Last Updated on May 30, 2016
Free to play PC games are getting all sorts of attention and for good reason – they’re actually getting to be some of the best games on the market!
Some free to play games are “pay to win” meaning that there are micro transactions that give players buffs that players that don’t pay would never be able to get.
Then there are other free to play games that don’t do this at all and their micro transactions are simply to make characters or items look awesome.
I know that there will be plenty more free to play games to release in the coming months and years, but here are five that don’t have “pay to win” and are actually super fun!
Team Fortress 2 Is An Obvious One
With well over 50,000 players online at a time, Team Fortress 2 is an obvious game to be including in a list of top free to play games on Steam.
It didn’t start as free to play but it’s a lot better this way for sure. Plenty of money is made with Steam and Valve with the market system of different weapon skins and hats that are available.
TF2 was the very first PC game that I played on my first build over 4 years ago. Seeing how smooth it ran and finally being apart of the “PC Master Race”… this game totally gave me that feeling!
I think that the greatest parts about PC gaming are the fact that we don’t have to pay to play online multiplayer and that there are golden gems of games that are 100% free to play like TF2.
You probably already know how it works so I’ll give a brief summary of the game. In TF2 you pick a class of a character ranging from a heavy weapons guy, a sniper, a run and gun shotgunner or a spy that can act as enemies and turn invisible.
There are different game modes to play such as payload or capture the flag. With the super large player base, getting into a match doesn’t take much time at all. Just a few minutes and you’ll find yourself in a match pretty easily.
Any loyal TF2 player would agree that the main “goal” of the game is to collect as many cool hats as you can. As you keep playing matches you have chances to unlock hats and weapon skins which can be used to make each character your own.
Some are goofy, some are really cool looking and some are extremely weird.
What I love most about this game is the humor and the overall atmosphere of the characters, they are hilarious and it’s a blast playing as them with other players. This is a definite must play, especially if you’ve never played it before!
Planetside 2 Is Still Going Strong
When this game first released, there was a ton of hype behind it and for good reason.
There are different continents you can play on with different environments. The maps are huge, like extremely huge. Each map can have up to 2,000 players each, 6,000 players in total can play on one server since you can teleport to the different continents.
This game is definitely a lot more complex than say Team Fortress 2 but if you’re a FPS fan and you’re looking for a RPG type of futuristic FPS then you should definitely look into trying out Planetside 2.
The game has a beautiful art style, there are tons of weapon customizations and there are still a ton of people playing. Last game I played just a few days ago there was a battle going on in an area where there were over 60 players on each side.
Yes, that basically means 60 vs 60 in one area of a continent. Tons of tanks, spawn vehicles and aerial battles all at the same time as the troops on foot.
There were similar battles going on in different areas and in the other continents as well. The whole point is to take over as much land as possible to win over the continent within the time limit.
The time limit can be hours long if a new opportunity to take a continent over has just started. Whoever owns the most land and has the most VP (victory points) at the end will have control of the continent giving the entire faction on the server a passive buff that lasts until the continent is open for being taken over again.
There has also been a pretty recent update that has been in the works for a long time now and that’s player-made bases. You can now collect resources and actually build your own huge bases similar to the ones that are already in the game.
This update is an absolute game changer and it’s so cool seeing what players are able to come up it. Now the fights can be in absolutely any area on a continent… it was the right move for Planetside 2 and the future looks pretty bright for this game!
I’m Always Playing Brawlhalla
Now straying away from the FPS genre, Brawlhalla is my #1 most played game in my Steam library right now.
I’m a huge fan Super Smash Brothers, I love having friends over to play on the same screen with Smash and I have some of the best memories with those games.
Brawlhalla took this type of game and made its own unique version of it. Just like in Smash Bros, you need to knock other players off of the arena and dominate them to the sides, top or bottom of the arena.
It’s a 2D fighting game and it’s different every single time that you play it. It’s easy to understand but takes a lot of time to really master.
There are a bunch of different characters to play as and every month the dev team releases a new character to buy. There are no “pay to win” mechanics at all and all of the characters are very well balanced. There’s no one specific character that is better than them all and that’s what I love most about this game.
The characters, or “legends”, are able to be played based on a rotation. Each week players are able to play as different legends in free for all, strikeout mode or in ranked matches.
You can buy legends with an in-game currency of coins which you get by playing in matches. The better you do in a match, the more coins you get.
You also level up each legend separately, unlocked more color choices to use with the legend and more experience points towards your overall account.
There is a 2nd currency called mammoth coins which you can use to buy different cosmetics. The cosmetics range from different skins for the legends, different KO effects and taunts.
I’ve put in quite a bit of money into mammoth coins because I really like how the skins look and I want this game to do very well so I feel great supporting it! When you buy a legend skin you also get two weapon skins to use with all legends that use the weapon.
You see, unlike in Smash Bros, each legend has two weapons that they can use. My favorite legend uses an axe and a lance so whenever I use a weapon pickup in-game I will get either one of those weapons randomly.
Every legend uses the same light attacks on the weapons but each legend has their own signature or “special” moves with the weapons. They also all have their own stats meaning that some have high defense so they take a bit more to KO whereas some are extremely fast with their weapons.
If you’re at all a fan of Smash Brothers or if you’re looking for a fun fighting game, you will not regret trying out Brawlhalla. The community is amazing and it’s my most played game right now with over 250 hours in!
Why Is Path of Exile Free?
I won’t spend too much time going in depth about this game because I’ve very recently written an overview of it so if you want to learn a lot more about the game, here’s a link to it!
Path of Exile is a free to play action RPG game and I really will never understand why it’s a free to play game.
It has so much content in the context of quests, loot and enemies that while playing it I’m constantly thinking that it’s a quality game that I paid money for.
There aren’t even any “pay to win” aspects to it which really surprised me. I was expecting the game to be 100% pay to win when I first got into it but the only things you can spend real money on are more stash slots and cosmetics for your character.
All of the weapons, skills, abilities and what not are all achieved by simply playing through the game. Completing quests, killing boss monsters and opening chests to find all of the best loot is what this game is all about.
There’s also a pretty cool PVP system to it and there are plenty of people playing in that area as well. You can get into a party with friends or other players to do quests together or to go through dungeons… there’s just so much to do!
If you’re an action RPG fan, games like Torchlight or Diablo… then you really need to give this game a try. If the devs were to randomly ask that people pay for the game, I’d pay whatever they asked.
I really don’t understand why it’s free to play, but since it is, you should definitely try it out!
Ark: Survival of the Fittest Is Nuts
I’ve recently been putting a good amount of hours into Ark: SOTF because I’m a fan of the “Hunger Games” ideology. Here’s a bunch of humans… only one person can survive. Here’s a bunch of supplies in the middle, now go and survive.
Oh, there’s also a bunch of dinosaurs and events we’ll throw your way for the heck of it.
That’s basically all that this game is. You get into a lobby, wait for the game to start and then it’s up to you from there on. In the middle of the spawn area are a bunch of supplies on the ground such as weapons, tool and armor. You can try to get some of those supplies or you can run the other way to avoid trouble.
Just like in the normal Ark game, Ark: Survival Evolved, you can craft different tools, gather resources, tame dinosaurs and build stuff.
The reason I play this so much is because I’ve been really enjoying the base game for quite a while now and the game just looks amazing. You’ll need a bit of a beefy PC to be able to run this game well on the higher settings but it’s so worth it when you see just how awesome the game looks.
If I’m playing in a free for all match I’ll usually go for the center after spawn to grab some arrows, tools and armor. Sometimes I’m able to get some food as well and it helps a lot down the road.
After I get my supplies I waste no time sprinting away and finding cover. The gather rate and experience rate is heavily increased in this game as compared to Survival Evolved so there really isn’t too much of a grind to anything.
You can hit a tree about 4 times with a hatchet and get over 100 wood which is plenty for crafting most of the necessary items.
Sometimes I die in the beginning because a player finds me laying on the ground trying to craft stuff and other times I win because I’ve tamed a T-Rex and a few Stegos. With all of the random events in the game and the different spawns of the dinos, every match played is entirely different.
Some players focus on crafting guns and other players focus on taming the biggest and meanest dinosaurs that they can. I usually only go for the good tames, but recently I’ve also been wanting to try and get into the gun crafting since the end-game can get pretty hard without good ranged weapons…
Ark: Survival of the Fittest is basically a Hunger Games style survival game with dinosaurs. It takes a while to get used to since there’s so much to it so you’ll be in and out of the wiki and different tutorial videos… but once you learn how this game is played and how it works you’ll definitely enjoy it, especially if you’re a fan of survival type games!
Free To Play Can Be Awesome
The above games are all free to play games that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that aren’t filled with hackers and “pay to win” mechanics.
Free to play games can be some of the best games ever, but the opposite is also true. I’ve played some free to play games that are just horrible.
So, are you going to be trying out any of these games with your build?
Have you played any other free to play games?
Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Hey there! 👋 I’m Colton, founder of PC Builds On A Budget.
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