How to play board games online

Convenience is everywhere these days. And that’s a good thing! In addition to having things like smart homes and food delivery apps, we no longer have to gather friends around our kitchen tables to play board games. You can simply play them online with friends, strangers, or even AI as your opponent. Conveniently, when it comes to playing board games online, you have a number of options.

And the best part? There’s no setup and no cleanup. No shuffling, no dealing, no lost parts. The software handles it all. So without further ado, here are some of the best ways to play board games online.

5 ways to play board games online

board games online : Settlers of Catan Catan GmbH

Settlers of Catan online

1) How to play board games online with a mobile device

Do you have a smartphone or tablet? If so, you have everything you need to play board games online. That’s because tons of board games are available on the iOS App Store and Google Play on Android.

And I’m not just talking about basic board games like checkers, Scrabble, dominos, and Monopoly. You can find all of those, along with many of the game night favorites gaining popularity in recent years. Settlers of Catan has an app. So do Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, and Dominion. If you have a favorite board game you’d like to play on your phone or tablet, just search your phone’s app store. Chances are, you’ll find it.

board games online : Monopoly iGameplay1337/YouTube

Monopoly on iOS

2) How to play board games online with Facebook

You have a Facebook account. All of your friends have Facebook accounts. So does the dive bar down the street. It’s part of being alive in the age of social media. While Facebook is a fine place for posting family pictures (and for your nutty uncle’s conspiracy theories), it’s also a fine place to play board games online.

Pretty much any standard board game is playable on Facebook, from Scrabble to Yahtzee to chess to Uno. While you may not find some of the newer hits, there’s a good chance you’ll find the classics you enjoyed playing as a kid. Just search under the “Apps” tab from your home screen or visit Facebook’s Gameroom page.

board games online : Scrabble Hasbro

3) How to play board games online with a browser window

Just as board game makers have been putting their games on mobile devices and Facebook lately, many have also added browser-based versions. To play most browser games, all you need is Adobe Flash and a free account.

Some games, like Dominion, have dedicated sites for their browser versions. Others are easiest to access through sites that host a bunch of board games. Here are the two most popular sites to play board games online.

  • Pogo: Pogo offers an array of classic games, including Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Risk, Connect 4, and Battleship.
  • Board Game Arena: Board Gamer Arena focuses on deeper, more niche games. Here you can play games like Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy, Carcassonne, and Through the Ages.
board games online : Dominion Rio Grande Games

Dominion online

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4) How to play board games online using Steam

If, for whatever reason, you find browser games lacking, download Steam. Steam is a digital video game store that offers a huge number of games in all shapes and sizes—including board games.

Because of the cost of development, it’s mainly bigger, more popular games that appear on Steam. In addition to titles like The Game of Life and Scrabble, you’ll find big indie games like Pandemic, Carcassonne, Tokaido, Ticket to Ride, and Blood Bowl. These are some of the most polished digital board games available.

board games online : Ticket to Ride JordanKeyesVlogs/YouTube

Ticket to Ride on Steam

5) How to play board games online using a game console

Another place to find exceptionally polished versions of board games to play online is on a dedicated game console like Xbox One or PlayStation 4. The only downside is that playing them online requires a subscription to their online services. PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold both cost between $10 and $60, depending on the length of the subscription.

But the experience is usually fantastic. You’ll find games like Uno, Pure Chess, Boggle, and Battleship. For a great deal, try The Hasbro Family Fun Pack, which comes with Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, and Risk all in a single collection.

The Nintendo Switch is a much newer platform than its competition. As such, its gaming library isn’t as stocked with board games as Xbox One or PS4. That’s likely to change in the future, but for now, it’s not a great platform for playing board games.

Really, there’s no shortage of ways to play board games online. Whether you have the most powerful new PS4 or a three-year-old smartphone, you can find an array of games to scratch that tabletop itch.