Nothing strengthens friendships and creates memories like playing games together. Gaming has always been a social activity whether virtually or in reality, and if it can be done cheaply, the more the merrier!
I have listed five different ways you can enjoy the benefits of playing games with a friend or friends without breaking the bank.
Please note that not all games available will be compatible with the options below so choose wisely.
1. Online and browser based game play
Online stores like Steam, GOG and Origin sometimes run sales and promotions where games are heavily discounted or even offered for free. After purchasing these games, build a library and then share them with family and friends.
Adobe player and other modern browsers can also be used for free to play PC games which you can also download for offline playing. You can play these games with a friend using the same computer or different computers over the internet.
2. Connecting using LAN
A Local Area Network (LAN) is one of the oldest and most efficient connectivity. If for whatever reason, you and your friends need to work offline, you can connect two or more computers using a LAN cable, a router or a workgroup switch. Using LAN is good for gaming because since you are working offline, the speed of the game is irrelevant.
A LAN usually requires physical proximity but if your friends are far from your location, you can create a virtual LAN with Evolve which can be downloaded to your computer.
3. Use VPN to connect with a friend
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a secure and private software that will allows you to share large files with a connected friend. This is done by tunneling packets online to create the effect of being on the same LAN even though you can be far apart.
The downside of using a VPN to connect with friends is that the speed is comparably slow and as a result of packet tunneling, there is additional overhead.
4. Using cloud services
Cloud based gaming services are now the rage and anyone can join to play games with friends wherever they are in the world. This is easy to set up and use and you have access to extra storage space on most cloud services. However, your friends will need internet connection to enable access and syncing of the files you’ll have shared on the cloud.
If you have an account with a file hosting service like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Onedrive, then you can invite your pals to access the files stored there.
This option is slower than LAN and VPN but is generally faster than many host websites.
5. Connect using torrents
Using torrents is a popular way to share files online cheaply. Torrented games are pirated versions of popular games which can be obtained through various websites without paying the amount that is required for the original game. However, installing a torrented version of a game is technical and might require more expertise than the usual. Some torrented games provide LAN support and therefore can be played offline but most require an internet connection.
After downloading your torrent file, you should be seeding it, which allows your peers to access the game with you. Seeding on most torrent sites is automatic unless you disable it.