Steam is the world’s most popular and widely used platform for the sale and download of digital video games. It was a pioneer in the sector, and although there are many alternatives today, no competitor comes near it.
If you’re an avid gamer, surely you’ve bought a game on Steam at least once or seen its incredible catalog. But did you know that you don’t have to pay for many of the video games on this platform? Steam offers a generous number of free-to-play games, so get ready to have a blast without spending a dime.
In today’s article, we have a roundup of what we consider to be the best free-to-play Steam games of 2020. You’ll find options in every genre, from shooters and RPGs to the best strategy and MMO games. Want to know which ones? Keep reading to find out!
What do I need in order to install free games from Steam?
Downloading and installing free-to-play from Steam couldn’t be easier. You just need two things: a Steam account (don’t worry, you can create one for free) and the Steam client, which you can download from the digital store.
To create your own Steam account, click on this link and follow the steps on the screen. Once your email address and info are confirmed, you can access Valve’s platform and link video games to your library.
Now that you have your account, just download and install the Steam client. You can do this on the platform’s website, or download it securely and conveniently below.
Once you have your account and the Steam client installed, just select the free games you want and they’ll be saved in your game library. Now all you have to do is download them and play them to your heart’s content.
The best free-to-play games on Steam today
Alien Swarm is a completely free-to-play co-op tactical shooter. This game puts you in command of a group of marines that will have to face the invading hordes of a treacherous alien race.
Developed by Valve itself, Alien Swarm is an excellent title for anyone looking for a good multiplayer game that supports up to four players simultaneously. In addition to stunning graphics, the title offers many options for customization. You’ll have a choice of eight characters in four classes, in addition to an arsenal of more than 40 different weapons.
If you’re a sci-fi fan looking for a good free co-op game, you won’t regret checking out this title.
Battleborn is a fun MOBA developed by Gearbox that, despite being released as a paid title, still follows the free free-to-play system. In it, you can have epic battles between teams of five players each where only the best are left standing.
One of Battleborn’s biggest draws are its characters. Its more than 30 heroes are as varied as they are colorful, with play styles and abilities to suit all types of gamers.
Like all free-to-play games, Battleborn has options that you can unlock with payments, although the game is perfectly playable in free mode. We highly recommend it.
Brawlhalla is one of those games that, year after year, appear on every list of the best free-to-play games on Steam. The reason? This 2D fighting game is not only completely free, but also incredibly fun.
In this cool platform brawler, you can enjoy local and online battles with up to eight players. This title stands out for its multiple game modes (1v1, 2v2, 4 against all, 8 against all, etc.) and its list of playable characters. In fact, you can embody well-known stars like John Cena.
Brawlhalla is a fast, fun title, and it’s also quite gangster. All the fights are full of humor, so don’t hesitate to use all kinds of weapons and unsportsmanlike gadgets to win.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may not be the most graphically realistic title in the Steam catalog, and it lacks the colorful graphics of most Battle Royales, like Fortnite and Overwatch. Still, this fun title has a large community of players and is sure to thrill fans of war games.
If you like competitive FPS games but could do without the fantastical settings and lighthearted designs of certain games in this genre, do yourself a favor and check out CS: GO. It’s completely free, and we bet you’ll love it.
Crossout is a free-to-play MMO that takes you to an apocalyptic world clearly reminiscent of Mad Max. In it, you’ll play one of the few survivors of a viral epidemic called Crossout that wiped out a large part of the human race while turning some people into strange creatures.
Crossout is especially recommended for fans of driving titles who also enjoy combat elements. To survive the apocalypse, you’ll need to take special care of your vehicle. Crossout offers countless options for customization, armor and weapons to build your own battle tanks.
If you’re looking for a challenging MMO with an emphasis on driving, we strongly suggest that you try Crossout. You won’t regret it!
Developed by the creators of Halo, Bungie, Destiny 2 is an excellent action MMO that you can enjoy for free alone or in the company of friends.
The sequel to Destiny has everything it needs to become one of the best free games of 2020. This shooter has not only good graphics and gameplay for 10, but also an interesting story that will keep you glued to your PC for hours on end.
Destiny 2 can be played alone, but if this title stands out for anything, it would have to be its multiplayer mode. You can play both cooperatively and competitively with friends (and enemies!) from all over the planet. With hundreds of missions to complete and a veritable arsenal to collect, Destiny 2 is a sure bet for looter-shooter fans. And it’s free!
DCS World Steam Edition
DCS World (Digital Combat Simulator) Steam Edition is an extraordinary combat simulator that, thanks to its hyper-realistic graphics and compatibility with virtual-reality headsets, makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a battlefield.
Created by experts in the field of fighter jets, DCS World Steam Edition lets you fly the TF-51 Mustang and Su-25T as much as you want, completely free of charge. As if that were not enough, you can make micropayments to acquire other aircraft such as the -10C Warthog, UH-1H Huey, F-86F Saber, the Spitfire, and hundreds of fighters and helicopters from World War II until today.
Along with a number of free maps and campaigns, DCS World Steam Edition has a completely free mission creator to generate or recreate your favorite battles. It’s a must for combat simulator fans.
DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online is a free-to-play action MMO based on the DC comics universe. You can create your own hero and villain or as join well-known characters such as Batman, Superman, the Joker, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn.
After all these years, DC Universe Online is still a thrilling MMO for superhero fans. Boasting missions and adventures written by the DC writers, this title takes you to locations such as Gotham City, Metropolis and Arkham Asylum.
If you’re looking for a good multiplayer action-adventure online title, don’t hesitate to check out DC Universe Online!
Dota 2 is an excellent, incredibly popular MOBA. In fact, it’s the most downloaded and played game on Steam right now. You’ll travel to a fantasy world and fight the best battles between groups of heroes where only one team can be the winner.
Aside from being a visually appealing game, Dota 2 offers endless possibilities through its impressive catalog of heroes. Each one has its own characteristics and attack styles, making every battle a true adventure.
Unlike other MOBAs, Dota 2 offers its content completely free of charge, so battle outcomes will never favor players with the most microtransactions. This game is well-rounded, hilarious, and above all, free. Go ahead and give it a try!
Eternal Card Game
Clearly reminiscent of Hearthstone, Eternal Card Game is the perfect multiplayer title for card game fans. This game requires elements of strategy when creating your deck, and obviously, the luck factor comes into play when you receive your cards.
In terms of plot, Eternal Card Game takes you to a world of war and turmoil where spells, swords and revolvers will be used in the battle to sit on the Eternal Throne. You’ll need to create a good deck, defeat your enemies and gradually obtain the best cards in the game.
Besides being free, Eternal Card Game is truly challenging and fun. It is updated quite often, so there are always new cards that you can collect to take your rivals by surprise.
Fallout Shelter is a simulation and strategy game based on the popular Bethesda RPG Fallout. This fun, curious spin-off takes you back to the Wasteland, although this time you’ll oversee your own underground vault.
With help of the now classic Pip Boy, in Fallout Shelter you’ll have to create your facilities, obtain resources and make sure that your shelter’s inhabitants are happy and healthy at all times. As you well know, the Wasteland is a dangerous place, so be prepared for surprise attacks and all kinds of crazy situations that will subvert your management on more than one occasion.
Fallout Shelter was released as a mobile title, but due to its popularity, it also has a version for PC and Mac. If you enjoy strategy and management or are simply a Fallout fan, this game is a must!
Fistful of Frags
Fistful of Frags is a fun, original FPS that takes you to the heart of the Wild West. Originally released as a mod, it was so popular that the developers turned it into a full-fledged title.
Fistful of Frags is basically a shooter where you can become a real gunslinger. It offers a completely free game mode (all vs. all), a team mode and a 1 vs. 1 duel mode.
If you’ve always loved Westerns and want to challenge a friend to see who’s the fastest draw, don’t hesitate to download this game today.
A free game, Paladins is very similar to Overwatch, but unlike with the popular Blizzard title, you won’t need to pay to play it. Continuing with the genre of multiplayer shooters featuring heroes, in Paladins you’ll face a rival team on a fantasy battlefield.
In addition to being free, one of Paladins’ biggest attractions are its heroes. The game has a great sense of humor that is reflected in each of its characters and how the fighting unfolds.
If you’ve always wanted to play Overwatch but are dissuaded by its price… why not give Paladins a try?
Path of Exile
Path of Exile is a free-to-play indie game that fans of the classic Blizzard title Diablo will adore. This online action RPG puts you in the shoes of the Exile, a betrayed and disgraced hero who will not rest until he exacts revenge.
Path of Exile has all the elements of a good action RPG: an addictive story, a challenging combat system and hundreds of options to help your hero survive in the world of Wraeclast.
This is a perfect game for anyone who loves to explore dungeons and embark on all kinds of deadly missions. Don’t miss your chance to try it!
PlanetSide 2 is an interesting mix between an MMO and a futuristic shooter that will fully immerse you in a fierce interplanetary battle. Set on four different continents, PlanetSide 2 will have you fighting to obtain resources and territories on behalf of the faction you decide to serve. To put it simply, this game is an out-and-out war for control of the galaxy.
When you start a game, you have to pick the team you want to play for. There are three factions (New Conglomerate, Terran Republic and Vanu Sovereignty) and five kinds of characters to choose from. Then you’ll join your squad and, together with them, take control of the game’s continents.
PlanetSide 2 is an amazing game because of its complexity, its huge community of players, and above all, the fact that it’s completely free. If you like shooters, then be sure to give it a try.
Ring of Elysium
If you’re crazy about battle royale games, you’re sure to love Ring of Elysium. Although this title seems quite similar to PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) at first glance, it has enough novelties to stand out from other free-to-play games in the genre.
As in any battle royale, your mission in Ring of Elysium will be to exterminate the other players and survive until the rescue helicopter arrives. To do so, you’ll have an ample arsenal and all kinds of vehicles, and you can even use bikes and snowboards to catch your rival off guard. Ring of Elysium stands out for its varied, extensive battlefields, which include snowy areas, forests, cities full of buildings, etc.
With remarkable graphics and gameplay as frenetic as it is fun, Ring of Elysium is the perfect choice for battle royale fans who are tired of Fortnite.
Fans of multiplayer FPS games are in luck, as the veteran Quake Champions is available on Steam for free. It brings together everything that made Quake III Arena one of the greats of the genre and improves it to satisfy the new generations.
Quake Champions is a fast, fun game designed to let you compete against your friends. It offers improved graphics and new weapons, maps, characters while staying true to the spirit of the shooter series.
Whether you’re new to the genre or looking for a title to challenge your friends online, Quake Champions is a game to keep in mind.
Shadowverse CCG is a tough fighting card game for fans of the genre who have grown bored of titles like Hearthstone. It has a large community of players (the distributor makes sure that more than a million users connect daily) so you’ll never waste a single second searching for an opponent.
With simple yet challenging game rules, in Shadowverse CCG you’ll have to devise the most ingenious strategies to destroy your opponent’s defenses or make sure they run out of cards. The games are fast and have beautiful illustrations that will delight fans of Japanese manga and anime.
Shadowverse CCG is perfect for card game devotees seeking an alternative to more commercial titles. And if you want to take your game with you everywhere, there is a mobile version that is also free.
It may not be a new title, but SMITE is still one of the most popular and downloaded games in the entire Steam catalog. This third-person MOBA action game is truly fun to play.
In SMITE, you’ll control gods from various mythologies as they star in amazing online battles. Each one will have unique abilities and characteristics, so you’ll have to choose wisely when creating groups.
SMITE could be described as the quintessential free MOBA. When you download it, you’ll find everything you need to spend hours in front of your PC having a blast.
TERA is perhaps one of the most popular free MMORPGs in all of Steam. Although it’s been around for many years, it’s still one of the most beloved and downloaded games for fans of the genre.
In this game, you’ll travel to a fantasy world where you can have all kinds of online adventures with players from all over the world. While the game may seem simple or too similar to other online role-playing titles, anyone who tries TERA will be amazed by its fighting. Because unlike classic turn-based combat titles like Final Fantasy XIV, TERA offers battles in real time. This makes it far more challenging, setting it apart from other games in the genre.
If you’re looking for a classic MMORPG with a twist, dynamic combat and no annoying paid subscriptions, be sure to check out this game!
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit
Fans of the adventure and storytelling genre have a little gem waiting for them on Steam: The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. Set in the same universe as the acclaimed Life is Strange, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will put you in the shoes of Chris, a boy of just 10 years old who dreams of having powers.
As is usual in these kinds of games, the biggest attraction of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is its story. You’ll discover how Chris’s hard life has made him take refuge in his imagination in order to escape from reality. Through the main character, you’ll revisit your own childhood and immerse yourself in a world of mystery that will serve as a bridge to Life is Strange 2.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a short game at just three hours long, but it’s superbly done. A must for all adventure lovers.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is probably the best-known multiplayer shooter to debut in recent years. This game is completely free on Steam, so if you’re a fan of the genre, you have no excuse not to try it.
The game stands out for its sense of humor, hilarious characters and many game modes. This is essential for a shooter of such characteristics, because otherwise it could become repetitive and even boring in the long run.
With millions of weapons and items to collect and limitless action, Team Fortress 2 is still one of the best free-to-play games on Steam. Don’t miss your chance to try it.
When you see the picture, you might assume that we’re recommending another clone of the now-classic Minecraft, but nothing could be further from the truth! Unturned is a fun survival game where you’ll have to use all your wits to avoid being fed to a horde of zombies.
Unturned can be played cooperatively with other players, or you can engage in real battle royale combat to eliminate them from the game. You’ll have to collect resources, create weapons, get food by fishing, planting, etc. In fact, you’ll have complete freedom, and the way that you play this game is entirely up to you. Of course, be careful with the zombies, because they are very sure that they want you to be their next meal.
Fun and challenging, Unturned is a title that won’t leave any survival game fan indifferent. Don’t pay too much attention to its graphics and give it a try. You won’t regret it!
Warframe is a co-op multiplayer action game that will take you to a futuristic world ravaged by the Grineer, terrifying creatures that threaten peace in the galaxy. The Solar System’s only hope is a team of galactic cyber ninjas who are willing to do anything to eliminate them.
Warframe is a fast, fun shooter with hundreds of missions to tackle with your friends. In fact, its varied characters, missions, and customized weapons are among the title’s biggest strengths. Another plus is that Warframe has a broad, open world to explore and versatile characters. You’ll discover that Warframe ninjas are experts in parkour, and as such, they can overcome any obstacle.
With more than 38 million players, it’s clear that Warframe has become a true Steam phenomenon. So, what are you waiting for? Try it today!
War Thunder is a war MMO that lets you pilot all kinds of war machines, from planes and tanks to the most powerful ships and aircraft carriers. In fact, the game has a total of 1,700 vehicles, so you’ll never get bored while enjoying this little free-to-play gem.
If you like full battle simulators, you’ll love War Thunder. This title has 100 different maps, all based on historical battles and perfectly recreated. Thanks to its size and realism, it allows battles between players of epic proportions, delighting fans of the genre.
Finally, in addition to War Thunder’s own content, the game lets players create their own content through War Thunder Live and use it to earn real money. Do you dare to try it?
World of Tanks Blitz
Do you love war video games? Then you surely know the famous World of Tanks franchise like the back of your hand. WoT Blitz, the free version of this extraordinary tank game, delivers an equally fun experience even though its game system has been simplified to a great extent.
World of Tanks Blitz boasts a total of 300 different war vehicles, including some of the most iconic WWII tanks. In addition, the title has 26 different game arenas, missions and challenges to demonstrate your skills and a fun 7 vs. 7 multiplayer mode.
In short, World of Tanks Blitz is a fun and challenging game, and we promise you won’t have a second to get bored. It’s perfect for fans of big battles and nonstop action.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
Since the advent of the groundbreaking Magic: The Gathering, collectible card battle games have been all the rage. In fact, they became so popular that they served as the basis for anime series like Yu-Gi-Oh!, whose sole purpose was to promote the card game.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is the perfect title for fans of anime, strategy and card games in general. It has been a hit on Steam since 2017, and in it, you can collect cards and defeat your opponents in order to improve your deck.
Links Duel is a fast, entertaining game that never gets boring. Despite being a free title, it’s frequently updated with new cards and new challenges to meet. We highly recommend it.
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of free-to-play games on Steam. Do you know of any others that we should add to our list? Tell us about them in the comments section!