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games you can run off usbFill your USB stick with great games, so you can play even on computers that don’t allow you to install software.

Whether you’re at work, the library or even someone else’s house, sometimes you cannot – or simply don’t want to – install a game on a computer. But what if you could take some games with you on a USB drive, and play them on any Windows computer? Turns out you can with a wide variety of software – all of it portable.

Find below my humble attempt to outline some of the best portable games out there. You’ll find shooters, strategy games and platformers – there should be something for everyone. Please note: most (not all) of these downloads requires the Portable Apps Suite Suite: The Best Portable Applications Manager & Database Suite: The Best Portable Applications Manager & Database Portable applications are no secret – they have grown in popularity as their benefits continually become more well known. should be given a lot of credit for this. Sure there are several portable application... Read More , so be sure to look into that software if you’re confused by the .PAF files you’ve downloaded.

AssaultCube: First Person Shooter

You can put a first person shooter on your flash drive, right now, and take it to work. Don’t believe me? Download the portable version of AssaultCube.

Our own Ryan claims Take Part in Multiplayer War Games With Free FPS AssaultCube Take Part in Multiplayer War Games With Free FPS AssaultCube Read More this game combines some of the best features from a variety of shooters, and it even offers a LAN multiplayer mode – so you could get your entire office in on the whole “not working” thing.

games you can run off usb

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Cave Story: Perfect Tribute To 8-Bit

Prefer your shooting games to be two-dimensional? You’re not alone, and this beauty of a game is one of the best. Cave Story’s been around since 2004, but it looks, sounds and feels at least a decade older than that. But it’s not derivative – there’s a lot more here than meets the eye. You’ll be hooked.

games you can run off a flash drive

Read more about Cave Story MUO Games - Cave Story: A Tiny Addictive Game MUO Games - Cave Story: A Tiny Addictive Game Read More , or go ahead and download the game. Everything you need to run this game is in a single folder, so you can easily run it off your flash drive (though you’ll need to apply a language patch – see the site for instructions).

FreeCiv: Empire Building

Strategy games are great fun, and Civilization is among the best. FreeCiv isn’t a perfect replica of Microprose’s classic, but it comes pretty close – and is completely free.

games you can run off a flash drive

Games like this are a lot easier to get away with playing at work – turn your monitor away and you’ll basically look like you’re focusing. Not to encourage time theft, but you get the idea.

Read more about FreeCiv Play The Civilization Game For Free With FreeCiv Play The Civilization Game For Free With FreeCiv Read More , or go ahead and download the portable version of the game from Portable Apps.

Battle For Wesnoth: Turn-Based Strategy

Take your time to think. Battle For Wesnoth is a turn-based adventure game with fantastic music and an immersive plot. It’s a game you’re going to want to take with you everywhere once you have it.

games you can run off a flash drive

Read more about Battle For Wesnoth Live Out Adventure and Conquest in the Battle for Wesnoth [Cross Platform] Live Out Adventure and Conquest in the Battle for Wesnoth [Cross Platform] Read More , or download the portable version of the game from Portable Apps.

Hedge Wars: Worms-like Strategy

Remember Worms? It was a classic in the 90’s, combining slapstick with realtime strategy. Hedge Wars takes that concept and runs with it – and it’s a blast.

usb games

Read more about Hedge Wars HedgeWars: A Multiplayer Worms-Like Game With Hedgehogs [MUO Gaming] HedgeWars: A Multiplayer Worms-Like Game With Hedgehogs [MUO Gaming] Games are so prevalent nowadays. There are games for the hardcore and competitive types, and then there are games for the casual crowd. But more recently, I’ve seen a trend where developers have been incorporating... Read More or download the portable version of the game from Portable Apps

OpenTTD: Transportation Simulator

Transit Tycoon Deluxe is, over a decade later, an absolute favorite game for many – but no update seems to be coming. Luckily there’s OpenTTD, a free version of this classic available to everyone. Managing a public transportation doesn’t sound like fun, but the challenge of it is strangely addictive.

usb games

Read more about OpenTTD Two Free Transport Simulator Games Two Free Transport Simulator Games Read More , or download the portable version of the game from Portable Apps.

Grab The Windows XP Classic Games

Windows 8 denies you even the basic games that came with Windows by default. Don’t panic, though, because if you’re got a Windows XP CD lying around you can grab Minesweeper, Solitaire and the rest quickly Minesweeper: Restoring The Classic Windows Games In Windows 8 Minesweeper: Restoring The Classic Windows Games In Windows 8 Bring the default games in Windows 8 back to the desktop. If Metro-style, full screen apps aren't what you want when you play Solitaire, Minesweeper or Free Cell, you're probably disappointed with Windows 8 –... Read More . Even better: once you have the files you can run these games on any computer, from your USB drive.

usb games

Stick Minecraft On Your USB Drive

Do you wish you could play Minecraft as school, but can’t because you cannot install software? You’re in luck, because there’s a tutorial for putting Minecraft on your USB key over at It’s long, but it just might be worth it.

Retro Gaming Made Portable

Love retro gaming? Fill your USD drive with retro emulators, then.

games you can run off usb

We’ve outlined major emulators for three eras of gaming, and most of these are portable apps as-is. Fill your USB drive with ROMs and these pieces of software and you’ll be good to go. Check out these articles for more details:

What Did We Miss?

Using this list and you can play pretty much any kind of game directly from your USB drive.

I’m curious, though, what else can we add? Let me know what portable games you find in the comments below, and together we’ll build the ultimate USB of portable games for Windows!

  1. Kris
    February 1, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Minecraft, Warcraft 3 and retro emulators!

    6+ years ago at school I had a USB-stick that had 2 GB storage on it. I downloaded Warcraft 3, with the frozen throne expansion, and played it from the USB drive. The game took like 1,5 GB, so would still have plenty of space for the few school project documents etc.
    Warcraft would run great back then! The computers I have access to now is even more powerful, they run with a i-3 processor.

    Now these small bastards comes in 16 GB for like 10 bucks. I'm going to put this in my bag again. The USB stick, mini USB mouse and USB game pad. The stick + mouse is like the size of a wallet so it's easy to carry around all the time in a bag or backpack.

  2. Geci Geco
    October 24, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I have already played tese games from usb,because I have lot of spare time at my workplace:)
    Medieval Total war
    Total war - Rome
    Counter strike
    Monkey Island 1
    Stronghold crusader

    just copy the installed game on your disc or portable device and it works!

    • Ishir
      December 8, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Really? Medieval total war? Wasn't that way too big a file?

  3. Anonymous
    April 28, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    How about Angry Birds and Super Mario Brothers X?

    • Justin Pot
      April 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      I did not know there was a portable version of Angry Birds! Where can you get it?

      As for Super Mario Bros X, good one!

  4. XxAnimeReaperxX
    April 6, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    You can also have halo games unreal tournament 2004 and half life i have them all on mine just make sure you keep all the files it comes with on the drive

    • Justin Pot
      April 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      A few other commenters have pointed this out, I'll have to check it out sometime!

  5. Harry
    February 19, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    If you do have a disk copy of Half-Life lying around, you could put that onto your flash drive, along with Counter-Strike!

  6. Anon
    January 30, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Halo, Age of Empires II w/ 2.0e, most emulators

    Portable gaming has more to do with the game engine than the specific game. Mostly all Unreal Engine 1 games run from USB.

  7. Gabriel K
    July 2, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Minecraft goes pretty good on usb

  8. Ahmed
    June 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    the old Serious Sam:The second encounter . also worked no on-line though

    • Justin Pot
      June 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      It's awesome how many older games work this way!

  9. Someone
    June 19, 2013 at 7:06 am

    What about Terraria! It should definitely be up there.

    • Justin Pot
      June 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Well, now it's down here! And that's pretty good.

  10. Ning Fu
    June 15, 2013 at 7:02 am


  11. Cheryl Buchholtz
    June 15, 2013 at 6:11 am

    If you have never accessed this site you are missing something. As a complete novice in many new programs and apps, I have made copies which I filed into books of every guide and cheat I needed. Today I found an unofficial guide for the new Windows 360. I am sure after a little study of this pdf, I will better understand the program and how to use it efficiently. provides great services.

  12. Richard
    June 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Another good one, if you like RTS and your memory stick is large enough (at least 1 GB, 2 GB for full features) is installing Starcraft 1, then copying it over onto the memory stick after you have it at the last, latest patch. If you want full features, install Broodwar before copying to the flash drive, (you will need 1.5 GB at least on the drive, the original without expansion requires at least 700 MB) and you can play a great late 90's game for the PC where ever you are.

    What's better, with the latest patch, LAN over TCP/IP is enabled so you can play this with workmates. The game works great on all latest OS (not tried Win8) with the exception of Windows Vista/7. There are minor graphical bugs, but you can still play fully. To fix those, it helps to have access to the task manager so you can end process of explorer and then restart when you've finished.

    • Justin Pot
      June 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Great tip! I'm sure you've lowed the global GDP with this potential workplace distraction. :)

  13. Kushal
    June 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Mario, Dave, Limbo

  14. Steve
    June 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    You can also play Dwarf Fortress from USB; if you are masochistic enough to play it, that is.

  15. Miles
    June 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    World of Warcraft is portable...

    • Justin Pot
      June 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      For serious? That's awesome! If I do another such list it will make the cut for sure.

      • Miles
        June 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

        I play it from a portable hard drive, never tried it on a usb stick. You do of course need a net connection though.

  16. Assif Rock
    June 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    bad game...

  17. Mr. Marcus
    June 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I like the fact that I can now carry the "good ole classics" like Minesweeper, Solitaire etc that came with XP, man I kinda' miss my XP OS...**chuckle**

  18. Lunaclipse
    June 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You could try Liero. It's a pretty fun game that keeps with the style of Worms, but has real-time gameplay instead of turn-based. There's also a settings menu where you can set so many different options that can generally destroy everything and go everywhere. It can be terribly addictive, but it's brilliant fun.

  19. Nohl Lyons
    June 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    This article would be even better if it mentioned some Mac apps.

    • Justin Pot
      June 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      That's kind of pointless, because every Mac app is portable. Just stick that sucker on a USB!

  20. Mohit Kumar
    June 10, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing such an article but these games are not so much popular.

    • Justin Pot
      June 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      Yeah, portable gaming is limited – commercial game developers don't want their titles to be portable for obvious reasons.

  21. Adrian Barat
    June 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I like AssaultCube. Great game for a portable version.

  22. Aditya Roy
    June 10, 2013 at 7:47 am

    pocket tanks... :)

    • Justin Pot
      June 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Good one!

  23. Robert4
    June 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

    It's good to see "Cave Story" amongst this list, because it's one of my all-time favorite games, commercial or otherwise! I highly recommend this game if you have any interest in action/platform shooters. It would have definitely been a smash hit if it was released commercially on a 16-bit console back in the day.

    And... I hate to be "that guy," but "Worms" was actually a turn-based game, not a realtime game. Still, "Hedgewars" is a must-play, especially as a party game if you've got some friends/family over.

  24. Pooky Joralyn
    June 9, 2013 at 7:27 am

    Portable games like chess or sudoku

    • Justin Pot
      June 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      Yeah, you can find those at PortableApps as well. There are more than a few options.

  25. Adly Asraf
    June 9, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Been playing Cave Story for years now. Great games suggestion by the way.

  26. Eian Ampoloquio
    June 9, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Great USB Games suggestion.. can't think of any to suggest.

  27. J Enrique F
    June 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Has anyone played Carmen Sandiego? I used to play it long long long time ago, it was a lot of fun... I think you can run it from a usb stick too...
    I'm gonna go look for it now :D

  28. Eli
    June 9, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Civilization is by Microprose, not Microsoft.

    • Justin Pot
      June 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

      Oops...will fix it when I have access. Thanks for the tip.

  29. Max
    June 8, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    I think the classic cube 2 engine, lying underneath assaultcube works too? I thought it was packaged.

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