How to Hang Out with Friends During COVID: 10 Online Games You Should Try

Sarah Pritzker
How to Hang Out with Friends During COVID: 10 Online Games You Should Try
COVID-19 has been a total upheaval for the world as we know it. And one of the biggest disturbances to our regular routine is the lack of social gatherings. Social distancing has been a major buzzkill for our social lives, and people are starting to feel the squeeze.

In an attempt to recreate the usual human interaction, people are turning to the internet for some sort of solution. And good news, they’ve found them! Using the wonderful wide web (that is what it stands for, right??), and with the help of online video chat platforms, people are finding new, varied, and wildly amusing ways to hang out with friends, enjoy some quality socializing, and get in more than a few laughs. Turns out the web has thousands of games you can play with each other even while maintaining a comfortable distance.

Ready to have some fun? Check out 10 of the best games to play online with friends, whether you’re social distancing, quarantining, or just having a bad hair day:

1. HEADS UP (VIA HOUSEPARTY)

Number of players: 2 or more (split into 2 teams)

Age range: All ages

Platforms you can play it on: iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Chrome ext.

Difficulty level: Easy

Price: First 3 decks are free

Houseparty is an online chat platform that combines fun games and facetime, the perfect recipe for virtual game night. And Heads Up is the amusing word-guessing game that people are raving about. Similar to Taboo with a virtual twist, Heads Up puts up a word that everyone can see except 1 player. That player needs to guess the word based on clues given by their friends. 

Heads Up has various decks you can play with, including Animals Gone Wild (you need to use noises to act out the secret phrase instead of words), Act it Out (a charades-style variety), and #Trending (self-explanatory). And FYI, Houseparty has other great online games you can play with your friends like Chips & Guac, Quick Draw, and Trivia.

2. PLAYING CARDS.IO 

Number of players: Varies depending on the game

Age range: 5-105

Platforms you can play it on: Desktop, iOS, Android

Difficulty level: Range

Price: Free

It’s old-school meets high-tech. It’s a splendid mashup of the familiar, comfort games and the new age perks of technology. It’s Playing Cards, and it’s got something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a 1-on-1 with your bestie or want to get a group together for game night, Playing Cards has a great selection of entertaining games you can play online.

Playing Cards lets you set up your own private game room and invite your friends to the VIP party. And everything is funnily customizable, including the boards, cards, and automated repetitive movements. And then you get to pick a game from the amazing selection. There are all the classics, including Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and other standard 52-card deck card games. Playing Cards also has other classic games like Chess, Checkers, and Backgammon. Then there are the newer editions like Trial by Trolley, Zap Space Mutiny, and Joking Hazard. All guaranteed to make you laugh.

3. PSYCH

Number of players: 2 or more (more fun with at least 4)

Age range: 12+

Platforms you can play it on: iOS and Android app

Difficulty level: Increasing levels of difficulty, easy to challenging 

Price: Free

Psych, like the popular TV sitcom, will have you and your friends laughing, but for very different reasons. In this game, you all need to guess the correct answer to trivia questions being asked remotely via the online platform. But unlike regular trivia games, 1 player is making up lies! That’s right; you need to fake an answer and toss it into the mix of real answers. Then you can see which of your friends can sniff out the right answer and the bogus one you made up. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to see who knows your style best.

Gamers can create a group using the app. Then select the category you want your trivia questions to be pulled from, including Movie Bluff, And the Truth Comes Out, and Is That a Fact? Then you’ll each make up a fake answer to the trivia question. Now comes the best part. Each of you needs to try to guess which is the right answer and which ones are made up. You get points for each player that chooses your phony answer. 

4. WEREWOLF 

Number of players: From 4 to 16 players

Age range: 12+ (but more likely 15+ will enjoy it)

Platforms you can play it on: Android and iOS

Difficulty level: Easy

Price: Free

While we’re on the subject of fibbing for fun, you’ve got to check out Werewolf. Fancy yourself a smooth criminal? Then test your skills out in the exciting game of Wereworld. This is by far one of the most fun games you’ll play with friends remotely or in person. A group of settlers live peacefully in their quiet village until 1 day, a pack of werewolves descends upon them. Each night, another villager is attacked. Your task is to discover who the werewolves are and stop them before they devour the entire village 1-by-1.

Werewolf is a fabulous game that puts your lie-detecting and lie-casting skills to the ultimate test. Each player is given an identity. You’ll be a villager, a werewolf, or some other specialty character. Each night (i.e., round), someone is killed, and it’s everyone’s job to figure out who is doing the killing. Except the werewolves, of course. Their job is to convince you that SOMEONE ELSE is the nefarious creature. Hunt or be hunted in this entertaining game that will make you think twice about who you can trust!

5. JACKBOX GAMES

Number of players: Up to 8 players 

Age range: From age 9+ (but teenagers and adults will enjoy it even more)

Platforms you can play it on: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Applet, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV

Difficulty level: Graduating levels of difficulty

Price: Ranges depending on platform 

Don’t like playing the same game over and over again? We feel for you, and that’s why Jackbox Games Party Pack (Single pack, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7) is such a big hit. It gives you access to 5 of the best Jackbox Games titles out there. You’ll get:

  • You Don’t Know Jack
  • Split the Room
  • Mad Verse City
  • Patently Stupid
  • Zeeple Dome

Play with up to 8 friends simultaneously, choose from a range of gaming platforms, and get ready for some serious fun and excitement.

6. CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY aka REMOTE INSENSITIVITY 

Number of players: 3-20+ (6 players on PlayingCards)

Age range: 17+ (mature content)

Platforms you can play it on:

Difficulty level: Easy

Price: $20-$25 (or free if you want to print your own pack)

Cards Against Humanity is one of the funniest and most offensive card games you’ll ever play. Friends will pick a question card to read aloud to the other players. Then gamers will need to give their answers by using the blatantly politically incorrect cards in their hands. And the more colorful, the better! 

To play online, you’ll set up a new game on the All Bad Cards website. You can play online or via your smartphone’s browser. Cards Against Humanity also lets you create a video or chat group via a link (you’ll need to use an outside platform, but you can include the link in your game for others to click on). When everyone’s ready, Cards Against Humanity will generate a random question. Everyone will put up their own offensive answers, and you’ll need to choose the most appropriate (or inappropriate as the case may be) card. Players will laugh out loud with this radically different trivia game that keeps the fun going and the eyebrows raised. 

7. SCRABBLE GO

Number of players: From 2 players (generally only up to 4)

Age range: 9+ (younger if they’re good with words and tech)

Platforms you can play it on: iOS, Android, desktop

Difficulty level: Varies depending on age of group

Price: Free

Scrabble is a classic game that people have been enjoying for decades. So, it only makes sense that Scrabble Go would be a hit for the digital era. Gamers can download the app, build words, and dominate the board while interacting remotely with friends and family. Best of all worlds! Scrabble Go has cool new features like duels, Tumbler variety, and word search variation.

Scrabble Go has the handy Scrabble Dictionary online, and a sneaky tool called the Word Builder. This lets you digitally manipulate the letters on your rack to find more potential words. It even has a feature that lets you combine your letters with words that are already on the board. The online version, Scrabble Go has helpful resources like a tile tracking sheet, scrabble word lists, and official scorecards that you can print out too.

8. MARIO KART TOUR

Number of players: Up to 7

Age range: 5-17 (approximately) 

Platforms you can play it on: iOS and Android (Nintendo account required)

Difficulty level: Varying levels

Price: Free (Nintendo account required)

Mario Kart Tour is a zany mashup of thrilling go-kart racing, retro Nintendo characters, and exciting challenges. The game is set in various cities around the world, and your task is to race at high speeds till you reach the finish line. Mario Kart Tour has stunning graphics, each round based on another prominent global locale. 

Gamers will be amazed at the number of details these game rounds have, and you can enjoy multiplayer gaming challenges from all over the world. Collect cool racing gear, gliders, drivers, and carts. Race for upgrades and bragging rights among your friends. 

9. TABLETOPIA 

Number of players: Varies depending on game

Age range: 7 and up

Platforms you can play it on: PC, Mac, Linux 

Difficulty level: Varies depending on game

Price: Free

Tabletopia gives you a fabulous array of the classic board game style gaming. There are old-school games you might have played growing up like Life, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Boggle. And then there are newer options like Wingspan and other fresher titles. Bottom line, Tabletopia gives you a boatload of options (1500+) for you and your friends to choose from next virtual game night. Alternatively, if you have a favorite, you can download and play individual board games like Scattergories, Clue, and Ticket to Ride.

The Tabletopia platform is easy to use too. You go to the website on your PC or Mac (or even Linux) computer, select the game you want, and play. You can filter games according to number of players, age range, and playing time. Tabletopia even has multi-language game support.

10. QUIZUP 

Number of players: 2+

Age range: 16+ (mature content and stranger interaction)

Platforms you can play it on: iOS and Android 

Difficulty level: Graduating levels of difficulty 

Price: Free

If you love trivia, enjoy fast-paced games, and are ridiculously competitive (no judgements), then you’re going to love QuizUp. It’s the trivia game that tests your vast knowledge along with your quick fingers and your sense of fun all at once. Quiz Up is popular because it has a tremendous variety of categories to choose from, a clean, crisp user interface, and is easy to use on any phone. 

QuizUp lets you challenge people from all over the world, invite friends to play along, follow categories, and climb the rankings to be the kickass awesomest trivia king (or queen). Trivia categories include everything from Disney characters to geology, video games, sports, logos, general information, and more. Link up with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ and tap on your friends to join the fun.

Honorable mentions worth checking out:

There are also various niche type games you can find to play online with friends. There are the addictive colorful match puzzle games like Gummy Drop, sports-themed fun including Golf Battle, NBA 2k20, and 8 Ball Pool, MMORPG style games like Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty Warzone, and Halo), and the ever-popular drinking games like Never Have I Ever, Kings, or Power Hour that you can manage over Zoom. 

Online Game Night: The Silver Lining 

Since Corona hit, life has certainly taken a weird and unpredictable twist. But it’s not all bad. In fact, thanks to social distancing and quarantine restrictions, there’s been a resurgence of quality game time. Meaning some people are spending MORE time with their friends and family, playing together, chatting together, and just enjoying each other’s company. So, if you’re feeling down because of COVID restrictions, head online, grab a game or 2, and get psyched for an evening of laughter and fun shared with friends. 

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Sarah Pritzker
Sarah Pritzker writes for top10.com and is a content writer with years of experience and a keen interest in the vast world of online consumer products. She enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market in a variety of fields.