Facebook is one of the most popular social networks on the planet, and part of the reason why is the amount of stuff you can do with it. You can share and respond to things you care about, chat with friends, join groups that have similar interests to you, organize events, and more! Of course, as part of the “and more,” you can also play games!
Facebook.com has a large selection of games, some of which can be played solo, others requiring you to team up (or go head-to-head) with friends, and still others letting you compete with players from all around the world! And most of them are free! We’ve rounded up the critics’ top picks into a handy guide that will introduce you to:
- The best 10 free Facebook games
- What Facebook Instant Games are and how to play them
- How to play games on Facebook Gameroom
We hope you’re ready to get your game on, because here we go!
The best 10 free Facebook games
1. Candy Crush Saga
The basic premise of one of the most popular games on Facebook is easy: switch the positions of two adjacent candies to form a line of 3 or more candies of the same color. Match more than 3 at a time to create special candies that will help you clear more candy off the board and boost your score! As you progress, though, you will have to fulfil specific tasks to clear levels and deal with a host of delectable obstacles that block your way. And new levels are added frequently for more candy-crushing fun!
Visit our course on Candy Crush Saga for tips on playing the game or installing it on your mobile device.
2. 8-Ball Pool
From free online games giant Miniclip, 8-Ball Pool lets you test your virtual cue-handling skills – with realistic physics – against players all over the world. As you play, you’ll rack up (no pun intended) experience and coins that will allow you to unlock new themed tables, such as Sydney, Moscow, Tokyo, and Las Vegas. You’ll also be able to unlock patterned cues with attributes to suit your play style. Then, if you’re ready for a real challenge, enter high-stakes tournaments with up to 8 players!
3. Texas Hold ‘Em Poker
If you’re the gambling type, this poker simulator from Zynga is one of the most popular Facebook games of its kind. Play in different styles of Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournaments to win chips and coins, and then use your coins to play fun bonus games for a chance to win even more chips! And don’t worry – you won’t have to gamble away your actual money, because you get chips to start for free!
4. Pet Rescue Saga
This is another one of the top Facebook games from King Digital Entertainment, the makers of Candy Crush Saga. To play, simply clear connected clusters of two or more blocks of the same color to get the animals to the bottom of the board. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast – you only have a limited number of moves per level, and progressively more difficult obstacles will bar your way. So you’ll have to think carefully and plan ahead! Compete with your friends to see who can get the highest score on each level!
5. Words With Friends
Based on the classic board game Scrabble, this game challenges you to expand your personal dictionary and play strategically! Form words using the letters in your hand and the ones that are already on the board, taking advantage of special board spaces to increase your score! Practice in Solo Play, and then take on an opponent of similar skill with Smart Match. Or use Community Match to play against a friend! Detailed statistics keep track of your wins and losses, scoring, and even the complexity of your words!
6. Criminal Case
How sharp are your powers of observation and logic? You’ll find out as you become a detective working for the Grimsborough Police in one of the best free games on Facebook. Scour crime scenes for hidden objects that serve as clues for your case. Interview witnesses and suspects, and deduce whose story doesn’t add up. Analyze the evidence and put it all together, and send the true culprit of each case to the jailhouse!
7. FarmVille 2
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to manage your own farm? Get a taste of the country life with FarmVille 2. Start by plowing your fields, and then plant, water, and harvest your crops. From there, you can sell your produce as-is, or combine it into useful items that will make farm life easier or get you even more money! Raise trees that bear fruit, feed livestock that produce goods for you, and manage your resources carefully to create a thriving farm in one of the most fun Facebook games.
8. Angry Birds Friends
Use a slingshot armed with a diverse arsenal of wacky avian ammunition to defeat the greedy, egg-stealing pigs! The challenge is to plan your shots, considering how physics and obstacles will affect them, so that you defeat all of the pigs on a level without running out of birds. As you progress, you can upgrade your ammo or slingshot for more obstacle-busting power! Play in tournaments against your friends – or players around the world – to get the highest score on a fresh batch of levels every week.
9. Dragon City
Become the ruler of your very own kingdom of dragons! Gather resources and use them to build farms, houses, and other facilities… as well as to buy and hatch dragon eggs! Feed your baby dragons to grow them into fearsome battle companions, and then challenge fellow Dragon Masters in tournaments. Breed different combinations of dragons to grow your collection by discovering rare and powerful hybrids. There are over 500 types of dragons to collect!
10. Top Eleven: Be a Football Manager
Whether you call it “football” or “soccer,” take on the challenge of managing your very own squad. Train your players and set up your formations, then challenge your friends to simulated friendly matches. Manage your team’s finances as you buy the players you want – and sell the ones you don’t – in a live auction system. When you’re ready, go head-to-head with other players in simulated league and tournament games where you can even make player substitutions and other special coaching calls!
What Facebook Instant Games are and how to play them
Facebook “Instant Games” are games that are simple enough that they can be played right on the Facebook media platform. You may need to install the Adobe Flash Player plug-in on your browser for some of them to work, but you won’t need to install Gameroom (more on that later) or any other software.
All of the games in our list above are Instant Games. If you’d like to play any others, here’s how to do so.
To play Instant Games on Facebook:
- Go to facebook.com and log into your account.
- In the left-hand menu on your News Feed, click Games. If you don’t initially see it, click See More and it should show up.
- Next, click Game Store in the left-hand menu.
- Here, you can see all of the games available through Facebook. Click Top Charts to see the most popular games. Or, check out the Casual, Battle, or Casino menus to see the top games of those genres, along with available sub-genres if you’re looking for something more specific.
You can also click See More beside any category or genre menu, or click the grey genre tab beside or below any game, to see more games of that type. Or, if you’re looking for a particular game, click in the box labelled “Search for Games” and type in the name of the game you’re looking for. When you find a game that you like, click on its icon or name.
- When you select a game, a window will pop up with some basic information about the game; click Read More if you want more details. A bunch of other options will appear, too. If the Play Now option appears, it means that this is an Instant Game. Click this option to begin playing.
Pro Tip: When you play a game on Facebook, the game will usually ask for access to some of your user information. Move your mouse cursor over the “i” highlighted in the screenshot above to get a general breakdown of what information the game is asking for. You can also click Review/Edit the Info You Provide to see some of the specific information that will be given to the game if you play it.
In some cases, you may be able to disallow a game from accessing certain parts of your profile. Otherwise, if you are uncomfortable with giving a game the information that it asks for, you can edit your profile or change your privacy settings to limit the amount of public information about yourself available on Facebook. Or, just don’t play that particular game.
How to play Facebook games on Gameroom
Gameroom is Facebook’s game management system, similar to Steam (from Valve Software) and Origin (from Electronic Arts). You will need to download and install it to play some of the more hardware-intensive games on Facebook, but you can use it to play a lot of the Instant Games, too.
Note that, currently, your computer has to be running Windows 7 (or any later version of the Windows OS) for Gameroom to work. It won’t work on Mac or Linux operating systems for now.
To install Facebook Gameroom:
- Log into your facebook.com account.
- Click Games in the left-hand menu.
- Click Download Gameroom.
- Click Free Install.
- Click Save File in the window that pops up, select where you want to save the Gameroom installer, and click Save. Then find and open the installer.
Once you have Gameroom installed, you can play games from Facebook straight from it while you have it open. However, you can also send games from Facebook to Gameroom and start playing them even if Gameroom isn’t currently running. The process is very similar to playing Instant Games, but the last couple of steps are a bit different.
How to send a game from Facebook to Gameroom
- Go to facebook.com and log in.
- When you reach your News Feed, click Games.
- Click Game Store (as if you were going to play an Instant Game).
- Find a game to play and click on it. Then click Play on Gameroom.
- In the window that pops up, click Facebook Gameroom and then click Open Link.
Gameroom should open automatically, and your game should start shortly thereafter.
Alright! Now you know how to play games on Facebook, as well as which ones to get together with friends and play! If you’re just starting out with Facebook and want to learn more of what it can do, consider reading our Facebook tutorials. Or check out our lessons on other popular social networks in our social media section! Or, if you’re looking for some other way to entertain yourself online, head over to our fun & games section!