Online games to play with friends: multiplayer apps for a virtual game night

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There are only so many Parks and recreation episodes to watch and online fitness classes to try out on your living room floor before you need a little more human interaction. Whether you’re social distancing, quarantined, or looking to avoid further exposure with the new Omicron variant, you’re probably feeling restless and bored.

Order booze, arrange group FaceTime calls, and meet up with friends for (virtual) game night. Apple and Google Play Stores have all kinds of apps to make yours a reality. Overly competitive friends and lots of wine are encouraged.

Here’s our running list of some of the best games to play with your friends from afar:

Apple App Store

Psycho!

If you’ve ever played Balderdash, you’ll understand the gist. Join the game remotely with your friends, choose from multiple categories and start making up fake answers. You are legitimately encouraged to lie. Fun! Basically, you’ll fabricate fake answers to real trivial questions and have your friends guess what’s real. The goal is to get them to choose yours. You’ll score points by guessing the correct answer and tricking your friends into guessing yours. Requires a minimum of two players.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Scrabble Go

Nothing pisses me off like three glasses of Cabernet and a friend trying to pass “fleek” as a valid word in Scrabble. And then, is that all part of the fun? Download the Scrabble Go app and get ready to chat for hours with your loved ones. A sense of normalcy is a good thing in these difficult times, isn’t it? The game allows up to four players.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

8 ball pool

We can’t go to real bars anymore, so drink cheap beer at your favorite dive and bet your friends you’ll sink the 8 ball is off the table. But there is a virtual version that allows you to participate in one-on-one or eight-player tournaments. You can sign up via Facebook and challenge your friends from the comfort of your couch.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

UN

Sure, it won’t be as fun to gloat with your “UNO” on FaceTime as it is on IRL, but we have to make some sacrifices here, folks. And the classic card game’s virtual app has all sorts of cool twists. You can play with friends from anywhere, team up for 2v2 mode, enter tournaments, and more.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Heads up! on Houseparty

Instead of downloading the regular Heads Up! app, you’ll need Houseparty, which, in case you haven’t already used it for your virtual happy hours, is a group video chat service. Essentially, the game is a modern take on charades and can be used as an addition to your call. This way you don’t even need a separate FaceTime setup, you can game, chat and drink in one place.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Yahtzee with buddies

Nothing incites a bit of nostalgia like a good game of Yahtzee. Now you can play it on mobile with friends and avoid any dice-related injuries. Simply download, go to the “social” tab and connect with your Facebook friends for a lively game.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Boggle with friends

Another classic board game gone virtual, Boggle With Friends lets you play solo, with random opponents, and friends. You can even participate in live tournaments if you’re feeling particularly competitive, complete daily challenges, and more.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Scattergories

The gist is the same: roll the dice and create an answer for each category that matches your starting letter. Corn the app version comes with way more features than the IRL board game. Try the multiplayer mode, duels, access power-ups, earn a place in the leaderboard and play with all your friends.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Smule

Oh, so you wanna show off your karaoke skills? You might not be crowding into bars to share a mic with germ-carrying strangers right now, but you can still shout and sing “Sweet Caroline” like it’s the good old days. That’s the beauty of Smule! The multiplayer karaoke app lets you duet with your friends, join a community of singers, or even record yourself.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Space team

Spaceteam brings together the entire crew for a collective mission: to prevent your ship from exploding. The eight-player game gives each member their own control panel and urgent instructions to help save the ship, pushing you to complete the team bonding activity together.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Apple App Store

Mario Kart Tour

You may have retired your Gamecube a while ago, but luckily you can still challenge your loved ones to fierce Mario Kart competition via your phone. Race up to seven other players.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Houseparty trivia

Heads up! isn’t your only Houseparty gaming option. In fact, there are a number of them, including anecdotes. Compete against your friends on various topics, such as “Finishing the lyrics of the song” or the app’s brand new Fortnite spin-off. There are a total of 18 different quizzes, so everyone has a chance to show off.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Monopoly

Monopoly is a classic for good reason. And while I can admit it’s remarkably less fun when I can’t cheat (don’t surprise me, you did too), for rules followers, the game is the same. You can host a private game with friends and rob Park Place right under your boyfriend’s nose, just like you would IRL. The game allows up to four players.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Drawing 2

Drawful is like Pictionary’s weird cousin. The “terrible drawing game and hilarious wrong answers” lets you use your phone or tablet to draw your best “scary tiger”, “death by paper clip”, and more while everyone does their best to decipher your, uh, work of art. The app requires a minimum of three players, but allows up to eight players in your crew.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Chips & Guac on Houseparty

Chips & Guac looks a lot like Cards Against Humanity Where From apples to apples in that it is a word association game. You’ll get a random word, like dangerous or sneaky, and your friends will have to play a card that they think matches the phrase.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Quick draw on Houseparty

Houseparty’s Quick Draw feature is basically Pictionary that you can play during video calls. The word or idea will appear right there on your screen and you will have to draw your best sketch of it. And given that drinking while gambling is encouraged (mostly by me), there’s no doubt you’ll get some interesting artwork.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a quiz-style game that twists classic trivia. Instead of testing your friends on the 12th President of the United States or the capital of Montana, you can create your own on more important things (like, I don’t know, yourself!).
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

would you rather

The game is about as simple as it gets, but somehow never ceases to entertain the crowd. The app version is the same. You’ll get a variety of “Would you rather” questions, so you can really see how your friends are doing on the topics that really matter.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Evil apples against humanity

This one is for Cards Against Humanity fans. Evil Apples vs. Humanity is inspired by the cult game, in which everyone is shown a question card and each player selects an answer card, but with a more naughty twist. In fact, the App Store suggests leaving Grandma and the kids out of your next trick.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

Double!

Experiencing pent up angst thanks to a little thing like this seemingly endless pandemic? Get rid of your frustrations by competing against friends on Dual! The two-player game allows you to shoot from screen to screen. There are three modes: Duel, Defend and Deflect, each allowing you to play differently. Tilt your phone to dodge foul balls, work together to defend against other attackers, or score goals in a friendlier version.
Get it on the App store
Get it on google play

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Megan Schaltegger is a writer at Thrillist.

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