Best free indie games on Steam

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free stuff? Steam is the go-to digital distribution for most of you, so here’s a nice little overview of the best free indie games available there.

I’ve tried to cover a few different genres so there should be something here for everyone:

14 of the best free indie games on Steam

  • Brawlhalla
  • Totally Accurate Battlegrounds
  • Splitgate
  • Unturned
  • TrackMania Nations Forever
  • Leaf Blower Revolution
  • Risk: Global Domination
  • Tukoni
  • Realm of the Mad God Exalt
  • Super Animal Royale
  • Adventure Capitalist
  • Expendabros
  • What Never Was
  • IOSoccer


Screenshot from Brawlhalla, one of the best free indie games on Steam

Platform fighter Brawlhalla has been around for a few years now and has attracted a loyal following of YouTubers and streamers.

It’s also a surprising eSports hit, with big events offering huge prize pools. For a free title, it really does stack up well against Smash Bros. (the classic Nintendo franchise in this genre).

There is plenty of content that you can pay for but in our experience, the base game experience is still fantastic without you having to drop a penny on it.

Online ranked matches are brutally challenging, while custom rooms often end in you all laughing so hard you can’t breathe. It’s how gaming should be.

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds

Screenshot from Totally Accurate Battlegrounds

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is the most ridiculous battle royal experience.

It has all the elements you’d expect to see in games in this genre – more than 90 weapons and perks and handicaps, plus a variety of game modes (squad, duo, and solo).

All this is packaged in a wacky stress test of the laws of physics. As the developers themselves put it: “The wobblier the better”.

A new anti-cheat has improved the game measurably and the devs are working on making it possible to set up community-run servers to keep the game alive.


Screenshot from Splitgate

I first found out about portal-meets-Halo FPS Splitgate when watching Ogre 2 (one of the greatest ever Halo players) streaming it on Twitch. He made it look easy of course and his stream did a great job in selling the fast-paced action and innovative features for an FPS such as player-controlled portals. 

15 different game modes, including competitive ranking, more than 20 maps across various immersive environments, and a mountain of character customization options – all for free – make this an absolute no-brainer for any FPS fan.

Oh, and there’s also cross-play if your mates are playing it on Xbox or PlayStation.


Screenshot from Unturned

Unturned puts a charming blocky twist on the often-tense genre of survival/zombie games.

It looks absolutely great. Like other survival games, you can decide to go hell for leather and shoot everything to bits, or sneak around to survive by stealth and smartness. 

The game incorporates the environment in cool ways. For example, you can forage and hunt and the weather can directly impact your player’s health and other statuses.

You can play in a PvP free-for-all (‘arena mode’), or you can have a slightly more chill time with friends in the PvE mode where cooperation is key. 

TrackMania Nations Forever

Screenshot from TrackMania Nations Forever

This game makes me feel old because I remember playing it at school. That’s no bad thing: It’s aged fantastically well and tons of new content has been added over the years. 

It’s a racing game played at mind-blowing speeds on gravity-defying tracks. You can play solo, but the real gold is in multiplayer competition on the literally thousands of different tracks hosted on TrackMania servers.

There’s a ranked ladder if you want to go hard on this but it’s a total blast for the casual gamer, too. It’s the best free indie game on Steam for racing game fans.

Leaf Blower Revolution

Screenshot from Leaf Blower Revolution

Honestly, who knew that garden chores could be so fun?

Leaf Blower Revolution is a top-down, 2D leaf-blowing simulator in which you can play in either a super chilled-out, passive way (buy an autoblower, sit back, and relax) or unleash your inner groundsman and collect items, coins, and more to unlock upgrades.

There are some silly enemies (I’ve never seen a giant red scorpion in my back garden??) and plenty of different areas each with their own rare leaves to discover. Loads of fun updates and expansions have been released and there’s plenty more to come based on the development roadmap.

Risk: Global Domination

Screenshot from Risk Global Domination

The classic board game Risk has been around since way back in 1957 and has since been the source of countless family feuds. Now family and friends can bicker and plot remotely for free on Risk: Global Domination

Custom rules are a great feature as, at least in my experience, different households often play the same board games slightly differently from others.

There are more than 60 different maps to choose from and, while the base game is totally free, there are plenty of different DLCs (map packs, theme packs, and more) that you can buy to enhance the experience.

This is classic casual strategy action.


Screenshot from Tukoni

Tukoni is probably the best-looking game on this list, which is no surprise as it’s based on the award-winning book series created by author and artist Oksana Bula. 

It’s a point-and-click puzzle game in which you wander through gorgeously animated environments of the Tukoni universe and help various animals in their various predicaments.

Tukoni is very kid friendly (the books are children’s books, after all), but it’s a great chill-out game for adults, too. 

Realm of the Mad God Exalt

Screenshot from Real of the Mad God Exalt

According to its developers, Realm of the Mad God Exalt is the first ever free-to-play bullet hell MMO.

Don’t be fooled by the retro 8-bit style into thinking the game is limited – it’s far from it: Almost 20 different character classes to pick from, a treasure trove of loot to use upgrading your character, and incredibly satisfying boss battles.

Of course, you can skip the grind by using the pay-to-win elements, but if you’re patient enough it’s still possible to have a great time without spending a dime.

Super Animal Royale

Screenshot from Animal Royale

With its bizarrely beguiling combination of cute characters and horrendous violence, Super Animal Royale is an excellent take on the battle royale genre. 64 players start each top-down 2D round and fight to the death against other super animals.

There’s nothing quite as painful as getting to the final two, only to be ambushed and filled with bullets by a cute little beaver wearing a bumble bee outfit. 

The range of weapons is great, the different character customization options are great, the maps are great, and even the NPC chats are great.

Overall, it’s a great game and there’s more than enough in the free version to keep you occupied for ages.

It’s also one of the best indie games on Switch, in my opinion.

Adventure Capitalist

Screenshot from Adventure Capitalist

Ever wondered what it would be like to be Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos?

Well, wonder no more because you can do that now, for free, on Adventure Capitalist. It’s the best capitalism simulator since Monopoly. 

Delegate your way to the top like a true slippery capitalist, attract investors, and, most importantly, earn boatloads of (in-game) cash.

It’s also available on mobile and perhaps more of the developer’s time is spent on that format, but the Steam version is still well worth a go.


Screenshot from Expendabros

This is like Metal Slug mixed with Team America. Play as one of several brash Expendabros on an explosion-filled tour of Eastern Europe on the hunt for a gruesome arms dealer.

For a free side-scroller with only ten levels, there’s a surprisingly high amount of replayability here, because the gameplay is fantastic.

You’ll almost certainly be back for another round once you’ve completed it – it’s, without a doubt, one of the best free indie games on Steam.

What Never Was

Screenshot from What Never Was

Cleaning out grandpa’s house after he’s passed away may not be the first premise that comes to mind when you think about ‘fun video games’, but What Never Was certainly proved us wrong. 

This is a story-driven puzzler, and it really is an engrossing narrative. If I were to level a criticism then it would be that this is super short, but there’s a Chapter II in development. 


Screenshot from IOSoccer

The mainstream soccer video game market has been pretty much sewn up by EA’s FIFA franchise these days, but there are some of us who have grown tired of the formula. This third-person soccer title with a dedicated community could be your tonic.

IOSoccer is obviously no match to the AAA sports games in the looks department (this was originally a half-life mod released 15 years ago, after all) but the gameplay is definitely up to scratch. The variety of options and customization adds ensures there’s plenty of replayability.

Where are the best indie games not on Steam?

Steam is definitely the big daddy of online game stores. Depending on which source you look at, it enjoys a roughly 75% share of the global digital PC game distribution market. Some games on Steam boast literal millions of concurrent players, and there are thousands of new titles added to its library every year.

However, not all indie games are on Steam! You can check out this article about where to find indie games if you don’t believe me. For example, if you want to play new indie game concepts before they’re finished and released, then you could check out Alpha Beta Gamer. is the place to go to support small-scale projects as it’s free to upload stuff on there so there’s plenty submitted by developers who don’t want to/can’t pay the Steam fee. If you’re not part of the PC master race, there are plenty of console options, too, with Game Pass on Xbox and digital stores on PlayStation and Switch.

Free indie games… or free-to-play?

If you’re browsing Steam games you’ll find that some are ‘free’ and some are ‘free-to-play’. Surely they both mean the same thing, right?

Not quite.

There aren’t any hard-and-fast definitions of the differences between these two terms but, basically: 

Free generally means that the game is 100% free. There are no add-ons or in-game transactions or anything at all you’ll ever need to get your wallet out for. 

Free-to-play often means that the ‘base’ game is free. It’s free to download and to play, but in order to access some features (like DLC, for example) you may need to cough up some cash. Games are not getting more expensive in relative terms but, even in free-to-play games, micro-transactions are a signal that it’s gonna be a long hard grind for players who don’t want to buy stuff in-game.

Of course, having to stump up eventually for a free-to-play game isn’t all bad – live service games offer players loads of new content and regular updates by asking for a bit of cash here and there.