No console needed: Mobile games to play with friends

You can play games with your friends even if you don’t own a gaming system. These mobile games are a fun time for everyone across all platforms, even if your platform is your phone. Game on!

By Anabelle Vo


Everyone is trying to spend some quality virtual time with their friends, but Zoom is getting a little tiresome. Some people are looking to spice things up with video games, if the immense popularity of “Animal Crossing” is any indication. You get to virtually hang out with friends while playing games and doing activities together. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you’ve been scouring the internet for a Nintendo Switch to no avail, and not everybody owns a gaming console anyways.

Fortunately, most people do own smartphones, and there are plenty of options for you to choose from when it comes to mobile multiplayer games. Here are a couple of mobile games and apps that gamers and non-gamers alike can enjoy together.

Brawl Stars

This game is available for Android or iOS users. It’s a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, where you can choose your own “brawlers” to play with and upgrade. Each of these characters carry their own strengths and weaknesses, and you can choose one that fits your style of gameplay. With 11 different game modes, you can play against your friends, cooperatively, or go it alone.


While not a videogame, this relatively new social media app is heavily focused on video chat sessions that offer a number of games you can play with your friends, including the popular Heads Up game. Houseparty is a marriage of social media and telecommunication apps, and the option to play group games catapulted it to the top of most downloaded apps thanks to the quarantine. The app allows users to switch between mobile or desktop, and it’s also free!

AdventureQuest 3D

This is a remake of the original AdventureQuest, the browser-based Flash game. This version is a multiplayer RPG that fully supports cross-platform gameplay, except for consoles. The game is free to play and is constantly being updated and improved, and it provides a lot of options for customizations. Developer Artix Entertainment is an established name, who crowdfunded this game based on the strength of their previous projects. The game is designed to be easily on any platform by players of any level, and it’s bound to be a fun time when you don’t have to pay for it.


Any list of the best multiplayer games would be incomplete without this classic. Developed by gaming giant Blizzard, Hearthstone is a strategic card game that has evolved into an esports staple. The game was designed to replicate the feel of old school physical card games as much as possible. The card artwork is stunning, and if you’re a fan of strategy games, Hearthstone is a must. What’s more you can play against friends on any system–other than consoles. Sorry once again console owners. But hey! The point of this list is mobile gaming, so congrats to everyone with a smartphone. You, too, can play Hearthstone.

Asphalt 9

If racing is more your speed (we know), Asphalt 9 is a must. The game is noted for its beautiful graphics and is available on mobile, desktop, and the Nintendo Switch. The game does feature in-game currency, so if you want faster upgrades, you’d have to grind or buy it with real money. Aside from that you can invite other players to join a club, which means you and your friends can play together. You’ll get to zoom through beautiful settings in incredible cars while leaving your friends in the dust. What’s not to love?

Real Racing 3

The other wildly popular racing game, Real Racing is exactly what its name implies–a realistic circuit racing game. In-game mechanics and rules follow real-world examples of racing, and some players prefer RR’s more involved controls as compared to Asphalt. RR also features in-game currency, so you’d encounter similar issues to Asphalt. However, like Asphalt, you can invite your friends for multiplayer races. The awesome graphics and realism make this an attractive mobile multiplayer for you and friends.

Mario Kart Tour

The mobile version of the iconic race first arrived in September of 2019, but its multiplayer options weren’t available until March of 2020. Now with a recent update, you can create a room for you and 9 others, ensuring that you’ll get to play only with friends and players you want to invite. The game is free to download, but you do get premium features with a subscription fee. Still, if all you’re looking for is a quick race with friends, it’s hard to beat this classic.