Social isolation in the pandemic is pretty isolating. What can make you feel closer as a family when you’re apart is making sure you are set up to play online games together. Here’s how to get started.
We can only watch so much TV, and let’s face it, the pandemic has been hard on everyone. Whether you’re into playing games usually or not, it’s that time of year where everybody’s looking for some new activities to shake things up in their life a little bit – so why not try getting the family into some online games via their computers?
Here’s what you need to know to game on – and some great online games to get the family started! We’ll be suggesting games available on Steam’s gaming platform because of the ease of buying and sharing gift keys. Also, you can refund any game that ends up being something you don’t enjoy.
Tech You May Need to Reach Out and Touch Someone:
Steam does have voice integration, but it can be challenging to use. Also, if you’re trying to set up multiple households playing games together via PC, and you’re playing a game where you need to screenshare, you’ll need a little extra software. There are a few different platforms that let you do this, but the ones best supported that most people will be familiar with are Discord and Zoom.
Zoom operates like a one-time conference call, and the only people who can participate are those with the link. Discord on the other hand, is a lot more like Slack and Microsoft Teams, which you may be familiar with from work. Discord has a lot of advantages over Zoom for people who are more tech-savvy or just want a place where they can IM and hang out with a bunch of people all the time – and it’s free – but you are best off creating your own server with permissions and controlling who can join it, especially if you have younger children. Fortunately, this isn’t too hard – Discord has good documentation.
All ready? OK! These Steam Games are GREAT to play online:
Drawful 2 (Requires screensharing) – Also made by the same company who brought you Jackbox Party Packs (which we also highly recommend and which also requires screensharing), but this one’s a stand-alone game. Think Pictionary, but with even crazier prompts.
Fall Guys – If you like Wipeout, imagine a massively multiplayer party game with up to 60 players online in a free-for-all struggle through round after round of escalating chaos. Only one may win!
Among Us – For those who are interested in more of a WHODUNNIT type game… Work together on this airship to carry out the greatest plan... though whether that’s as a Crewmate or Impostor is another question. You might be acquainted with this game already… it has been popular with kids for a while.
Stardew Valley – We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth a second mention, both for its peaceful and co-op nature that’s great for everyone, and also because it recently had an expansion that DOUBLED the size of the game. It’s amazing!
Worms Revolution – Low-tech, cartoony, and lots of fun. Up to four players can go head-to-head.
Terraria - Dig, fight, explore, build! Nothing is impossible in this action-packed adventure game (although you might want to have the crafting guide handy on a second screen). It’s a bit Minecraft, and a bit zany, and you might find that your kid actually ends up leading the way as you play with them. But the great thing about Terraria? It’s available to purchase as a four pack, and you can send the extra keys to your friends and family.
We hope this list brings you a little closer together! Be sure to also check out our other post on online games to play with family and friends. And if you love these games, Steam has dozens more available for online co-op and multiplayer. Good luck!
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