We know that not having a board game night with friends due to the current world situation can be hard. Therefore, we are constantly thinking of new ways in which you can still have fun playing board games with friends, even if it is virtually. If you are looking for a way to play board games online with friends and/or family, then you came to the right place.
Whether you have long distance friends, or cannot get together in person with your friends, then playing board games online is a great solution to still have an amazing gaming experience with your friends and family.
My friends and I would have a game night together every single week. Due to COVID-19, we can no longer get together in person to play our favorite board games. To keep up with our weekly tradition, we have found different online channels that allow us to still play our favorite board games online in a virtual setting.
We found that playing online board games is a great way to get our mind off of quarantine and spend some time together in order to avoid social isolation.
In this article, I will go over the top online gaming solutions and services that will let you continue to play board games together with friends. I will also go over the best online board games and the best online board game websites.
Playing Board Games Online
There are a few different options when it comes to playing board games online with friends. You can use a website or platform dedicated to hosting online board games, or you can find an online version of your favorite board game through their own site.
Many famous board games have sites dedicated to online versions of their game so that you can play virtually with other people. These sites are mostly free, but have premium versions that unlock more options and features to the game. We have found that the free versions are more than sufficient to get in our gaming fix.
Once we choose a game to play, we always set up a Zoom video chat so that we can talk and see each other’s faces while we play our online board game of choice. You can download and create a Zoom account for free by visiting zoom.us.
Best Online Board Games
I have compiled a list of the best online board games that you can play with friends. Many of these board games have their own dedicated site from the original creators or are a very close replication of the original game.
I’ll list 5 of the best online board games to play with friends while you are stuck at home. These are in no particular order. Here we go!
1. Settlers of Catan – How to Play Settlers of Catan Online
One of our favorite games to play during game night was Catan. We were excited when we heard that there is an online version of the game called “Catan Universe” that you can play via your browser or Steam, or download the app on either your Android or iPhone mobile device.
You can play for free by going to https://catanuniverse.com/en/ and creating an account. There is a paid version that you can purchase to unlock more expansions and theme sets, but we were perfectly fine playing the free version.
All of our friends made their accounts and activated them (through their email). We then set up a zoom call as there is no voice or text chat feature within the Catan Universe platform.
We then added each other as friends and created a new game. As we played through our first online Catan game experience, we had a blast! It was just like playing the game in person and we were able to capture the spirit of Catan by still being able to play this great game online with friends.
If for some reason you do not want to play through the Catan Universe application, an alternative option would be the website https://colonist.io. It’s not the original game, but the features and play style are very similar. You can play online with random people and you do not need to create an account.
2. Cards Against Humanity – How to Play Cards Against Humanity Online
Cards against humanity is a great party game that is simple and fun to play with friends. You don’t have to miss out on playing this game while you are stuck at home because there is a great online version.
The easiest way to play cards against humanity online is by using the website Playingcards.io and inviting your friends to play.
All you have to do is visit the website playingcards.io, scroll down to where it says ‘Play your favorite tabletop game or make your own,’ click on ‘Cards Against Humanity,’ and then click ‘Start Game’. Then all you need to do is copy the game room link and share it with your friends. You can play with up to 5 other friends.
We found ourselves playing multiple rounds of Cards Against Humanity online and had a great time. Everyone was tuned into the same game and we were able to talk to each other by setting up a zoom call. It was so much fun!
3. Pictionary – How to Play Pictionary Online
Another great game to play online with friends is Pictionary. This classic drawing game always brings fun and laughter to the gaming table, even virtually.
We couldn’t find a dedicated pictionary site by the creators, but we did find one that was very similar that allows you to play with friends.
All you have to do is visit this site https://www.drawize.com and you can play this pictionary style game with your friends for free. You do not need to create an account. Create a game room and invite your friends. It’s easy!
4. Scrabble – How to Play Scrabble Online with Friends
Scrabble is another great game that you can play with friends online to pass the time. We used the site “Pogo” to set up our own scrabble game.
5. Ticket to Ride – How to Play Ticket to Ride Online with Friends
Ticket to Ride is another one of our favorites to play in person. However, we didn’t have to miss out on this great game during quarantine because the creators have made an online version that you can use to play with your friends!
The online version of Ticket to Ride is available on the web, steam, and as an app. All you have to do is visit the days of wonders website online and it will prompt you to create and verify your account.
From there, you can set up a game with your friends and create a zoom video chat call so that you can chat with your friends while you play.
We love Ticket to Ride because it is a simple yet fun game to play with friends. We were so happy to find an online version to play so that we didn’t have miss out on playing it.
Best Online Board Game Websites
We recommend using the websites above to play the games we listed for the best online board games. You may be looking for a certain game that is not listed above or may want to try a new game.
There are many online board gaming websites out there that give you the opportunity to play your favorite board games online with friends or try out new board games while playing online with random people. These websites are pretty much the best way to play board games on a PC.
Here I will list some of the best online board game websites that serve the purpose of providing an online game experience with friends where we can play our favorite games as well as trying out new ones. They are in no particular order. Let’s get into it!
Here are 5 sites I think are the best for playing board games online. I will go into more detail about each of them below:
- Board Game Arena
- Tabletop Simulator
Some of these websites have free versions and others require you to pay a small fee in order to play or access more games in their library. We recommend trying out the free versions first to see if you like the gaming interface. Enjoy!
1. Board Game Arena
Board Game Arena is probably one of our favorite online board game websites, as it is easy to create an account and start playing board games online. It’s free to create an account and the majority of games in the library are free to play. There are over 150 board games currently in the library!
Although it doesn’t look like much when you login, once you get a board game fired up, the interface is actually pretty good. Board Game Arena has a lot of great games and they are constantly adding more games to the library.
There are many traditional classic board games as well as modern games as well. You can either invite your friends to play or just play online with the huge player base. You will always find someone to play with no matter what.
You are able to access and play the games on Board Game Arena through any device that supports a browser.
Overall, Board Game Arena has a great library of board games that are free to play online. The site is very easy to use and most of the games look great. If you cannot get your friends together to play a game, then you will be able to play with random people in real time as there are always people online.
Board Game Arena is one of the most popular places to play board games online. To access the Board Game Arena website and start playing today, you can click here.
Vassal is a great website for dedicated board gamers who want a lot of different game options. Vassal has a great library of board games and tabletop games where you probably won’t be able to find anywhere else.
You can access the Vassal website by clicking here.
Yucata is another great online board gaming website that has a huge fan base. As you begin to explore the Yucata website, you will notice a bunch of great games that you cannot find anywhere else.
It is completely free to use and you can quickly get into a gaming group with friends or other gamers around the world. Although the website looks a bit outdated, the games themselves actually look pretty good. You can play games for free without having to register and we have tons of fun on this board gaming site!
Tabletopia is a free to download software that gives you access to a huge library of some of the best tabletop games. One of our favorite games to play on this platform is ‘Secret Hitler’.
Tabletopia has over 600 games to play and they are constantly adding new games. You have access to many free games, but if you want to play certain games, then you will need to have a premium account. To access the full library of games, you will need a subscription account.
You can access Tabletopia through your browser where you can create a game and then send a link to invite all of your friends.
5. Tabletop simulator
Tabletop Simulator is really great for playing real time games on the internet. We love this site because the view is like you are actually looking at a real game board on the table. You use your mouse to draw cards, roll dice, and make selections based on which game you are playing.
The only downside to this platform is that you need to pay a base fee just to use the software and premium games require a fee as well.
Tabletop Simulator is a great website to use to try out new tabletop games with friends and play in real time. There are even text and voice chat functions within the software.
If you and your friends are really into tabletop gaming, then it may be worth it to pay the small fee to use this application. It is a great substitution to play tabletop games online with friends while you cannot meet in person to play.
Wrapping it all up
I hoped this article helped in curing some of your boredom while stuck at home. If you miss being able to have board game nights with friends, then I am pleased to tell you that It is really easy to set up a zoom chat and hop on an online board game with your friends.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave us a comment below. Happy gaming!