Updated on: Feb 17, 2024
Do you miss your friends during quarantine, we all know it is not the same as we used to hang out. Luckily, virtual platforms like Zoom, Skype, Houseparty, Facetime, and Discord make video calls easier to plan, access, and enjoy with all types of groups large or small. Virtual events are the way of the world these days. With a great group of friends, host a virtual game night.
The only problem with these platforms is that it’s nearly impossible to hear more than one person talk at a time. Conversations with more than four people are difficult because, in a natural party atmosphere in real life, multiple conversations are happening at once. The solution is to host a virtual game night instead, a live session to enjoy with everyone! In this modern digital age, you don’t have to be in the same room as someone to play party games. For you gamers out there, we’ve compiled a list of games to play during a group call that is certain to make your game nights virtually unforgettable and you can do this while staying on a great budget.
Fun Virtual Game Night
1. Traditional Card and Board Games
Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned round of Hearts, Nertz, or Crazy Eights? If you’re feeling retro, platforms like playingcards.io and DKM Games provide several free traditional gaming options from checkers to backgammon to solitaire. Both websites allow users to create private game rooms to share with their friends so that everyone can join in on the fun. Many vendors online also offer a wide array of traditional card and board games for when it's safe to gather again.
2. Jackbox Games
Jackbox Games have become increasingly popular during the quarantine. Their games are extraordinarily easy to play online through a video call. Games like Quiplash, Drawful, and Tee K.O. require partygoers to respond to off-the-wall prompts and suggestions. They usually lead to hilarious reveals that is sure to be unforgettable. This is the only virtual game night option we have listed that is not free, but we can assure you it’s worth the investment.
Although popular in retirement homes or the classroom, bingo can be a good game to play with a group of friends at your virtual game night. All you need to play with is a pen and paper, a random number generator, and the honor system. Each guest creates her own bingo sheet with predetermined dimensions (say, numbers between 1-100, with five rows and five columns). The bingo caller then shares his or her screen and operates the number generator. If you all decide to bet, winners can be rewarded through money-sharing platforms like CashApp or Venmo. The possibilities are endless.
Feeling edgy? The popular party game Cards Against Humanity is available for online play through several platforms. You can download the game on its official website, or you can play on your own by selecting cards in its online lab. Websites like All Bad Cards and Pretend You’re Xyzzy act as imitation search Cards Against Humanity servers, where users like you can create private rooms with links to share with friends. Due to the game's answers, it's preferred that adults play this game so it is not rated E for everyone, but overall the game is easy to play during a virtual game night call since your friends aren’t supposed to see the cards in your hand anyway.
Feeling especially close to your friend group? Create your own Jeopardy game about topics only your friends could know about. Choose the categories, write your answers and questions, and share them with your friends by sharing your screen during your call. The answer-first format is sure to create some unforgettable moments. Jeopardy has been around for a long time and has many editions and variations that you can look forward to shopping to once you no longer need to go virtual.
Following the same idea as a personalized Jeopardy board, you can also create a personalized quiz for your friends or even your students using Kahoot! The platform is commonly used in schools, which makes its application in a virtual game night all the more hilarious. Quiz your friends on anything from your favorite TV show to the number of times that one friend threw up that one eventful night. Share the quiz on your screen and let the fun commence! This can be extremely fun for you and all your friends to enjoy as it's very easy to set up.
Virtual game night doesn't have to be boring! Pictionary is a game that will for sure be lots of fun and will make the time go by very fast! It's a team-based game where you will generate a random word and dedicate someone on your team to be the drawer. From here, it is the drawer's duty to draw whatever word they get in 1 minute, and in the same minute, the team has to guess the correct word. Whichever team guesses correctly in that time frame scores a point.
The most traditional game option on this list - charades. Provided your internet connection is solid, a game of charades translates well to video calls. This is a great game to play with your kids, and everyone has an equal chance at guessing what you’re supposed to be. Sites like PlayCharades.net give you randomly generated prompts according to skill level. It comes with the addition of an online timer that can give the game a sense of urgency and competition. For an alternative, you can also choose the physical version!
This is a great game for friends/family of all ages! The rules are simple you are provided 1 letter and have a total of five categories to choose from. You will have 60 seconds to come up with a word that would best fit each category, but it must start with the chosen letter. Based on your answers the more unique ones value highest compared to your opponents, the most points wins the round.
10. Heads up
Heads up is a fun ice breaker. You can write down or use the app to display words on your head that everyone except you can view. With this game, the amount of players and categories is endless, as anything can be described. You simply place the word on top of your head as others describe the word and you have a set timer to guess the word that's above, if time runs out you don't get the point value.
11. Among Us
Although board games are fun and exciting, it's a great idea to take it to the next level and fully go virtual. It's the breakout game of 2020 that brought everyone closer due to Covid conditions. In this multiplayer game, you and your friends are stuck in an airship doing tasks and trying to find out who is the imposter killing everyone. You don't speak until it's meeting time where you choose who to vote out based on who you think is suspicious or not. This game allows you to fully customize your character with hats and accessories to express yourself with.
12. Beer Pong
One of the things you probably miss the most at a party/get-together is beer pong, but who says that has to stop now? Virtual game night can involve this fun drinking game. On each side of the screen, you can set up what you need for half the price! All you need is a proper table that feels long enough for distance and 10 cups instead of 20. The rules will be exactly the same, and it'll feel as if everyone is there at your house! Bring up the mood by playing some music in the background to really set the tone.
13. Trivia Night
Everyone knows what Trivia is, so why not incorporate it into your Virtual Game Night? Make or generate a list of questions to ask everyone in the call, and the person who answers the most questions correctly wins the whole game. You can produce a scoring method to make things more interesting, such as making some questions worth more points than others and so on. Make sure to have a chat with everyone's names to keep track and so they can see where they stand if they are leading by a lot or falling behind to create more intense sessions that all will enjoy.
Virtual Game Night Ideas: Conclusion
Game nights are the perfect way to bond with friends or co-workers while staying safe during this strange time. The next time your Zoom call seems especially bland, try suggesting one of these games/activities! Amazing fun for boys and girls all around, you and your friends will certainly thank you later. Enjoy your Virtual Game Night!
Written by Jillian Smith; Contributors: Jack Leduc, Sydney Pattison, Orlando Gutierrez, Gianna Rutigliano