Skip to content

Where to Get Games for Free Legally – The Ultimate Guide for Savvy Gamers

As an avid gamer, you love discovering new titles, but buying game after game starts to eat away at your wallet. You may often ask yourself: where can I find great games for free legally? Have no fear – there are tons of ways to build a free PC games library with little effort if you know the right sources.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll uncover all the best kept secrets to getting free games, so you can keep enjoying top titles without going broke. Whether you‘re on a tight budget, want to try before you buy, or just love scoring sweet deals, you‘ll learn where to find free gaming treasure troves.

Let‘s dive in and level up your savings!

An Abundance of Free Gaming Riches

Before we get to the juice, you may be wondering: why are there so many free games nowadays? Well, according to gaming industry analysts Newzoo, free-to-play games accounted for 80% of all global gaming revenue in 2019.

So how do game publishers make bank if they give games away? Primarily by offering in-game purchases for cosmetic items that don‘t affect gameplay. But titles like Fortnite have shown that free games can also boost sales of paid versions like Save the World.

For consumers like us, this shift has unlocked a golden age of free high-quality gaming. With some detective work, you can take full advantage.

Where Can I Actually Get Games Legally for Free?

Now that the big secret is out, let‘s outline the main sources to unlock this world of free gaming:

Epic Games Store – The Freebie Jackpot

Without a doubt, the Epic Games Store is every cheapskate gamer‘s paradise. They give away not just one, but two premium games for free each and every week – and they‘re yours to keep forever!

Past giveaways have included hits like GTA V, Civilization VI, Star Wars Battlefront II, and many more top-tier titles. According to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, Epic has given away over 765 million free games worth over $2,500 so far.

Claiming them is as easy as creating a free Epic account and clicking a button. Just check the store once a week and build up a killer library with zero spending.

Steam – The Old Reliable

As the giant of PC gaming, Steam also offers loads of free gaming goodness:

  • 130,000+ free-to-play games – These free multiplayer titles will suck away thousands of hours if you‘re not careful.

  • Demos galore – Try before you buy with prologues for upcoming releases.

  • Free weekends – Unlimited access to full games for 48-72 hours.

  • In-game items – DLCs, characters, skins and more freebies.

  • Permanently free games – A small but solid selection of free-to-play classics.

Steam‘s openness with demos and free weekends lets you extensively test games first. Just beware of falling into the "But it‘s free!" trap with some free-to-play titles.

All Key Stores Offer Deals

Besides Epic and Steam, almost every major store runs regular deals on free games:

  • EA Origin – Claim older Battlefield, Sims and other AAA games for free.

  • Ubisoft Connect – Grab the occasional free ubisoft game like Assassin‘s Creed II.

  • GOG – No DRM and a dose of retro classics.

So check all the major stores to catch temporary freebies before they expire. – Indie Treasure Trove is a hotspot for free indie experiments, game jams, and DIY titles. The quality varies wildly, but you can find plenty of hidden free gaming gems.

Giveaways Galore Beyond Stores

Outside of main game launchers, there are tons of ways to score free games if you know where to look:

  • Follow the r/FreeGameFindings subreddit to catch limited-time deals across all platforms, from AAA to indie.
  • Join gaming Discord servers – developers often provide keys and early access.
  • Check Twitch streams – free game drops are common during events and new releases.
  • Many indie devs put games temporarily free on for exposure. Wishlist them and check!
  • Enter contests and sweepstakes by studios like Logitech to win free game codes.
  • Sign up for developer newsletter emails – studios directly notify subscribers of promotions.
  • Check gaming sites around major releases for free game code giveaways.

Like a savvy garage sale shopper, check these sources frequently and pounce on deals before they‘re gone!

Free…With a Catch? Understanding Different Game Types

Not all free games are equal. Here‘s the lowdown on the major free and "free" game varieties:

Free-to-play (F2P) – No upfront cost, but features in-game purchases. Can be very affordable or crazy expensive depending on your self-control.

Time-limited free – Full free access for a short time, then must purchase. Great for extended demos.

Permanent free – 100% free for good. No strings attached.

Shareware demos – Free demos with features limited until you buy the full game.

Crippleware/"Freemium" – Free version is intentionally inconvenient until you pay to remove limitations.

"Free-to-wait" – Extremely long wait timers incentivize you to spend money to speed progress.

Watch out for crippleware and "free-to-wait" games that push you to pay up by overly restricting free users.

As long as you understand the limitations, most F2P games are very enjoyable for free. But know when to walk away if play feels too grating or pay-to-win.

Expert Tips for Maximizing Your Free Gaming

Now that you know where to look, here are my pro tips for scoring the most free games from these sources:

Wishlist upcoming free games – Wishlisting titles on Steam and Epic is the best way to get notified the second they go free.

Follow developers on social media – Studios will post free game deals directly to their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram accounts.

Claim weekly Epic and regular Steam sales – Don‘t miss the constant turnover of free games. Set reminders if needed.

Join gaming discords – Discord serves are the fastest way to catch temporary giveaways you‘d otherwise miss.

Actually play the games – Don‘t just mindlessly hoard. Download and try out the free stuff you claim.

Check game forums – You‘ll often find free beta keys and other offers in gaming forums you won‘t see elsewhere.

Put in the minor extra effort with these tips and you‘ll unlock far more free gaming treasure.

Free Games – Boon or Bane for Players?

While free games are great for your wallet, some may wonder – are there downsides? Let‘s dive into the pros and cons:


  • Try new genres risk-free.
  • Demo expensive titles before buying.
  • Enjoy premium games on a tight budget.
  • Less worry about buyers remorse.
  • Play alongside friends without purchasing.


  • Potentially get sucked into manipulative freemium/F2P systems.
  • Experience annoyances in crippleware demos.
  • Have to claim time limited deals when available.
  • Give up playing if you don‘t claim in time.
  • May overlook hidden costs in free games.

Overall, free games are an overwhelmingly good deal for gamers…if you avoid the dark patterns in some exploitative titles. Just stick to reputable studios and genres you already enjoy, and enjoy expanding your library.

Free Games FAQ

Let‘s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions on free gaming:

Are totally free games legal?

Yes, promotional giveaways from authorized stores are 100% legal. Just avoid sketchy sites.

Can I get banned or punished for claiming free games?

Nope, developers intend for you to claim their freebies. No worries.

Will I lose access to free games later?

Typically, no. Games labelled as permanently free or as giveaways are yours to keep.

Wouldn‘t it be easier to just pirate everything?

Illegal downloading carries huge risks of viruses, lawsuits, bans, fines and guilt. Avoid the dark side.

What‘s the catch? There must be a hidden downside!

Stores give away games hoping you‘ll like them enough to eventually buy sequels or in-game items. But you can enjoy 100% free if you wish.

Live Your Best Free Gaming Life

As you can see, you have all you need to revel in free gaming while avoiding shady practices. Follow the sources and tips in this guide, and you‘ll unlock more outstanding free entertainment than you could ever play.

Here‘s to keeping your wallet full and your Steam library even fuller. Game on!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.