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Best totally free Android games: no ads, no IAP

Best totally free Android games: no ads, no IAP

Some of the best things in life are free, and by applying a little discretion, we can certainly apply this to Android games. There are a whole ton of free games on the Play Store but this selection is for games without in-app purchases and no ads.

Just because a game is free with no IAP doesn't mean it has to be poor quality. Some of the best free games out there can take on the big-budget giants with nothing but passion, great design and goodwill. These top free Android games won't cost a single cent. Enjoy them without any strain on your wallet or annoying ads!

Battle for Wesnoth

Battle for Wesnoth is an unofficial Android port of a turn-based fantasy strategy game that already has a dedicated community on PC. The free game has several story-based campaigns, and a ton of different units from various fantasy races. You can play vs AI or other players.

Battle for Wesnoth has been around for years and doesn't boast lush graphics, but it has plenty of depth and still receives regular updates from the developers and community. A real work of passion, the Android version handles well and isn't too demanding at all on a modern phone, though you'll want a decent sized screen for a good view of the action.

Get it on the Play Store

Underhand

In this free deck-building game, you take on the role of the leader of a spooky Lovecraftian cult on a mission to summon your chosen eldritch abomination into the world. As you play your cards, you also draw new ones representing unexpected events that can help or hinder your progress. 

underhand
Lead your cult to world domination! / © Spoopy Squad

The audio provides a suitably creepy atmosphere, with a nice touch being the in-game radio that reports on how the world is being changed by your actions. Underhand is a complete game, if a little short, the random elements afford some replayability.

Freedoom

Gamers of a certain age will remember losing many hours of precious youth to brutal first-person shooter pioneer Doom. This game is effectively a Doom port made with an original set of assets and game levels to avoid falling foul of copyright. 

Freedoom basically plays just like the classic, as the assets are different but still recognizable in the style of the original. You're still blasting ugly creatures in a vaguely industrial wasteland, and all the fun action, atmosphere and tension of Doom is right here in a not-so-different skin.

freedoom
 Almost just like old times. / © AndroidPIT (screenshot)

As an added bonus, you can always load your old (legally owned, of course) original Doom WAD files into the app's config folder, if you want to play the real thing on your phone. Fantastically, this also goes for related games on the same engine, such as Heretic, Hexen, and Strife, or the various mods of these games available online.

Wicked Lair

This game puts you in the evil shoes of what is normally the enemy in video games - a dungeon boss. Tasked with building your lair of evil and filling it with monsters and traps to destroy the pesky do-gooders who insisting on invading and disturbing your peace. Make them pay, because you won't have to.

Pixel Dungeon

The various Pixel Dungeon titles are roguelike dungeon crawl games with primitive graphics (but great gameplay), that punish failure harshly, but were so easy to pick up and play again after every character death that I stopped worrying and learned to love restarting.

pixeld
Hit marsupial rats, get paid in Pixel Dungeon. / © AndroidPIT

It's a simple tap to control everything, and although the 'basic' Pixel Dungeon game by Watabou has unlockable character classes and tons of items to enjoy the game with, there are plenty of other addictive versions such as Shattered Pixel Dungeon, Pixel Dungeon Unleashed etc., that offer twists and different features based on the original.

Unciv

Unciv is an open-source reimplementation of the classic Civilization-style game of empire building, expansion, resource management, economic and technological development. It basically plays like Civilization V, but with very simple graphics. Nonetheless, the strategic depth is impressively preserved and Unciv is a small and lightweight app that runs like a dream even on low-end smartphones.

unciv
Everybody wants to rule the world. / © Yair Morgernstern

Get it on the Play Store

Pew Pew

This sweet little shoot-em-up puts the old-school spaceship 'bullet hell' scenario in a neon-clouded skin with simple but attractive graphics, but the real draw is the fast paced action. It's basically blasting stuff, in different ways, unlocking rewards and basking in the moving colors and sounds: what more do you want for free entertainment?

pewpew
Abstract, but cool visuals. / © Jean-François Geyelin

Pathos Nethack Codex

This game is roguelike dungeon crawling game with random area generation and a variety of different classes to choose from, items to collect and monsters to slay. Based on the old school Nethack ruleset, Pathos is still being updated with quality of life fixes, and offers a choice of graphical tiles and hours upon hours of play time.

Warfare Incorporated

Warfare Incorporated is an old school favorite, originally for Windows Phones and PalmOS devices, but its style hearkens back even further to the Command and Conquer real-time strategy games. You must build up base and produce an army to control resources on the newly discovered planet of Icarus. Sure, Warfare Incorporated looks dated by now, but the experience stands the test of time and you won't find a more fully featured mobile RTS for completely free.

warfareinc
The old school RTS look. / © Spiffcode

Gloomy Dungeons 2

The Gloomy Dungeons series of indie games are first-person shooters in the classic Doom/Wolfenstein mold with some modern additions like sniper rifles and dual-wielding weapons. Note that while Google Play does say it has ads, it's only a single small banner on the main page for advertising the other games from the studio which are also free, so I'll allow it.

gloomy
Prepare to meet your gloom! / © EightSines

The game is free and even comes with built-in cheats, if you just want to give yourself all the weapons and powerups and let 'er rip. While it's on the Google Play store, fans of alternative open-source repositories can also find it as one of the few games on F-Droid.

Still on the hunt for great mobile games?

Have you discovered any free Android games that we should mention here? Let us know, and it might just make the list one day.

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169 comments

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  • but the real draw is the faced paced action... What is that? Is it 'faceplant' or maybe palm/face? Any other guesses out there?


  • Thank you, not easy to find such games in good number so as to make your choice for the most favorite.


  • Thanks for this list...will try!


  • Sorin Sep 1, 2018 Link to comment

    A lot of games, good for fun or for the time lost.
    But the most important game is missing, without which you can not make the top 10 of all the games ever played, a game that made history, a game that created general hysteria, a crazy rule: ANGRYYY BIRDS !!!
    (take it as a joke, please)


  • I just heard these games and it looks very interesting and I want to play them all. Just want to share that I'm addicted with bingoscanner.com.


  • Nice list, I have enjoyed a few of them. Right now I'm playing a new one called Race Zero, which is amazing. To any F-Zero fans out there, you will love it!


  • Great list! All of them are great game and my fave here is the Shadow Fight 3 and my most fave is found in bingoscanner.com. It is really interesting!


  • Mark
    • Admin
    Jun 14, 2018 Link to comment

    They may be free to download but then your blasted with ads have to give permission to all your data, not to mention all the in app purchases you blitzed with. I miss just being able to buy a game with out all that garbage that goes with them now.


  • Dear Nicholas, please check out WorldCraft : 3D Build & Craft on Google Play. Its Free, and played by many players online. I hope, you will like it too.


  • hey Nicholas check these games out i think you will love some of them out..
    Stairs
    Vector
    Macaronis Adventure
    Smash Hit


  • What about the game Color Flow by One Thumb Games on Google Play? You should try out the game. You can play or create your own puzzles and challenge others.


  • Nice list. I love to play Plague Inc.


  • Mike Dec 2, 2017 Link to comment

    The female character in Lineage looks like Harmony


  • Nice list. I love to play Clash.


  • Clash of clans Games Always super Awesome. I am highly addicted of this game


  • Awesome List Brittany, I really like the CSI and Quiz up games from your list been my fav's for quite some time now. I would like to suggest one such trivia puzzle that am stuck by currently Words To Emojis, it's a simple and addictive game just match the emojis with the displayed words and clear the level.


  •   1
    Deactivated Account Jun 20, 2017 Link to comment

    words on tour is not on the play store


  • I am playing clash of clans since very long , great fan of supercell . They just need to update faceto face challenges.


  • Such wonderful list of top free games. All the games are my favorite. Thanks for sharing it.

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