Here’s our roundup of the very best free Android games available in the Google Play Store right now.
Have some time to kill and only your trusty Android phone to keep you company? Take a gander at some of the most exciting, engaging, and free games that you can download from the Google Play Store. We have a healthy mix including shooters, puzzle games, racing, and lots more.
If you’re itching for something new and you’re able to stomach a few in-app purchases prompts, read on!
- PUBG Mobile
- Brawl Stars
- Stranger Things: The Game
- Pokémon Go
- Asphalt 9
- Smash Hit
- Alto’s Odyssey
- Modern Strike Online: PRO FPS
- Clash Royale
- Sky Force Reloaded
It’s pretty incredible how well PUBG Mobile plays on Android. This is a massive PvP battle royale game that pits 100 players against each other on a massive island loaded with weapons, ammo, tactical gear, and vehicles. You drop in as a solo player or as part of a team and must use all your best skills to take down your opponents until you’re the last man standing.
It’s not unheard of for a popular PC or console release to find its way to Android, but you’ll be surprised at how well PUBG plays on a smartphone. The developers have made it easier for mobile players to pick up and manage items, and have also added bots in the lowest ranks to help ease players into the game experience. Bluetooth controller support would be a nice addition, but the touch controls are some of the best I’ve seen for a shooter on mobile.
It also allows you to scale back the graphics so you can enjoy smooth gameplay even when playing on an older device. If you’ve got a newer device, crank those settings to the max and enjoy one of the best looking mobile games I’ve played in a long while.
PUBG Mobile somehow delivers all the epic moments you’d expect the PC game scaled down perfectly for mobile devices. Best of all, it’s free to play and features four unique maps to choose from along with multiple game mode and your choice of playing in first- or third-person view. Get your squad together, and I’ll see you on the battlegrounds!
Developed by Supercell, Brawl Stars is a fast-paced arena brawler that is unlike most other games on the Play Store. It’s a departure from the Clash of Clans universe that has made Supercell a household name and instead lets players team up in a MOBA game that differentiates itself from others in the genre with its colorful and cartoony look that’s backed by great gameplay variety.
There are multiple game modes available, which rotate every couple of hours so there’s always something new to play whenever you log into the app. These modes include:
- Gem Grab: teams collect gems which spawn at the center of the map, and the first team to collect and hold 10 or more gems for 15 seconds win
- Heist: teams must defend their safe of gems while strategically attacking the other team’s safe.
- Showdown: a Battle Royale mode with up to 10 players that’s available for solo players or duos.
- Bounty: teams battle to collect stars which are earned by kill opponents. The more kills you get without dying the bigger the star bounty on your own head.
- Brawl Ball: a soccer match featuring the Brawl Stars cast. The first team to score two goals wins.
- Robo Rumble: a time-based special event where teams of three take on wave after wave of robot enemies that include boss robots with very high hitpoints and damage.
Individually, each game mode is fun in its own unique way and could easily be its own standalone app, but by including all six modes on a rotating basis Supercell has elevated Brawl Stars to the next level. This is a really well-made game that just recently got a major update that overhauled the graphics with a fresh 3D-style design that looks even better. The only downside is the crate unlocking and card collecting aspects of the game, but at least it’s all performance based rewards and doesn’t require you to arbitrarily wait hours to unlock each crate.
Stranger Things: The Game
Ostensibly a marketing tool for the second season of the Netflix series, Stranger Things: The Game is a surprisingly great game. All the characters, settings, and themes from the source material are converted into a pixel-retro action adventure game similar in gameplay style to the Adventures of Zelda.
There’s a full story to unfold as you start out controlling Hawkins Police Chief Jim Hopper, as he receives a late-night call about four missing children and heads out to investigate. Where other 2D adventure games try and use a digital d-pad for control, Stranger Things uses a simple tap control system that really works well. The game is a good mix of puzzle-solving and action, with characters to unlock and add to your party. There’s a surprising amount of depth to this game and everything feels complete for a free game.
It’s nice to see Netflix publishing games based on its intellectual properties, and they deserve full credit along with the developers at BonusXP Inc. for going above and beyond here. This game could have been filled with ads, in-app purchases as is the trend with other free mobile games — but it’s not. It’s a standout game that just happens to double as a playable ad for a TV show.
Ancestor is a fast-paced puzzler mixed with a side-scrolling action runner. You’ll need sharp reflexes and quick thinking if you have any hopes of getting far in this game.
You play as a cloaked hero who must traverse dangerous lands filled with traps and enemies — all with the help of a mysterious orb that shoots lasers. Clear the path ahead by solving quick puzzles and shooting down enemies — including boss battles — as the game adapts to your skills and ups the difficulty as you go. It’s a free game with in-app purchases available to customize your character and the laser orb, but you can also unlock all items by collecting the in-app currency during gameplay.
Pokémon Go Is still going strong nearly three years after it was announced, so chances are you’re already out there exploring your city and attempting to catch ’em all.
Developed by Niantic, Pokémon Go is the game that ushered in the new craze of games based on augmented reality, but it’s the most fleshed out and fun to play. Pokémon Go is based on the Ingress platform, Niantic’s first breakthrough game (which, coincidentally, was previously featured on this very list), and the game forces you to get out and explore your neighborhood as you search for wild Pokémon to catch and PokéStops to stock up on crucial items like Pokéballs.
The game has evolved quite a bit since that first summer of 2016 and now features some great social events such as raids and most recently added trainer battles that finally let you battle your pals using your favorite Pokémon.
Pokémon Go has managed to maintain it’s status as one of the most popular mobile games, and it’s still worth checking out in 2019!
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games have been blowing up the PC gaming world recent years — think League of Legends or DOTA2. If you’re looking for a quality MOBA game for your mobile device, one game has risen to the top: Vainglory.
This game is the complete package, featuring all the frantic MOBA action fans of the genre have come to expect — jump into a quick match with random teammates and opponents, create your own party of friends and take on all comers, or chill offline and practice your strategies against bots. There are five hero classes featuring a total of 25 unique heroes to unlock, upgrade and take into battle. The touch controls are smooth and easy to pick up, so you’ll be able to jump right into the heat of the battle instantly. As you fight your way down the lane, there’s a significant upgrade system that branches out, allowing you to react and counter your enemies more effectively.
If you’re new to the MOBA genre, no worries! After introducing you to the gameplay fundamentals on the first launch, Vainglory also features the Academy, an extensive tutorial section that will help you bolster your skills and abilities in the game. There’s also a ton of things to unlock, live events to participate in, and a bustling online community on Twitch, Jump in!
Vainglory is a free download in the Google Play Store with optional in-app purchases available.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt 9: Legends is the latest entry in this celebrated mobile racing game franchise and brings more of the frantic arcade racing action you love. The Asphalt series has always skipped over all pretensions of realism — outside of the photo-realistic car renders — to provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience with all the fixings. Players can work their way through career mode where you unlock new rides and upgrades for your garage and cars, or take the competition online in multiplayer.
The incredibly polished graphics and outstanding soundtrack make Asphalt 9 an adrenaline trip you won’t soon forget.
Smash Hit is the Android equivalent of a "greatest hit" title at this point. For a time, Smash Hit was one of the best-looking and smoothest to play games on the Google Play Store, and this minimalist target shooting game is still pretty fun to pick up and play in 2019 where players tap the screen to toss a marble and shatter glass obstacles. If you bump into something you lose marbles. Lose all your marbles and it’s game over. Every section is littered with power-ups and fresh batches of marbles to keep you going. If you manage to keep hitting the marble refill crystals without missing, you can fire off two, three, or five marbles at once.
Though it’s a simple, on-rails shooter, Smash Hit’s polished physics make for a massively accessible and compelling experience. If you love the developer’s style of gameplay and design you should definitely check out their other cool game PinOut, a futuristic take on an endless pinball table.
Alto’s Odyssey is the highly anticipated sequel to Alto’s Adventure, another fantastic free-to-play game on Android.
Odyssey is an absolutely beautiful game that features simple controls and endless replayability. The game builds off of the physics introduced in Alto’s Adventure and feels quite familiar except for Odyssey swapping the snowy mountain setting for a diverse setting that transitions from desert dunes to lush temple sections. Odyssey has introduced some fun new gameplay mechanics including hot air balloons, wall riding along rock features, and dust devils that will toss your character into the air. It all comes together to feel like a unique adventure, taking the best parts from the first game and adding new ways for linking tricks and exploring the slopes.
As with the first game, Odyssey is free to download on Android with in-app purchases available for speeding up your progress through the game and removing ads.
Modern Strike Online: PRO FPS
Of all the free-to-play first-person shooters on the Google Play Store, Modern Strike Online stands out to me for its classic CounterStrike-style gameplay and how quick and easy it is to jump into a game — and isn’t that the point?
Modern Strike Online offers a pure online FPS experience packed with many great quick match options available. You earn experience as you play that levels you up to unlock new game modes. There are six game modes in total which include most of the standard fare you’d expect — free-for-all, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and a hardcore mode. In-game currency can be bought via in-app purchases or earned via daily rewards, crates and generally kicking ass, which can then be spent on new weapons, armor, and accessories for your character. There’s a decent amount of customization available for kitting, with over 30 types of weapons available to rent or buy. Yes, there’s the occasional in-game ad and constant pressure to invest real cash (as is the case with most free mobile games these days) but it’s not terribly invasive and there’s plenty of fun and loot to be had relying on the free crates and daily rewards.
If you’ve grown tired of Clash of Clans gameplay but still love the characters and world that the folks at Supercell have created, you should definitely check out Clash Royale. Unlock and upgrade troops, build your battle deck, and take on real-life opponents in real-time battles.
Join or create a clan and share cards and strategies with friends from around the world. You’ll need to employ quick thinking and genuine strategy to win, so you’ll be compelled to keep tweaking your decks by working in new cards. This game’s been around for a few years now, so there’s a ton of grinding and chest unlocks ahead for newer players to rank up and unlock all the best troop cards and whatnot. It makes the in-app purchases all the more intriguing for anyone looking to upgrade faster and be somewhat competitive in the higher ranks. Nevertheless, it’s still a really fun game to play in the lower ranks and especially against friends.
Sky Force Reloaded
Sky Force Reloaded is one of those pure games that’s just a blast to play. It’s a top-down shooter that harkens back to the classic retro genre with gorgeous graphics and challenging gameplay.
Blast your way through nine action-packed missions as you take down enemies while dodging the attacks they send back your way. Collect stars and upgrade your ships as you try to earn all medals on each mission at each difficulty level. It’s an incredibly well-polished game from a storied and celebrated franchise, making Sky Force Reloaded an absolute must-play.
Updated January 2019: Revamped our picks for 2019 to include the best free games from last year and beyond!
January 3, 2019 at 07:01AM