Want to play board games online for free? I’ve played board games on many different board game sites and selected the six best.
Playing board games online is a great way to try out games before you buy them, to practice and get better at games, and to satisfy that itch for playing a board game whenever you want!
The best sites range from big sites with many different types of board games to sites just for specific board games, and everything in between.
Hi! This post may link to online stores. If you click a link and buy something, I may get a commission. See my affiliate disclosure.
Meeples on a keyboard
Here are the six sites I think are the best for playing board games online.
Board Game ArenaYucataBrettspielWeltTabletopiaBoite a JeuxHappy Meeple
Board Game Arena Home Page
How many board games are on it? 150+What kind of board games? Stone Age, Puerto Rico, Terra Mystica, Race for the Galaxy, 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, Seasons, Takenoko, Hanabi, Tzolk’in, Coup, Caylus, Russian Railroads, KeyflowerHow much is it? Free!Link to Board Game Arena
Board Game Arena has over 150 board games to play online. The games range from traditional classics like chess and backgammon to modern board games like Stone Age and Takenoko.
With a huge player base of over 1 million gamers, you will always find someone to play a game with. At the time I’m writing this there are 3000 players online. The site attracts a large user base partly because it is available in over 30 languages and over 300 countries.
It is completely free to access all the board games in the Board Game Arena library. There are premium features but you don’t need them to play any of the games.
Board Game Arena Most Popular Games
You can play on any device using a browser if you have an internet connection. For example, your phone, tablet, PlayStation or Xbox.
The games can be played either in real-time or turn-based. Real-time games are where all the players are online at the same time and take their turns just as they would in real life. Turn-based games are where all the players are not online at the same time so a player takes their turn, submits it and then waits for the other player to take theirs. The time between turns could be hours or days.
If you join a real-time game make sure you stay to play it until the end. You will take a reputation hit if you need to leave a game part-way through. The amount of time you take to play a turn is also tracked so don’t fall into analysis paralysis! If your timer falls to 0 at any point during a game, another player can kick you out of the game. So don’t let that happen!
There is a really nice and simple lobby chat room where online players can suggest games they’d like to play and provide a link to a game they have created. It’s a quick way for people to find players to start a game with. When the lobby gets busy, the table list can be quite long so using the chat to attract attention and get the empty player slots filled is a good idea.
In the game lobby you can see which game tables have free slots and who has joined each game. Each user has an experience level alongside their username so you can see the ability of the players in each game and choose the level of competitors you want to face.
The board games are helpfully sorted into categories by duration, complexity, theme, mechanism and number of players so you can easily find a game you’d like. There’s a filter at the top of the screen to help you refine your options.
Board Game Arena Stone Age
During a game the interface is clean and light and really easy to understand. You can see what actions an opponent took on their turn, turn times, game prompts and the player’s ELO rating (a rating system designed to calculate a player’s skill at games relative to other players).
Another thing that’s really nice is that if you hover your mouse over a card a tooltip text box will appear telling you what it does.
You can add other members as friends and join gaming groups if you find people that you enjoyed gaming with. Each game has a chat feature where you can type to each other. With a free account you can only use the text chat feature, but with a premium account, you can use video and audio chat in game.
If you select a game, there is a How to Play? link which takes you through to a resource area to learn how to play. You can watch video on the rules, watch a game in progress and read the rules. A really cool feature of the How to Play? area is the ‘See the Game in Action’ feature. You can join a game against some AI players to learn how it works. So you get to learn by doing.
Overall, Board Game Arena has a lot of board games available to play for free. The site is easy to use and looks pretty good. There are so many players online at any one time that you can dive straight into a game. I can see why Board Game Arena is the most popular place to play board games online.
Yucata Home Page
How many board games are on it? 100+What kind of board games? Stone Age, Puerto Rico, Terra Mystica, Alchemist, Fearsome Floors, Imhotep, Kahuna, Mystic ValeHow much is it? Free! Link to Yucata
Yucata is another place to play board games online which has a very large user base. Their site is available in English and German. The home page for the website looks a little dated, but the platform is completely free and doesn’t have any adverts.
At the time I’m writing this there are 769 players online.
There is a chatroom for people to discuss what board games they’d like to play so they can quickly get a group together. The chatroom is multi-language, usually with a mixture of German and English conversations happening at the same time.
The site supports live group gameplay as well as turn-based games. Although there is more of an emphasis on turn-based games so you may find more of these available.
To find a game, you look at the current open invitations and select one that you want to play. You can see which members are currently in the game and whether they are currently online. All the games are arranged in alphabetical order so it’s easy to find the one you’re looking for.
Each game has an icon indicating whether it is a scored game or a training game, so you can practice playing a particular game without it affecting your stats on the site.
Some of the games specify a real-time turn speed and a turns per day speed. Turn speed is the number of seconds a player has to take their turn if players are playing a real-time game. Giving a time cap on the turns helps a game to move along more swiftly.
For turn-based board games, some games may specify the number of turns per day either 1 or X. One move a day is a helpful feature if you like to have multiple games on the go at the same time.
When it is your turn to make a move in a game, you’ll get an email. If you’re playing multiple turn-based games at the same time you must take your oldest turn before the others.
Alchemist on Yucata
You can play games as a guest without needing to register. But you can’t play a training game with an AI like on Board Game Arena.
The interface for Yucata looks quite dated for finding games to play but the games themselves look pretty good.
I like that Yucata is completely free and that you can play board games online without registering.