The greatest free PC games on Steam include anything from competitive first-person shooters to card games; if you’re new to PC gaming, you can save a lot of money while still having a great time. Some of these games will get a lot better (with a lot more content) if you pay for the “full version,” but the vast majority will provide you with hours of entertainment for free. Here are nine of the greatest free PC games available on Steam that will go well with the best gaming laptops, custom gaming PCs, or pre-built desktops.
The multiplayer and campaign modes of Halo Infinite were published independently, with the former being free to play. The new Slipspace game engine is stunning, and there’s new gear to appreciate (including the grappling hook), but if you’ve ever played a Halo game, you’ll feel right at home. The same fast-paced action is back, this time set in a larger sandbox than ever before. The map design is fantastic, the weaponry are as wonderful as they’ve ever been, and there are a ton of people to play against.
The multiplayer advancement has had a rocky start due to the free-to-play nature of the game, but the creators have been modifying things to ensure that players aren’t left feeling a little sore. Halo Infinite should be on your radar if you enjoy casual multiplayer shooters with quick action.
The base game of Destiny 2 (without expansions) was free-to-play on PC a few years ago, offering everyone a chance to experience the story and PVP warfare. It’s a looter-shooter with RPG and MMO aspects, so expect to spend a lot of time grinding to improve your gear. Yes, it’s still worth playing in 2021, with the creators smoothing away some of the grind for new players who haven’t played in years.
You can choose from three classes in Destiny 2, each with ten possible subclasses that you can switch between at any moment. There’s plenty of free content in the original game, and once you’ve reached the “end,” you may decide whether or not you want to continue with paid expansions. This is an excellent choice if you enjoy shooter loot and can get behind a sci-fi tale.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that offers both free and paid membership options. You may effectively create your own story in the Star Wars universe by playing as the character of your choice. It’s up to you whether you want to be a Jedi, a Sith, a bounty hunter, a smuggler, or any other famous Star Wars character.
The Old Republic has been around for over eight years, with five expansions and a ton of more material. As you journey across the Star Wars universe, you’ll visit planets, complete missions, and make important decisions.
Path of Exile, an online game that has been in ongoing development since its release in 2013, should be of particular interest to fans of the action RPG (aRPG) genre. It’s the classic tale of waking up on an island shore with nothing but rags and, after long hours of play, becoming a mighty demigod. New leagues pop up all the time, each with a unique gimmick and gameplay loop that entices gamers to return for another shot at glory.
Rather than charging players for each new update, Path of Exile makes money from aesthetic improvements that are entirely optional. You may play the entire multi-act story with any of the numerous character classes, gather any of the uncountable items of gear, and have a good time with all of your pals without spending a dime… unless you really want to change your appearance.
This is a game that will draw you in and keep you there, and it’s a terrific way to pass the time while we wait to see if Diablo 4 is a return to RPG glory.
If you say “first-person shooter” (FPS) to a PC gamer, they’ll almost certainly think of Counter-Strike. Global Offensive is the most recent version of the game, and it’s usually the most popular on Steam. It’s a competitive five-versus-five shooter that’s been refined over time to become the game we have today, a game that millions of people play or watch every year. CS:GO will suck you in and not let you go until you reach Global Elite, with iconic maps, iconic firearms, and a high skill curve that makes you question your own sanity.
It was made free-to-play a few years ago, and you can certainly have a lot of fun without spending any money. You can, however, purchase a “Prime” edition of the game to play with other Prime members only. In any event, CS:GO, like many other games in this collection, makes the majority of its money from cosmetics. Finally, this is a fantastic game for anyone who like competitive bomb timer/hostage rescue games.
World of Warships is far more complex than it appears at first glance (see what I did there? ), and I know folks who play it exclusively despite owning a variety of other games. It is a free-to-play game that makes money selling cosmetics. This online multiplayer game drops you into the water and pits you against other big ships and submarines from World War I and World War II.
Whether you’re playing single or with buddies, there are over 400 ships to command and upgrade. Learn what it takes to keep your ship afloat by playing PVP or PVE. If you’re not a fan of fast-paced competitive gaming, this one focuses more on strategy and execution rather than reflex.
We’re all still riding the Battle Royale wave, and only the greatest players are still raking in the cash. Apex Legends, from Respawn Entertainment, the creators of Titanfall and Titanfall 2, is widely regarded as one of the best Battle Royale games available, thanks in part to its free-to-play model. It makes the majority of its money, like many other games, on cosmetics that allow you to brag to your friends.
Apex Legends contains unique characters with unique skills and devices, and three-player teams can devise some creative methods to reach the final circle. In the end, it will come down to what loot you acquire and how well you handle it versus other teams vying for the elusive victory. This is the way to go if you want a battle royale experience from Steam.
Both in terms of player population and content, Warframe is a large game. Since its initial release in 2013, it has been continually updated with fresh material, attracting new players along the way. You can choose from over 40 different “Warframes” (the avatar you’ll play as), each with unique powers that can be tweaked. Choose a weapon and then enter a vast realm where you must kill, kill, kill.
In the online environment, you can play alone or with three other people for some group fun. The tale is interesting, but the main lure is the never-ending grind that MMOs are known for. Warframe is completely free, but you can purchase cosmetics to support the devs.
A list of the greatest free Steam games would be incomplete without Dota 2. The majority of Steam reviews, whether positive or bad, come from gamers who have logged thousands of hours of gameplay. This is a sequel to the original Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft 3. It is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game. You and your chosen hero form a team with four other players and compete against a team of five other players in order to reach and destroy an Ancient.
Each hero has their own set of powers, but it’s the teamwork and PVP warfare that make this game so appealing. This game has a sizable competitive following and is one of the most popular PC games available. It’s fully free to play, with only optional cosmetics providing revenue.
A few years ago, there was a game called The Witcher 3 – our choice for best PC game — that contained a distinct game called Gwent. Gwent, which drew its cards from the universe in which it was embedded, grew in popularity to the point where developer CD PROJEKT RED decided to produce a free standalone version.
GWENT does an excellent job of presenting characters and their backstories, whether or not you’ve engaged in the Witcher universe. There are a lot of cards to collect, manufacture, and enhance, and there’s a lot of competition. Try not to come back for just one more hand when playing online or versus AI.
It’s not good to be able to pay to win in an online brawler; however, Brawlhalla restricts paid content to a minimum and lets talent speak for itself. It’s a massively popular cross-platform game that duplicates a lot of what makes Super Smash Bros. so popular. On a “stage,” up to eight actual or AI players begin with the goal of knocking out the other players.
Characters have unique skills, and more gear and weapons are dropped throughout the stage. There are a plethora of characters to pick from (many from outside the Brawlhalla universe), and the initially simplistic gameplay will keep players returning in an attempt to master it.
War Thunder is similar to World of Warships in that it offers free online historical fights, but unlike World of Warships, you can climb out of the seas and onto land, as well as into the skies. More than 2,000 tanks, ships, planes, helicopters, trucks, and other vehicles from the WWII, Cold War, and modern eras may be found on more than 100 maps in War Thunder.
It has both PVP and PVE action, is cross-platform with a large player base, and even works with VR headsets if you truly want to feel like you’re in the driver’s seat.