game, 1-5 players must work together in order to save the world from a deadly disease. All the players work together, and each is assigned a role as an expert. Some of the roles include a scientist, an operations expert, and a researcher, and each role comes with abilities that are unique to the specific player. 

The players travel across the world, working to stop the spread of the disease and research to find a cure. If the players are able to find all four of the cures before time runs out, they win the game!

Most platforms require you to pay to play Pandemic, but there are ways to play for free online if you look hard enough. If you'd rather just purchase it than spend time searching for a free version, you can download this application on Amazon.

An Easy-to-Play Classic: Checkers

Checkers is one of the easiest board games to play. One player is red, and one is black. The goal is to knock out as many of your opponent's checkers as possible, and the last player standing wins!

Although it's straightforward to play, Checkers still requires a good amount of planning ahead and making strategic moves. Many online platforms offer multiplayer Checkers for free, including this Android app available on Amazon.

A Little Bit Harder Than Checkers: Play Chess Online

Chess is similar to Checkers, but there are a lot more rules and restrictions! The moves you can make vary depending on the chess piece you're using, and once one player knocks out the other's King piece, the game is automatically over.

Chess is a game that's a bit difficult to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's highly competitive and very satisfying to win! So, if you have an Android smartphone, download this app to play against your friends in a competition or against a computer to brush up on your skills!

Use Your Brain with These Free Thought-Provoking Games

Perhaps you and your friends are up for a game that requires a bit of thought and creative thinking. Luckily, there is no shortage of games like these that are available free online! Here are some of the best games to play to stimulate your mind.

Scrabble and Other Scrabble-Like Games

Scrabble is popular among players of all ages, and variations of the game, such as Words with Friends, are some of the most popular choices for online gaming! To play these games, you have to use the seven letter tiles you're given at a time to spell out words. The longer the word is, or the more unique the letters you use are, the more points it's worth. 

As the game progresses, you can use letters that others have laid out on the board to spell out new words. There are also several double and triple point value spots that increase the points your letter (or, in some cases, your word) gives you. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. 

As mentioned, there is no shortage of places to play Scrabble and Words with Friends online. The most popular platform, however, is the Words with Friends smartphone app, which is available for free.

Show Off Your Vocabulary: Boggle

Boggle is another tried-and-true game that encourages quick thinking and requires a good amount of vocabulary skills. It's great to play with younger children who are trying to build their vocabulary, as well as others who want to keep their skills sharp!

One player shakes the 4x4 cube grid, and then a three-minute timer begins. Players must write down as many words as they can find in the grid, but all the letters must be adjacent to each other in some way. At the end of the three minutes, the player with the most words written down wins the round. You can play as many rounds of Boggle as you'd like or set an overall timer for the length of the game.

Boggle and similar games are available for free all across the Internet, but if you'd like to play on a smartphone app, try downloading Word Shaker for Android devices.

Codenames: The Game Based Entirely on Clues

Codenames is a free online game that works best when played with between four to eight players. Players are split into evenly numbered teams, and each team chooses one player to be their "spymaster." In addition, 25 codename cards are chosen at random and placed in a 5x5 grid. 

The spymasters then choose a key card that only they can see, which reveals the identities of the agents according to their codenames. The key corresponds to the grid, and the blue squares mark those who the blue team must identify, while the red squares mark who the red team must identify. 

The players must try to guess the agents' codenames, but spymasters can only give one-word clues to help them. The team who guesses all of their agents' codenames first wins. As you can probably tell, this is a game that requires quite a bit of thinking. Codenames is available to play for free online and is an excellent option for those who really want a challenge!

Seems Simple, But Very Challenging: Scattergories

Scattergories is a fun game, but it can be very challenging depending on the category and letter you get! The point of this game is to come up with answers that fit the chosen category before time runs out. Seems easy enough, right? Here's the catch - each answer needs to start with the letter that's provided! 

It can get pretty challenging, especially when you consider that you won't score any points if another player has the same answer as you! Scattergories needs between two to six players to play, and there are many websites that offer multiplayer versions of Scattergories and other games like it for free.

Taboo: The Guessing Game

Taboo is the ultimate guessing game! In Taboo, a player picks a card with one word the other players have to guess, and five other words that the player cannot use when giving hints as to what's on the card. For example, the word may be "Value," but the player cannot describe it using the words "worth," "money," "cash flow," "discount," or "period." See how tricky it can get?!

You can play Taboo online with friends on many platforms; just do a quick Google search, and you're sure to find one that works for you and your friends! Taboo can also be played with as many players as needed, so there are no limitations for large family game nights.

Plan Your Next Online Game Night

If your family or closest friends live far away from you, you may think that there are not a lot of options for things that you can do together without physically getting together. However, modern technology has made it not only possible, but also incredibly fun, to host online board game nights whenever you want! 

Whether you'd like to host a virtual family reunion with family members of all ages or plan a virtual happy hour with your friends or co-workers, online board games can be a great icebreaker or bonding activity. There's no shortage of games available online, usually for free, that will help you create a fun night you'll remember for years to come.

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