A Beginner's Guide to Free Online Games

Sunday, July 15, 2012
Online gaming is the best way to game because the requirements are very low, and the gamer has access to human competition and a real sense of community. Online gaming can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, due to the growing prevalence of internet access and portability, there are more free online games available now than ever before. Let's look at some of the more common types of free online games available.

Browser Based

Most free online games are browser-based, which means that they run inside Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or any other web browser automatically. In other words, they're very convenient. Flash- and Java-based games are the most prevalent type of browser-based game, and they'll run on any platform, including mobile ones, that support Flash, Java or whatever technology they use.

Mobile Games

Since the Apple iPhone and iPad as well as Android smartphones and tablets are so popular now, mobile gamers don't have to rely on their browsers in order to play free online games. In fact, thousands of free games are available at the Apple App Store and the Android Market. Android users can also access the Amazon Appstore, which hosts a new free app every day, and very often, it's a game.

Social Networking

Social networking is now an integral component of the Web, so there's no surprise that many free online games have sprung up around that concept. At both Facebook and Google Plus, users have access to a wide range of free games that take advantage of the community.

Arcade-Style Gambling

Thanks to the Internet, gambling is more accessible to a worldwide audience than it has ever been before. These games are a great deal of fun, but of course, not everyone wants to gamble real money. Recently, online casinos and sportsbooks have begun to offer free-to-play arcade versions of their games in order to reach a wider audience.


A massive multiplayer online game is just what it sounds like: a huge online game with many players. The most common form of this game is the massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG). Since competition among MMOGs has become so fierce, many of them are transitioning to a free-to-play model.


A multiuser dungeon is the old-fashioned form of MMORPG. It uses pure text rather than graphics, and that fosters a chat-room-like experience. Despite being -Å“outdated,- MUDs are still around because many players enjoy that relaxed chat-based D&D-inspired style of gameplay.

Online Emulators

Emulators are computer programs that emulate another system. For instance, you could use a software emulator to allow your PC to behave like a classic Nintendo. Using these emulators, it's possible to play many of the old games free and legally. Recently, websites have sprung up that host these emulators. The benefit of this is that you need no technical savvy, and you can play against human opponents.

Structured Communities

Structured communities are an increasingly popular type of host for free online games. These communities provide forums, social integration, clans, leaderboards and point systems. In some cases, players can even use these points to buy merchandise. Some casinos use these points to award cash prizes to clients who only play the arcade versions of games.

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