20 Fun Online Board Games To Play With Friends In 2021 

Home » Resources » Online Board GamesUpdated: October 29, 2021

You found our list of the best online board games to play with friends.

Online board games are web-based or app-based versions of popular board or card games. For example, Battleship, Settlers of Catan, and Boggle. The purpose of these games is to allow friends, family members, community members, or coworkers to play together without physically being in the same space.

These activities are an example of online team building games and are similar to team building board games. These games also work well for virtual game nights.

This list includes:

  • multiplayer online board games
  • online board games to play on Zoom
  • free online games to play with friends
  • online board games for kids
  • online card games to play with friends
  • board games to play online with coworkers
  • sites to play board games with friends

Here we go!

List of online board games to play with friends

From Chess to Guess Who to Ticket to Ride, here is a list of modern and classic board games you can play online with friends, relatives, or colleagues to pass the time and stay in touch.

1. Scattergories

Scattergories is a word game that challenges players to think up words that fit within certain categories and start with a particular letter. The activity also happens to be one of the easiest online board games to play on Zoom. While the traditional board game includes lists, a letter die, a timer, and secrecy folders, the only supplies really required to play are a list of categories and a way to generate random letters.

To play the game on Zoom, have one player pull up scattergoriesonline.net and share the screen. The site automatically chooses a letter and prompts, and times the game. You can also use the site to play online with friends without using Zoom, and can generate prompts in over a dozen languages.

Play Scattergories online.

2. Monopoly

Monopoly is one of the most beloved board games to play with family and friends, making it an obvious choice for board games to play online. There are several ways to play Monopoly games online, including downloading apps or playing tabletop simulators. Rento tends to be the easiest option. The site allows for up to six players and has a feature to invite Facebook friends, as well as download options for smartphones and video game consoles. Users can choose from different boards, dice, and pawns to keep the game interesting.

Play Monopoly online.

3. Scrabble

Scrabble is one of the best free online games to play with friends. There are many ways to play the classic word game on the web, including using the app Words With Friends, or DIY-ing your own board in Google Sheets. However, Pogo offers the most seamless online version of the game. You will have to register for a free account and invite your friends to your game, however Pogo does not display as many ads as some competitors, and also includes fun mini games and rewards.

Added plus: If you play Scrabble online, none of your friends will race to grab a dictionary or “accidentally” knock over the letter tiles.

Play Scrabble online, and check out more vocabulary games.

4. Codenames

Codenames is one of the best multiplayer online board games. Online game setup is simple. First, create a room and tweak settings and preferences. Then, send friends the game link, join a video call, and start to play. From that point, players follow normal game rules by splitting into a red team and a blue team, receiving hints about codenames from the spymaster, and attempting to identify the codename cards that belong to agents on the correct team.

Play Codenames online.

5. Clue

Clue, also known as Cluedo, is a classic whodunit game that challenges players to hunt down the details of a crime. The online multiplayer version of the game is available via Google Play, App Store, Nintendo Switch, or Steam. In addition to the classic setting of Mr. Body’s mansion, players can solve mysteries in new locales such as Dracula’s Castle or Hollywood. The digital version of Cluedo employs the classic card-flipping and note-taking mechanisms of the board game and adds vibrant graphics and the ability to play with friends across the world.

Play Clue online.

6. Life

You and your friends can play an animated, 3D version of the Game of Life on Google Play, The App Store, or Steam. The digital board includes a spinner, spaces, mini-games, as well as animated shorts that illustrate game events like graduating college, having a baby, or buying a house. Certain subscriptions also unlock additional board themes. The multiplayer version of the game also hosts a chat feature that allows participants to send each other emoticons throughout the experience.

Play Life online.

7. Battleship

Battleship is a guessing and memory game that has players racing to sink each other’s ships. In the online version of the game from Papergames, you can find a random opponent, challenge a friend, or start an online tournament. Instead of ships, the game uses colorful skulls. Also, if you play the game regularly, then you can earn coins to trade for emojis and custom avatars.

You can also play Battleship via spreadsheet using the template below.

Spreadsheet Battleship game board

Play Battleship online.

8. Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity

Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity are the most sought-after online card games to play with friends. Unfortunately, finding digital versions of the game can be tricky. One of the best options is the knockoff All Bad Cards, which also offers a more family-friendly version of the game. Simply start a new game, enter your nickname, and send the game link URL to a maximum of 50 players. Other participants’ names will appear at the top of the game screen and other players will be able to click cards to select answers. The basic pack is free for all users, however donating money to the game as a backer will unlock dozens of pop-culture-themed expansion packs.

Play “Apples to Apples” or “Cards Against Humanity” online.

9. Guess Who

Guess Who is one of the easiest and quickest online board games to play with friends. Crazy Games offers a digital version of the board game classic that includes a multiplayer mode. To play the game with a friend, users can create a private room and send the link and password to another player. The game begins with each player selecting a character, then choosing from a list of pre-existing questions. After the other player responds to the question, the program automatically eliminates options accordingly. At the end of the game, the program names a winner and assigns a score.

Pro tip: You can also play a DIY version of Guess Who by selecting and displaying random pictures of people, or by using other Zoom participants as characters.

Play Guess Who online.

10. Pictionary

Pictionary is one of the best online board games for kids. This drawing game is an artsier version of charades, and tends to be family friendly. Drawize is one of the best platforms for multiplayer online Pictionary. You can create a private room for yourself and other players, then take turns scribbling and guessing at drawings that appear in real time.

Or, you can also play virtual Pictionary by using the digital whiteboard feature in your video conferencing platform.

Pro tip: Be sure to grab screen shots of the most memorable doodles!

Play Pictionary online.

11. Taboo

Taboo is a word game that involves players describing a term for their team to guess without using any of the listed similar words. There is a digital version of the game called eTABU that is available in PC version and smartphone apps which includes a social component. For best results, participants should play the game together on video meeting software. Gamemasters can also create a DIY version of the game by using a free slideshow template.

Play Taboo online.

12. Pandemic

Pandemic is one of the best board games to play online with coworkers, since the game revolves more around teamwork and cooperation than competition. The object of the game is for each player to choose a role and work together to stop a worldwide epidemic. The online version of the game is available on a variety of platforms including smartphones, desktop, and video game consoles, and can support two to five players.

Play Pandemic online.

13. Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a train-themed board game that invites players to build a rail line connecting two randomly selected destinations. The digital version of the game has a Pass-and-Play mode that enables users to challenge up to four other participants in real-time and users can also play with a large community of strangers. The game includes in-game tutorials and notes to help beginners and accessibility options. The platform also gives players the option of purchasing additional maps to settings such as India, Germany, Switzerland, or 1900’s America.

Play Ticket to Ride online.

14. Boggle

Boggle is a beloved word game that is easy to play with online friends. To start a game, first choose from 4×4, 5×5, or 6×6 formats. Then, send the game pin code to participants. Once the timer starts, players hunt for words to type into the box. Remember that as per Boggle rules, the letters within the words must be adjacent and you cannot use the same letter tile twice in one word. This version of the game is free and you can play as many rounds as you would like.

Play Boggle online.

15. Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is a world building game where players win points based on achieving certain milestones within created civilizations. Catan Universe is an official online multiplayer version of the board game available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. The game comes in card game or board game version for up to three players, with free options available, and includes high definition graphics and seamless animations.

Play Settlers of Catan online.

16. Risk

Steam offers a digital version of the strategy game Risk called RISK: Global Domination. The basic version is free and follows the traditional Risk format and rules, and players can unlock new maps and alternate rules by making a premium purchase. The multiplayer mode permits participants to play with friends and host battles online.

Play Risk online.

17. Chess

Chess is the ultimate online two-person board game. Chess.com offers players the option to start a game with a friend, as well as the ability to square off against a random or computer opponent. Users can customize the difficulty level, number of rounds, or time, and can also coordinate online tournaments. The site also hosts four player chess, practice drills, as well as daily puzzles and puzzle battles.

Play Chess online.

18. Checkers

Checkers is a classic board game that is easy to play with a partner online. Freeboardgames.org offers a basic version of the pastime that you can play with a friend by sharing a link. Gameplay occurs in an easy drag and drop mode, and the room includes a text chat bar so that you can congratulate your friend on a smart move or lovingly trash talk each other.

Play Checkers online.

19. Sagrada

Sagrada is a puzzle and art-based board game that challenges players to design the most beautiful stained glass window in Spain’s famed La Sagrada Familia. The rules of the game dictate which dice players can use, because only certain numbers will fit in the slots without penalty. The digital version of the game includes vibrant colors and calming sounds, and has a co-op mode that accommodates multiple “drafters” on the same game.

Play Sagrada online.

20. Mysterium

Mysterium is a supernatural strategy games that challenges participants to solve a murder mystery. The game accommodates up to seven participants, and players can choose to be either the ghost that haunts the mansion or one of many psychics. Players work together to interpret visions and solve the mystery. The in-game chat feature allows participants to communicate and share or debunk theories, and the game also includes puzzles and graphics that keep the game interesting and exciting.

Play Mysterium online, and check out this list of virtual murder mystery games.

Sites to play board games with friends

If virtual board game nights are a hit among your friend group, then you may want to branch out and switch up games. Here is a list of online board game platforms that host a variety of game types with multiplayer offerings.

1. Board Game Arena

Board Game Arena is one of the more popular online board game sites, and the platform bills itself as “the largest board game table in the world.” The site hosts hundreds of games in dozens of languages playable via web browser or mobile device. Players can join games from all over the globe and enjoy time together with friends. The platform gives the option of real-time or turn-based gameplay, meaning that players in different timezones or on conflicting schedules can still have fun together at their own pace.

Visit Board Game Arena.

2. Tabletopia

Tabletopia is an online arena for board games. The site hosts hundreds of titles, from generic board games like Serpents and Ladders to more modern offerings such as Wingspan. The directory is filterable by age, number of players, play time, and language, making it easy to discover the perfect game for your group. The homepage also lists categories such as newly released, easy to learn, cooperative, and classic. Users can easily start a private game with friends, and site visitors can also search by room or player to make finding the right group much easier.

Visit Tabletopia.

3. Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator gives users access to classics like Chess, Poker, Chinese Checkers, and Backgammon, as well as the capability to create custom boards or purchase independently developed RPG or party games. Up to 10 players can join a table, and the team mode includes voice and text chat functions. The graphics are high-definition and animated, and one of the most fun features of the platform is the ability to flip the board when the game goes badly.

Visit Tabletop Simulator.

4. Pogo

Pogo is an online game platform that offers many types of games including board games, card games, word games, Mahjong, hidden object challenges, and puzzles. Registration is free, and the site offers multiplayer modes as well as online challenges. Most notably, Pogo hosts one of the best online multiplayer Scrabble games.

Visit Pogo.

5. Playingcards

Playingcards is a virtual tabletop website that offers basic card and board games such as Backgammon, Chess, Cribbage, Rummy, and Spades. The site also hosts Joking Hazard, a game similar to Cards Against Humanity where players create comic strips with random panels from the popular web comic Cyanide & Happiness. Plus, Playingcards also gives visitors the option of making a custom card game. To play games with friends, users

Visit Playingcards.

6. Papergames

Papergames is an online gaming portal that offers classics such as Battleship, Tic-Tac-Toe, and Connect Four. Although the games are basic and the selection is small, the standard version is free and includes a chat function. Users can create private rooms and arrange tournaments for hundreds of participants. The site is child-friendly and safe-for-work, and users can also upgrade to an add-free game experience for a monthly subscription fee.

Visit Papergames.

7. Google Play or the App Store

You may want to play games with friends while on the go as opposed to parking yourself in front of your laptop or desktop. Google Play and the App Store have a variety of board game apps you can purchase or download free and play with friends via mobile device.

Visit Google Play or the App Store.

Final Thoughts

Playing board games is one of the simplest group activities, yet the logistics of playing together while far apart can make the task seem challenging or impossible. Thanks to technology and the dedication of developers who love board games, there are a variety of unique and classic online board games to play with friends, family, and remote coworkers.

Next, check out this list of games to play on Zoom and here is a list of online game show ideas.

FAQ: Online board games

Here are answers to common questions about online board games.

What are online board games?

Online board games are digital versions of classic group games like Life, Pictionary, or Apples to Apples. These multiplayer games are playable via website, app, or video game consoles.

What are some good multiplayer online board games?

Some good multiplayer online board games include Scrabble, Scattergories, Codenames, and Pandemic.

What are the best online board game sites?

The best online board game sites include Tabletopia, Board Game Arena, Playingcards, and Tabletop Simulator.

How do you play online board games?

To play online board games, first select a game to play and find a platform to play it on, or go to an online board game platform and choose an option from the directory. Next, create a private room and share the link or room code with your friends. Some platforms offer chat features, however you may want to also start a video call before beginning the game so that you can have face to face time with other players.

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Author: Angela Robinson

Team building content expert. Angela has a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and worked as a community manager with Yelp to plan events for businesses.

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