8 online games for your remote team to play at their next team-building or social event

If you’re reading this, you may be one of the many employees and executives that has welcomed the shake-up to traditional office working in the last 2 years, with companies moving to fully remote teams or hybrid working models out of necessity, and keeping it for sustainability. You may also be the person that needs to organise team building exercises or social events for a dispersed team… eeek! Where do you even start?!

Why do I need to offer team building or social events for my remote team?

There are lots of compelling statistics about the impact that employee engagement levels can have on productivity and profitability, but it’s also common sense. If you’ve got to know a colleague during an event or exercise, you might find it easier to contact them, collaborate with them, or empathise with them if you work differently. All of which contribute to productivity and morale. Also, it’s Christmas soon, so if nothing else, a Christmas party for your remote or hybrid team is on the cards, right? And there has to be games at the end of year party.

What should I take into consideration when picking an online game for my remote or hybrid team?

Who are your attendees? What are their profiles?

Do you have an international team? Think about how their experiences might differ and how that would impact how they can participate. Take general knowledge for example — what’s general knowledge for UK attendees isn’t necessarily general knowledge for Turkish attendees, and vice versa.

How many people are coming?

Attendee numbers don’t necessarily have to restrict which game you play, but you may need to have breakout rooms or run in tournament-style to ensure everyone can get involved (tournaments are also a great motivator for your more competitive team members!).

What structure do you need to put in place around your game?

You might want to schedule with a proper welcome for everyone, a quick ice breaker for players to get to know each other if they’ve not met before and maybe even a wrap up at the end to crown the winners. You may also need additional tools like Zoom or Butter for people to communicate if the game doesn’t provide its own function.

Lucky for you, I’ll take any excuse to roll out my recommendations for online games for team building and social events, so here’s 8 of my favourites:

Gartic Phone

The creative and chaotic drawing one guaranteed to get people laughing.

  • Cost Per Person: FREE
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 30
  • Learning Curve: Low
  • Can you play in a browser? Yes.
  • Languages supported: 41

Imagine if Pictionary and The Phone Game had a baby — that’s Gartic Phone. It’s super simple to set up a private room for up to 30 people, and players are asked first to write a drawing prompt, as bizarre as they like, to be passed on to another player. That player then draws the prompt, and then passes their drawing on to another player. That player then describes what they think that drawing is showing, and passes the prompt on to another player. And it goes on. What you end up with is a lot of weird drawings and a lot of sore stomachs from laughing. Win win.


The casual, Pictionary-style one that’s easy to add to team hangs.

  • Cost Per Person: FREE
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 12
  • Learning Curve: Low
  • Can you play in a browser? Yes.
  • Languages supported: 26

Skribbl.io needs very little explanation, because it’s such a well known format. Someone draws from a prompt, everyone else has a limited amount of time to guess. Because it’s so simple, it could work well as an ice-breaking event as part of a longer schedule, or something to mix up a recurring Friday virtual drinks event. You can have up to 12 players per match, and play for as many points or as long as you like.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

The high-stakes, high-cooperation one to test team communication.

  • Cost Per Person: £8.99 (technically only one copy of the game is needed!)
  • Maximum Players Per Room: In theory, as many as Zoom et. al. will allow, but you probably want to cap it at 6.
  • Learning Curve: Low-Medium
  • Can you play in a browser? No-ish. At least one person needs to have the game which is available through Steam, App Store or Play Store.
  • Languages supported: 27

Would your team’s dream in-person social event involve something high-octane like paintball or laser tag? They can put their teamwork and communication skills to the test online with this virtual bomb-defusing simulator. One team member can only see the bomb, the rest of the team can only see the manual, so they have to rely on each other keeping cool and describing what they see or read like a pro.

Catan Universe

The classic strategic one for competitive teams.

  • Cost Per Person: FREE (with in-game purchases)
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 6
  • Learning Curve: Medium-High
  • Can you play in a browser? Yes.
  • Languages supported: 5

If you’ve got a particularly cerebral team who relish strategic challenges (and probably have shelves stuffed with board games at home) you could treat them to a game, or tournament, of Catan. This classic board game turned virtual strategy game tasks its players to be the first to 10 victory points by managing resources, discovering new land and building settlements. If you have more than 6 on your team, you could set up a tournament, with a winner from each round going up against each other in a final for the ultimate bragging rights.

Plymouth Point

The one for ultimate collaboration and super sleuthing.

  • Cost Per Person: From £7
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 6
  • Learning Curve: Low-Medium
  • Can you play in a browser? Yes, but you also need Zoom.
  • Languages available: English only.

What has happened to Ivy Isklander? That’s what you and your team must find out in this online murder mystery from live theatre company Swamp Motel. Run via Zoom and timed to add a little extra excitement, you meet Ivy’s neighbour and set out on a trail across the internet with your teammates to find clues as to her whereabouts. This is a great ‘everything done for you’ option if you have no more than 10 people to accommodate, and if the team loves it, there are 2 other games in the series to treat them to for future events.

Among Us

The one for creating rapport and inspiring mischief.

  • Cost Per Person: £3.99 on PC, or FREE on mobile/tablet
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 15
  • Learning Curve: Low-Medium
  • Can you play in a browser? No, but Among Us is available on the App Store and Play Store FREE as well as PC.
  • Languages available: 12

Is the average age of the regular Among Us player under 15? Yes. Does it make it any less fun for a group of adults trying to figure out which of their teammates are saboteurs and murderers? Definitely not. Your goal in Among Us is to complete tasks to keep a space station running. Unless you’re a Traitor, in which case your goal is to sabotage the space station, pick off your teammates one-by-one and get away with it. Throw in character customisation and you potentially have hours of fun and frenzied discussion for your team.


The one for large teams and cunning code-crackers.

  • Cost Per Person: FREE
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 64
  • Learning Curve: Medium
  • Can you play in a browser? Yes.
  • Languages supported: 40 for words, 12 for user interface.

Think Minesweeper, but with words and espionage. A great online game to get brains working overtime on creative solutions and risk management, Codenames tasks two teams to ‘make contact’ with all their own agents before the other side does, all while avoiding enemy agents and the dreaded assassin. Teams who love wordplay will really get into this, and matches only take about 20 minutes on average, so people can join in or drop out as necessary.

Escape Live — Casino Heist

The live, interactive experience from your laptop.

  • Cost Per Person: From £10.50
  • Maximum Players Per Room: 10
  • Learning Curve: Medium-High
  • Can you play in a browser? No, but it is all run through Zoom.
  • Languages supported: English only.

Riddle me this: how does your team escape a room when they’re not in the same room? With Escape Live. As well as having multiple escape room venues in the UK, Escape Live also offers virtual experiences, where players dial in via Zoom and interact with a game master in a real-life escape room. Their Casino Heist game caught my eye as it’s something different to the usual escape room narratives and it’s a thrilling race against the 60-minute timer to break out with the goods, but they have many other options including un-timed experiences that you can play whenever it’s convenient.

Need more help deciding on the right online platform to use or more general tips for running online events? Pick my brain.