7 Best FREE Roguelike Games to Play in 2024

Hand-picked for you by a lifelong gamer!

In this article, we’re going to discuss the 7 best free roguelike games that are available today.

Although there are technically some differences between rougelite and roguelike games, to keep things simple, we’ll be referring to all games in this article as roguelikes.

In general, we’re talking about RPG games with perma death or procedural generation, where you learn mechanics and/or unlock account progression over time in hopes of extending your runs and making it to the end.

Lucky for those of us who love this genre, there are a lot of great free games available. Be aware, however, that some of these games have both free and paid versions. Don’t be surprised if you see one of them for sale, and instead, just look elsewhere if you want the free version.

Additionally, if you like a game, we always encourage you to pick up the paid version or donate to the developer so they can keep making the games you love.



7. Outpost

Outpost

Outpost is a game developed by Open Mid Interactive that combines roguelike, survival, and tower defense gameplay elements.

Each run in Outpost starts with a randomly generated environment. The game has seasons, so it’ll be either Summer, Fall, Spring, or Winter, and you’ll need to adapt accordingly as each season is different.

One example of this is that days are shorter in the wintertime season. Each season also has its own unique content and unlockable set of features. 

In this game, you’ll collect resources during the day to build up your base defenses in an attempt to survive through the night. Each time you end a run, you’ll earn experience that goes toward unlocking survival talents. There are over 100 talents in the game, so you’ll have to choose carefully. 

Outpost is a fun mix of genres, and although it isn’t perfect, is surprisingly good for a free-to-play game. This game has a lot of potential, and I’m interested to see how it lives up to that potential over time.

There are other games out there named “Outpost”, so make sure you find the one by Open Mid Interactive if you want to check this one out. It is currently available for free download from the Steam store.



6. Shattered Pixel Dungeon

Shattered Pixel Dungeon 

Shattered Pixel Dungeon is a free-to-play traditional roguelike dungeon crawler RPG by developer Shattered Pixel.

The game is based on the open-source code of Pixel Dungeon by Watabou and has been in development since 2014. It is still updated every few months with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

The game has all the original core elements of a roguelike, such as turn-based combat and procedurally generated dungeons. You can go exploring the dungeon as one of five unlockable classes.

The Warrior and Duelist specialize in close-range combat, while the Rogue and Huntress use ranged attacks and stealth to their advantage. Lastly, you can play as a wizard and harness the arcane arts to burn down your enemies with a variety of different spells.

This game is challenging and doesn’t do much hand-holding as you play through and figure out how everything works. If you like classic roguelikes, you’ll probably see that as a positive aspect.

Shattered Pixel Dungeon has something of a cult following and has become a bit of a meme for being recommended so many times in Reddit comment threads.

It’s a game with a lot to explore and discover, such as different (hopefully not cursed) gear, enemies, environments, and a lot of replayability.



5. Rogue Glitch

Rogue Glitch 

Rogue Glitch is a brightly colored and free-to-play roguelike platformer by Lino Slahuschek.

Like a lot of games on this list, Rogue Glitch has a relatively small but dedicated following and currently has a ‘very positive’ review rating on Steam.

In this game, there are 120 items for you to collect and both single-player and multiplayer modes (the multiplayer mode is not included in the free version).

Levels in this game are procedurally generated, meaning that will change from one playthrough to the next. The graphics are charmingly simple, and the game has a focus on the precise controls of a platformer.

Don’t worry if you have a hard time getting a hang of the game at first because it is packed with different unlockable cosmetics, items, and characters. When you defeat bosses, they will drop Malbytes, which can be used to upgrade your character via powerful evolutions.

Rogue Glitch is worth the try if you like platformers and roguelikes. Better still, the multiplayer means that if you get the paid version, you can bring a friend.

Overall, the game’s reactive controls, unique and engaging art, unlockable content, and simple but enjoyable gameplay loop landed it on our list.



4. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is an open-source and community-developed roguelike game first released in 2006. It is a successor to the 1997 roguelike Linley’s Dungeon Crawl by Linley Henzell. 

When starting a new run, you get to choose from a large list of different races that are separated into three categories—simple, intermediate, and advanced—based on how challenging they are to play.

These races include common fantasy game standbys such as Halfing, Orc, Human, and Elf, but also have much less common player races such as Merfolk, Centaur, and Mummy.

You can even play as an “Octopode”, which, yes, is another name for Octopus. Each of these races possesses unique characteristics that will affect your play style. 

The game’s classes are separated into five main groups, such as Warrior, Mage, and Adventurer, with multiple subclasses of each. There are 24 subclasses in the game, including Summoner, Berserker, Huner, Artificer, and Fire Elementalist.

The class you pick determines what stats, items, and proficiencies your character will start with to take on monsters and traps of the dungeon.

Overall, the game is a well-made take on the classic roguelike formula with old-school pixel graphics. And we think that’s a good thing.

You get to hack and fireball your way through procedurally generated dungeons, caves, and orcish mines, upgrading your hero and their equipment until you die and try again.



3. Realm of the Mad God Exalt

Realm of the Mad God Exalt

Realm of the Mad God Exalt is a massively multiplayer online bullet hell roguelike created by Wild Shadow Studios. The game first launched in 2011 and has since been released for free download on Steam.

Realm of the Mad God Exalt has enjoyable 8-bit style graphics and an arcade feel. There are currently 18 unlockable classes in the game, including warrior, archer, sorcerer, and rouge.

Each class has a different, unique ability, and if this is your first time playing, you’ll probably want to start out unlocking classes to find out which is your favorite.

This is a great game to play with friends so that you have someone to watch your back and avoid getting taken out, therefore losing your progress, since the game does feature perma death.

You’ll level up, do dungeons, and collect weapons, rings, and other magical items to increase your character’s power and change their projectile types.

If you like arcade-style bullet hell and roguelike games, this is a great game to try. Its simple gameplay loop is addictive, and there is enough content and progression in the game to keep you and your friends interested through a weekend or two, even if you don’t end up as a devoted fan.



2. Muck

Muck

Muck is a multiplayer roguelike survival game that was released for free on Steam in 2021 by developer Dani. The game sits at a ‘very positive’ review rating on Steam after over 140,000 reviews.

The game’s graphics and general vibe are reminiscent of Minecraft, with brightly colored, somewhat blocky landscapes full of trees, meadows, and rivers.

To begin, you initially spawn in a random location on a procedurally generated island. From there, you’ll be smashing trees with a rock to harvest lumber and start making your first tools.

You’ll also want to pick up apples and mushrooms if you see them around so that you can eat them later when your character gets hungry.

At night, you’ll need to be prepared for waves of enemies like wolves, goblins, and ‘Dave’ trying to shorten your stay on the island.

Because of this, you’ll want to build a base as early as possible and use those precious daylight hours for harvesting materials and crafting weapons and armor for yourself.

How many enemies spawn each night depends on which of the three difficulties you play on ‘easy’, ‘normal’, or ‘gamer’. This is not an easy game, so you might want to work your way up unless you enjoy a challenge.

Muck takes the basic roguelike survival game formula, removes the grind, and speeds up everything. The outcome is quirky and imperfect but sure is fun to play and sits solidly at number two on our list.



1. Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors is a roguelike bullet hell video by developer Luca Galante. The game came out in 2022 to near unanimous praise and has since won many awards, including a Golden Joystick Award and the British Academy Games Award for Best Game.

The game’s basic premise couldn’t be more straightforward. You move around different tilesets while the game throws waves of monsters at you.

All the monsters act in essentially the same way, walking toward you and doing damage if they come into contact with your character.
Meanwhile, your abilities auto-aim and trigger themselves to destroy your pursuers. 

Where the game adds depth is in its unlockable content and progression. There are over 20 playable characters, and each starts with one of nearly 50 different upgradable weapons.

Every run, you can carry up to six different upgradable weapons or powers at a time, mixing and matching these to try different builds will keep you going back to try again.

When the current weapons and power combinations are fully upgraded together, you can unlock a super-powerful weapon evolution to vaporize the ever-expanding hordes of monsters.

After picking up this game, you’ll likely be thinking two things: A game this simple has no right being this much fun, and Where did the last two hours go? This makes Vampire Survivors an easy choice for the top spot on our list.



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