As mobile phones become more integral in our lives, so does the idea of playing games on them. The multiplayer scene on mobile is becoming very popular, with people around the world coming together to play games with one another. You only have to look at the recent popularity of Pokémon Go to see people are using their phones for games as much as they are for calling. But what if you’re stuck with no Internet connection and want to pass the time with friends? Thankfully, there’s a whole range of multiplayer games for Android that you can play locally without an Internet connection.
These games will use one (or multiple) of these methods to connect multiple players to the same game:
WiFi: this sounds contradictory, as WiFi connections are usually associated with the Internet. However, these games use the local WiFi router network to allow others to connect to it, not the internet. Even if the router has no Internet access, you can still use it to play games with others on the same network.
Bluetooth: Bluetooth is useful for pairing devices, and some games use its functionality to allow several devices to play a game together.
Single Device: this means multiple players can play on a single phone or tablet at the same time.
Single Device Hot Seat: this means multiple players can play on a single phone or tablet but take turns in doing so. One person takes the device, makes their move, then passes it to whoever is next.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition
Let’s start off with one of the biggest games out there: Minecraft and its mobile version, the “Pocket Edition.” It’s been a gigantic hit on the PC and has become one of the bigger multiplayer games for Android, too. Its combination of exploration, combat, and creative construction makes for a great game, and you can play its multiplayer mode without the need for an Internet connection. Just get everyone connected up to the same WiFi network, and you’ll be exploring and crafting together in no time.
Local Multiplayer Method: WiFi
From the tables to the phones, Carcassonne is a highly-rated board game you can play locally as an app. Players take it in turns to place tiles which creates the world the players play in. This includes setting the roads, adding churches, and even building cities and designing their borders. Players put down “meeples” on their buildings to put them to work and score points. The person with the most efficient workers wins the game. Carcassonne is a great example of how many highly-rated traditional games re-appear as multiplayer games for Android, so if you’re a board game aficionado, make sure to give it a try.
Local Multiplayer Method: WiFi, Bluetooth, Single Device Hot Seat
Want to test how well you and your friends can work together? Spaceteam is a game where everyone is trying to keep their spaceship from exploding. Everyone has their own individual control panel to keep the ship going, but the instructions are split up among everybody. It’s everyone’s job to relay the instructions they receive and maintain the ship for as long as they can, but things can get a little chaotic!
Local Multiplayer Method: WiFi, Bluetooth (Soon)
Sometimes, however, you don’t want to play anything particularly flashy or new; sometimes it’s best to kick back with the traditional favourites. If this sounds like you, Chess Free might be just what you’d like. It’s traditional chess but loaded with some great features, such as a tutor that can teach you what the ideal move is in various situations and a powerful AI to play against. For a good time with a friend, however, you can use Chess Free to play a two-player game where you pass the device between the two of you.
Price: Free! (Obviously)
Local Multiplayer Method: Single Device Hot Seat
One of the more intense multiplayer games for Android, Badland puts you in control of a small woodland creature trying to make its way through deadly traps. While it has a lot of fun with single player, it also has a multiplayer mode where everyone uses a single device to control their individual creature. Players race against one another to see who can reach the end of the race first or be the last one standing against the onslaught of traps. With special powerups such as immunity against specific traps and clones of yourself to ensure your survival, it can be a lot of tense fun.
Local Multiplayer Method: Single Device
Dual is a two-player multiplayer game that is played ideally in the same room. The idea is that you sit or stand adjacent from one another so that both of your devices make one larger screen as a whole. On each player’s screen is a ship, and they control their ship around their screen while shooting things over to the other screen.
Dual comes with three game modes. “Duel” has you both trying to shoot each other on the opposite screen while also dodging your opponent’s attacks. “Deflect” acts a bit like pong where you have to bounce the ball to the opponent’s screen and defend it from the goal in your own. “Defend” is a cooperative mode that has you and your friend fighting off enemies.
Local Multiplayer Method: WiFi, Bluetooth
What Am I?
Something a little more social, What Am I? only needs one device to play; in fact, nobody else even has to touch it! In What Am I? you select a category you’d like to guess the answers to, then put the device against your forehead so that everyone around you can see the screen. The game then presents everyone with something from the category, and everyone has to give you hints as to what it’s displaying. Guess as many as you can for the highest score.
Local Multiplayer Method: Single Device
Just because most of the multiplayer games for Android are online only doesn’t mean you’re tied to them. With these games you’ll spend less time playing against faceless players and more time with your friends.
Are there any gems you know of? Perhaps you’re playing a great game you want to tell everyone about? Let us know below.