Top 12 Online Games to Boost Team Engagement in 2024

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You probably didn’t start your business thinking you’d be looking up online games for virtual teams.

Most people think work hard, play hard. In reality, enriching the social aspect of working within an organization helps employees stay productive.

In fact, employees with friends at work are twice as likely to be engaged than those without.

But remote work makes it difficult to connect. This is how online games for virtual teams made it to your search bar.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Especially since your best developers deserve the best. For the best online games for virtual teams, stay tuned!

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What Are Remote Teams?

Remote work has been around for some time now. You’ve probably come across a few people with envious work schedules and flexible supervisors.

But what happens when a whole company is thrust head-first into a remote work environment?

Nothing incredibly special, but you do have to deal with the idiosyncrasies of having a team that is 100% remote.

A remote team is a group of individuals —  typically from different geographical locations or regions — who depend on remote work tools in order to collaborate and work towards a common goal. 

When you need to get in touch with a co-worker, for example, you won’t be able to walk to their desk. Instead, you shoot them a message on Slack.

Want a company meeting where you can see everyone face-to-face? Forget booking a conference room. Set up a Zoom call.

Obviously, much of managing a remote team is just having the right tools. But it’s also about centering communication.

However, communication isn’t always numbers and metrics. Sometimes it’s getting to know the people who work within your organization.

Two laptops side-by-side behind a free standing envelope. Illustrated text reads "Hey" and "How are you?" across the items.
Getting to know the people you work with is an important part of building a company culture. 

Related reading: How to Hire Remote Developers

Why Is Virtual Team Building Important?

While security risks and schedule syncing are the more cut-and-dry challenges or working remotely, you’ve no doubt had a plethora of internal issues, such as:

  • Maintaining team engagement
  • Keeping up team morale
  • Creating a sense of unity amongst team members

Evidently, the challenges of remote work are often more social than otherwise.

The 2019 State of Remote Report work found that loneliness and collaboration/communication were the second and third biggest struggles of remote workers (behind unplugging after work).

So what’s the solution? Team building exercises, for one, have long been proven to increase productivity and employee motivation, as well as encourage trust and respect across the board.

Of course, if you have a remote team, team building will look a little different than a Christmas party or company happy hours.

You need to think outside the box. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to build the company culture, whether that means Zoom meetings or playing a fun, online game.

And in this case, it’s looking like the latter. Enough brainstorming and you’ve likely arrived at online games for virtual teams as the clear solution to your dilemma.

12 Best Online Games for Virtual Teams

Games are as expansive as stars. There are lots of them. And listing them all would be futile.

But these 12 online games for virtual teams are some of the most popular. And more importantly, they’re fun.

1. Ice Breakers

An ice breaker is an activity or question that prompts conversation. Usually, they permit anyone participating to gain some familiarity with one another.

Ice breakers are great because they incite casual chit-chat without resorting to small talk.

Here are a few ideas for ice breaker questions:

  1. What’s your favorite Halloween costume?
  2. If you could be eating any food right now, what would it be?
  3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
  4. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
  5. What is your favorite TV show? Describe it.
  6. What would your superpower be if you could choose?
  7. What is the most unique thing on your bucket list?
  8. What is your favorite breakfast food?
  9. If you could learn any skill, what would it be?
  10. If you were featured on the news, what would the reason most likely be?

2. Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a classic party game that serves as a creative ice breaker for remote teams.

Ask each employee to tell two truths and then one lie. It’s up to the rest of the team to guess which statement was a lie.

Some teams even play three truths and a lie. The premise is the same, but the game gets more challenging.

3. Video Charades

Video charades are exactly what they sound like. Charades is a popular family game where someone must act out a given word or phrase without talking. 

For example, if the phrase is ‘driving a car’, the actor can stimulate driving a car by placing their hands around an invisible wheel and making other related gestures.

A video camera makes charades a fairly easy online game for a virtual team. You can set up a Zoom meeting to make it happen.

4. Photo of Your Life

The rules of this game are simple. Ask each team member to take a picture of something that represents their life.

It can be an object, a pet, even a landmark.

Each team member presents their picture to the entirety of the remote team and explains the significance behind the image.

This is a good opportunity to get a bit more personal, but it should only be as personal as you and fellow team members want it to be.

5. Virtual Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a game in which participants collect miscellaneous objects, but they don’t always know from the start where those objects are located.

The facilitator of the game must pre-plan clues and leave a map of sorts so participants can locate the items.

It can be a fun challenge. Some even offer prizes for those who gathered the most objects or reached a final destination.

Sometimes the objects themselves are a prize the finder gets to keep.

6. Donut for Slack

Donut is a Slack plugin that pairs team members up at random and urges them to connect.

Two team members are automatically placed in a shared Slack channel. The team members can chat directly in the group.

If imminent silence occurs, Donut might send ice breakers to spark a conversation, and eventually, the program will prompt the two team members to set up a video call.

You can send Donut notifications out in scheduled intervals. New donut pairings can happen every week or every month, depending on your preference.

7. “Can You Hear Me Now?”

“Can You Hear Me Now?” is a good game for amateur artists. Because more often than not, someone is laughing at the end of the game.

One team member is given an image of an object. They must describe an object in a three-minute round.

During this time, the other team member should draw the object based on this description.

After the round is up, the team members compare the drawing and the initial image.

Words can only communicate so much, so the drawing tends to be a unique twist on the actual reference object.

8. Guess the Refrigerator/Desk

In this game, team members are to take a picture of what’s in their fridge or what’s on the desk.

They post this picture anonymously and team members guess what belongs to who,

It’s not far off from the Photo of Your Life game, except this is a tad more playful and works the opposite way around!

9. Pictionary

Pictionary is a combo of Charades and “Can You Hear Me Now?”

In pictionary, team members must guess the word that represents the drawing of another team member.

Here, the drawer gets more points the quicker another team member makes a correct guess.

And the team member who guesses correctly also gets points, depending on how quickly they make the right guess.

Unfortunately, artistic skills do make an impact in this game. But sometimes it’s just as likely to be a coin toss based on who drew the simpler image or got a better word.

There are plenty of Pictionary and Pictionary-esque games available for free online which provide a virtual canvas and virtual tools for drawing.

10. Virtual Bingo

Everyone loves a lottery. But only if they win. Virtual bingo, at least, doesn’t have to involve real money.

All you need is a creative bingo card to get things rolling. It can be one about your work itself or even certain characteristic.

One square could read, “Has brown hair.” Another could read, “Works on the marketing team.”

11. Werewolf

Werewolf is more complicated than other online games for virtual teams. But that’s usually a guarantee that the game is fun.

Here’s what the game entails:

  • Werewolf — The werewolf seeks to eat villagers and survive.
  • Villagers — The villagers’ only goal is to survive.
  • Medic — The medic can save one villager per round.
  • Seer — Because of the seer’s special abilities, they know which player is the werewolf.
  • Hunter — If the hunter dies, they can point a finger at any player, effectively killing that player.

For every five players, there should be one werewolf, three villagers, one medic, and one seer.

With five more members, there should be another werewolf, three more villagers, and one other special role.

Notify team members of their roles in advance. The game starts when the narrator says, “night has fallen.”

All players should close their eyes and use their surroundings to create a pitter-patter noise.

Then, the narrator says, “werewolves wake up” and via private message each werewolf chooses a victim.

The narrator wills the werewolves back to sleep and wakes the seer and medic, one after the other.

When the medic wakes, they can save a single player — although they must pick the right team member who died. If they happen to pick the werewolf, nobody dies that night.

In contrast, the seer can point to a player who should answer truthfully whether they are or aren’t the werewolf.

After all this, the narrator says, “the sun is coming up” followed by name of the fallen victims of the narrator announces that nobody was eaten if the medic made the right choice.

While awake, villagers can try to determine who the werewolf is and eliminate a suspect tach round by vote. Repeat until only villagers of werewolves remain.

12. Virtual Trivia

Trivia is always a fun game, no matter where you’re playing it. You don’t need a pub to start testing the random knowledge bases of your peers.

You can create your own trivia game and set your own rules or use an online trivia game that hosts multiple players.

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These online games for virtual teams are a resourceful and free way to boost your team’s collective spirits.

That said, team building is just one part of business. If you’re still looking to build a remote team that can work towards your goals, look no further.

At Trio, you can hire only the best remote developers at the click of a button. Get in touch now!

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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