These Are the Best Places to Find Free or Ultra-Cheap Games on PC and Phone

These Are the Best Places to Find Free or Ultra-Cheap Games on PC and Phone

Games are expensive, and for some, it’s far too expensive to be a regular hobby. That makes shopping for deals that much more of a necessity. I’m here to offer a few tried and tested ways to find good deals on games, including legitimate ways to find games to play for free.

Game streaming is a fair enough deal for some folks with a strong internet connection, but to get access to games directly from your computer you’ll have to do a bit more digging. And no, sorry, I’m not talking about pirating. I’m here to simply offer you a few hints where you can, and should, keep your eye open for a free game drop. Plus you may already have subscriptions to other services like Netflix or Amazon that also offer the chance to pick up free games either for download or through streaming.

At this point, we should note that accessing many of these games is not the same thing as “owning” them. If you have a massive Steam library or a Game Pass account, you don’t own any of those properties but simply have a license to use the games on that service. With a lot of these platforms like Epic Games Store or Amazon’s Luna, accessing their free games is tied to that particular service. We’re truly in an age of media non-ownership. There are a few outliers such as GOG, which also occasionally shares games for free on a limited-time basis, but they’re the exception to the rule.

Considering that lack of ownership, I’d argue it’s in all our best interest to try and procure as many games for free or cheap as possible. If you’re ever in a place where you’re on a shoestring budget but you still have the hardware to game, there are a few places to find what you’re looking for.

Check out the Epic Games Store’s Free Games Selection

Screenshot: Epic Games / Gizmodo

If you still haven’t heard of Epic Games Store’s free weekly games, just know that it’s legitimately one of the best ways to get some pretty quality titles for, yes, free. Sure you have to go through the Epic Games Launcher, but there’s a reason Epic has been so adamant about trying to establish competition for Steam. Is it worth having two launchers on your desktop? Yes, of course it is. It’s not just games either. Currently, Epic is offering a deal for 1 month of free Discord Nitro. Sure, they can’t all be winners, but there’s no reason to not add games to your library whenever you get the chance.

The hard part is remembering each week to check on which games are available. Currently, Epic Games Store is offering the fun, engrossing, though very repetitive Dragon Age Inquisition: Definitive Edition.

You can actually set Epic Games to notify you about free games by going into the desktop app, clicking on your profile, and hitting Settings. Make sure Show News and Special Offers are on. This can be very annoying with popups, so you also might try the EpicFreeGames Discord bot to set up these quick notifications. On Steam Deck, there’s a program called Decky Loader that allows you to install easily-accessible Deck plugins. One of those is Free Games, which alerts you to free titles on the Epic Games Store. For those who want something a little less in your face, check out the section on subreddits below for easy ways to alert yourself on new deals.

If You Already Have Prime, You’re Entitled to Free Titles

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Screenshot: Amazon / Gizmodo

If you, your friend, or your family pays the $140 a year for Prime or the $9 for Prime Video, then take advantage of that because you can get a gaggle of fairly good games for free just by linking your accounts. This used to be more to do with your Amazon account linked to the Twitch gaming app, though now that Prime Gaming exists you’ll need to go through that service.

Currently, you can claim The Forgotten City, an excellent mystery adventure and exploration game with some truly great writing behind it. If you never played it, you can also try out Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition or hop online for some knightly mayhem with Chivalry 2. Amazon does occasionally add more games there, so it’s good to keep an eye out for any new titles or deals. You’ll also have access to some perks like free in-game cosmetics or items. Games are constantly being shifted on and off the service, so I’d recommend checking back every once in a while to find out which new games are available.

Other free games are streaming only through Luna. The service is indeed included with Prime, though you might not get as much mileage out of it compared to some other services like Game Pass. For some reason, that includes Fallout: New Vegas (easily one of the best Fallout games you can play if you enjoyed the TV show). You can also play Batman: Arkham City, Resident Evil 2 or Metro Exodus, both of which deserve your attention if you still haven’t tried them.

Your Netflix Account Offers You Dozens of Games for Android or iOS

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Screenshot: Netflix / Gizmodo

I try to bring up the bevy of Netflix games available to subscribers every now and then, not only because it’s a great deal if you already have a subscription, but because there are new games that come online practically every month.

Most recently, Netflix added Braid, Anniversary Edition for those who want to reminisce about the origins of indie darlings on Xbox Arcade. Other games from this month include Sonic Mania Plus, Katana Zero, and Paper Trail. All those might deserve a looksie, but I personally would point you to the free version of Hades or the re-released original three 3D Grand Theft Auto titles.

Eventually, we might be able to play these games through a web browser or through the app on our TVs, but that’s currently still in beta and it’s restricted to a bare few of Netflix’s gaming slate. We should also note that you’re required to sign in to Netflix for any title you download, and some of them require an internet connection to play. That’s a very annoying bit of DRM attached to what’s otherwise a fair deal.

Reddit’s Free Games Bots Keep You Up to Date on All the Best Deals

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Screenshot: Reddit / Gizmodo

If you haven’t checked out the r/GameDealsFree subreddit, you should. A handy bot trolls the threads of some of the more popular game deal subs and alerts you to certain deals. While r/GameDeals is another great resource for finding sales on shops like Steam, you may still pay out of pocket for some of them. You also might have some luck with r/FreeGameFindings, though I would suggest you try to avoid anything that seems shady or asks you to subscribe to some service or Twitch channel.

There’s also the r/FreeGameFindings sub where you’ll find folks posting some free deals on existing games DLC or, occasionally, a free deal gem. Reddit might be the best place to find games with limited-time free offers on services like Steam, as those rarely make it to the store’s front page.

Check the Humble Bundles

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Screenshot: Humble Bundle / Gizmodo

It’s old-hat at this point, but the Humble Bundle is still a place to go for good deals. The organization bundles various types of games together under certain themes and uses a pay-what-you-want model to give to charity. No, it’s not completely free, but you can often get several pretty good games for as low as $3. Often, you’ll need to pay a bit more to get recent or more popular titles.

Gone are the days when you could choose to pay $.01 for a bunch of games. The site has hard limits on what you’re allowed to pay for games and what kind of cut it takes in kind. It’s a bummer, but heck, if all you’re looking for is a good deal with the chance to give to charity, there are few sites that are better.

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