Gatherings of friends and family this past year have looked different for most of us—but that doesn’t mean you can’t close the distance with the right online games. Research has shown that online games have become a social lifeline for many of us, and the mood-boosting benefits of connecting with friends and family are hard to overlook.
However, if you’re ready to host a night, here is the best virtual game night ideas, you probably know that it can be more complicated than it sounds! Sure, you don’t have to think about drinks and party snacks, but finding the best online games to balance the night can be tricky.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered.
Virtual Game Night Ideas that will make your next event take off!
Stick to the Classic Party Games
Whether you’re throwing a virtual game night for friends or family, sometimes it’s best to stick with the classics! Some of the best online games are the same ones you’d reach for during an in-person event—though you may need to tweak some of them to fit into your Zoom call.
Get to know your friends better by playing classic games like 20 Questions or Would You Rather, both of which are fun and conversational games that don’t require extra props. To get everyone engaged, try Taboo or Charades, or whip out your drawing pads and dry erase boards to try your hand at a game of Pictionary.
Don’t hesitate to look for online-friendly support tools, like the Heads Up! game popularized by Ellen DeGeneres for use in place of Charades and Taboo.
Jump Into Jackbox.tv
This popular range of virtual games makes it easy to compete with friends and family within the comfort of your own separate homes. You’ll find a wide range of Jackbox games for purchase online, and each option works across multiple platforms and devices. Many of these are tweaked versions of common games, like Pictionary or lie-detecting games, but they’re easy and fun to play all the same!
One person in your party will need to purchase the games you’ll play, but the rest of the group can play for free. To make it work, the host—meaning the person who owns the game—will need to start around. Everyone else will head to Jackbox’s website to enter the relevant four-letter code.
Try Your Hand at Online Cards
There’s nothing like a casual game of cards at an intimate party, but the experience can be hard to recreate at a virtual event. Fortunately, there are plenty of free online sites like PlayingCards.io that let you play your favorite card games with a group of online participants!
When you’re looking for a game to play with your family, it’s worth noting that Bingo isn’t off the table, either. If your family members can’t whip out their physical Bingo cards, use a virtual Bingo website to play instead. You can even make small fun prizes for the winner, like gift cards or vouchers to send by mail!
Show Your Skills With Virtual Trivia
If your crowd of friends misses heading to the pub for a trivia night, recreate the experience online! Plenty of online gaming sites can generate random trivia questions that allow you to host the event yourself. You’ll have to have participants swear to use the honors system, of course.
In addition, don’t miss out on more formal trivia events hosted by companies and individuals online. Check out the range of streamers hosting interactive pub trivia on Twitch, for example, to replicate the challenging fun of the real experience.
Get Out of an Online Escape Room
Do you and your friends love games where you’re working together for a common goal? If so, you can’t go wrong with an escape room—and you might be pleased to learn that you can break out of one without leaving your living room!
Online escape room websites make it easy for you and your friends to solve fun mysteries and deal with treacherous situations together, from kidnappings to mystery mansions and more. Be sure to buff up your problem-solving skills and track your clues to make it out in one piece.
Create a Digital Scavenger Hunt
This option may require a little extra work, but the payoff can be amazing. You’ll have to work in advance to compile a list of challenges for your friends to complete, like taking photos of certain objects or recreating a famous work of art.
No matter the age or size of your group, the right list can get your group excited and competitive, whether they complete the challenges at home or head out into the world to do them. Hosting the entire event on a Zoom call can be a great way to stay connected—and to allow teams to do a little bit of trash-talking!
Find the Perfect Choices for Your Virtual Game Night
Now that you know how to host a virtual game night with the best opportunities the online world can offer, it’s time to start planning! Consider the crowd that will attend your digital party, and decide which of the games above will excite them the most. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll create a game night people won’t stop talking about.
Want more of the key tips you need for entertainment and beyond? Check out our other posts for more helpful guides.