The 25 Best Open Source Video Games in 2020

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The 25 Best Open Source Video Games in 2020

Are you sick of spending $60 on new video games? Do you believe that paying for triple-AAA titles is unethical and wish to vote with your wallet? Then you should look at the top open source video games, the majority of which are free to play.

Why Open Source Video Games?

To begin with, there are many levels of open source software. For the sake of this piece, we’ll employ a basic definition: a “open source game” is any game that enables the public to obtain its source code. Open source purists may object, but we’re going with it.

Three of the numerous reasons to use open source software are especially relevant to games:

  1. Price. Open source games are often available for free. I realize that open-source and free are not synonymous—-but open source game creators prefer to do it for joy and experience rather than profit. Most people are content with attention and contributions.
  2. Trust. Many commercial game production firms have bad reputations (for example, Blizzard, EA, Ubisoft, and Valve). They’ve lost sight of their target consumers, and others argue that they’re hurting the gaming industry. Open source developers have a better understanding of genuine players.
  3. Experience. If you wish to make your own games, looking at open source code may help you learn new ideas and improve your abilities. You may even contribute patches and improvements in certain situations, putting a concrete imprint on your favorite games.

You may believe that open source games are exclusively available to Linux users, but this is simply not the case. That is one of the most persistent fallacies about open source software. Most open source games are playable on several platforms. After all, the only thing that counts is if the game is enjoyable, right?

NB: Games are listed in alphabetical order.

0 A.D. is a real-time strategy (RTS) game set 500 years before Year Zero. It has all of the trappings of an RTS, such as base development, unit training, tech trees, and battle. Each game continues through three phases: village, town, and city, and you may play as one of 12 civilizations.

Is it similar to Age of Empires II in appearance and feel? That’s because 0 A.D. started life in 2001 as a comprehensive conversion mod idea for Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

Single-player and multiplayer modes are both supported.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Alien Arena, formerly known as CodeRED: Alien Arena, is a fast-paced multiplayer first-person shooter in the manner of Quake and Unreal Tournament. Though objective-based game types exist, the focus is mostly on fragging (killing your opponents).If you like competition, you’ll enjoy the world stats leaderboard.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Tron’s multiplayer 3D clone Armagetron Advanced. You ride about on a “light cycle” that leaves a wall path, and your aim is to crash before your opponents. It’s basic yet entertaining, and three game styles add to the pleasure.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Battle of Wesno This is a strategy game with a turn-based system that mixes resource management and tactical fighting. It’s played on a hexagonal battlefield, and there’s an RPG aspect in the form of troops that may level up and get stronger. Despite the fact that it has basic game rules, it is surprisingly deep.

The game also has a map editor and the option to build new content (such as campaigns) through an add-on system. You may construct add-ons by combining Wesnoth Markup Language with Lua.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead (CDDA), a turn-based open source roguelike survival game, has zombies, dungeons, and Lovecraftian horrors in store for you.

CDDA, unlike other roguelikes, does not have a clear objective for you to achieve. Survival is critical. You’re fighting the elements of life with zombies and other terrible monsters, like in most survival games. That alone gives CDDA great depth and replay value, keeping you coming back for more.

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CDDA, like other roguelikes, uses ASCII visuals, which may be overwhelming to newcomers to the genre. There are, however, various substitute tilesets that make the CDDA quest a bit more visually appealing.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (DCSS) is likely the greatest roguelike accessible right now. It’s the only roguelike that’s routinely listed with the Big Four: NetHack (1987), Angband (1990), ADOM (1994), and ToME (1995). (1998).

The nicest aspect about DCSS is that it keeps the amazing gameplay complexity that roguelike aficionados enjoy while still providing a lot more beginner-friendly experience because to its focus on anti-frustration design concepts. There is a learning curve, but the work is definitely worth it.

You may also watch other DCSS players in real time! Isn’t it cool?

See our article on the development of the roguelike genre to discover more about where this genre originated from.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Web.

Endless Sky is an open source, free space exploration game. It is a recreation of the now-defunct Escape Velocity, but it provides sandbox space trade and galactic exploration simulations comparable to Elite: Dangerous or Star Control. Others compare Endless Sky to a scaled-down version of the massive space-MMO EVE Online.

Endless Sky has a lengthy single-player narrative, side missions, ship construction, and, of course, interplanetary space wars.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

FreeCivi is an open source clone of Civilization II, but only because it was created in 1997. You may play in both single-player and multiplayer modes, and the web client is strongly recommended.

The best part is that FreeCiv features a “Longturn” option in which 250 people take one turn per day. It also has a “Play by Email” option, which is useful when you wish to play your turns as they become available.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Web.

Freedoom is an open source Doom clone. The source code for Doom is also available, although the assets (such as graphics and music) remain licensed. Freedoom’s goal is to develop free material that will enable the game to become “really” open source and free.

You must also download a suitable Doomengine, such as ZDoom (preferred) or Crispy Doom, to play Freedoom.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

FlightGear is an open source flight simulator that was created as a replacement for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Many consider FlightGear to be the greatest free flight simulator presently available, with positive feedback from major gaming magazines.

FlightGear incorporates actual weather patterns derived from METAR data, which means you may end yourself in the heart of a storm if you don’t double-check your maps before taking off. There is also a multiplayer mode that enables you to fly alongside buddies (or someone can control the air traffic control tower).

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Hedgewars is an open source clone of Worms—-but it’s so much more. It has taken the concept of a turn-based strategic artillery game and enlarged it in a variety of ways, particularly in terms of the weaponry accessible in the game.

In addition to single-player missions and multiplayer mayhem, Hedgewars allows you to customize your hedgehog, game modes, and game objects (through community-made content packs).

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS.

MegaGlestis a real-time strategy game that focuses on epic battles and adventures. MegaGlest, based on the now-defunctGlest, combines fantasy with technology to create a one-of-a-kind experience. The engine is sufficiently moddable to enable players to make whole conversion modifications.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Do you want to play Minecraft without having to pay for it? Or are you dissatisfied with Minecraft’s development vision and strategy? Then check out Minetest, an open source clone that takes the game back to its origins.

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It is currently being developed and accepts user-created texture packs, modifications, and subgames. The community isn’t as vast as Minecraft’s, but it’s not little either. There are hundreds of servers to choose from, or you may play in single-player mode if you like.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Nethack is a classic roguelike that is widely mentioned as an influence for later games. Not just in the roguelike genre, either.

Nethack requires you to go through 50 levels of a randomly created dungeon. Along the path to collecting the Amulet of Yendor, your character will face a slew of fantastical animals. The whole game environment is made out of ASCII images, which means that everything you do is related to a letter, integer, or symbol from your keyboard.

The learning curve for Nethack is high. Some players take months, even years, to climb the tower and collect the amulet. Nethack, on the other hand, is immensely replayable since each run-through is unique.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Along with games like as Age of Empires and Warcraft, Command and Conquer helped launch the real-time strategy genre into the spotlight in the 1990s. Red Alert is undoubtedly the finest game in the series to date, and not only because it is nostalgic.

OpenRA is an open source Red Alert reimplementation that keeps loyal to the original game while including a variety of quality-of-life improvements such as production queues, hotkeys, unit postures, and my personal favorite, the attack-move command.

It also works with Tiberian Dawn (another C&C game) and Dune 2000. (another RTS by the same studio).

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

OpenRCT2 is an open source remake of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, a 2002 simulation game in which you may establish and run amusement parks as well as design and build roller coasters.

Because the components from the original game are still licensed, you must have a legal copy of RCT2 installed to playOpenRCT2. It’s just $10 (on Steam or GOG), so it’s simply a minor annoyance at best.

So, why play OpenRCT2? For starters, it allows you to play on systems other than Windows. Second, you receive new features like as interface theming, fast-forwarding, and enhanced speed. Third, OpenRCT2 may be played in multiplayer mode.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

OpenTTD is an open source version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, a business simulation game in which you run a transportation firm to maximize revenues. Over the original game, OpenTTDoffers several more features and refinements.

Notably, OpenTTD includes multiplayer transport network construction, as well as hundreds of distinct trains, buildings, tracks, ships, and other items. Some ingenious minds have even managed to exploit OpenTTD’s pathfinding as a type of programmable logic, comparable to Minecraft’s “Redstone circuits.”

It’s no surprise that OpenTTD is on our list of the finest vintage PC games that are still worth playing.

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Do you like racing radio control vehicles across the streets, ramping off curbs, and collecting powerups to destroy your opponents? Then try RVGL, the open source remake of the popular hit Re-Volt.

RVGL enables you to race RC cars at significantly higher resolutions, as well as with anisotropic filtering and MSAA, major audio upgrades, peer-to-peer multiplayer, and much more.

Available for Windows, Linux, and Android.

Cube 2: Sauerbraten is a classic open source first-person shooter. Sauerbraten is a deathmatch game that can be played in both single-player and multiplayer modes.

The only drawbacks of Sauerbraten? A limited player population, with a few dozen concurrent players per day at its height, and dormant development, with the most recent update issued in 2013.

A similar game is Assault Cube (also open source), while another is Urban Terror (not open source, but free and boasting a larger player base).

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Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

SuperTuxKart is the result of taking Mario Kart and replacing all of the characters with open source mascots. The gameplay is basic racing. You may play single-player, multiplayer, and other modes (e.g., Battle, Time Trial).

Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

Teeworldsis a side-scrolling physics-based 2D shooter, akin to what you’d get if you crossedQuakeandMariowith a dash ofKirby. It emphasizes fast-paced action (but notQuakefast) and can be played in Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes.

One unique feature is that everyone has a grappling hook, which you can use to fling yourself around the map… that is, once you master it.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Dark Modis a first-person stealth game that’s reminiscent of the cult classicThief. Set in a dark fantasy world, you play a thief who must steal goods—-among other acts of thievery—-while evading capture by guards. It offers heart-pounding fun with lots of replayability.

To playThe Dark Mod, you must first install the base game, and then install missions. You can download some from the Missions page, or create your own missions using the built-in editor.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Saga of Ryzom’s claim to fame is that there aren’t many open source MMORPGs. This free-to-play MMORPG with a classless structure and dynamic landscapes is a shining example of how high-quality free games may be achieved.

The Saga of Ryzom also has a few unique MMO elements up its sleeve. Mobs will infiltrate and swarm around player towns, resulting in massive confrontations. There are detailed trees for harvesting and crafts. We enjoy how AI-controlled animals fight other wildlife, providing a realistic and dynamic local ecology.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Warsow is a fast-paced arena shooter inspired by Quake, with an emphasis on speed and mobility. The roadmap includes eSports-specific features such as Warsow TV and worldwide metrics. The beautiful visuals, particularly the cell-shaded characters, are also noteworthy.

You can design your own game modes and customize the interface since the engine is open source and scriptable using AngelScript. Even without this, the basic game is entertaining and definitely worth playing.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Xonotic is a fast-paced arena shooter with many similarities to Unreal Tournament. There are 16 weapons, each with one of four ammunition types, and each with two fire modes. Knowing when and how to employ each shooting mode is critical to the game’s depth.

You may choose from a variety of game types (including Capture the Flag, Keepaway, and Freeze Tag) on hundreds of various maps, both official and community-created. It’s very replayable, so if you like arena shooters, you won’t be able to put it down.

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

What Are the Best Open Source Games?

It’s tough to select just one of the wonderful open source games available. Instead, it all comes down to the genres you like playing.

Remember that open source games, like any other game, need time and money to develop. The only difference is that the developers place a higher importance on community than earnings.

Consider volunteering some of your own time or money if you wish to assist. Open source developers don’t make much money, so even a $5 gift might help cover expenses like site hosting. If you have programming experience, you should think about giving your knowledge to open source projects.

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