If you’re hesitant to get yourself into new computer games because of the additional money that you might shell out from your pocket, worry no more as there are free-to-play (FTP) games that provide a top-notch form of entertainment to play with your friends without you spending a single cent.
Right now, the sheer number of free-to-play games on pc can even be overwhelming once you start searching. There are a lot of games that gained success in garnering massive support from gamers and since then, there’s this influx of games that become readily available to download.
The best free games on PC to play with friends are subdivided into different types of games. From strategy games to first-person shooter games, we’ve gathered the best free games to play on PC to help you on your search for the best games to play with your friends.
Best Free Strategy Games on PC
To test your decision-making skills and high situational awareness to achieve your desired outcome, fields in strategy games are the place to venture in.
Here are the best strategy games that you can play without any financial commitment:
League of Legends
League of Legends has a staggering 180 million players monthly (Source: PCGamer). Similar to Dota 2, League of Legends (LoL) is a 5v5 multiplayer online battle arena where players choose Champions to control to destroy the enemy’s base.
What makes LoL different from other games is the unique Champion design which caters to nearly every playstyle. There are also plenty of skins, subscriptions, and customization options available to purchase but not necessary for you to win.
The success of LoL branched out to mobile-version of the game called Wild Rift, a card collectible game, and even a role-playing game. Tournaments are held every year that peak to the Annual League of Legends World Championship.
Way back in 2018, Hearthstone was already popular among the free pc games. Hearthstone has around 100 million registered players as reported by Blizzard in 2018 and just this 2020, the number of active players was around 23.5 million. (Source: Wikipedia + Blizzard Financials)
Hearthstone is a digital collectible card game where you can duel with friends or strangers to see who can take down the other’s health points first. The game has an ever-growing amount of cards with different abilities and effects so it never gets stale.
Much like Magic the Gathering: Arena, Hearthstone has the free-to-play model but you’ll be able to purchase card packs with in-game gold or real-life money. You can also get new cards by completing quests and winning matches.
If you’re looking for a strategy, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game to get into with your friends, then look no further than Dota 2. The active number of players for the DOTA 2 game exceeds 7.6 million monthly. (Source: Statista)
Valve’s popular title is mainly a game between two five-player teams that compete to destroy the opposing team’s main tower structure called The Ancient while defending their structure.
Each team has to devise the perfect strategy in getting the win by toppling down the enemy’s turrets first. In this game, you don’t need to pay to win as the chances of winning are dependent on your team’s cooperation and decision-making skills.
Dota 2 offers a wealth of content to sink your teeth into, including hundreds of unique heroes to choose from and a wealth of competitive game modes to play.
The game sells a range of items for customizations of your character from weapon to character skins. The cosmetics you purchase give you no extra edge to win but you can earn extra cash yourself by trading items that you don’t like.
Hades’ Star has around 3 million players and is one of the best top free games for strategy games. Developed by the indie game developer, Eleon Game Studios, in collaboration with the publisher My.Com B.V.
Hades’ Star is a 4X turn-based space strategy game where you and your friends can manage your empire, develop new technologies, expand your borders, and exterminate your enemies with fleets of starships.
Hades’ Star is free to play and you can access all content and progression over time. There are optional in-app purchases for quicker progress.
Best Free MMORPGs On PC
We did a full article on the most played MMORPGs which includes paid games and games with subscriptions but for this article, we will focus purely on free MMORPGs.
An exciting type of free pc game to join in would be a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG). You and your friends can form and grow a guild, meet new friends from all over the world, and even communicate in-game through voice and chats.
Fight battles with your friends on raids and quests and take down bosses together, all of these thrilling adventures are completely free to play for the following best free MMORPG on PC:
Lost Ark has over 20 million players and is among the best free pc games that you and your friends can play. Developed by Smilegate West, it is a massively multiplayer online action role-playing game where you can play as one of 20 different classes. Your aim in this game is to stop the evil forces from invading the world and to do this, you and your friends will need to team up and complete different missions.
Like other free games for pc, this online pc game has in-app purchases. You can purchase any of the Lost Ark Founders Packs that contain cosmetics, downloadable content, mount, crates, and currencies. Worry not, the purchasable packs do not give many advantages to other players in this computer game.
Warframe is one of the best free pc games for an MMORPG with a total of 18 million players published by Digital Extremes. In this free pc game, you and your friends will be controlling a race of ancient warriors called Tenno who are at war with different factions in the planetary system. With weapons, skills, and powered Warframes, you can complete missions and advance your Tenno further with more improved gear.
Warframe is a free-to-play game but there are in-app purchases that can accelerate the growth of your character. Warframe has an online market where you can purchase game items such as weapons, relics, blueprints, parts, mods, and even trade your existing items. There is even an online shop where you can buy Warframe collectibles and apparel.
Even with the variety of in-app purchases for this game, Warframe is not a pay to win game as the items that can be purchased do not give a huge advantage to other players.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars The Old Republic is one of the best free pc games that you can play with a reported total of 10,690,533 players worldwide. Among the fun free games on PC that you can download, Star Wars The Old Republic is an MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe. You can choose to be one of eight classes and play as part of the light or dark side. You will team up with friends to do different quests and missions from the three eras of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, The Sith Lords, and The Force Unleashed.
Starwars The Old Republic is the best free game that you can download on your pc that is not a pay-to-win game. You can get stronger by not spending a cent on this game.
Though, you can purchase an optional subscription with additional game content and an increased level cap.
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play game and one of the most played games worldwide with around 5 -10 million players on PC. Developed by miHoYo Limited, it is an open-world action-adventure game that lets you and your friends explore the world together and play as different characters with unique abilities.
The game has an anime-inspired art style and a story that revolves around the battle between good and evil. It’s not necessary to spend money to enjoy Genshin Impact but there are a variety of items that can be purchased from their store.
Items to purchase include Genesis Crystals, battle passes (called gnostic hymn), and monthly passes. Because of its Gacha system, it’s often referred to as a pay-to-win game.
Best Free Battle Royale Games On PC
A battle royale game is an online game with the last man standing gameplay along with exploration, survival, and scavenging aspects. A battle royale game is an exciting game type to test your and your friends’ cooperation and survival instincts in a game. Here is a list of the best free battle royale games on pc that have taken the world by storm:
Fortnite is an online battle royale game developed by Epic Games. The total player count for Fortnite exceeds 350 million players. This game is one of the best PC games where you don’t need to purchase items to win and is available not just on PC but also on other different platforms such as Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Mac, and PlayStation 4.
In Fortnite, there are three modes that you can play on. When playing Fortnite Battle Royale, you and up to 99 other players are dropped into an ever-shrinking map where the objective is to be the last one standing. In Fortnite: Save the World you and your friends can team up to defend a tower and fight off zombie-like creatures. Fortnite: Creative will allow you to create arenas and worlds.
Fortnite is also one of the best f2p games. The game has in-app purchases that include almost everything such as Fortnite V-Bucks (the in-game currency), skins, gliders, backpacks, battle bundles, and battle passes but all these purchases are merely for customization and do not give an extra edge to win for players.
Apex Legends is one of the best free online multiplayer games currently on the market. The game Apex Legends is a hero shooter game and one of the best free pc games to play with friends and has a total of 121 million players worldwide. In this game, you and your friends can choose from a roster of Legends (characters) with unique abilities to battle it out in the arena. The last team or player standing wins the match.
Apex Legends is a free-to-play game that has a variety of in-game microtransactions. These include character skins, weapon skins, apex packs (which are loot boxes with random rewards), and banner frames. However, all of these microtransactions are purely for cosmetics and do not give any players an advantage in the game.
You can also purchase the season pass which will unlock all the future content for the game.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty Warzone is a battle royale game published by Activision and one of the most popular free-to-play games. In total, Call of Duty Warzone has surpassed a 100 million players earning its spot among the best free pc games. The game is also available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
In Call of Duty Warzone, you are dropped into a large map with up to 150 players where the last one standing wins. The three main game modes are Solo, Squad, and Plunder. In Solo mode, it’s you against all other players, in Squad mode you can partner up with a friend against other squads, and in Plunder mode you and your team search for stacks of cash and the team with the highest cash gathered by the end of the time wins.
Call of Duty warzone is not a pay-to-win game. You can win without purchasing anything from the shop but if ever you decide to buy, there are battle passes and bundles where you can get cosmetics, weapons, and blueprints.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is an MMORPG where the player has to unite members of a group or join a group to fight enemies in the fantasy world of Tyria. Each player can create a character from a combination of eight professions and five races. Guild Wars 2 has huge support from players worldwide with an estimated 15,968,764 players.
You and your friends can enjoy teaming up to fight monsters, quests, and guild activities on this game.
The core game is free to download and not a pay-to-win game but there is an option for you to buy an expansion pack to unlock new maps, new events, mounts, gliding, and many more.
Realm Royale is a sci-fi battle royale shooting game with a total of around 10 million players. The game Realm Royale is a spin-off of the best-selling game, H1Z1, and one of the best free pc games that you and your friends can play. This game is not only available on PC but also available on Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
In Realm Royale, you can choose to play as one of five classes: Assassin, Hunter, Engineer, Mage, and Warrior. There are three modes in the game. The best game mode for you and your friends to play is the Squad Mode where you’ll form up a four-man team and battle against 24 other squads. Another mode is duo where you can play with a partner and battle out 49 other duos in the game. There’s also a solo mode for the game where it’s only you and your gun against the 99 other players in the game.
You can buy skins, packs, and bundles from the game shop but these in-app purchases do not give an advantage over other players.
Best Free First-Person Shooter Games On PC
A first-person shooter game is centered on weapons and guns with players experiencing the game in the first-person perspective of the protagonist. It is one of the best free pc games that will give you and your friends the adrenaline rush and excitement that you’re looking for from your free games download. Here are the best free online games for first-person shooter game type:
CrossFire is a first-person shooter game set in a post-apocalyptic world where players are pitted against each other in a global conflict.
As of writing this article, CrossFire has a total of 1 billion player count (Source) and was hailed as the most played video game by player count worldwide. This game is not just available on PC but also available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
The game offers different characters to play as, with each character having unique abilities. There are various game modes to choose from. Some of the game modes that you can enjoy playing with friends are Team Deathmatch where you can form a team of 8 to fight another team and the team with the highest number of kills wins, Search and Destroy where the goal is to eliminate the other team, and Wave Mode that can either be a 4×4 or a 5×5 game to destroy opposition towers.
CrossFire is a game that does not require a purchase for you to win but you can purchase game cash to acquire different in-game items and skins but these do not give any player an advantage over the other.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)
CS:GO is a first-person shooter game that focuses on a match between a team of Terrorists and a team of Counter-Terrorists with various game modes to choose from. CS:GO is one of the PC games for free that has a massive following of 24 million active players monthly.
Amond the modes that you and your friends can enjoy playing are Deathmatch where you all fight against each other and the player with the most kills at the end of the game wins, hostage rescue where you have to save hostages from the terrorists, and bomb defusal where you have to stop a bomb from detonating.
CS:GO is a game that does not require you to pay to win making it one of the best free video games. But, the game has a wide variety of skins and weapons that you can acquire from the Steam Workshop. There are also in-game microtransactions where you can purchase different crates that have a chance to give you cosmetic items, weapon skins, and knife skins.
Valorant is one of the best free single-player pc games that is set in the future. On average Valorant has an estimated 13 million active player count and also ranks at the top of best free pc games. This game is available on PC and in beta testing for mobile devices.
Valorant has several game modes but the main ones are plant/defuse, deathmatch, practice game modes, and rotating game mode. Deathmatch is a perfect mode to play with friends as it can be free-for-all or team-based to kill enemies.
You don’t have to spend money to win in Valorant but if you’re a fan of character customization, you can buy Valorant points in the shop to purchase character skins, weapon skins, cosmetics, and Chromas.
Halo Infinite is a game that revolves around Master Chief a human Supersoldier fighting against enemies in the Forerunner Ringworld Zeta Halo. This new Halo game has around 272,586 players and is one of the best free games to download.
You can invite your friends into a multiplayer game and be on the same group called Fireteam to fight the enemies. If you have a wide circle of friends, this amazing game allows up to 28 players in a Fireteam.
Halo Infinite is among the games you can play for free but there are in-app purchases on the game such as forms of cosmetics and skins.
Other Free PC Games To Play With Friends
Aside from the different types of games mentioned above, there are other free downloadable games that you and your friends can enjoy. Below are the best computer games that you should check out:
Path of Exile
Path of Exile is free to download action role-playing game where players can choose to create a character out of the seven classes then defeat ancient gods and evil to find the way back to a dark fantasy world called Oriath. The free-to-play Diablo-like game is estimated to have 25,831,672 total players.
You can invite up to six friends to a party and fight monsters together. You can even create a guild together with friends.
Path of Exile only monetizes cosmetics in the game so you don’t have to necessarily purchase anything from the game to fully enjoy the content.
When the pandemic started, Among Us was one of the best free games to download and was incredibly popular with Twitch streamers. Among Us is a social deduction game that allows 4-15 players to join in and identify up to three impostors that have plans to sabotage the ship and kill other crew members. Among us is reported to have 1.5 million concurrent users worldwide proving to be one of the top free PC games.
The game is free to play and does not require any purchases, but there are still packs, costumes, skins, and pets that you can buy that do not give an advantage to other players.
Note: Among Us was free on the Epic Games store, however, on Steam, there is a small price tag for the game. If you still want to play Among Us for free, try downloading it on your phone or tablet as it is 100% free there.
World of Warships
One of the top 10 free PC games over the past few years is World of Warships. World of Warships is a naval warfare game that lets you play with up to three friends to combat other players or AI in the game. World of Warships has around 1,000,000 players worldwide and is one of the best free pc games that’s worth your time.
You and your friends’ desktop games cooperation will be heavily tested on this game where you can participate in combats, challenges, campaigns, and collections for rewards and progress.
The game is free to play but there are different ships and upgrades that you can purchase with real money.
Access to the best free PC games is just a click or download away. You and your friends can enjoy the amazing graphics and gameplay of some of the best free games in the market. Play with friends and experience amazing gaming together!