Gaming is a great way to kill time, or your social life, depending on how you look at it, but constantly buying games can be expensive. A hardcore gamer can finish a $60 game in a matter of 20 hours or less (for example Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) which means buying a new game every week (or every few weeks), unless you want to keep playing your old games over and over again. For that reason, you might want to start looking into any of the free options available online. Yes! There are free games online and some of them are actually quite good. Believe it or not, you can also download free games from very famous franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dungeons and Dragons.
Wait? Isn’t that Illegal?
If the game is currently copyrighted then it is illegal to download it. Generally, you can use common sense to decide if something is free or not. One good way to check to see if something is free is to look the game up and check to see if it is for sale anywhere. If it’s for sale on the developers website then it’s definitely not free. Quick tip? Do your research before you download any ‘free’ game. If it requires a code, keyword, crack, or any other type of confirmation other than simply logging on, then it is probably not free. Most free games do require you to sign up and submit your email address and give them a password.
So How Do I Get Free Games?
While the majority of games are not free, there are a number of free to play games that you can enjoy without every paying a cent. Some of these games are ‘free to play’ and were designed to be free. These are most often MMORPGs such as Digimon, Rift, Warframe, and etc. They vary greatly in content and quality, but you can easily find more than a dozen of them in a few minutes. Other games are offered up for free for a limited time, sometimes from stores, and sometimes as part of special charity or cause promotions.
If you want free games, all you have to do is search ‘free to play games’ and see what comes up. You can add in other tags like ‘RPG’ or ‘FPS’ to get specific types of games, but other than that you can explore as much as you want. Using Free to Play rather than ‘Free’ ensures that your results are a bit more legitimate, and mostly roots out ‘free trial’ results. Once you find the game you want, you can download it via the developer’s website, and usually via torrent if you want it a bit faster.
Temporarily Free Games
Sometimes developers will offer their games for free towards a cause or for a sale. In this case, you do have to download them quickly or they will go away. A few different sites that sometimes offer free games include Steam, GOG, Green Man Gaming, and even Amazon, although these are rare. For example, Green Man Gaming gave away Borderlands 1 & 2 during the holiday season in 2013, and Gog.com gave away the entire Fallout series. While these types of occurrences are rare, they are great to watch out for. Anyone interested should consider signing up for newsletters where similar deals might be announced.
While there are hundreds of free games out there, it can be difficult to find and download them. In addition, downloads from around the web can take a long time. For that reason, most gamers downloading games that are already free should consider looking for them via torrent. Some sites like Vuze even put together collections of free games that can be searched and browsed through right from the Bittorrent client. This makes the whole process easier, as well as more convenient. Most torrented games can be added and played with Steam for those that prefer to use a gaming client.
There are plenty of great free games out there and some of them are every bit as complex as games that charge a hefty monthly fine. Downloading free games is a great way to save money, but it is important to make sure it’s actually free before downloading. What else? Have fun playing your new games of course.