While there’s no shortage of rewarding and enjoyable browser games, ones that utilize the “.io” extension have become quite popular with Twitch streamers and younger gamers.
Considering just how massive and deep the .io library goes, we thought we would highlight the best .io games to play in 2023, regardless of your internet quality or hardware limitations.
For this list, we’ll be focusing on more popular .io games across multiple genres, including survival, shooters, battle royales, and more.
If we forgot to include your favorite game, sound off in the comments and let us know.
Lastly, remember to check back in the future as we continue to update this list with new games!
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It’s practically impossible to discuss .io games without mentioning Agar.io since it’s undoubtedly the most popular one.
The game revolves around a tense yet straightforward gameplay premise: you are a cellular structure that must consume food to grow larger and survive.
Once you reach a certain size threshold, you can start gobbling up other players as well, creating a satisfying risk/reward to encounters.
Another .io game that’s grown in popularity is Slither.io, which appears to take some cues from Agar.io as well as classic snake games.
It sees you slithering around a battlefield littered with small orbs of food that can be eaten to grow in size and increase your score.
Movement is very important in Slither.io since players are eliminated whenever their snake’s head comes in contact with another snake’s body, even their own.
With a name like Brutal.io, you can already guess what kind of game you’re getting into. In it, you control a spinning ball with a spiky flail attached to its body.
The goal of the game is to go around the map eating food to get bigger and increase the potency of your weapon until you’re the last player standing.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself flinging your giant flail at nearby players to try and eliminate them before they can manage to land a hit on you.
You won’t find many .io games with 3D graphics since they can be quite taxing on your browser, depending on your internet connection.
For those with high connection speeds, Warbot.io is a top-down twin-stick shooter that uses a mix of keyboard inputs for movement and a mouse cursor for aiming.
In it, you play as a robot with various weapons and battle other player-controlled robots by collecting power-ups and avoiding enemy projectiles.
Considering zombie survival games are still quite popular in 2023, it’s not surprising to see Zombs.io is one of the most played .io games around.
It starts off with you building a base during the daytime, adding defenses, and blocking any potential weak-spots for what’s to come at night.
Once it’s dark out, hordes of zombies will try to invade your base and eat you, requiring you to hold them off using different weapons.
Diep.io is a tank combat game that sees you battling other player-operated tanks and any obstacles in the environment that get in your way.
Eliminating enemies nets you experience points that level up your machine and allow you to customize your tank with unique skills and bonuses.
There are a variety of upgrades tailored for different tank builds and several game modes to choose from, including team battles and free-for-alls.
If you like playing top-down shooters, then you’ll most likely enjoy what Gats.io brings to the genre.
Players select from various weapons and armor before loading into a map where they’ll have to fight for their lives while traversing narrow hallways and ducking behind cover.
The weapons and armor you decide to use can change up the gameplay considerably, with each one affecting your character’s mobility, defense, and damage output.
Wings.io is an airplane combat game that pits you against other pilots for chaotic 2D dogfights.
Your plane moves at breakneck speeds, allowing you to pull off quick maneuvers in order to dodge incoming attacks or surprise your enemies.
The game features various weapons and power-ups that you can pick up throughout the map to help give you an edge on the competition.
Going from the bright blue skies to the murky depths of the ocean, Deeeep.io is a multiplayer survival game that sees you trying to gather food and stay alive as one of many aquatic animals.
It offers a great deal of variety thanks to the wide selection of species you can play as, with each one possessing special abilities.
Different sea creatures will fare better in different biomes, adding an extra layer of strategy and complexity to the game.
If you’re tired of fighting other players, you can always take a break and play a round of Gartic.io.
It’s reminiscent of parlor games like charades, where one player attempts to describe a word through drawings, and everyone else has to guess what it could be.
Scoring and bookkeeping are all handled directly through the game, and there are dozens of rooms dedicated to different languages.
Hole.io is definitely one of the weirder .io games we’ve played and features gameplay similar to Donut County and Katamari Damacy.
In it, you play as an all-consuming black hole that sucks up anything it can fit inside itself, including vehicles, trees, and other objects found throughout the map.
The goal is to keep growing until you have the biggest black hole while avoiding getting swallowed by another player.
Genre: Battle Royale
Modeled after popular battle royales like Fortnite and Apex Legends, Surviv.io is a top-down 2D shooter that has you engaging in team-based skirmishes on a shrinking map.
To ensure you make it to the end, you’ll have to search the map for weapons and armor. There are many guns to choose from, including shotguns, SMGs, snipers, assault rifles, and more.
Although it may not be as polished or well-known as other battle royales, like many .io games, you’ll find Surviv.io has a very dedicated playerbase spanning multiple platforms.
Goons.io blends fast-paced sword combat with a cast of colorful characters. In it, you go around strategically slicing enemies you encounter until you’re the last player standing.
We say strategically because your flee and slash abilities have cooldowns that will leave you vulnerable for a short time.
It’s one of those games that takes a few matches to get the hang of but is worth it if you like games with high-skill ceilings.
Genre: Role-playing game
Another .io game with 3D graphics worth checking out is Hordes.io. It’s essentially an old school RPG designed with the limitations of a browser game in mind.
There are multiple classes to play as, and you can customize your character before venturing into the world.
Scattered across Hordes.io’s map are monsters you can battle to earn XP, various class skills you can unlock for your character, and other secrets to be found off the beaten path.
Genre: Real-time strategy
Bitplanets.io is a surprisingly complex RTS game considering it can run off an internet browser. The game sees you growing a galactic colony of spaceships and sending them to nearby planets.
The goal is to take over the universe by acquiring as many planets as possible and harvesting them for resources.
Much of the process can be automated using “streams” that connect adjacent planets. You can upgrade each one to have higher attack, defense, and range, among other stats.
The last 3D shooter we’ll be highlighting is ShellShockers.io, which sees you playing as gun-toting eggs with literal arms on either side of their bodies.
It’s just as random in practice as its description reads but can be a blast across its three included modes: team deathmatch, capture the flag, and free-for-all.
For every elimination, the game rewards you with golden eggs, an in-game currency that can be spent on a wide selection of cosmetics for your egg, including weapon skins and hats.
Taming.io is yet another survival game but manages to spice things up with creature-collecting gameplay reminiscent of the Pokémon series.
You’re given the objective of trying to stay alive for as long as you can while gathering resources to upgrade your village and taming wild animals you encounter throughout the world.
Each pet has unique abilities, weaknesses, and strengths based on its elemental typing, of which there are eight in total.
If you have fond memories of playing the battle mode in any of the Mario Kart games, then SmashKarts.io is a stripped-down version that runs right in your browser.
Instead of a diverse roster of Nintendo mascots, you play as bunnies, cats, frogs, and dogs that have evolved to not only drive go-karts but also wield weapons.
While driving around colorful 3D arenas, you’ll come across power-ups that let you fire missiles, shoot mini-guns, drop explosive charges, electrify enemies, and much more.
Superhex.io is another survival game that tasks you with building up your resources to create the biggest hexagon territory.
To do this, you’ll have to conquer every inch of the map by strategically placing your hexagon tiles while keeping an eye out for enemy players looking to do the same.
Like many other games covered in this list, Superhex.io greatly benefits from simple yet tense gameplay mechanics that will have you coming back for more.