They say friends who play together stay together. And by ‘play,’ we mean play board games! If you have a large group of friends or family, then you will love these game night ideas for large groups.
Group games are the best way to bond, have a good laugh, and make memories. Looking back on parties and road trips, you likely won’t remember what you ate or what decorations you saw. But you’ll definitely remember laughing at someone’s moves in a game of Blindman’s Swag.
Some of our favorite game night ideas for large groups consists of games that have a high player count and where gameplay can be coordinated easily with a larger group of people. This means that the game is easy to understand for all players and there is not too much moving around or skill required. Our favorite games for larger groups consist of Mafia, Codenames, Telestrations, and more!
Here are eight game night ideas for large groups. You’ll thank me for the memories later!
I bet this game’s name already intrigued you. Well, don’t worry; it’s called mafia, but it’s not like anything you saw in The Godfather. You’ll still have to form alliances and enemies, but no cannoli is involved.
- Number of players: 9–20
- Needed supplies: A deck of cards
How to Play Mafia
To play Mafia, you need to assign a moderator, then divide the players.
The moderator will distribute the cards, time the discussions, and keep track of the eliminated players. In the end, he’ll declare the winner. So he won’t be an actual member of the game.
As for the players, you have four classifications to choose from: townspeople, mafia members, doctors, and sheriffs. The players will get their roles from the deck of cards, and no one will know who is who.
To start, the moderator will grab a deck of cards and choose a card for each role. He’ll need a number of cards similar to the number of players, and the deck should include a king, a queen, cards for mafia members, and cards for townspeople. Of course, the mafia cards should have the same suit, and the townspeople cards should have a different suit.
After the moderator dictates the cards, he should shuffle them for the players to choose. Each player should keep his position secret. Then, the players act on their roles according to the game rules, and the winner is declared at the end.
Now you can use any simple deck of playing cards, but if you want to be fancy, you can purchase an actual game of Mafia from Amazon that has all of the player’s roles already listed out and makes it easier to comprehend during gameplay.
Codenames has secret agents, assassins, and spymasters. All you need is Daniel Craig, and you have a full-blown James Bond movie!
- Number of Players: Ideally 4–12
- Supplies needed: Codenames Board Game
How to Play Codenames
Codenames is a bit complex, but once you get the hang of it, you won’t get enough of the thrill it provides.
The game contains 200 codenames cards, 40 key cards, 16 secret agent cards, an assassin card, and seven innocent cards. The members of the game classify into operatives and spymasters.
The spymasters lay the assortment of cards on the table, while the operatives guess which of the covered cards are their secret agents. The main idea of the game is that each team should reveal all their secret agents while avoiding the assassin card.
To start, you divide the group into two teams, and each team has one spymaster, while the rest are operatives. Next, both spymasters pick a single key card; it’ll have the codenames of the secret agents and which team they belong to—it’ll show the grid arrangement as well.
The spymasters will then arrange the cards in a 5×5 grid according to the key card’s arrangement. And, each team will have a color. The team whose color borders the chosen key card gets to start.
The grid should have eight secret agents for one team, nine secret agents for the starting team, an assassin card, and the rest are innocent cards.
The way the game goes, the spymasters give hints to their team members for the codename card they should reveal. When the team reveals a secret agent of their own, they continue playing with their spymaster giving them hints.
When they reveal an agent of the other team, their turn is over. Of course, if they reveal the assassin, they say goodbye to the game, and the other team wins.
The game is fun because you need to take care while guessing. You could reveal an opposing secret agent accidentally, helping the other team, and you may reveal the assassin’s card. We recommend grabbing a copy of codenames for your next game night with a large group!
If you want to bet who in your group would’ve made it to art school, this is the right game for you. It’s a twisted, funnier version of Pictionary.
- Number of players: 4–8
- Supplies needed: Telestrations Board Game
How to Play Telestrations
Telestrations is a mix of Telephone and Pictionary. If you already know how to play both games, Telestrations will be a piece of cake for you. All you have to do is empty the contents of the game on the playing table. Then, pick which deck of cards you’ll use; there are two sets: This Side and That Side.
Next, each player will take a sketchbook, a marker, and a card of the chosen deck. Write your name on the sketchbook, and move on. The card will have six words, and each one will have a dice number next to it. You’ll roll the dice, and see which word you get.
Then, you’ll write the word you get in the Secret Word space in your sketchbook, and sketch the word in Tab 1. The game has sand timers, and you’re only allowed to draw in a limited time.
Afterward, all the players will pass their sketchbooks to the neighbors on their right. When you get the new sketchbook, you’ll see the drawing in Tab 1, and write your guess of the drawn word in Tab 2. You’ll then close the sketchbook and pass it to the player on your right again.
Keep playing like that until you receive the sketchbook with your name on it. Then, you all reveal your sketchbooks and the drawings inside, and you get a good laugh out of it!
If you want to keep track of each player’s score and declare a winner at the end, you’ll find guidelines in the instructions manual. Make sure to grab a copy of Telestrations for your next game night!
4. React and Act
If you want to know who’s more likely to get an Oscar nomination among your friends, here’s a great game to do so. React and Act tests your acting skills in a pretty creative way; Steven Spielberg has nothing on this game.
- Number of players: Unlimited
- Supplies needed: Pens, papers, and a bag.
How to Play React and Act
To play React and Act, you need the group to write different events on small pieces of paper. Then, you’ll choose 3–5 members to choose some papers randomly and react dramatically to the events.
The events may be similar to the following:
- You got fired
- You’re being chased by a dog
- Your team just won the Champions League
After all of your friends write events on paper, collect them and put them in a bag. Afterward, let the chosen members shuffle and take random papers. Each player will then act out his reaction to the event he received.
The acting members may interact with each other, but they shouldn’t speak. The rest of the group should guess the event that each member is reacting to.
You can dictate a time limit for the actors; around 30 seconds will be enough for everyone to take a turn. You can let each actor have a turn, but letting 3–5 ones act simultaneously is a lot more fun.
5. Drop A Hint
There’s a saying that goes: united we stand, divided we fall. Well, this game will put this saying to a real test! If you’re not on the same page as your team members, you might as well call the team ‘Losers’ because the other team already won.
- Number of players: 8–16 (An even number is a must)
- Supplies needed: Papers and words/phrases for guessing.
How to Play Drop A Hint
To play Drop A Hint, you’ll need to divide the players into two teams. Each team will appoint a member to be the guesser, and the rest of the team members will give him hints until he guesses. The guesser only gets one chance to answer; if he gets it wrong, the team will choose another word to hint.
Each team gets two minutes, and they try to finish the largest number possible of words to guess. At the end of the game, you see which team has more correct answers, and the winner gets declared.
The way each round goes, the guesser takes a seat, while the rest of the team members stand next to each other. They shuffle the papers and see what word they got, and start hinting.
For example, if the word is Egypt, member A can say pyramids, member B can say pharaohs, while member C can say The Nile. it’ll get funny real fast if you’re not on the same page as your team, or if someone is bad at Geography!
After each round of two minutes ends, the other team gets to play, and so on.
6. Blindman’s Swag
I think Blindman’s Swag is the funniest game on this list, and it’s definitely my personal favorite! I don’t know about you, but I’d pay money to see my friends looking for a prize while blindfolded.
- Number of players: Unlimited
- Supplies needed: A blindfold and a prize
How to Play Blindman’s Swag
To play Blindman’s Swag, you need to divide the players into a team of blindfolded members and a team of non-blindfolded ones. The non-blindfolded members need to hide the prize anywhere in the room where you’re playing.
The prize can be anything of your choice or any household item.
Next, the non-blindfolded members will guide the blindfolded ones to the prize, but they need to do so without any kind of physical contact and without obvious vocal hints.
So for example, if your blindfolded partner is close to the prize, you can guide them by saying ‘take three steps towards the TV’ or something like ‘take two steps to the right, and watch out for the table.’
7. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity is one of the easiest and funniest games you can play with a large group. As long as you aren’t playing with your parents, you’ll have loads of fun.
- Number of players: 4–30
- Supplies needed: Cards Against Humanity Deck
How to Play Cards Against Humanity
The game is pretty easy to understand. You’ll put the cards in the table’s center, and each player will take a card. Then, every player will have a turn reading their cards out loud. Each card supposedly has a funny phrase, and the card that gets the most laughs wins the round.
The winning player keeps his card, while the rest return their cards to the deck again.
In the end, the player with the most cards wins.
8. Game for Fame
Do you want to get crowned the highest-paid superstar? I bet you do!
In this game, you’ll compete with your friends for the position. After you’re done, Johnny Depp will have nothing on you!
- Number of players: 4–16
- Supplies needed: Game for Fame Board Game
Game for Fame is no different than any board game you play with a large group. In each round, a team member chooses a card out of the Money Maker set, and he has to do what the card says.
Your team should guess what you’re doing. If they get it right, the team’s object moves forward on the board. Some Money Maker cards involve the whole team. In this case, the opposing team will judge which member acted the best.
The member who wins gets a check that’s placed in their bank. Your team’s object is placed on a monetary value that equals your members’ worth. And, the team that reaches the $30 million position first is declared the winner.
To Wrap Up
Nothing is better than having a game night with a large group. You’ll laugh till your stomach hurts, and you’ll make memories that last a lifetime. Buy a couple of board games or prepare some games that don’t require special supplies, and you’ll have a night of extreme fun.
Warning: You may lose a friend if you guess wrong in Drop A Hint!
Looking for more ideas? Check out our article on board games that support higher player counts.