Tue. May 21st, 2024


YouTube is an endless sea of content for all audiences, whatever you’re into. But YouTube isn’t just for streaming video, since you can now play free games in your browser YouTube’s new “Playables” catalog.



What Are YouTube’s “Playables?”

The Playables section of YouTube is a specific category dedicated to a variety of games playable directly on the browser version of the site. Most games are simply ports of existing games from mobile devices, but they do not require a separate download.

The "Browse" screen of the YouTube "Playables" section showing a variety of games.

While many of the games are fairly simple, there are a good number of genres on offer. This includes everything from match-three puzzle games to strategy heavy RPGs and even just the classic game of chess. There are also a few ports of games that traditionally have online play, such as Trivia Crack, that are only available in single-player modes.


Where to Find Free Games on YouTube

As many of the games already available on mobile devices, YouTube’s free selection is only accessible through the browser site and not on the app. To find them, simply navigate to the sidebar on the left side of the screen on the YouTube homepage and scroll down until you find the “Playables” section.

The YouTube homepage with the "Playables" section highlighted with a red arrow.

The main page will show you the most popular games on the Playables home page, but you can find the rest of them by clicking on “Browse” near the top. This will show you all the games available on YouTube. Click on any of them to play them instantly in your browser.

Why Play Games on YouTube?

YouTube’s games catalog is also available on mobile devices, so it is unnecessary to play them in a browser if you already have a smartphone. However, most of the titles on offer are fairly simplistic in nature and may not warrant taking up space on your phone or tablet.


While this may not seem like a big deal since you can just uninstall smartphone games when you’re done, doing so often still leaves behind residual files you may need to delete manually. By playing through a browser, you can avoid this since there is no need to commit to an installation. Some people simply don’t like playing games on their smartphone.

Additionally, YouTube saves your progress for all games on the Playables section as long as you are signed in with a YouTube account. This means that your high scores, level completion progress and other stats will never go away if you decide to come back later (unless YouTube decides to nuke everything, of course).

The start screen for the YouTube Playables game "Color Burst" with my saved high score shown in the corner.


YouTube Playables also features several browser ports of mobile games that would previously only be playable on a mobile device or through emulation. Since they are controlled with your mouse rather than a touch screen, this can give you an alternate way to play some of them that might give you some extra precision. Third-party controllers are currently not supported for any of the games, and there are seemingly no plans to change this.

It is unclear as of now whether YouTube plans to update this section with new games in the future, but there are (at the time of writing in mid-2024) 72 different titles available for free. If you are a fan of mobile games and need something to kill half an hour or so, they might be worth checking out.

These games are not for everyone. If you’re someone looking for engaging gameplay that will last for hours, it may not be worth your time. The mouse controls can be a bit finicky for some games and since they are not downloadable, the games could just disappear one day in the wake of a major overhaul. Still, they can be good fun for a short break or an easy time-killer if ever the need arises.



If you’re on a budget but want more engaging long-form content, check out how to get free physical games from your local library or read about PlayStation Plus’s free movie selection. If your mouse is the problem and you need to swap hands, read about how I customize my PC layout so I can play games left-handed with minimal struggle.



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By John P.

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