On the lookout for the best io games? You might not be aware of the genre: accessible browser-based games that range from offline to MMO experiences. The best io games conjure up images of sitting bored at school or work and looking for something to keep you occupied that’ll make it past your network’s filters. The term ‘io games’ actually refers to the ‘.io’ domain, but that’s not the only element that bonds these games. The genre blossomed from the popularity of Agar.io, and so most of these games emulate the gameplay of Agar and involve moving around, hoovering up smaller creatures than you.
No need to clear any room on your hard drive – the best io games can be played on anything from low-specced machines to the best gaming PCs. All the heavy lifting is done on the website to ensure you can play these games anywhere. From puzzle games to battle royale games, the best io games will keep you entertained for at least the next ten minutes, and might just eat up the rest of your day and compete with the best PC games for your attention – you’ve been warned.
The best io games in 2023 are:
Agar.io is usually the game most people think of when looking for browser-based games. In this MMO action game, players take control of a circular cell as it hunts to consume smaller static cells. Other players control rival cells which you must compete with for food – and if their cell is larger than yours is, then you run the risk of becoming their food if they catch you. This is where things get interesting: the larger your cell, the slower you move.
So what do you do when you’re too slow to consume cells, but too small to absorb everything in sight? Cells can split in half at will, giving players two individual cells to control. Each cell can split up to four times, allowing players to escape certain death when dealing with a giant enemy. Agar.io’s highly addictive gameplay, in addition to its five unique multiplayer modes, make it one of the best io games.
Flappy Bird may be but a distant memory for some people, but for those in the know, this hardcore side-scroller lives on as an io game. The 2014 mobile smash hit challenges players to control a yellow bird as it stumbles its way through the air. Orta Therox and Em Lazer-Walker, the developers of Flappy Royale.io, have modernised the flappy formula to create a new type of experience.
You compete against 99 other flappers and navigate your way past as many green pipes as possible before inevitably bumping your birdy noggin on one of them. The devs mention on their website that most players fail to survive beyond the first two pipes, so if you stay alive for more than five seconds you’ve got a great chance of winning. Flappyroyale.io is the perfect example of that ‘just one more try’ feeling – you’ll be hooked after just one go.
Wings.io drops you in the cockpit of a military fighter jet with one goal in mind: taking out all other pilots invading your airspace. While you spawn into Wings.io with nothing but your eponymous wings, supply drops are plentiful, and each includes a different type of ammunition. You can ascend to the top of the map to drop bombs on enemy planes, or engage in some close-quarters dogfighting with rapid-fire incendiary ammo. Don’t like the ammunition you’re currently using? Swipe another supply drop to quickly replace it with something better.
Successfully shooting down other players earns you points, and the ultimate goal is to earn enough to dominate Wing.io’s leaderboard. However, competition is fierce, and there’s always another pilot coming for your crown.
Remember the classic mobile game, Snake? Slither.io takes that same concept and mixes it with Agar.io. The result is an even simpler version of Agar.io that is just as addictive to play. Slither.io puts players in the body of a snake as it consumes nearby pellets… you see where we’re going with this?
The strategy for Slither.io is slightly different, as you don’t have the split cells mechanic to bail you out of any tricky scenarios. You do have access to a temporary boost, but this won’t save you if your opponent has managed to engulf you into their coiled snake body. You may only plan to play the game for five minutes, but that can easily turn into an hour thanks to Slither.io’s gameplay loop.
Developed by Matheus Valadares, the creator of Agar.io, Diep.io is a tank game that takes place in a 2D arena. Each player controls a tank, which is initially only capable of firing one missile at a time. As players destroy polygon objects and enemy tanks, they can level up their vehicles to make them move faster, hit harder, and become more, uh, tanky. Destroying powerful enemy tanks rewards players with high amounts of experience points, granting you multiple level ups instantaneously.
Diep.io has eight multiplayer modes, including several team-based modes, which are arguably the most interesting out of the bunch. There’s already quite a bit of strategy in this tank game, but adding in a few mates opens up a new level of coordination. You don’t need a highly detailed plan in order to dominate other teams, you just need to work together. Diep.io is at its best when two teams of equal skill levels can get together to battle it out for the crown.
Want to try out Tetris battle royale but you don’t have a Nintendo Switch? Tetr.io is as close to the real experience as you can get without infringing on any copyright laws. This multiplayer puzzle game pits players against each other to see who can stack together and clear the most amount of blocks in the least amount of time. You can also take things slow in Marathon mode, giving you a relaxing and chill game to play.
As this is both a free and excellent version of Tetris, the community is filled with players who all have varying levels of experience. There are plenty of beginner players who are playing each day in hopes of improving their rank. Tetris has been around for a while, so the competition can get fierce. If you want to see how you stack up against the competition, you can sign up to the Tetra League to compete against the world’s best players.
Skribbl.io is a multiplayer drawing and guessing game – basically an online games version of Pictionary. Each player gets an opportunity to draw for the rest of the players; the artist is given a choice of three words before they take the stage and draw for everyone. The rest of the group enter their guesses in a chat box, but the only messages people can see are incorrect answers.
This is one of those games that actually works better if you don’t have any artists among your group. Finding the answer to your mate’s horrible drawings feels incredible – it’s even better when no one else gets the answer which makes you seem like a mindreader.
Inspired by Asher Vollmer’s Threes, 2048 is a puzzle game where you slide numbered tiles around to merge them into each other. In a 4×4 grid, tiles containing the numbers 2 or 4 will appear as the player moves the grid. Tiles with the same number can merge into each other, adding together to double their value. The player wins when they create a 2048 tile.
2048 starts off easy, but after fifteen minutes of play, each move feels like you’re carefully trying to remove a Jenga block from a leaning tower. Without precise planning, your board can quickly become overwhelmed with useless tiles that have no chance of merging together. So if you want something cerebral while you’re playing io games than 2048 might be for you.
Browser games don’t have to be 2D, you know. Krunker.io is a 3D FPS game that borrows elements from Call of Duty, Minecraft, and Roblox to create an accessible shooter with a lot of depth. The movement system in Krunker has been designed around bunny hops, allowing players to build up momentum as they speed through levels by sliding and jumping at the perfect time.
Krunker has a healthy player base, which means you can jump into any game mode without having to worry about joining any empty lobbies. Alongside the usual CoD-style game modes, Krunker also has custom servers sporting unique modes like Parkour, Simon Says, and Prop Hunt.
Want to get your survival game fix without having to download Minecraft? Starve.io takes players to a mysterious island to battle against the elements and scary monsters, all while dealing with your character’s hunger and shelter. Fortunately, you have other players to rely on as Starve.io is a cooperative multiplayer game featuring plenty of servers across America and Europe.
Find resources and create handy tools to travel from biome to biome. When you’re finally ready, you can try to make your way through a dangerous dungeon to score some treasure. Be warned, you have to deal with fire-breathing dragons guarding the treasure, so make sure you come prepared.
If you’re not looking to fight off waves of zombies or battle against players in an online FPS, you might enjoy a lovely card game. Cardgames.io brings together 40 classic card and board games to enjoy at your leisure. There are some competitive games in this bunch, but you won’t ever have to play against real people.
For simplicity’s sake, there’s no login system which means you can’t keep track of your scores, but that’s not what this io game is about. Play some casual card games as you wind down from a busy day – don’t think about leaderboards or any competitive features, just relax and enjoy.
Venge.io is a twitch-based FPS game which has a number of similarities to Krunker but with a number of key differences. These two games may look alike, Venge.io runs well on most computers, and even on some mobile phones.
In addition to this, Venge has been designed with laptop players in mind by using a number of keybinds to make up for playing on a trackpad.
And that’s all we have for the best io games. If you enjoy simple, fun concepts executed on a low budget, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy our list of the best indie games on PC. Unlike the io games in our list, these indie games have been given more time to create standalone experiences that are well worth their asking price. Unable to download more games? Check out our best browser games list to check out some quality experiences.