Best Free To Play PC Games 2020

Free to play games allow you to have fun without spending any money upfront. The hallmarks of a quality free game include satisfying gameplay, a strong community of players to engage with, and consistent updates that keep players coming back.

In this list, we’ll be highlighting the best free to play PC games to check out in 2020. Considering that hundreds of games release on platforms like Steam each day, we’re including a mix of free to play staples that never go out of style along with some hidden gems to keep on your radar.

Related:Best PC Games 2020Best Competitive Games 2020Best Free-To-Play Switch Games 2020

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Brawlhalla is a 2D arena fighter that takes some cues from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. while introducing its own unique roster of 40+ playable characters. The goal is quite simple: fight your way to victory by knocking opponents off the stage and become the last player standing.

Standard matches allow you to participate in frenetic 1v1, 2v2, and 4-8 Player FFA/Team battles. There are also alternate ‘low stakes’ game modes like Brawlball and Bombsketball to help balance out intense competitive battles.

Outside of its default roster, Brawlhalla likes to emphasize its special crossover events with popular shows, movies, and video games. Each one usually introduces a new fighter or skins for your character. With simple controls and special moves that require only one button to perform, Brawlhalla is easy for new players to pick up.

Now that Bungie has gained full control of their space shooter MMO, we’re beginning to see their true vision for Destiny 2 take shape right before our eyes. The biggest difference is a switch to free to play with Destiny 2: New Light.

The new version of the game allows players to access to all missions, strikes, and PvP modes released throughout Destiny 2‘s ‘Year One’ window. Players are given free rein to tackle all included content however they wish since loot drops have been redesigned with the new format in mind.

This makes it much easier to navigate Destiny 2’s overwhelming amount of content and removes some of the hurdles that typically restrict newcomers. Additionally, new features such as cross-save make it easier than ever for returning players to hop back in on their platform of choice.

Following the success of the popular community-made Dota Auto Chess mod, Valve released a standalone auto-battler in the form of Dota Underlords. The game sees you recruiting a variety of heroes and other units to use in strategic team battles.

Players are able to arrange their units prior to battling but don’t have direct control during the combat phase. Battles are set on an 8×8 grid-shaped battlefield which supports up to eight-player matchmaking.

Depending on whether you’re battling 1v1 or higher, matches can feel like strategic games of chess or chaotic and mayhem-fueled bloodbaths. Gold and EXP earned from matches offer a means for upgrading heroes and units while consumables provide a way to obtain stat bonuses.

Dauntless offers Monster Hunter-style gameplay without the monetary barrier to entry. The free to play action RPG sees you hunting down a variety of powerful creatures called Behemoths.

Tracking and hunting down each Behemoth presents a unique challenge determined by the monster’s distinct attack patterns and behaviors. Much like Capcom’s popular monster slayer, Dauntless rewards hunts with a variety of materials that can be used to craft and upgrade gear.

With six different weapon types, players are bound to find one tailored to their preferred playstyle. Daily and weekly challenges ensure you’re constantly improving while earning useful rewards that grant access to new monster variations.

The popularity of battle royales has lead several developers to throw their hat in the race and offer their take on the genre, including the titan of first-person shooters, Respawn. Apex Legends sees squads of up to three players dropped on a map consisting of murky swamplands, compact villages, and wide-open tech facilities.

The game is constant mad-dash to collect better loot as you search containers and loot enemy bodies for that next great weapon, attachment, ammo, or armor to keep yourself alive long enough to have a shot at victory.

It’s an addictive and rewarding gameplay loop that only benefits from the addition of new heroes, limited-time events, and seasonal rewards. This is one of those free to play games we like to check in on from time to time just to see what Respawn’s been cooking up.

No one can deny Fortnite‘s dominance over both the Battle Royale and free to play genres as the game continues to add new content across multiple seasons. The formula is well known by now: players explore a shrinking map where they’ll have to loot, shoot, and build their way to victory.

The addition of Daily Challenges and a constantly shifting map has made the game’s most popular mode also one of the most replayable free to play experiences around.

That’s not to mention Epic’s imaginative crossover events with popular franchises and support for custom game modes. If you’re looking for a popular free to play game with an active community of players and constant updates, look no further.

No stranger to best free to play game lists, Digital Extremes’ third-person shooter Warframe has been delivering a robust and engaging experience for years and seems to always be improving with new updates.

Although grinding can get tedious at times and mastering the many ins and outs of the game’s skill system will take you a while, Warframe is backed by one of the most welcoming and helpful gaming communities around.

We should also mention that while the game features premium cosmetics and in-game currency, they never feel intrusive to the core experience. With a wide variety of builds and weapons, rest assured you’ll always have at least one goal to work towards.

Those still feeling the burn from Blizzard’s announcement for Diablo Immortal may find solace in Path of Exile, a free to play dungeon crawler from developer Grinding Gear Games.

The game has you exploring procedurally-generated environments, battling monsters, and completing quests in exchange for EXP and more powerful loot. At the start, players choose from six available classes: Duelist, Marauder, Ranger, Shadow, Templar, and Witch.

Each class focuses on one or two of the game’s three core attributes: Strength, Dexterity, and Intelligence. Items drop with different rarities and can have increasingly powerful properties that make replaying older missions a lot more enjoyable.

Making the switch to free to play in 2018, CS: GO has seen an uptick in popularity that’s resulted in a bolstering community for what was already a well-supported game. It also helps that Valve has removed a majority of the paywalls that previously prevented players from accessing new content.

Combine this all with the game’s reputation for focusing on gameplay balance and updates in the form of new maps, operators, weapons, and modes from year to year, and it’s clear to see why CS: GO is so revered.

The most recent Operation Shattered Web expansion lets players bring their favorite character into battle with all-new equippable agents that can be further customized using premium battle pass rewards.

Bethesda’s free to play base builder is just as addictive today as it was when it released in 2017. In it, players are put in charge of designing and operating their very own fallout bunker in hopes of ensuring mankind’s survival.

The main goal of Fallout Shelter is to foster a community of survivors by providing the best working and living conditions the Wasteland has to offer. As your vault expands and new amenities are added, new vault dwellers will be inclined to come and move in.

A broad range of customization tools allows you to customize the name and appearance of any of your dwellers as well as craft weapons and items they’ll be able to use when venturing out into a nuclear wasteland.

With a combined estimate of over 30 million registered users across all gaming platforms, Smite is one of the most popular MOBAs at the moment, partially due to Hi-Rez’s decision to port the game to traditional gaming consoles.

In it, players assume control over 100 different gods, goddesses, and similar figures based on various cultures but primarily Greek mythology. Played from a third-person POV, the game’s most popular mode is Conquest, in which 5v5 teams spend resources buying weapons and upgrades before the start of a round and then compete to kill the enemy’s ‘Phoenix’ and ‘Titan.’

This structure will sound familiar to anyone who’s played Counter-Strike. What separates Smite from the competition is its customization, which offers a wide selection of cosmetic items to help players stand out. 

Paladins has managed to carve out its own unique identity by blending elements of MOBA and first-person gameplay. The fantasy-themed hero shooter sees players competing in 5v5 team battles in familiar game modes like Siege, Team Deathmatch, and Onslaught.

The main appeal stems from the game’s diverse roster of 40+ “Champions” combined with its unique deck-building system that allows players to customize a Champion’s abilities to fit their playstyle. 

Paladins is one of the few free to play games that supports crossplay, allowing you to team up and compete with players across console and PC. Combine this with a community of over 25 million players and you should have no problem finding a game.

There’s a good reason why Blizzard’s card battler remains one of the most popular deck building games on the market. Well, probably a couple of reasons. For one, it was one of the first of its kind, releasing in 2014 to a lukewarm reception before exploding in popularity alongside competitive eSports.

However, one can’t avoid questioning why so many players would be drawn to Hearthstone in the first place. You can attribute this to Blizzard’s focus on making the game appealing to a broad demographic of players, even those who typically don’t play card games.  

Hearthstone features an easy-to-read UI, engaging animation and sound design, matches with consistent pacing, and a slew of card expansions that have released throughout the years. Add to this the fact that it’s free to play, and it’s easy to see why it’s still the go-to deck builder for many players.

Here we have another free to play battle royale that’s currently in Early Access on Steam. Inspired by the Bomberman series of games, Bombergrounds: Battle Royale sees you taking part in explosive battles with up to 25-players, presented in-game as cute animals.

Combat is carried out by placing bombs on a grid-based battlefield with a limited range. Any player who finds himself unfortunate enough to be in the radius of a bomb when it detonates is unceremoniously tossed out.

Meanwhile, the remaining players are pushed closer together as the perimeter of the battlefield gets smaller and smaller. Bombergrounds has been praised for contrasting cute cartoon visuals with exciting, fast-paced gameplay.

Call of Duty: Warzone is the franchise’s second attempt at rallying behind the popularity of battle royales, with Black Ops 4: Blackout being the first. However, this time around, it’s a standalone game that’s free-to-play even if you don’t own a copy of Modern Warfare.

Each match consists of up to 150 players spread out across a massive map split into five sectors. Where Warzone differs from other battle royales is its addition of the Gulag, a prison where players spawn after they’ve been killed.

Here, you can compete in 1-v-1 battles to the death, with the victor granted a chance to respawn and join their team. Combine this with the ability to bring back teammates by spending in-game cash at Buy Stations, and your squad’s chances of winning are significantly increased.

Spellbreak is a fantasy-themed battle royale that sees you developing your skills as a ‘Breaker,’ powerful mages who can take flight and cast a variety of elemental spells using magical gauntlets.

Spells are broken down into six categories: Poison, Ice, Fire, Lightning, Earth, and Wind categories. Every element can be combined and used in a number of ways, such as freezing enemies before dropping a toxic bomb on them that deals damage over time.

Powers operate on cooldown and can be swapped out or modified by equipping different equipment. Spellbreak places a bigger emphasis on traversal than most battle royales, with players able to levitate, dash, fly, and even teleport across the map as an ever-shrinking storm surrounds them.

One of 2020’s most-hyped releases, Riot Games’ Valorant draws inspiration from some of the best shooters of the last decade while putting its own spin on things. Presented as a 5v5 tactical shooter, the game sees you joining either Defending or Attacking sides as you compete in objective-based rounds.

There are several playable characters called ‘Agents’ to choose from, each one unlockable for free in-game. Each one features a unique skill set that can give players a leg up on the competition and help turn the tide of battles.

Due to the wide range of abilities and weapons included, there’s never a dull moment in Valorant, as a cascade of projectiles and AoE attacks constantly fill the battlefield. Gameplay aside, Valorant is one of the most compatible PC games around, supporting both high and low-end specifications.

If you’re a soccer fan, chances are you’re already familiar with Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer series. Updated annually, each entry offers the most up to date player rosters along with a host of graphical and gameplay improvements.

While it may not have all the bells and whistles as the premium game, PES 2020 Lite allows you to dive into the real ‘meat and potatoes’ content completely for free. Of course, we’re referencing MyClub, a career mode in which players set out to build and manage their very own personalized team.

However, if you wish to explore alternate modes such as Master League or Matchday, you’ll have to open up your wallet. Considering the limited number of high-quality, free to play sports titles available on PC, we’re happy to recommend one as polished as PES 2020 Lite.

Inspired by the classic sword and sorcery games, Trove is a surprisingly authentic MMORPG brimming with character classes, weapons, abilities, enemy types, and diverse biomes to explore.

The first thing you’ll notice is the game’s blocky, voxel-based graphics, which often draw comparisons to Minecraft. Even if that’s normally not your cup of tea, we encourage you to at least give the game a try if you’re a fan of in-depth RPG mechanics.

If you can, you’ll be rewarded with an addictive MMO that rewards all your time and effort with consistent gear drops and opportunities to min/max your character. Additionally, Trove is one of the best-supported MMOs around, receiving regular updates that add new dungeons and game modes along with the usual tweaks and balances.

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Justin Fernandez
Justin Fernandez

As a fan of both indie and triple-A games, Justin finds joy in discovering and sharing hidden gems with other passionate gamers. In addition to reporting on the latest and greatest titles, he manages GamingScan’s social media channels.