Free to Play Games of 2018
Taking a look at the Free to Play Titles of 2018
Hey there friend! Now you’ve probably got a new computer or an upgrade over the holidays. I know many of my friends did. You want to try a load of games but you’ve already spent cash on your new machine.
Well here is the run down of all the free to play games as of January 1st 2019.
First up! MoBA. Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. These games are competitive and some of them require a degree to be able to achieve a status called “I’m kind of having fun”. 50% of your enjoyment is playing the game. The other 50% is reporting the players at the end of the game.
If that’s got you all fired up then here are some free to play MoBA games. Oh…Seems like all MoBA games are free to play. Well. This changes nothing!
If you want to dive into the action and get behind your character, SMITE offers an easy way to jump in the game with various game modes to suit your level of strategic preference. If you want a brawler experience then Arena is for you. If you wish for some strategies and tactical level of play then Conquest. On 24th January 2019 SMITE will also be available on the switch!
You’ll find no better balanced game than Battlerite. Battlerite is an action packed arena brawler where skill is the main determining factor. Top down WASD controls with plenty of abilities and counterplay. Whilst everyone agrees Battlerite is a fantastic game, players often feel exhausted after 2-4 weeks of playing. Still well worth a try on steam!
Heroes of the Storm
Heroes of the Storm focuses on the parts we value most in a MoBA: Team Fights, Tactics and Strategies. The game has some complex issues which make it seen as a casual experience and as a result picks up a casual audience. Deep down though the game strips away the tedious elements of other MoBA titles which over reward players for such things as last hitting minions, instead placing emphasis on rewarding good team fights, supporting, tanking, positioning or tactical decisions.
League of Legends
The largest MoBA game out there which is certainly a driving factor. A difficult game to get into now as it is constantly changing with item changes and characters falling in and out of meta. You will have a lot to learn. There’s also a lot of content surrounding the game which just gets you in the mood to play.
DoTA 2 commonly labelled as the most hardcore and complicated MoBA title. If you’re very into MoBA games then DoTA 2 brings some interesting ideas to the character pool. DoTA 2 isn’t a good starting place but if you’re finding yourself invested into MoBA games. Then DoTA 2 is another game to check out that’s free to play!
MMO’s and RPG’s
Moving away into something more chill. Massive Multiplayer Online and Role Playing Games. They can often be a great place to make friends for life. What are some that may be worth trying? Let’s take a look below! These are in no particular order by the way.
Path of Exile
Hack and Slashing top down game similar to Diablo or the lesser known but definitely better Titan Quest. Path of Exile can be very grindy but has a plethora of leveling options and paths for your character to choose. This investment can be rewarding to some or a point and click chore to others.
One of the more action focused MMO’s even when it comes to healing. Every class is fully engaged when in combat including healers. You can create your own combos where abilities flow better into the next in the chain. What TERA lacks most is things outside of the combat system. Classes are locked to a single weapon, talent systems which have don’t make you any different to someone of the same class. Giving the player a way to “express” themselves is what is missing.
Maplestory offers a cute chibi graphic style with community elements. It isn’t just about slaying monsters. You can build your own house, play minigames, create and perform music. It might not be the hardcore experience you are looking for but it is an alternative.
5 Classes, 11 talent trees, you pick 3 and put points into where you see fit. There’s a lot of creative building in Rift and that’s the appeal. It’s looking a little outdated now but it does tick many boxes that you would want from an MMO.
Neverwinter doesn’t play like Dungeons and Dragons. It has little in the way of resemblances to Neverwinter Nights, which is something of an RPG cult classic, nor its sequel Neverwinter Nights 2. However it does offer a lot of content and so far hasn’t shown signs of slowing down in terms of more being added. Whilst you don’t get to have many abilities on your hotbar at once, there is a lot of choice in the pool of abilities you can choose from.
First Person Shooter | Third Person Shooter
Hungry for Action? Well that’s probably where Shooter games should come in.
Paladins is like a FPS with some MoBA rules. You pick a character, as do 4 other players on your team, and your objective is to contest a point. You are locked to the character you play so building a team is an important element. Champions consist of dedicated tanks, healers and damage dealers all of which can provide a high impact on the outcome of a match
Well, this arrived early 2019. It would be a shame not to inform you of this one. Apex Legends is a refined Battle Royale. It’s smooth gameplay and almost blizzard-like polish brings a breath of fresh air to a genre saturated with games that still feel like they are early access. You pick a character and play in a team of three. Each character has a passive, an ability, and an ultimate. Right now there are 8 characters to choose from and we can expect to see more in the future.
Planetside 2 tries to create large scale combat. It’s pretty rough around the edges but you can create a soldier and level them up in a map. Specialise in various skills, become a pilot or a tank crew expert. Be a grunt that throws themselves in the frontlines. Perhaps lead a covert operation. There’s a lot of freedom but things never do go quite the way you imagine they should in Planetside 2.
Set in the Paladins World. Realm Royale has you roaming around to unlock abilities and items to be the last person or team standing. Those who find the building and construction annoying in Fortnite may prefer this game. Focusing purely on the actual ‘combat’ element.
Counter Strike : Global Operation
A recent addition and controversial one. Counter Strike Global Offensive became free to play at the end of 2018. Adding a Battle Royale mode with it. It’s a bog standard FPS that just gets down to the main point. Point Gun At Enemy! Mechanics are from the 1990’s and pretty raw which is why it’s popular. However, going free to play has been a cheaters and smurfers dream. So be prepared!
Warface is a small team based shooter and also features operations for up to 5 players to experience co-operatively. Be an Assault, Sniper, Medic or Engineer and work together. Warface is kind of overlooked for its generic setup. It’s a mixture of Counter Strike, Battlefield, Call of Duty and Rainbow 6 Siege. So…basically a shooter!
Select your Warframe, choose your weapons, group up with friends and go out on missions. Warframe is a Third Person Shooter where you grind and gear up. Missions are made up of generated tile sections put together and random goals like rescuing prisoners or collecting data. The game is prominently co-operative but also has Player versus Player modes.
Originally a tower defence game that’s split into two sections. A co-operative “Save The World” mode and “Battle Royale”. Choose to build bases and traps to ward off the hordes of enemies or jump into the battle royale mode against real players and watch them build skyscrapers in mere seconds. It’s quick and easy to get into.
What about the games that don’t fit into those genres? Well. We’ve got them down on the list too! It gets a little hardcore
If you’re looking for a Monster Hunter Experience then Dauntless can offer some of it. Combat is more responsive and the monsters have a better feeling of weight behind them. In some ways Dauntless is better. The game is simple. Go out there and kill monsters, take components from them, bring them back and make better armor and weapons. Rinse and Repeat!
From World War 2 to Modern Combat. With 7 different factions you can pilot aircraft and tanks. War Thunder is the most realistic tank simulation game out there and excels at a detailed experience. The more you play the better vehicles you will unlock but most of the time you are matched with vehicles within a rank or two of you. The game also features everything from helicopters and aircraft to Naval cruisers, destroyers and barges.
World of Tanks
World of Tanks is like the Micro Machines version of War Thunder. Combat is more gamified and easily understood. The rules of the game also differ. It’s a 15v15 match with one life per round. It’s an arcade style of fun.
Total War : Arena
Basically World of Tanks but copied and pasted with a Total War Theme. You bring 4 units to the field under your control and team up with 7 other allies. Win battles and unlock better upgrades for the soldiers under your command. There’s no territory conquering or capturing. It’s all arcade style battles in medieval battle setting.
Hearthstone is a Warcraft based Card Game. 10 classes with various Heroes you can choose to play with. You’ll eventually be able to create your own deck containing 30 cards so there is some experimental fun factor to be had. It can be quite a grind to unlock what you want which has lead to the game being labelled pay to win. This is a common problem amongst online card games but at least Hearthstone is free to enter and see.
An iconic RTS. Build your base. Raise a swarm, recruit some marines, warp in some pylons. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then this may be a tricky title to pick up. RTS is in decline but if you like the idea of being a leader of an army. Give Starcraft a try because if you like it. There are a few gems out there which really go beyond what Starcraft can offer you. A great game that leads to great games.
Did I miss something? You know the best place to talk about these things is in our community Discord. It’s also a great place to find people to group up and play games with. So let me know if there’s a pretty solid game that should be on this list and I will update it!
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