At this point, you’ve probably streamed enough shows, cleaned enough closets and Tik’d enough Toks to grow bored of your usual quarantine routine. Perhaps it feels like something is missing. Maybe you’re a little more stressed than usual. So, it goes when time with loved ones becomes all too rare. But worry not, as there is a solution. Check out Best Virtual Game Night: Hosting Guide.
Enter virtual game night. All you need is a suitable video conferencing app, some games and your favourite people. Coupled with a sturdy internet connection, you’ll have all the tools required for a fun-filled evening of endless laughs and competitive adrenaline. It’s the perfect way to get friends and family together without leaving home.
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, check out the following guide for hosting the best virtual game night.
Best Virtual Game Night: Hosting Guide
Choose Your Platform
First, you’ll want to decide on the specific software that will get everyone connected. It makes sense to pick a service that’s free to use and capable of handling the number of participants you plan to invite. Here are some options:
- Skype: The original video chat tool, it may be your parents’ and older relatives’ first choice thanks to the simple user interface. Up to 50 people can join at one time on desktop and mobile.
- Houseparty: The more trendy service, Houseparty supports up to eight participants on mobile and is also available for desktop platforms. Plus, it has its own built-in games including the popular Heads Up!
- Zoom: This software isn’t only for work-at-home business matters. You can get up to 100 people connected for your virtual game night with Zoom. Keep in mind that the free version is limited to 40-minute sessions.
- FaceTime: For all the Apple users out there, the fruity company’s video chat software allows up to 32 participants to come together. Of course, it only works with iPads, iPhones, and Mac devices.
Gamers may want to consider Discord, which provides all the necessary video-chatting and screen-sharing features. If you want to stick to text messaging, then give Slack or Facebook Messenger a shot.
Send an Invite during the Best Virtual Game Night
Remember to ask everyone if they’re able to use your conferencing app of choice. Don’t forget to send a quick invite (text or email) confirming details such as the date, time, and games you want to play. This will give everyone something to look forward to.
Share Your Screen
If you plan on sharing your screen, there are several ways to make it happen. Using your phone can work in a pinch, but a laptop or webcam-equipped computer will be more versatile. Most of the above-mentioned apps provide some kind of screen-sharing feature, so you probably won’t have to download any additional software.
You’ll just have to be aware of potential caveats. Skype, for example, only allows screen-sharing through the web app or full program – not Chrome. With Discord, you simply need to click the Video/Screen Share swap option to make the switch during a video call. Google Hangouts allows you to do it through your browser by clicking the three dots.
Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s take a look at some game ideas.
Casino Games: One of the Best Virtual Game Night
If you’re looking for a true adrenaline rush, why not bring some real money (or whatever you want to bet) into the picture? All you’ll need is a suitable video chat app or a desktop-compatible screen sharing software.
Then, you can head to a casino gaming website to play via your browser so that nobody has to download additional software. Check out alien hunter from the legal operator in the UK for a great option in the slots category. Blackjack, poker, and roulette can also work.
If your friend group is no stranger to a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, then all you might need to do is start a video call. Simply set it up so that everyone can see each other and have the game master share their screen, so that it’s easy to keep track of statistics. Simulator websites can provide dice to roll if necessary.
For beginners, you might want to use an app like Fantasy Grounds or Roll 20 to provide supporting material. This can include not only dice rolling, but also character sheets, rule books, text chat and a myriad of other useful tools.
For groups who prefer to stay on their mobile devices, you can recreate the feeling of trivia night with QuizUp. It’s a multiplayer trivia app that works in real time. There are hundreds of different topics to choose from and customisable profiles for showing off your mental prowess.
Keep in mind that these are far from your only options when it comes to games. There are countless titles in the card and board games categories as well, not to mention an endless list of multiplayer PC games. Ask your friends or family what they would enjoy and take it from there.