26 Fun & Easy Games To Play On Zoom With Friends, Family Or Coworkers

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Self

As we head into what feels like the 48th month of 2020, weekly Zoom catch-ups and FaceTime video calls are getting increasingly repetitive. Like, seriously, what are we supposed to talk about when there’s literally nothing going on in our lives?

Instead of forcing your friends, coworkers and family to tell you about their mundane weekend plans for the millionth time, why not come up with a few games to play on Zoom?

Actually, scratch that — why don’t we just tell you games to play on Zoom since “coming up with” anything would require the kind of creativity, enthusiasm and brainpower that most of us haven’t seen since March?

RELATED: 130 Things To Do When You're Bored At Home

These Zoom games require very little equipment — apart from an app here or there — and will give you a much-needed distraction from the monotony of life in 2020.

This list is divided into games for adults, families, coworkers, and drinking games to play on Zoom, so there’s something for everyone.  

Best Games to Play on Zoom

1. Pictionary 

You better hope your group is more Da Vinci than Picasso because there is no time for abstract drawings here. All you need is some paper and a black sharpie (pens and pencils tend not to be that visible over Zoom). 

Split into two teams — you can do more teams, but this is 10 times more likely to cause arguments — and then pick someone from each team to do the drawing. Use this random Pictionary word generator to find a drawing.

Then, while the person draws the object, their team members must guess what is being drawn. 

2. Jackbox Games

This one covers a lot of games in one, making it the ultimate addition to any Zoom party.

If you purchase a Jackbox Games party pack, you’ll have access to 5 online games that can be played over Zoom with up to 8 players, or just as solo games when the call ends. Use screen-sharing to make this a group effort.

The games include Quiplash, Trivia Murder, Fibbage and more. 

3. Uno

Massive shoutout to the creators of Uno for making an online version of everyone’s favorite board game!

Have everyone on Zoom download the Uno app and play online with each other while video calling. Double the screens, double the fun! You’ll need at least two participants, but the more you have the better. 

Take turns pulling cards and matching cards from your hand with the number, color or type of the pulled card. Use wildcards to switch up the play and make things more interesting. The aim is to move quickly and get down to one card before anyone notices. 

4. Psych

The aim of the game here to try and outwit your friends with some believable lies and exaggerated stories.

This is an app for phones that can be played without Zoom, but it’s much more fun to be face-to-face when you watch someone read out your lie.

Players must make up fake answers to trivia questions while a host must try to guess the real answer amidst the fakes. Download Pysch here

5. Sitting, Standing, Lying

Since we could all do with a bit more movement these days, why not make your video call into a dynamic motion class?

This game is threaded into ordinary conversation throughout your call. One leader must make subtle movements or transitions from sitting to laying down to standing, and the other people in the call must copy these positions without making it too obvious.

The last one to catch on is out. 

Zoom Games for Adults

6. All Bad Cards

Unfortunately, the online version of Cards Against Humanity no longer exists, but this game is a close replica and is just as hilarious.

You know the drill: play the most absurd, funny or random card in your hand in response to the dealer’s question. The dealer chooses the winner who then gets to become the dealer for the next round.

You can play the game on your phone while you’re on Zoom or just split your screen. Play All Bad Cards online here.

7. Guess Who?

Simple but fun, this game requires one person in the call to choose a celebrity, historical figure or friend while the other people take turns guessing who it is by asking questions.

You can set some rules like limiting the number of questions or only using questions that can be answered with “yes” or “no.”

8. Codenames

This is traditionally a board game but can be played online here.

One person in the call, who is not a spymaster, should open the online link and share their screen with the others so everyone is on the same page. Then, other players are split into red and blue teams and must follow all of their spymaster’s clues to attempt to uncover all the cards that have been randomly assigned to their team while avoiding the deadly assassin card. 

The cards all have random words on them usually referring to a place, animal or object. You can give clues by saying things like “Animal, 3,” meaning your team has 3 animal cards on the board. If someone guesses the right card, their team can make another guess. If they don’t, the other team gets their turn.

You can use breakout rooms to discuss team strategies.  

9. Netflix Party

Host your own virtual movie night with the Netflix party Google Chrome browser extension.

The extension now supports HBO, Hulu and Disney+. This allows you to chose a movie together and have it play at the exact same time across all screens. So, when someone inevitably pauses for a bathroom break or to go make more popcorn, you don’t have to worry about missing anything.

The extension has an in-built text chat feature, but it can be more fun to also have Zoom open so you can laugh or cry together in real-time. 

10. Read My Lips

Inspired by those awkward moments we’ve all shared on Zoom call when someone’s audio cuts out or they forget to turn on their mic, this game makes these mistakes into a deliberate challenge. 

One player mutes their mic and says a word or phrase. The other players or team guess what has been said, or can choose to ask up to 20 questions to attempt to decipher the phrase. 

RELATED: 20 Fun Games To Play With Your Boyfriend Over Text

Games to Play on Zoom with Coworkers

11. Lightening Scavenger Hunt

This challenges coworkers to be quick and creative, and is a fun way to get everyone moving around a bit after a long day of remote working.

Take turns coming up with categories and then give your coworkers 30 seconds or so to find an object that fits the description you provided. The person with the weirdest, wackiest object wins.

Here are some categories you could include: Something you’ve been hoarding, something blue, your favorite mug, an object that makes a noise, a book that you loved, or something that smells bad.

12. Guess That...

Compile a YouTube playlist of iconic songs, quotes, or scenes from movies and TV shows. Then, mute all the participants on the video call and use the screen share feature to play the clip, or just do it based on sound.

Then, each participant must guess the answer via the chatbox or by holding up a sheet of paper. Whoever guesses correctly wins. 

13. Five Things

This is another way to test your coworkers' ability to think quickly and work under pressure.

One person comes up with a category and nominates another person to name 5 things in that category in 5 seconds, or up to 15 seconds if you want to be more forgiving.

For example, if the category was “Friends characters,” the answer could be “Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica and Phoebe.” Whoever does the guessing picks the categories for the next round.

Other categories could include: Democratic presidents, countries in the European Union, books in the Harry Potter series, or breeds of dogs.

14. Would I Lie To You?

This is a popular and hilarious TV show in the UK, but it can easily be replicated over Zoom as an ice-breaker or team-building exercise.

Divide the group into two teams and make use of the breakout room feature on Zoom so the teams can consult with one another. 

A team member must conjure up a fake story or use one of their strangest memories and then tell the story to the entire group. Each member of the other team is allowed to ask one question to test the believability of the story.

Then, in a breakout room, the team must discuss whether they think the story is true and vote accordingly.

This is a great way to hear your coworker’s craziest memories or to see who has the best acting skills. Of course, if you wanted a more quick-fire, less elaborate version, you could also play Two Truths and A Lie. 

15. Trivia

You work with these people, so you’re going to want to know who is the most intelligent in the company. That’s where classic trivia games come in.

There are plenty of apps and sites that you could use to build up a list of trivia questions, but the easiest way is to use a Random Trivia Generator to cover a diverse range of topics.

Then, teams can split into breakout rooms and discuss answers, or make it a quick-fire round in which the first to shout the answer or submit it in the chat wins. 

Games to Play on Zoom with Family

16. Heads Up!

This app is best played with friends and family because shouting is pretty much inevitable and you may not want to reveal your intensely competitive side to your coworkers.

Play Heads Up! by dividing into teams of two. One member of the team will hold their phone on their head and in front of the camera, while their teammate acts out or describes whatever is one the screen. The team with the most correct answers wins.

At least one member from each team will need to download the app to play, but for just $0.99 it’s worth it. 

17. Scattergories

Fill in the blanks, test your quick-thinking skills, and try not to fall out with your family with this free online game.

The game gives you a letter, five categories and 60 seconds to name something in each category beginning with the assigned letter. The highest points go to the most unique answers.

Keep Zoom open in one browser and this game in another to play together. 

18. Bingo

Get your grandparents on a call to play this game. They’ll explain the rules.

You can make custom boards as a fun arts and crafts project, or use a template from My Free Bingo Cards. One caller will choose random numbers as each player crosses off the numbers on their board. The first to cross off all their numbers wins. 

19. Detective

If you’ve got kids in the call or you just want to get a little bit goofy, this is a child-friendly activity.

For this game, one person is the “Detective” and must mute their audio, close their eyes and count to 30, while another is assigned the role of “Suspect.” The suspect picks an action, like waving or patting their head, which all other players must copy.

When the detective opens their eyes, the suspect must wait until they think the detective is looking at someone else and then change the action. The detective must try to catch the suspect in the act. 

20. Cards

Nothing beats a game of cards for family game night, and while your traditional deck may not work well over Zoom, you can still play a version of classic card games online.

PlayCards.io has all your favorites including Go Fish, Backgammon, 500, and Crazy Eights. You can share the link in the Zoom chat and play in separate tabs or by sharing screens. 

Drinking Games to Play on Zoom

21. Never Have I Ever

Get to know your friends better than you ever wanted or needed to know in this party game.

If you have a sneaky suspicion two of your friends have had a secret romance together, or want to know if someone in your group has texted their ex in quarantine, now is the time to find out. 

You don’t need any equipment for this, just some liquid courage. One person says something they’ve never done and the rest of the group takes a sip of their drink if they have done it.

It’s fun, hilarious and will give you plenty to talk about for the rest of the call. 

22. Beer Pong

Necessity really is the mother of invention, and not even social distancing can stop one of the most well-known drinking games.

For this virtual game, everyone on the call will need their own personal pyramid of plastic cups partly filled with alcohol, and a ping pong ball or any object that you don’t mind throwing into alcohol. 

Place the cups and your camera on one end of a table and then stand at the other end. Take turns trying to get the ball into one of the cups in the stack. If you make it, someone else has to drink.

This game works best if there are just two people on the call, but you could divide a group call into teams or just nominate different people to drink. 

23. Picolo

Picolo is a combination of Truth or Dare and Drunken Pirates all wrapped into one chaotic drinking game.

The app allows you to enter the names of everyone on the Zoom call so everyone gets a turn. Then dares, challenges and truths are generated and randomly assigned. You’ll just need one phone for this, so whoever has the app can call out each round. 

Challenges include everything from downing your drink to posting an embarrassing tweet. If you forfeit a round you must drink, and if any of the challenges are not possible to do because you’re not together, it’s a drink for everyone. Download Picolo here.

24. Around The World

So long as at least one person on your Zoom call has a deck of cards, you can play this game.

The dealer must point their camera to a table-top while they layout 4 cards from the deck. As they pull each card, one person must make predictions. If a person guesses correctly, they pick another player to take a drink. If they’re wrong, they must take a sip. 

For the first card, the player must guess the color. Then, if the second is higher or lower than the first. They then must guess whether or not the third card is between those two numbers and, finally, the suit of the fourth card.  

Typically, the four cards are then kept out of the deck, used for subsequent queries and in the second round, but this part of the game isn’t really suitable for Zoom so you can choose to put the cards back if you wish.  

Probability is the name of the game here, so you’ll need a combination of logic and luck. 

25. Most Likely To...

Try not to get too personal with this game — some friendships might be damaged!

No equipment is necessary, just an imagination and a thick skin. Take turns coming up with a “Most likely to” question, and then vote as a group on who is the most likely to do whatever was said. Whoever gets the most votes must take a drink. 

26. Drink When You Hear It

This is a fun way to thread a drinking game into your catch-up without letting it completely hijack the conversation.

At the start of the call, come up with a series of phrases or words, and then simply drink when you hear them. This is particularly funny if some of your friends have words that they overuse without realizing it.

Like when one of your friends literally always use the words "like" and "literally," like, literally all the time. 

RELATED: 6 Virtual Meeting Etiquette Tips For Successful Zoom Calls

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Alice Kelly is a writer and storyteller with a passion for entertainment and online gaming. For more from her check out her Twitter.