Whether you’re hosting a holiday get-together or throwing an epic birthday bash, the most daunting part for most planners is finding party games that are entertaining and not corny. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on new board games either (although there are a few awesome ones on this list). From icebreakers to card games, embarrassing activities to drinking games, we have gathered the best party games to play with friends!
50+ Activities for Friends
Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition is the perfect book to share with your besties! With 50+ hidden challenges, tear-out surprises, and interactive elements, this scratch-off book is sure to bring you and your friends closer. Enjoy creating, exploring, cooking, learning, and even spreading joy as you move through your tasks, guided by a handy key. With every turn of a page, a new adventure awaits!
Finding The Best Party Games
Having a couple of fun party games handy can keep the kiddos out of your hair, add a little laughter to the night, and help any of your conversationally impaired guests loosen up a bit. Games can serve as a great icebreaker to help people relax and come out of their shells a bit. When looking for the right games for your shindig, keep these points in mind!
A good party planner thinks about their guests. Is this a gathering for work colleagues, your close family members, or your raunchiest friends? Games should be tailored to the crowd. Think about interests, sense of humor, and age when picking games. While Cards Against Humanity is hilarious and fun for a night of drinking with your besties, you might not want to play it with grandma (or you might… depending on how feisty your granny is)!
Quick and Easy
Simple games are the most effective. If it takes thirty minutes to explain the rules, everyone is bored and disinterested by the time the game starts. Stick to games that are idiot-proof and easy to join in (even if you’re a bit tipsy). This is especially important if your clan doesn’t know each other that well or includes some introverted folks. Games should be low-key and not put too much pressure on those who are already socially uncomfortable.
Getting people to join the game can be difficult at first. You may start the game with three players, and end with a large group as people loosen up and join the fun. Games that can easily add new members after a round are best for large parties.
The Best Adult Party Games
Let’s get the party started with a few easy games to break the ice. Icebreakers are always a little uncomfortable at first but encourage your guests to see it through, and everyone will be laughing and conversing in no time!
1. Conversation Starters
Best for: Chill dinner parties or work events
Setup: Search online or choose your favorites from our huge list of interesting conversation starters. Write each question on a slip of paper or a Post-it note. Let each guest grab one from a bowl as the game begins, or hand them out when your guests arrive.
How to Play: It’s pretty easy! You sit down at the dinner table, or around the fire pit, and each player asks a question from the pile. Depending on the number of players, you can direct your questions to a particular person, or have everyone answer each question. These questions aren’t random, though they may seem so. They are expertly crafted to get people thinking, deepen bonds, and encourage interesting dialogue. Once everybody knows each other a little better, move on to that embarrassing games of charades.
2. One Word
Best for: Work parties, meetings, or large groups
Setup: Curate a list of questions that can be answered with just one word.
How to Play: While gathered together in a comfy space, you begin the game by instructing everyone that they can only answer your question with one word. This game forces introverts to participate and limits the talkers to only one word, preventing them from dominating the conversation. Questions can range from innocent and introductory to taboo, depending on your guests and their relationship with each other.
How do you feel being here tonight?
What was your first impression of your spouse?
What is one food you could eat every day?
What happened in your most embarrassing moment?
As the leader of the game, if you get an interesting answer, you can demand that the person explain further! To take the pressure off of you, you can give each player an “expander card” that they can use one time during the game to get more information from another player.
3. Tell Some Tall Tales
Best for: Creatives and tipsy friends
Setup: Gather around a fire with some smores and a few fun friends. Prepare the opening three sentences of a funny or intriguing story. Your last sentence must be a one-word sentence that insinuates a plot twist, like “suddenly… ”
How to Play: You’ll open the game with your three sentences. After you drop the plot twist, the next person in line will add their three sentences, the last ending in “suddenly… ” The game proceeds around the circle as the tall tale grows longer and weirder! It’s always good for a few laughs, and you find out just how weird your friend’s thought processes are.
4. Two Truths and a Lie
This one is a classic, but it still works! You learn interesting facts about each other that you wouldn’t in normal conversation, and it’s just a lot of fun, with little to no preparation.
Best for: Works in pretty much any party situation.
Setup: Gather enough pens and paper for each member to write down their three items.
How to Play: Each player will write down three simple sentences or interesting facts about themselves. Two of the facts will be true, and the third one is a lie. Other players take turn guessing which one is a lie. The person who gets the most correct at the end of the game wins a little prize.
5. Envelope Confessions
Best for: Groups of less than 10.
Setup: Gather in a comfortable spot with snacks and drinks. You’ll need a place to write, so maybe around the dinner table. Each player gets two blank sheets of paper, one envelope, and a pen.
How to Play: Each player will write down five or ten facts about themselves and place their name at the bottom of the paper. Each list is placed in an empty envelope and added to the pile. The game leader will then shuffle envelopes, and read each list out loud. Players will use their second sheet of paper to guess which partygoer is represented by the list. Don’t guess out loud. Instead, write your guesses down, and the player who gets the most correct wins a prize at the end. If your guests don’t know each other well, this game is pretty easy, but if you’re playing with close friends or family, it gets tricky to think of facts about yourself that everyone won’t immediately know!
DIY House Party Games
In this section, we will tackle some easy games that you can play without purchasing anything!
6. VIP Trivia
Best for: birthday party, beach bash, or retirement party
Setup: Brainstorm 10-15 funny, raunchy, or embarrassing trivia questions for your party VIP (bride, birthday boy, retiree) to answer prior to starting the game. Each player will need a pen and paper. Make sure you have a bowl of snacks to go around and a fun playlist in the background to set a vibe!
How to Play: This DIY trivia game focuses on your guest of honor. You’ll give them the set of questions first. They will write down their answers on a numbered sheet of paper and keep it hidden. After the guest of honor has completed their part, you’ll read each question out loud and players will attempt to answer in the way they think the VIP answered. When everyone is finished, the VIP will read out the correct answers. The player who gets the most matching answers wins a prize. This is a great game for celebrating the awesomeness of your number-one guest!
Writer note: Careful with this one. It can cause a family feud. When we played this game for my husband’s 30th, a “mom” won the game, but it wasn’t his mom. It was his mother-in-law!
7. Hot Potato With a Twist
Best for: Slightly tipsy friends-you might need a little liquid courage for this one.
Setup: In a large bowl, write down several embarrassing actions on slips of paper. These can be adventurous feats, funny dance moves, or even “truth or dare” challenges. You also need a playlist of upbeat songs, a bean bag, pillow, or an actual potato works too!
How to Play: Turn the tables on this classic game with some hilarious dares. Gather in a circle and turn on the music. Players begin to toss the “potato” in a circle or haphazardly. Stop the music whenever you like, best if at random intervals. Whoever is holding the potato when the music stops must draw a piece of paper from the embarrassment bowl and answer the question or perform the action.
8. Stupid Human Tricks
Best for: work gatherings or laid-back game nights
Setup: Doesn’t require a thing except a comfy setting.
How to Play: This is one of the most simple and funniest party games out there. You really get to know some interesting things about your friends and family and the oddities of humanity in general. The premise is for each person to display their “stupid human trick” or special ability. Perhaps they can flip their eyelids inside out, are double-jointed, or can perfectly impersonate a donkey. If a player doesn’t have a stupid human trick, then they have to attempt to perform someone else’s, one of the group’s choosing, or draw a random trick to attempt out of a hat!
9. First Person Last Person
Best for: Groups that don’t know each other well.
Setup: Pen and paper for each pair.
How to Play: Line up your gamers in no particular order, facing forward. The first person in the line will pair up with the last person, and they will leave the line as new teammates. Proceed until you have paired everyone off into groups. From here, each pair will think of one thing that they have in common with each other and write it on a slip of paper with their names. The weirder and funnier the facts, the better! The slips will be collected in a hat or bowl and shuffled.
The game leader then reads the slips out loud but does not reveal the names. Each pair will attempt to guess which other team the fact belongs to by writing it down on their paper. After the last slip is read, the game leader will reread the slips and reveal who the facts belong to. The team that got the most correct guesses wins.
10. Signature Bingo
Best for: Large groups
Setup: The game leader will need to create and print a bingo chart with ten squares, 5×5. In each square, you’ll type a random act or talent, and leave space for a signature.
How to Play: Players will circulate the room looking for people who can complete the acts in any of the squares. Once they find someone who can, that person initials the square. The first player to get five signed squares in a row wins! To make it harder, each player can only sign another player’s card one time.
11. How’s Yours?
Best for: Any medium or large group, with the knowledge that answers can get a little off-key, depending on the personalities of your guests.
Setup: None at all
How to Play: One person will be “it.” That person leaves the room for a short period of time. While they are gone, the remainder of the group with converse and come up with a one-word, common object. This could be a body part, household appliance, article of clothing, etc. Once the group has decided on a word, bring back the guesser. Player one will then ask each player the question, “How’s Yours?” The player will answer with a one-word adjective. You continue through the question and answer session until player one figures out the answer. If you have a small group, you can make it easier by deciding on an agreed-upon category for your item before you send the player away.
Example: Let’s say your agreed-upon object is a toaster. One-word adjectives could be hot, electrifying, and dual.
12. Never Have I Ever
Best for: Close groups of family or friends-it tends to get past PG-13 pretty quickly.
Setup: The game can get intimate, so it’s important to have a comfortable environment. Put on some lower lighting and fun music, or set up around the fire pit.
How to Play: Most of you have probably played a form of this classic game. Player one kicks it off with that statement, “Never Have I Ever… ” followed by something random that they have never done like eating bugs, getting fired from a job, or hiring a stripper. If someone in the group has done that item, then they must hold up a finger. The first person to five fingers is either the winner or the first loser, depending on your preferred rules. You can decide to set some ground rules if you have young or more conservative guests at your party.
If you aren’t a super creative crew, you can buy an organized card game version of this old classic on Amazon.
Games That Will Make You Get Up and Move
It’s time to pick up the pace and increase the energy! Adding physical activity to a party can help people to get out of their heads and loosen up quicker. Plus, it can lead to some really epic falls, and people falling down is just funny… Oh, come on! You know it’s true!
13. Red Light, Green Light
Best for: A fun-loving crowd
Setup: You need a long, clear room or outdoor space.
How to Play: Players line up at the starting line, and when the caller shouts “green light,” they run, walk, or hop, depending on what rules they set. They must freeze when the caller shouts, “red light.” Anyone who doesn’t instantly freeze is eliminated or goes back to the start. The first person to reach the finish line is the winner.
Best for: Intimate groups
Setup: You need the Twister board game, or you could make your own by taping colored dots to the floor.
How to Play: The caller spins the wheel and gives whatever instruction the needle lands on to the rest of the group. It will be something like “right hand, blue.” All participants will find a blue dot to put their right hand on, and then you spin again. After just a few spins, players will be playfully entangled, and anyone who falls is out.
15. Heads Up!
Best for: Any group old enough to be familiar with world events and pop culture icons.
Setup: This game can be performed with the Heads Up app! or done with Post-Its. If you choose to make your own with Post-Its, you’ll need to create at least a full stack. You’ll write a person, animal, or activity on each note.
How to Play: With the app, the first player will hold up the phone to their forehead facing the group. A name of an animal, celebrity, or random activity will pop up. The group will act out the word to the best of their ability, kind of like charades, and player one will guess. Once they get it right, they move to the next one and see how many correct answers they can get in the set time limit. The player who gets the most answers wins. If you play with Post-Its, all the same rules apply, the person will just stick a Post-It to their forehead, toss it, and grab another until their time runs out.
16. I Need Someone
Best for: works best for larger groups of players that are healthy and mobile.
Setup: Set up a circle of chairs, one less than your number of players, similar to the classic game of musical chairs.
How to Play: One unlucky player stands in the center of the circle. Everyone else takes a seat. The Player will shout out “I Need Someone Who… ” followed by a random statement like “owns a dog,” “works in retail,” or “is wearing green.” Everyone in the circle who fits the description must get up from their chair and race to find a new one. Player one will also be racing for an empty chair. After the chaos, whoever is left without a chair becomes the next victim in the middle.
17. The Doo Doo Game
Best for: Groups of at least 10
Setup: You need a list of commonly known songs, written on slips of paper, one song title per slip. You can choose classic rock songs, popular kids’ songs, Christmas tunes, or even theme songs for TV shows. You also need a timer.
How to Play: Split your guests into two equal groups and set them at opposite ends of the room. The first team will choose a singer. That person will draw a song title from the bowl and start the timer. They are to sing the melody of the song, only using the word “doo.” Their team members attempt to guess the song title. Whoever gets it right becomes the next singer. If the player doesn’t know the song, they simply put it back in the hat and grab another. The process continues until the 2-minute timer goes out (or whatever amount of time you decide for your game). Count up how many songs they got right, and then move on to the second team and repeat. Whichever team gets the most songs within the time limit’s the winner. It might sound like a super simple game, but it’s absolutely hilarious.
The Best Card Games
There’s always Phase 10 to keep a group of card lovers happy, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out one of these fun card games instead. This section is all organized games, so aside from setting up a comfortable environment and purchasing the game, there’s absolutely no setup for you!
18. What Do You Meme?
Best for: Pop-culture gurus, group of at least 3 players
How to Play: Is your friend group chat just a long stream of funny memes? If so, this is the game for your crew! The premise is to create the funniest meme, and the rules resemble Cards Against Humanity. One player picks up a photo card and places it on the easel. The rest of the players will use their caption cards to create the funniest meme they can think of. Warning, the caption cards are usually pretty lewd, so again, might not want to be playing this one with your church group.
Best for: Groups of 3-10 who don’t mind getting a little intimate. This game usually gets lewd pretty quickly, and there’s a lot of screaming at one another!
How to Play: QUICKWITS is really simple (even in an inebriated state), so despite the name, even your dimwitted friends can join in on this one. One player flips over category cards from the deck, and as soon as a matching set appears, players will race to scream out the first thing that comes to mind and fits the category listed on the card. The first correct answer gets to keep the card, and the player with the most cards at the end of the deck wins. The catch is that each answer can only be used one time, so it gets harder as the game goes on.
20. Who Can Do It… A Party Game
Best for: Drunk folks or an extroverted crowd of at least 3 players.
How to Play: This card game is easy but terribly embarrassing. The 250 action cards are crafted to make you look like a fool. Player one draws an action card, and the rest of the group must act out the action on the card. It can be anything from “saying the same word in three languages” to “riding a mechanical bull.” Some are funny. Some are intellectual, and others are just plain ridiculous. After each player has acted out the card, player one will choose a winner for that round based on the performances.
21. Drunk, Stoned, or Stupid
Best for: friend groups, of more than 3 people, who are not easily offended.
How to Play: The game consists of 250 incriminating cards. Player one draws a card, and then each player states who they think that card best describes and why. After hearing the accusations, the player who drew the card ultimately decides which person in the group gets tagged with the card. The first player to collect 7 cards is the ultimate loser. This game works best if you have some dirt on your friends. You want to make sure they get pegged with that card, so feel free to drop the dish on their bad behavior. We cannot guarantee the continuation of your friendships after this game.
Ultimate Drinking Games
22. Double Double Drinking Trouble
Best for: Groups above 21 and hosts who don’t mind their friends crashing on the couch tonight.
Setup: You need a bottle of tequila, or your favorite shooting whiskey, and a pair of dice.
How to Play: Player one will roll the dice. If they roll varying numbers, then everyone is safe, and it goes to the next player in the circle. If they roll a double, a person of their choice must take a shot. At any point, a player may refuse to take the shot, but if they do, they will have to perform a dare of the dice roller’s choice. Somebody is going to end up drunk or naked on this one, so have the camera ready and maybe some of those hangover goodie bags!
23. Straight Face (or Else)
Best for: Creative, witty, and lewd friends of drinking age.
Setup: You need a few pens and plenty of scraps of paper.
How to Play: Have each player write down the most absurd sentences they can think of on a slip of paper. These can be totally raunchy, filled with difficult-to-pronounce words, or just completely off-the-wall. They don’t need to make sense. They just need to be surprising or funny. Collect all the scraps into a bag. You’ll take turns drawing a scrap from the bag. The drawer has to immediately read the paper out loud and try to keep a straight face. If they laugh or smile during the reading, they must take a shot. With the right group of friends, this is probably the funniest game on the list.
Best for: Large parties with lots of mingling.
Setup: You’ll need to designate a person, or a few people, to be “Mr. or Mrs. Freeze.”
How to Play: As you go about your evening, your designated “Mr. Freeze” will take random opportunities to stop what he or she is doing and go cold. Everyone else must freeze as well, and the last person to do so must take a shot of the special holiday punch!
25. Kings With a Pop
Best for: Beer drinkers
Setup: You need several cans of cold beer and a deck of regular playing cards.
How to Play: Kings is a classic drinking game, but it’s a ton of fun for a large group. Place a can of beer in the center of a table, surrounded by a shuffled deck of cards, all spread out. Each card in the deck corresponds with a drinking action. Each player draws a card and then everyone performs the action associated with that card. The player then carefully places the card under the tab of the beer can. The game continues, cards piling up under the tab until an unlucky (or lucky) player pops the beer open has to drink it down, and a new game begins.
Get your game on!
That’s it, guys! Hopefully, you found something in this list that will work for your party. If you have a party game that you and your friends love, drop it in the comment for us. Make sure to snag your copy of Adventures From Scratch: Friends Edition to keep you and your entertained year-round! For more great ideas, check out our list of “Fun Board Games to Play With Friends.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Need a fun game to play with your adult friends? Try the card game “QUICKWITS,” the drinking game of “Kings,” or a rousing rendition of “Never Have I Ever”!
Get creative for your next gathering! Create some DIY party games for friends. With options like “Double Double, Drinking Trouble,” “How’s Yours?”, and “The Doo Doo Game,” how could you go wrong?
If you want to do something new and exciting with your friends, check out Adventures From Scratch by Let’s Roam! The “Friends Edition” is loaded with 50+ challenges that you and your crew will love!