In this article, we’re going to discuss the 6 best free stealth games that are available to play in 2023.
Do you like games that have you sneaking around in dark hallways and climbing through vents to avoid detection? Or maybe you prefer to use a combination of tech-savvy workarounds and aggressive combat to get where you’re going.
Even if you already blew your gaming budget for the month or you’re just looking to try something new – we’ve got you covered.
This list has short and sweet single-player games as well as party games to play online and with friends. There aren’t a lot of free stealth games out there, but we’ve rounded up six that we think deserve some attention.
These games are great reminders that it doesn’t take a large budget or a complex idea to make a game that’s fun, imaginative, and might even surprise you.
Project Exhibited is a first-person action stealth game by developer Team Thieves. The game was released in 2020 and is available free to download on the Steam store and currently holds a very positive review ranking.
As with the other single-player games on our list, Project Exhibited doesn’t take long to complete. At a time when games as a service are becoming more and more common, we don’t consider that a bad thing. It’s refreshing to have a game you can download for free and complete in part of an evening.
You play as Dana, who is a thief and an inventor sneaking into a palazzo to steal art from a private collection. Aside from the ability to crouch, run and climb, the main tool at your disposal is a glove with the ability to shock guards unconscious and fry security cameras.
The game scores you based on how stealthy or aggressive your playthrough among other metrics. While this feature doesn’t add too much to the game overall, it does allow any completionists interested in multiple playthroughs a few different objectives to target along the way, which is a nice touch.
Project Exhibited is a straightforward and simple stealth game for those looking for a quick introduction to the genre or hoping for a no-cost way to sneak away for an hour or two.
Play on: PC
Shadow Burglar is an action stealth game by developer Ghostly Productions. The game was released in 2015 and is available free to download on the Steam store and currently holds an overwhelmingly positive review ranking.
You play as Jean, who, after the death of her brother, is on a mission to steal back his lost paintings. The mechanics are mostly what you’d expect from a stealth game but with an original twist. You are able to shift into a spirit form in the dark shadows of the game’s noir setting. This means while in shadows you are undetectable.
You are also able to teleport from shadow to shadow in order to avoid being seen while walking through patches of light. You can even jump into the shadow of one of the patrolling guards or pull them into the spirit realm if they wander too far into a dark area.
The voice acting can be somewhat underwhelming at times, but the game makes up for it with its attractive bright-but-shadowy noir art style. Additionally, the comic book-style story scenes were well drawn and felt connected to the overall art and game setting.
Other than the occasional puzzle and stealth challenges, there are collectibles sprinkled throughout the game. These take the form of items personal to the game’s characters and often initiate dialogue between Jean and the mysterious entity that is giving her powers.
Overall this has the positive effect of making the collectibles feel relevant rather than random or forced.
Shadow Burglar is an enjoyable and stylish stealth game with some interesting mechanics and an eye-catching art style that keeps it interesting when the simplicity of the puzzles and the AI might otherwise slow it down.
Play on: PC
Of Guards And Thieves is an online multiplayer stealth game developed by Subvert Games and Polygon Moon. The game is in early access and is available free on the Steam store and currently holds a very positive review ranking.
This is a PvP game in which you play as either a thief or a guard. When you play as a guard, your goal is to protect six random objects from being stolen by the thief.
You make your way through dark rooms illuminating only a small space in front of you with a flashlight. This means you’ll have to keep moving in order to find the thief and guard the objects.
When you play as the thief, you are able to see in the dark, which helps you sneak around and avoid detection by the guards. Your goal is to steal one of the six objects the guards are protecting, and only the thief knows which object they are targeting.
Of Guards And Thieves also features multiple gameplay modes and user-made maps, so there is a lot of content for you to play through with friends or matched with other players online. There are also different classes, weapons, and gadgets that change up the gameplay and keep it fresh.
This is a simple concept with a lot of potential. Good luck, and enjoy trying to work out what tactics you’ll employ to outplay the competition and win the next round.
Play on: PC
High Entropy: Challenges is a first-person action-adventure stealth game by developer Álvaro García. The game was released in 2020 and is available free to download on the Steam store and currently holds an overwhelmingly positive review ranking.
The game has 15 levels that you are able to approach in different ways depending on your preferred playstyle. The game features classic stealth mechanics like (robot) guards patrolling hallways and responding to noises such as doors opening or the sound of breaking glass.
You can use this to your advantage by throwing objects to distract that guard while you sneak past. Crawling through vents is another way to get past guards and cameras undetected, but be careful of trip wires and explosives.
Furthermore, there are computers in the game that allow you to access doors, trip wires, and sentry turrets using a command line interface. This is a good option for those who may like to “hack” their way through the game’s levels.
If you get tired of sneaking around, you can also fight, using different weapons and explosives to take on the guards directly.
High Entropy: Challenges effective use of classic stealth mechanics, mixed with a player choice that allows different paths to level completion, makes it a sneaky good time and lands it at number 3 on our list.
Play on: PC
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is an adventure free-to-play stealth game by developer Crows Crows Crows. The game was released in 2015 and is available free to download on the Steam store and currently holds a very positive review ranking.
This is the sort of game that relies on you, the player, experiencing it for the first time without much foreknowledge. That means I don’t want to get into too many specific details.
So what can I talk about? This game is creative and fun, and it might even get a laugh or two out of you. The graphics are simple but endearing, and the story and the voice acting do a great job of drawing you in.
As a bonus, there are also some secrets and achievements that may bring you back for another playthrough. That’s really about all there is to say because I don’t want to spoil anything.
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist is short and funny and well worth your time and the price of admission.
It’s possible that it might be a stretch to call it a stealth game but has a “stealth” tag on Steam, and it’s fun and charming, so we’re going to look past that.
Play on: PC, Mac
Just Act Natural is a handmade stealth party game that was developed by Conor Garity and Liam Kerrigan. The game was released in 2021 and is available free to download on the Steam store and currently holds a very positive review ranking.
This is a party game meant for up to eight players with a simple but interesting concept. You take on the role of either a hider or the seeker, similar to a game of hide and go seek.
The twist is that the hiders are walking around in a group of NPCs, and the seekers don’t know which characters are player controlled.
Your goal as a hider is to play it cool and try to act as much like all the computer-controlled NPCs as possible. This means observing how they move and sticking with groups of NPCs when you can to avoid being singled out.
As the seeker, you have a birds-eye perspective on the map and shoot any characters you suspect of being controlled by your friends or another player to “tag” them. You have to be careful, though, as you lose points for shooting computer-controlled characters.
One of the most unique things about the game is that all the models for the characters and environment were hand sculpted in real life and then photographically scanned into the game. This gives the game a playful off-kilter aesthetic that adds to the fun.
There are a variety of different game modes and maps for you and your friends to play. Just Act Natural is a chaotic good time and is a great choice for a free party game to play with some friends, landing it our number one spot.
Play on: PC, Mac
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