If the coronavirus means you’re facing weeks stuck at home, shooting aliens or exploring oceans together online is a great way to stay connected with friends
In this time of isolation and quarantine, we all need to keep up both our social spirits and interactions. Playing online video games with friends is the perfect solution. You don’t have to be good at them, that’s not the point – online games provide a location to meet up, chat and have experiences together that may or may not involve blowing stuff up.
Here is a range of titles that can be learned and enjoyed by both complete beginners and veteran gamers. Whether you have an old laptop or the latest smartphone, there’s something here you can play with pals even if they’re far away.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are excellent machines for playing with and against remote friends. They’re easy to set up online (you’ll need to pay a fee of around £45 a year for access) and they both have very intuitive “Party Chat” functions which let you communicate with your friends via a gaming headset while playing – in fact you can chat while playing games too, or even while watching film on Netflix on your console. Things are a bit more complex on Nintendo Switch which requires you to download a mobile phone application in order to chat with friends, but even then only a minority of games support this feature. So all our suggestions are primarily based on Xbox and PlayStation.
(Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, smartphone)
The most famous video game in the world allows groups of up to eight players to meet online, explore vast blocky worlds and construct amazing buildings together. Think of it as a mix between a Lego set and a fantasy adventure. You and your friends could cooperate on a project – such as building a scale model of the Taj Mahal – or enjoy one of the competitive mini-games.