Five Types of Games to Play Online

Steve Nielsen


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It took a visit to an arcade back in the 1970s to play with (or versus) your friend. In the 1980s, you needed a console with two gamepads, or a keyboard long enough for one to play with WASD, and another with NumLock keys. The 1990s allowed for local networks, but it was in the 2000s and until now that games really went online. Countless millions of players are now spending their time on arena servers, and, as we are entering the quarantine time, this number will increase.

Some online games require downloading a client application, so a player needs to dedicate some gigabytes and CPU power. Others support browser-only mode, with most operations done in the cloud. Both types, though, deliver that competition feeling that makes playing so attractive for both kids and adults. Now hardly there is a platform that doesn’t support online games, except for hopelessly obsolete ones. You can prefer any modern console (PS3/4, Xbox 360/One, Nintendo Switch), PC or Mac, iPhone or Android, or even Chromebook, and still, there will be online games. Browsers deliver gaming even on devices not meant for playing. All it takes is an Internet connection and some time.

Shooters (Including Battle Royale)

apex legends shooter game poster

2019 was the year of Battle Royale, and so will be 2020. Owing its name to the famous Japanese movie, it follows the line from another movie: there can be only one. So, a hundred (or so) pretenders deploy on an island, and only one should survive in the end. There is a storm driving all the survivors closer to its eye for the final showdown, so no one can sit away.

There are several titles that defined the genre: PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, Apex Legends, and followers. As Fortnite has become a cultural festival instead of just a game, PUBG and Apex Legends are backing it as true Battle Royale games.

Yet it’s just a subgenre of an online shooter per se. They can offer first- or third-person perspective, solo or team mode, various locations, missions, and modes. You can respawn or die once and till the end of the game. What these games have in common is constant combat, with just one combatant character you control.

These games usually require a client application, so most graphical work is done on your local device. There are various weapons, from melee to mass destruction, and, of course, various firearms, realistic or fictional.

No wonder this is one of the most popular genres so far. Call of Duty and Counter-Strike, Halo, World of Tanks, and others.

Puzzle & Board Games

scrabble gameplay

When it comes to board games, this genre seems the first candidate for going online. These games have established rules and loyal audience, and they are quite easy to digitize due to their abstract gameplay. We mean table games, from chess and card games to Monopoly and Scrabble, as well as solo entertainment like crosswords, sudoku, or jigsaw puzzles.

Of course, going online makes sense for the first class of games, as they are competitive by nature. You need an opponent (or multiple ones) to play checkers, chess, Monopoly, or poker. Single-player games can also get competitive, though, through leaderboards. You can usually boast your results on Facebook or other social media. Registering shows you which your friends are playing this game too. You can invite your friends directly or enjoy random encounters.

Sport Games

basketball online gameplay

When you can’t (or rather shouldn’t) go outside to play streetball with friends, you can get some similar kicks online. There are lots of sports competitions online, from football and basketball to indoor sports like an 8-ball pool or darts. These games usually simulate real sports, where you can either control your player or manage your team. The schemes they use also imitate real championships, where you need to qualify before you enter a higher league. Then your players get in better shape and access more advanced equipment… and so do the opponents.

Football and racing, basketball and 8-ball pool, street games and exotic sports are all now available in digital form. The margin between classes is vague. An online chess project is a board game until it introduces ratings, tournaments, and championship; then it’s a sports game, though the board and the pieces, as well as the rules, remain the same.

Strategies and Tactics

warcraft gameplay

Though strategic and tactical games are mostly based on wars and combats, the main difference is that there is no exclusive character for you to control. As you impersonate a monarch, a general, a magician or even some power like evolution, you are in control of all the forces on the ground. Probably the most famous of these are Warcraft, as well as its spinoff named DotA 2. There are also highly popular mobile games like Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Castle Crush, and others.

Tactical games are usually similar, except that you do have your assigned character, controlling some others as well. There are also other famous titles, like League of Legends, Star Wars Galaxies Everquest and Guild Wars, Matrix Online, that combine tactics and personal involvement.

Economy strategies are also to be placed here, especially online farming games, those like Hay Day. Peacefully building out your farm, you need other players to interact with it, when it comes to trading, mutual help, or just showing off what you have built.


avakin life poster

This is what feels the most online sort of gaming. Adventures like those of World of Warcraft, letting you live the life of your character, have become a meme generator. And that indicates their enormous popularity. These games have a lot in common with shooters and action games, but you also make decisions, take or decline adventures, explore the world, solve puzzles, select the way to develop your character, and so on.

These games can be set in a fantasy, Sci-Fi, or quite realistic world (then they are referred to as life simulators). The range is wide: from Avakin Life, a nonstop party with clubs, outfits, and dating, to Guild Wars or EVE Online.

The Conclusion

Well, this classification may be far from perfect. Some may say that we have lost “Others”; but hey, we only spoke of the most popular, it’s not the definitive encyclopedia. Others may be shocked with Avalin Life and World of Warcraft sharing the same category. Well, there are differences, but minor – when compared to chess or Fortnite.

And what’s your favorite class of online games? Will you give them more time when offline social life is paused? Are you ready to explore new classes? Share your attitude in a comment.