You get to share in the excitement, challenge your friends, and have fun together. Social gaming is relatively easy on Android. There are two types of local multiplayer games. The first is over WiFi or Bluetooth and the second is entirely offline. One requires two devices connected together and the other lets you play on a single device. It’s a relatively small market and the good games are a little difficult to find. However, there are plenty of good titles out there. Here is a list of the best local multiplayer games for Android that you can play with your buddies right next to you.
We’d also like to give an honorable mention to the Jackbox Party Pack series (Google Play). It’s very expensive, especially with seven games in the franchise. However, groups with a sense of humor will almost certainly have a good time and the local multiplayer controls are pretty easy to figure out. We don’t list it below because the cost of all seven games is well over $100.
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
Among Us was one of the runaway viral hits of 2020. It’s a pretty entertaining game. A group of between five and ten players prep a spaceship for departure. However, a couple of the ship’s crew are imposters. A couple of players try to kill everybody on the ship while the rest of the players figure out who it might be. There are some entertaining game mechanics and it’s even fun to watch on Twitch. It’s available online or over local WiFi connections (no outside Internet connection required) if you’re in a group at home.
Price: Free / Up to $3.99
BADLAND is a classic platformer game. It’s also one of the few with local multiplayer support. It supports up to four players on the same device. The game also has fun graphics, a level editor, full controller support, cloud saving, and support for Android TV. That makes this one of the great local multiplayer games no matter the device. The game easy enough to get your friends into and the platformer element is a bit unique for local multiplayer games. It’s getting up there in age a little bit. However, the developers keep it updated for now.
BombSquad is a multiplayer game recommendation from one of our readers. It’s a party style game with a bunch of explosions and rag doll physics. The game allows for up to eight participants at once. They all try to bomb each other to claim supremacy. The game supports hardware controllers as well as Android TV. There is also a remote control app so players can play without purchasing a controller on Android TV. There is advertising, but otherwise it’s completely free.
Chess by AI Factory Limited
Price: Free / $0.99
Chess is one of the most popular IRL multiplayer games. It functions well as one on mobile as well. Chess by AI Factory Limited is about as good as it gets. It features simple graphics, simple controls, board themes, excellent single-player modes, and plenty of other ways to play. That includes pass-and-play local multiplayer. You already know how Chess works. The free version of the game comes with all the features and then also advertising. The pro version is identical minus the advertising. AI Factory Limited has a bunch of other basic games like checkers, Hearts, Spades, and others. Almost all of the developer’s games have local multiplayer support.
Price: Free to play
Crossy Road is one of the most popular local multiplayer games ever. It’s like this generation’s Frogger. You navigate a chicken through traffic, over streams, and other places while avoiding obstacles. The game features controller support, Android TV support, and local multiplayer support. Each player needs their own device. From there, just connect over a local WiFi network. There is a reason this one is so popular. The only downside is the freemium part. However, it’s just to unlock playable characters and doesn’t affect actual game play.
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Price: Free / $1.99
DUAL! is a unique local multiplayer game. It’s a little bit like classic Pong. Players bounce and shoot stuff on their screens. The bullets and objects leave their screen and enter the other player’s screen. The game is playable completely offline via Bluetooth. You can also play over WiFi if you want to. Players can duel one another or play co-op against AI bad guys. It’s not the most difficult or complex game ever. However, it’s legitimately fun to play with another person. Plus, it’s cheap, kid-friendly, and it even has achievements and stats. There really isn’t a lot wrong with this one and it’s even free if you use Google Play Pass.
The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout
The Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout is a prison escape game with some strategy elements. Players live the life of a prisoner, collect various items, craft more items, and try to orchestrate a prison break. The game includes ten prison scenarios, including women’s prisons as well as men’s. You can play with up to three of your friends in local multiplayer mode and conspire to prison break together. It’s an above average multiplayer experience and it’s a single price tag with no in-app purchases. This one is also free via Google Play Pass if you use it.
Farming Simulator 18
Price: $4.99 with in-app purchases
Farming Simulator 18 is a bit of a surprise for a list like this. The game is, well, a farming simulator. It includes 50 farming vehicles, various crops to crow, and all kinds of other things to do. Believe it or not, you can play with people over local multiplayer. From what we can tell, you and friends can all manage the same farm. You connect over WiFi or Bluetooth and everybody hangs out on the same farm to do stuff. It’s a relatively inexpensive game and it’s definitely something different in this space. Unfortunately, future versions of Farming Simulator either don’t have as versatile of a multiplayer experience so we still recommend 18 for local multiplayer.
Price: Free / $1.99
Gunstar Heroes Classic is a port of the popular SEGA Genesis game of the same name. It’s an action platformer with shooter elements as well. Players play levels, beat the bad guys, and save the day. SEGA ported this one directly and they did a good job of it. The game supports hardware controllers as well as local multiplayer over WiFi. It’s not the longest game ever. However, the game is entirely free with ads or ad-free for a single $1.99 purchase. The software controls are occasionally unresponsive, but it’s otherwise a fantastic retro platformer.
Heroes of Flatlandia
Heroes of Flatlandia is a strategy game with some decent mechanics. It’s turn based so everybody gets a turn. In addition, the game boasts 30 different units, eight playable heroes, a decently smart AI, and more. There is a single player mode where you can play the game. Another option is the hot-seat multiplayer where you pass your phone to your friend when dueling them. This is one of those games that should probably be a little more popular than it is. It runs for $1.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.
Price: $6.99 with in-app purchases
Minecraft is one of the most popular local multiplayer games ever, on any platform. You know how Minecraft works. You spawn into a world and do all kinds of stuff there. It has single player and multiplayer options. Players create their own servers where friends can also play. Additionally, they can purchase a server from Microsoft and everyone plays there. This also has cross-platform support with Windows and Xbox versions of the game. We love that. This is easily among the best local multiplayer games because you can play whole worlds there across multiple game sessions without getting bored.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Riptide GP: Renegade is the best local multiplayer game for race fans. This one features wave runner racing. The game features a fairly deep career mode, online multiplayer, and split-screen multiplayer support. The split-screen multiplayer allows up to four players to play on the same device. However, you do need four controllers to make it work. Other than that, this game is a home run. The graphics and mechanics are fantastic and it’s also not a free to play game. It’s also avaialble via Google Play Pass if you have it. Asphalt 8: Airborne also has local multiplayer if you want to try that racing game as well.
Sea Battle 2
Price: Free to play
Sea Battle 2 is basically a clone of the classic game Battleship. Thus, most people know how the game works. It features a variety of game modes, including two types of local multiplayer. The options include connection over Bluetooth or a pass-and-play style. Some other game modes include single player and online multiplayer modes. The game also includes an in-game chat, multiple single player difficulties, and additional game types. It’s a freemium game and that’s not optimal. However, it’s otherwise a very competent game. Fleet Battle is another Battleship style game with local multiplayer over both Bluetooth and WiFi. This one is available on Google Play Pass for free if you want.
Price: Free / $3.99
Spaceteam is one of the more unique local multiplayer games. It requires a bunch of teamwork. Each player has their own device. Every round, the instructions are relayed to all of the teammates. They must tell the final person what dials to turn, switches to flip, and places to slide. This continues until the person gets the right combination or the ship explodes. It supports between two and eight players. Each player needs their own device. However, it is cross-platform with iOS and Android. Thus, it should work for most smartphone owners.
Tsuro is another board game with local multiplayer support. It actually plays similarly to games like Ticket to Ride. Players create trails across the game board. The player wins with the longest trail and highest score. This version of the game comes with three game modes, local or online multiplayer with up to eight players, and a truly offline experience. You can play with up to eight players on the same device so you don’t even need WiFi or Bluetooth to connect everyone together if you don’t want to. Add to that a cheap price tag, achievements, and no freemium nonsense and you have a solid game overall.
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