4 Ways to Play Board Games Online With Friends
Circumstances can sometimes prevent you from meeting up with your board game buddies. Fortunately, it’s now possible to play board games online with friends, regardless of distance.
In this article, we list a number of different ways to play board games online with friends far away. Which means you no longer have to leave your house to enjoy a weekend gaming session.
1. Use a Video Chat Platform
If you can’t get together with friends for a board game night, you can still meet up using a video chat app. That way, you can talk to your friends and play through the entire game like you normally would.
Video calls work best for roleplaying games, basic board games, and trading card games. You’ll only get to interact using your voice and visuals, so it’s best not to play a board game that consists of many moveable pieces. It might require a little bit of creativity depending on which game you choose, but it’s still doable.
If you’re interested in playing board games with a video chat app, try one of these platforms…
Skype allows you to hold HD video and audio calls with up to 50 people. It’s free to download for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, making it versatile enough to accommodate all of your friends’ different devices.
Facebook Messenger also supports up to 50 people in one video or voice chat. Just keep in mind that only six people will appear on the screen at one time during video chat sessions. You and your friends can access Facebook Messenger from a desktop, phone, or browser.
The main downside to Facebook Messenger is that each person on the chat must have a Facebook account. This could pose a problem if some of your friends have deleted their account to stop getting tracked by Facebook , or for other privacy/security reasons.
Visit: Facebook Messenger (Free)
With Google Duo, you can hold video calls with up to 12 people. You can quickly access Google Duo by heading to its website, or downloading the Google Duo app for Android or iOS. All you need to get started is a Google account, which you and your friends probably already have.
Visit: Google Duo (Free)
Discord is the go-to voice chat platform for online gaming, but you can use it for video chatting as well. Set up a Discord server , gather a group of up to 10 players, and you can start a board game session. Although Discord offers a premium subscription, it isn’t necessary for playing board games with friends.
Visit: Discord (Free, subscription available)
2. Take Advantage of a Virtual Tabletop Platform
Some board games are too complicated to play over a simple video chat. Fortunately, a virtual tabletop site can instantly fix that problem.
Both of the following platforms allow you to play just about any board game. Better yet, each player can simultaneously see what’s happening in the game, while looking at the virtual board, cards, and dice.
Not only does Roll20 let you play board games with friends, but it also lets you join games with new players in case your friends aren’t available. After you create an account, you can start setting up your game using a built-in module, or you can opt to start from scratch.
In Roll20’s marketplace, you can purchase games, guides, and add-ons for Call of Cthulhu, Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons, and more. To enhance your gaming experience, Roll20 also offers video and voice chat, customizable virtual boards, as well as character sheets.
Visit: Roll20 (Free)
Fantasy Grounds has a library of free and paid add-ons and rulesets for a variety of popular games. Like Roll20, Fantasy Grounds provides you with the platform to create and play board games. Since Fantasy Grounds only supports text-based chat, you’ll have to use a third-party app if you prefer video or voice chat.
You can choose from two different versions of the Fantasy Grounds Classic software: Standard and Ultimate. The only difference between the two tiers is that the Ultimate version allows you to host any friends who don’t own the software for free. Whereas the Standard version requires all of your friends to own the software.
Download: Fantasy Grounds Classic Standard ($40 on Steam)
Download: Fantasy Grounds Classic Ultimate Bundle ($145 on Steam)
3. Play a Digital Board Game or App
Popular board games often have digital versions that are just as good as the physical game. Better yet, board game apps for your phone or PC let you invite far-away friends to join in on your game night. Below is a short list of fan-favorite board games that you can download and play on your PC or smartphone.
Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is a classic board game that challenges you to connect cities and reach your destination before the other players. The digital version provides you with an equally enjoyable experience that you can play online with friends or strangers.
Download: Ticket to Ride ($10 on Steam)
In Twilight Struggle, you can choose to play as the United States or the USSR during the Cold War. Once you connect with a friend online, they’ll take on the role you didn’t choose, and you’ll then compete against each other to gain control of the world.
Download: Twilight Struggle ($10 on Steam)
Terraforming Mars is a race to make Mars a livable home for humans. Join up to five other players online, as you build cities, create oceans, and set up oxygen on Mars.
Download: Terraforming Mars ($20 on Steam)
4. Try Tabletop Simulator
Tabletop Simulator makes playing board games online even more fun. It operates as a physics sandbox, so that means you can pick up game pieces, flip tables, and destroy the entire game board whenever you feel like it. You can invite up to 10 other people, making it a blast to play with friends.
While Tabletop Simulator comes with a group of standard games like poker, jigsaw puzzles, dominos, mahjong, and chess, you can access more games via the Steam Workshop or by buying DLC packs. Not to mention that it also gives you the tools to play RPG games, as well as create your own games.
Get started with the best free games on Tabletop Simulator.
Download: Tabletop Simulator ($20 on Steam)
Technology Makes It Easy to Play Board Games Online
No matter which virtual board gaming method you choose, you’re bound to have fun. After all, it’s the company that matters most, right? In fact, hosting an online board game night can be a refreshing alternative to in-person meetups, so why not give it a try?
Are you looking for more ways to connect with your friends online? Then check out these ways to watch Netflix with friends far away .