when your regular board game night is cancelled, you will be glad to know that you can easily play- games online in different ways.
And these are not just online versions of chess or drafts, either many of your favourite games such as Settlers of Catan, Scyth and Carcasonne are all now available to play online at your comfort zone.
There are actually quite different ways to play board games online, so we have detailed different options that are open to you to choose from.
Here is how to play Cards Against Humanity online at no cost
How to play and enjoy board games online at a glance: these are your options to play
Play physical board game over chatting app
make Use of Tabletop Simulators
ensure to Play together on the apps
Online board games; (cost)
Online board games; (no cost)
How to play in details board games online:
1. Play physical board games over chatting apps
If you have already got the board game you wanted to play, it may be very easier to jump in a calling app or even a chat app with other people and play the game against webcam oi.
Sure, this will not work for all games, if you need to keep your cards a secret, it is going to be hard to show one single person their card without showing it to everyone else on the call also.
But if one person can arrange the game, especially if no one needs secret cards, there are many games that could be enjoyed, such as Monopoly, Carcassonne or Settlers of Catan as the case may be.
For this, you will need the board game check out our list of the best board games if you need inspiration and also a webcam. For the latter, if you see them at a premium currently, we have got a guide on where webcams are recently in stock, but of course, the built-in camera for your laptop, smartphone or even tablet will work fine too.
2. Use Tabletop Simulator
If you want that tabletop gaming knowledge but can’t actually get around a table with your friends or family, there is an alternative that is in the form of Tabletop Simulator as a matter of fact.
Similar to BoardGameArena, Yucatan is a website that hosts a virtual library of board games to play online.
The selection of board games varies from easier games such as two-player board game Jaipur and Hey, That’s My Fish – one of the best board games for kids – to the more complex and meaty, including Martin Wallace’s historical deck builder A Few Acres of Snow and the Spiel des Jahres-winning El Grande. There are dozens of games available for free, although the catalogue does learn to more strategic ‘Eurogames’ than theme-heavy or story-driven board games.
Like BoardGameArena, there’s no need to download anything to play on Yucatan. The games are played in a browser window, with players taking turns – there’s the option to play over multiple sessions and take part in several games at the same time.
Although Yucatan favours function over form, it does include the ability to chat during games and has a ranking system that allows players to work their way up a series of levels. The most useful and necessary feature is the ability to watch replays of past games, letting you analyze your moves and your opponents’ strategies to help improve your Play in the future matches.
Tabletopia splits the difference between the completely open sandbox of Tabletop Simulator and the convenience and affordability of playing board games online in web browsers like BoardGameArena and Yucatan.
Like Tabletop Simulator, you play different board games in a 3D environment, with the ability to drag cards and components around the virtual table. Where Tabletop Simulator is much more open-ended with thousands of user-made mods, Tabletopia sticks to official digital versions made by the developers of the original board games. (Whereas Tabletop Simulator’s non-official mods sometimes fall into a more grey area.)
Games on Tabletopia include some of the best board games of the last few years, including strategy hit Scythe, party board game Secret Hitler and co-op board game Burgle Bros., as well as brand new releases such as Wingspan and Tapestry and older classics – Survive: Escape from Atlantis is one such highlight. A number of upcoming board games are available to play before their full release, too.
You can play two board games online with friends at the same time on Tabletopia without paying a penny. There are monthly subscription tiers that let you play more sessions at the same time and access premium board games in addition to the free library.
While one of Tabletopia’s biggest advantages is the fact you can play board games online in your browser, the app is also available as a dedicated program on Steam, as well as mobile platforms such as iOS and Android.
Maybe the most popular way of playing board games online, and almost certainly the most flexible, Tabletop Simulator is an app available for PC that recreates the tabletop in a digital sandbox. You and your friends essentially exist in a virtual space with any components that you want to add to the table (or that someone else has added – more on that in a sec), and the app simulates the physics of moving the pieces around, much like real life.
This means you can technically recreate almost any tabletop experience, as long as you have the pieces. Tabletop Simulator comes with an impressively broad and capable set of built-in features allowing players to shuffle cards, roll dice, hold a hand of cards their opponents can’t see and more. There’s even a dedicated option to flip the table if you’re so inclined. (Don’t worry, there’s a rewind function to put things back as they were before someone rolled that natural 1.)
Vanilla Tabletop Simulator comes with basic games and pieces by default: classics like chess, backgammon, and so on. It’s in the app’s flexible modding scene that things get really interesting. Players have created thousands of custom components and ready-made setups for some of the most popular and best board games ever made, from beginner board games such as Catan to complex miniatures games – there’s no reason you couldn’t learn how to play Warhammer 40,000 before dropping hundreds of pounds on models.
While many of the player-made board games in Tabletop Simulator are free, publishers also release official versions of popular board games as paid DLC, offering a full recreation of games ranging from co-op board game The Captain is Dead to sci-fi strategy epic Xia: Legends of a Drift System and the recent smash hit Wingspan. Others use it for playtesting prototypes of upcoming board games, meaning you can occasionally play big titles such as Oath before they’re released.
The downside is that Tabletop Simulator is very much a DIY experience – you still have to move the cards, pieces and components around, and there’s no automation of certain actions or teaching of rules built-in. If you’re unfamiliar with playing PC games, the control scheme and fiddliness can be a bit of a hurdle at first. Overall, though, Tabletop Simulator is a seriously accomplished way of replacing your physical tabletop with a digital one.