When you’re trying to connect with your friends or family from a distance, online multiplayer games are one of the best ways to do it. A number of great mobile games are available on Android and iOS, many of which are cross-platform. We’re taking a look at some of the best online multiplayer games available for your Android and iOS smartphones. Dive into a world of racing, fantasy, or classic challenges as you connect with fellow gamers nearby or on the other side of the globe. If you want to really supercharge your mobile gaming experience, check out the best gaming phones, our picks of the best Android games, or the best iPhone games.
There’s just one mission in this free-to-play battle royale game: Survival. Battle it out with 99 other players, challenge your friends in 4v4 Team Deathmatch mode, or take on terrifying hordes of the undead in zombie mode. There’s loads to keep you entertained in PUBG Mobile, from the arsenal of cool weapons to the enormous, detailed battlegrounds with their own unique day/night cycles and dynamic weather. Choose between first-person shooter (FPS) and third-person shooter (TPS) gameplay, and enjoy monthly updates delivering new maps, modes, and features — all for free.
Love first-person shooters? Can’t get enough epic space battles? Then Shadowgun Legends is the shooter for you. You play as a Shadowgun Legend, an epic warrior fighting against an alien invasion. There’s an immersive story campaign set over three diverse planets with hundreds of missions — each one playable in co-op mode. The game offers plenty of opportunities to meet new friends, too, as you can join or create a guild or hang out in Brno, the fallout town, and socialize in the bar. You get all this, plus PvP multiplayer battles, over 700 out-of-this-world futuristic guns, and support for gamepads (if you prefer to play with a controller).
Clash of Clans
If you prefer an RPG element to your online gaming, Clash of Clans is the game for you. Build and grow your village, raise a clan, and battle in epic Clan Wars. You can join a Clan or set up your own with friends, fighting as a team and battling your way to the top of the Clan War Leagues. Along the way, forge new alliances, plan your battle strategy, and collect resources — or steal loot from other players — to turn your village into a stronghold. You can create your own custom PvP experiences and even watch your Clanmates battle in real-time as a spectator or catch up on what you’ve missed with video replays. Clash of Clans is free to play, but it does have in-app purchases, which can easily be disabled for younger players.
Mario Kart Tour
Mario Kart Tour on your smartphone is about as much fun as you can have without firing up your Nintendo Switch. Dash around as your favorite Nintendo characters with that classic Mario Kart feel while competing against your friends no matter where they are on the planet. There are loads of different karts and drivers to collect, and you can race up to seven other players, customizing the rules to suit. The kart courses are inspired by real-world cities, with tours rotating every fortnight, so there’s always a new city to discover. You’ll need a Nintendo account to play — which can be a bit cumbersome to set up if you don’t already have one — but the game itself is free, with optional in-app purchases.
Words with Friends
No list of multiplayer mobile games is complete without Words with Friends. For many, this game serves as an early memory of the connected world of mobile apps. It’s an absolute classic that is still going strong. Connect with friends near and far in a game of word prowess, and no cheating! The goal is to score as many points as possible by creating words using your letters — just like Scrabble — and this is a strangely addictive little game once you get started. Can’t find anybody online to play with or want to practice your skills? Solo Challenge mode has loads of fun mini-games to test your vocabulary and win rewards to spend on power-ups in the store.
Houseparty isn’t just a great distanced hangout app for you and your friends; it also features a great repository of games you can play while hanging out in the Houseparty room. It’s perfect for hanging out with friends and family if you can’t hang out in person. Games include Uno, Chips & Guac, and loads of others to keep you entertained when you’re stuck at home.
One of the best desktop and console games of the last decade is also available on mobile for both iOS and Android. The pocket edition of Minecraft is cross-platform enabled for Xbox and PC, giving you an expanded possible friends list with which to play. Build your world and share it with others — you can even set up your own private server with your friends for a monthly fee, depending on how many friends you want to invite.
Pokémon Go came on the scene in 2016 and challenged millions of users to catch ’em all. Since then, the app has added online battle functionality to let you compete remotely against other trainers. Train hard, catch them all, and take your talents on the road across nations. Team up with your friends and other trainers online for thrilling Raid battles, complete your Pokédex, and discover Pokémon in the world around you.
Call of Duty: Mobile
If you’re an avid gamer, then you probably grew up with Call of Duty as an integral part of your gaming education. Call of Duty: Mobile brings what the franchise has to offer to your Android or iOS smartphone. The app offers iconic maps from the Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare era, with numerous online game modes, including a 100-player battle royale free-for-all. Unlock numerous weapons, outfits, and characters, and battle to the top in competitive Ranked mode, or enjoy a frantic 5v5 team deathmatch.
If you’re looking to kick it old school with some friends from far away, then look no further than Clue for iOS and Android. That’s right — the classic board game is available on your smartphone with all the same rooms, murder weapons, intrigue, and mystery you’re used to. There are also some new characters thrown in for you and your friends to enjoy. We’re thinking it’s Clue, in the living room, with the iPhone.
Asphalt 9: Legends
It’s hard to beat racing games when it comes to multiplayer fun, and Asphalt 9: Legends is the best mobile multiplayer racer we’ve seen. This game offers gamers an impressive and immersive street racing feel, and it’s available on both iOS and Android.
Participants go head to head against up to seven other players while also collecting famous real-life cars for their virtual garage along the way, from Ferraris and Porsches to Lamborghinis. If you prefer to play alone, that’s OK, too. There are hundreds of single-player races to keep you entertained.
For a classic-feeling card game, check out Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone. This particular game utilizes characters and objects from World of Warcraft and a few other Blizzard favorites. While some of Blizzard’s other games, like Overwatch, tend to use more modern-day gaming aspects, Hearthstone relies on its classic vibes. It’s a memorable deck-building adventure that perfectly blends the traditional gameplay feel with an engaging modern video game.
Hearthstone’s massive following is due in part to the high-quality features in the game and its recognizable cast of characters. The game morphs a bit of art with strategy and luck to provide a fascinating landscape to play in. The game is cross-platform and links to your Blizzard account, so you can play with friends on desktop or mobile. Each card represents a specific ability you can wield to win PvE and PvP battles, whether that’s a hero, minion, or spell. Choose from 10 hero classes — all free to play — and battle favorite heroes from Warcraft, like Illidan Stomrage, as you explore iconic locations from the Warcraft universe. One of the best aspects of the game is the Battlegrounds, PvP auto-battles with up to seven of your friends. Hearthstone is completely free to play.