20 Best Online Games To Play With Friends While Social Distancing

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20 Best Online Games To Play With Friends While Social Distancing
Self

During this time of quarantine and social distancing, we need our friends more than ever. Since sharing the same physical space isn't allowed right now, we need to make sure we connect in other ways.

And one way we can have fun together is with online games to play with friends. You can even meet new people and expand your internet social circle.

Most of these games are free or relatively inexpensive, don't take much skill, and are played with minimal equipment. The rules tend to be uncomplicated and easy to figure out. 

The truth is, you may end up spending more time with them by playing certain games every single night than you would normally.

Online games can help you take your mind off a terrifying time in our history. It's a distraction, and distractions aren't always a bad thing.

Here are 20 online games to play with friends, right from the comfort of home.

RELATED: 40 Best Online Multiplayer Games To Play With Friends

1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Nintendo Switch's latest release is the popular life simulation, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You can invite up to eight friends to hang out on your island, chat, and give each other gifts. By using the online co-op mode, players can visit each other's islands. 

2. Best Fiends Stars

This is a puzzle game that challenges you to "match and blast your way" through a series of explosive puzzles, collecting cute characters and teaming up with your friends along the way. You can challenge your friends to collect the fallen treasures and stars.

3. Brutal Age: Horde Invasion

Make up your own team and compete against other teams. By leveling up the Stronghold, you're able to open up additional features, and there are a ton of other events to hold the interest of the players. 

4. Cards Against Humanity

We all miss socializing with our friends, especially the parties and the game nights. This inappropriate, awkward, and sometimes just wrong game can help you to feel a lot better by making you laugh.

5. Call of Duty: Warzone

This first-person shooter series has been a favorite among gamers for over a decade, and its online multiplayer gameplay continues to knock out the competition. It's a fresh take on the popular battle royale genre featuring worlds with 150 players and various sized squads.

6. Codenames

Players are divided into two teams, Red and Blue. Each unit has a spymaster who gives clues to the words they want their team to deduce. Correct guesses mean the team gets to guess more words until they win or until they guess incorrectly. Guess the black card and you lose!

7. Jackbox Games

With games like Drawful 2Jackbox Games Trivia, and Quiplash 2, the Jackbox Games are easy to play virtually with family and friends in various locations. Once the games are downloaded, you can hop on a video call with friends and share your screen. They'll be able to play along by using their phones, going to Jackbox.tv, and entering a room code to join the game.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Couples Who Videogame Together Are The Happiest

8. Evil Apples

Play this game with friends all over by sharing game codes from your phone, or join Blitz Mode to go super-fast with strangers. This game is filthy, hilarious, and definitely not for kids. It's guaranteed to make you laugh, though.

9. Fortnite

Fortnite is another popular battle royale online video game with cartoon graphics. It has a ton of challenges for players. The game is always evolving with frequent changes to the map, so the game you start with won't be the same one you end with weeks later. Although listed as family-friendly, guns are used to shoot other players in the game.

10. Grand Theft Auto Online

We'd be remiss if we didn't include Grand Theft Auto V, as it's one of the gaming industry's highest ever-selling titles! The game's story mode has 50 hours of adventure-based action around an in-game version of Los Angeles, but the story is just the beginning.

The online mode can include up to 30 players, and features include adversary modes, reputation and cash flow, sports and activities, heists, bikers, and criminal organizations.

11. Minecraft

This online game can accommodate up to eight friends. If you're in creative mode, you can let your imagination run wild and build whatever you imagine, or join together and see how long you can endure in survival mode.

12. Pandemic

Playing Pandemic in the middle of a pandemic? It doesn't get any more meta than that. Life as we know it is in danger of extinction. As members of a unique disease control team, you're the only thing standing in the way of the four deadly diseases spreading across the world.

You must travel the globe protecting cities, containing infections from spreading, and discovering the cure for each disease. There's something comforting about curing an illness, even if it's just a game.

13. Pokémon GO

There's a variety of things you and your friends can do with this game, including sending gifts, trading Pokémon, and battling remotely. Plus, the newest updates on the game have increased the number of creatures available.

14. Rocket League

This game is described as an intense, highly-powered combination of arcade-style soccer and vehicular pandemonium. Players compete against friends across all platforms and are free to play during summer 2020. There are also in-game events, limited-time modes, and new arenas. 

RELATED: 10 Fun Road Trip Games And Other Great Ways To Pass The Time While En Route

15. Sky Zone Game

This game is perfect when you're trying to make sure that your kids stay engaged and entertained while social distancing. This game is a virtual trampoline park and includes lots of fun activities. Mini-games like Dodge'm, Rouncin' Riot, Fruit Loop, and Flippy Jump have multi-levels of difficulty and mechanics.

16. Spyfall

You're an FBI Detective. The problem is that someone in your department is a Russian agent. All the players, except one, get a location card. The player who didn't get a location card received a spy card instead. Through questioning, the spy must try to get the location, and the other players must figure out who the spy is.

17. Ticket to Ride

You may not be able to travel right now, but Ticket to Ride can satisfy your wanderlust as you enjoy the scenery of Europe and America, all while sitting at home with this online adaptation of the popular strategy board game. There's a huge online player community ready to play 24/7, and you can play four games simultaneously.

18. Werewolf

One moment you're a Villager, defending your imaginary home with every ounce of energy you have. The next, you're a Werewolf, framing your friends and throwing suspicion off yourself by accusing them of plotting to destroy your village. In reality, it's you who's been infiltrating it all along.

Each game has been created to test your judgment and moral character. You'll have to use all your powers of deception to make sure you're still in the game at the end of each round, where the players get to decide who is an innocent Villager or Werewolf. 

19. Words With Friends 2

You know precisely what you're getting from the name of the game — words... and friends! Bring together your family and friends, and challenge them to see what words they create from the letters they receive.

20. You Don't Know My Life!

What makes this game different from the other ones is that you need to book it in advance, and, like a party, there's a host that guides and facilitates you through the game. Players are given questions, and their responses are put up on the screen. Then, everybody guesses which answer goes with which player.

RELATED: 10 Best Apps & Games To Play With Friends On Your Phone

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer. She's had articles in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or and her Instagram.