What are the best free Steam games 2020? Games to play for free right now from Valve classics to newer F2P games
What are the best free Steam games? If you are bored and penniless, you don’t need to fear a gaming drought. Steam is full of games to play without spending a penny (no, not like that). What’s more, many of them are very good indeed: games that are just as much fun to play as their full-price, wallet-destroying siblings.
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In recent years, free games have become the norm, with some even overtaking paid-for triple-A tiles as the leaders of the PC gaming hobby. Take a quick look at Steam’s most-played list and you’ll see that a significant proportion of the biggest games in the world happen to be free-to-play.
So, because we desperately care about the health of your bank account – and honestly worry about how much money you’re spending on your nasty gaming habit – we want to help you find all the free games worth your time. Below you’ll find a bounty of free Steam games, all available to download and play right now. What are you waiting for?
The best free Steam games are:
World of WarshipsWar ThunderConqueror”s BladeStar ConflictCRSED: F.O.A.DRiftWarframeCrossoutArcheAgeTroveNeverwinterStar Trek OnlineSkyforgeAlbion OnlineEve OnlineSmiteDota UnderlordsWorld of WarplanesHeavy Metal MachinesWarfaceShadowverseRealm RoyalePaladinsTeam Fortress 2Dota 2PlanetSide 2Closers
World of Warships
There are heaps of quality tank games available on Steam, but prospective admirals have far fewer options. Fortunately then, there’s World of Warships, which is not only one of the very best naval warfare simulation games, but also a free Steam game. With 200 of the titular warships for players to unlock, from destroyers and cruisers to battleships and aircraft carriers, players can rest assured they won’t run out of new toys to aim for. Not that you’ll notice the grind: the multiplayer naval battles of World of Warships are pure spectacle.
Play World of Warships for free
In World War II soldiers would often hear thunder in the distance and prepare themselves for rain, only for them to discover it was actually War Thunder; a tank game about planes and tanks shooting each other. Gaijin’s flight game straps you into a mind-shattering variety of authentic 1940s war machines and tasks you with surviving countless dogfights and land battles with other players.
It is a game that is constantly being updated and improved, with the biggest additions providing whole new types of vehicles like warships for massive naval battles. To help you make sense of it all we have put together a guide to the best War Thunder tier 1 planes, and a tank battles guide, too.
Play War Thunder for free
Conqueror’s Blade offers a devilish blend of top-down battle strategy and third-person fighting that few other war games dare attempt. The medieval MMO receives regular updates and support from developers My.Games, so you won’t get bored, with each new season bringing fresh units, areas of the map to explore, and new epochs to delve into.
Season 5 takes inspiration from the Byzantine era, but it also adds flaming weapons powered by hellfire to the brand new campaign – what’s not to love? Of course, you can loosen your pursestrings to splash out on a battle pass or cosmetic items, but the core of the game is entirely free.
Play Conqueror’s Blade for free
Do you long for a free Steam game that is effectively one gigantic, endless spaceship dogfighting simulator? Star Conflict takes the idea of player-driven stories spawned by Eve Online and condenses it to a much more action-packed, combat-oriented experience with a much more gentle onboarding process.
Related: Read about the best space games on PC
When you are not skirmishing in nimble fighters or massive frigates, you can simply explore the beautiful, vibrant cluster of ancient worlds scattered through its sizeable void.
Play Star Conflict for free
Funny free Steam games aren’t all that common, but CRSED, which started life as a joke spinoff for squad-based MMO shooter Enlisted, earned its place on this list through constant quality updates and its madcap sense of humour. While you’ll spend most of a match in PUBG tracking down a hefty set of plate armour, in CRSED (or, as it used to be known, Cuisine Royale) you just need to find a kitchen, strap some metal cookware over your vital organs, and you’re good to go. Regular content updates also keep things fresh and funny, with everything from historic figures to superpowered demons being rotated in and out of the free-to-play battle royale game.
Play CRSED: F.O.A.D for free
Rift is an exciting MMORPG from Trion Games, and it is a pretty popular free Steam game. Set in the epic fantasy world of Telara, you will be embarking upon a journey that sees your character grow, develop new skills, wield special weapons, and defeat dangerous beasts. It’s got everything you could want from one of the best MMORPGs.
Once you have decided which faction you will be siding with – either the Guardians or the Defiant – you can start your adventure in this massive, rich world. You also have plenty of choice in which Calling you choose. Will you be a Warrior, Cleric, Mage, Rogue, or Primalist? Or, if you just want to bypass all that rigmarole, you can choose a Purpose: a pre-made profile so you can just get stuck in straight away.
Play Rift for free
Warframe lets you play as a space ninja, and that is probably all that you need to know to start getting excited. Beyond that, it is a third-person co-op affair that pits you against goons and other space ninjas, all wearing fancy ‘warframes’ that provide special abilities. It is a slick action game with a hint of Destiny about it, thanks to its buddy-up mission design and shared-world social environments. Part of the attraction is perfecting your own Warframe build so you can clear levels and grind faster than anyone else.
Read more: The best co-op games on PC
There may be a bit of grind involved if you want to craft the coolest gear, but you will be slicing people in half and powersliding around on your knees for most of that, so don’t be too concerned. It is one of the most popular free Steam games, meaning there is always people to play with, and frequent huge, updates like Plains of Eidolon and the even larger Warframe Fortuna expansion.
Play Warframe for free
Crossout is a post-apocalyptic MMO action game from Targem Games in which you craft and build monstrously-sized machines and use them to bash others in explosive online games. So it is basically what you used to do during your childhood with Lego, but with the magic of computers.
You can craft a wide variety of vehicles – from small, nimble buggies to rugged off-roaders – with an arsenal of weapons just as large: get your murderous hands on power drills, machine guns, and rocket launchers, or even stealth generators if you fancy a quieter approach. With an arsenal like that, it is easy to see why Crossout is one of the best free Steam games.
As you fight, you build your reputation with your chosen Crossout faction. In PvP or PvE (where you can even fight user-created bosses) engaging in some good ol’ shooting will grant you new parts and blueprints to continue your vehicular crusade. If you need a hand getting started, just consult our Crossout beginner’s guide.
Play Crossout for free
ArcheAge, Trion’s free-to-play MMO, begins very much in the mould of tradition: quests, crafting, and slightly humdrum fantasy adventures. Get past that though, and the game quickly makes way for high seas escapades as you and some chums set off on your very own ship, becoming wealthy traders or unfriendly pirates, preying on other players. It is a true sandbox MMO that is vastly accommodating to the ambitious merchant, explorer, or scallywag.
ArcheAge is free-to-play, with some premium content unlocked by a subscription – or alternatively, you can purchase the identical but separate game ArcheAge: Unchained to experience everything the game has to offer.
Play ArcheAge for free
Don’t be fooled by its blocky, Minecraft-like aesthetic, Trove is a hardcore MMO for players that live for the grind and action-adventure combat. In Trove you start by picking from a selection of fantasy-inspired classes and set off across a series of realms, constantly leveling up, fighting cube-y monsters, delving into dungeons, and unlocking new gear, which you can show off back at your home base. If you’re a hoarder at heart then Trove will appeal to you.
Play Trove for free
Neverwinter is the MMO take on Bioware’s classic and beloved RPG, taking you to the Forgotten Realms and pitting you against hobgoblins, kobolds, and much, much worse. It is a surprisingly robust action-MMO, with a strong emphasis on skill-heavy combat and a pretty world to explore.
There is a bit of a push for players to buy things in the in-game store, but you can do everything without paying a penny. That even includes playing the frequent expansions, such as the recent Swords of Chult update that adds a new skirmish and refines the PvP elements.
Play Neverwinter for free
Star Trek Online
Star Trek Online is an MMO set in the unmistakable sci-fi world of the starship Enterprise, where you are given a ship, a crew and sent off on sci-fi adventures that feel authentically Star Trek. Though it’s ever-ageing, it continues to get regular free updates that add new, elaborate episodic missions, additional gear, seasonal events, and even the crew of Deep Space Nine in Star Trek Online.
The story also has a tangible impact on the evolving galaxy. While there is a cash shop and premium ships, the game continues to be extremely generous toward free players, allowing them freedom in their exploration of the final frontier.
Play Star Trek Online for free