It’s one thing to find a game to play with your friends, and a whole other thing to make new friends in a game that you already enjoy playing. While there are vast communities around AAA console and PC games, mobile games usually don’t get as much love in comparison.
Luckily, there are some mobile games where making new social connections is a key part of the gameplay. In this list, we look at some of the best ones. Each of these games has chat functionality, an active community of players, and is available on Android and iOS.
1. Sky: Children of the Light
I’ve been playing Sky: Children of the Light for over a year now, and it’s perhaps the best place to start if you’re looking to make new friends. This non-competitive open-world social indie adventure is unlike any other, and is hands down one of the most beautiful mobile games I’ve ever played, so much so that almost every scene in it looks like a wallpaper.
As a “Sky kid,” your job is to find the lost spirits of your ancestors that once inhabited the kingdom of Sky, relive their memories, learn their expressions, and help them reunite. You do this by exploring the seven unique in-game realms, solving puzzles, and upgrading your cape to be able to fly farther and discover hidden locations.
What makes Sky special is its strong emphasis on facilitating social connections. There are parts of the game that you can’t access without the help of other players, and you have to spend in-game currency (candles) to befriend someone, and unlock chat and expressions such as high-five, hug, piggyback ride, and more.
As creative director, Jenova Chen, puts it when talking to Crumpe, “Sky is like a theme park–like Disneyland” than an actual video game with a linear storyline. With a game this focused on connecting people, it should be no surprise that Sky has one of the friendliest communities out there with veteran players often excited to meet and help beginners like you.
2. Rec Room
If you’re looking for something casual yet competitive, Rec Room is a brilliant cross-platform multiplayer experience where you can play, build, meet, and hang out with other players.
It’s the closest thing to a Metaverse I’ve seen on a mobile game, and if you want to take your immersion to the next level, you can even run it on VR headsets!
What makes Rec Room special is its highly creative community; players have the freedom to create their own mini-games and worlds using what’s called a Maker Pen.
In fact, out of the millions of rooms in Rec Room (each dedicated to a different activity or game), only around 1000+ are made by the actual developer; most rooms are user-generated. I also found it fun to customize my avatar in unique ways based on the room I was visiting.
3. Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO certainly needs no introduction; you may remember how this location-based augmented reality action-adventure was all the rage when it launched back in 2016.
Although it’s not as popular as it once used to be, the game still has a very loyal fanbase with millions of players around the world logging in every day to try and catch ’em all. Aside from being a fun game on its own, it’s also one of a few great apps that make fitness more fun.
Unlike other games on this list, Pokémon GO nudges you to step out of your house to catch Pokémon and go for “raids” in your town where you might meet and befriend other players.
This is precisely what makes the game unique: instead of having your friendships be only virtual, the game helps you make friends in the real world. Online, you can chat with other Pokémon players (aka Trainers) via the Niantic Campfire app on Android and iOS.
4. Genshin Impact
If you’re looking for something competitive, Genshin Impact is one of the most popular open-world fantasy action RPG games on the platform with a masterful combat system and beautiful anime art style. According to the Genshin Impact website, your job is to “embark on a journey to reunite with your long-lost sibling and unravel the mysteries of [the fantasy world] Teyvat, and yourself.”
The game currently features four regions and is set to roll out three more by 2025. You can unlock a variety of different characters each with unique skills and switch to anyone at any time to execute powerful attack combos during battle.
In the game, you meet other players by requesting to join their world in the multiplayer co-op mode which is unlocked once you reach a certain rank in the game. One world can contain up to four players (aka Travelers) at a time.
It can admittedly take a while to get used to the game’s wildly complex in-game mechanics, enemy types, and combat system, but it’s hard to put it down once you get the hang of it. Genshin Impact is available on Android, iOS, PC, and PlayStation.
Roblox is very similar to Rec Room as it also allows you to explore millions of virtual worlds, customize your avatar, and chat with other players. It also supports cross-platform sync, so you can play on your PC, mobile phone, Xbox, or VR headset.
Do note that Roblox is not a game in itself, but more of a social gaming platform and marketplace where developers create their own mini-games for players like you.
Similar to how Rec Room contains “rooms,” games on Roblox are called “experiences” and are available in a variety of genres including adventure, obstacle courses, fighting, RPG, racing, simulator, and many more.
On the Home page of the app, you can browse through Roblox’s vast library of games. Here, tap on an experience to see its description and details such as the developer, server size, genre, date of creation, in-game items, and more.
Find New Friends and Communities You’ll Love
There are thousands of multiplayer mobile games out there, but only a handful of them facilitate social connections and have an active community of players.
Each game listed above offers something unique, so no matter your preference, you can find a game that interests you and make new friends in it.