Best free simulation games for 2023

Image of a soldier wielding a scythe in Conqueror's Blade.

Like your video games a bit more realistic? If so, you'll love our list of the best free simulation games. From military simulators that let you command your own army to bona fide life simulators, we've got all types of sim game ready for you in this handy list.

We'll run through a few choices from the vast range of free simulation games on the market, ensuring there's something for all kinds of gamers. Hopefully, you'll be left with something new to try out. Even better, none of these games will cost you a penny to play, so you can try them out, chopping and changing as you please.

Here are the best free simulation games

World of Tanks

Image of two tanks in a forest in World of Tanks.
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World of Tanks is one of the longest-running military simulators on the market, and is the go-to if you prefer vehicular combat. With over 600 tanks to choose from, the roster spans modern-day military hardware as well as the vehicles used in historical conflicts. You'll definitely be able to find one to suit your style.

Matches are sprawling and action-packed too, with up to thirty tanks battling at once in the largest game modes. If you grow tired of individual matches though, you can dive into the Clan Wars mode to team up with friends for more expansive gameplay. You'll have to defend your clan strongholds from other organisations, forming quite the rivalry as you go. It's been popular since 2010 for good reason, and World of Tanks is just as gripping today as it has ever been.

Conqueror's Blade

Image of a sword-wielding knight marching into battle in Conqueror's Blade.
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Our first choice is Conqueror's Blade, a fantasy MMO that lets you live out your medieval combat fantasies. The gameplay emphasis is on real-time tactical decisions and sharp decision-making, reacting to the changing tides of battle. It aims to be as faithful to the time period as possible, with units ranging from spear-wielding soldiers to archers laying down covering fire.

It may not be the most welcoming to newcomers, but the Training Camp mode is the perfect place for rookies to learn the basics against AI opponents. You can test out the range of units and experiment with combinations between big hitters and more nimble, ranged units. The battlefield really is your oyster in Conqueror's Blade, and there aren't many better military simulators out there.

Star Conflict

Image of a spaceship above an urban city in Star Conflict.
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Star Conflict is on the complete other end of the spectrum: a military simulator taking place in the far-flung reaches of futuristic galaxies. About to celebrate its tenth anniversary, Star Conflict takes place in a huge intergalactic open world, where you build and customise your own ship from the ground up to participate in PvP and PvE battles. You can have up to 32 players in a fight at any given time, leading to some extensive skirmishes.

It's a deep simulator of this sci-fi-inflected war too, with an Open Space world playing host to Invasion. This mode lets you team up with other players in real-time strategic battles, as you spend hours scoping out certain checkpoints, planning your attack, and wiping out rival factions in the meantime. It's as close to real-life military tactics as you'll get in a sci-fi game, making Star Conflict more than worth trying out.


Image of the player choosing the modelling career in BitLife.
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BitLife is very different to the other free simulation games on this list: more than anything, it's a callback to the classic text-based simulators of years gone by. Rather than any especially interactive gameplay, you instead face a different scenario in each year of your character's life, determining the action they'll take. These repercussions can have a vast impact on your character, and discovering all of those possibilities provides hours of fun.

Whether you're born into royalty and spend your life on holiday or choose a life of organised crime, the options in BitLife are truly staggering. Pretty much every occupation, activity, location, or moral quandary is on offer, and you'll easily lose yourself in crafting detailed bloodlines and feisty tales for yourself. No other free simulation game offers quite this much freedom.

Euro Truck Simulator 2022

Image of a truck driving a country road in Euro Truck Simulator 2022.
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If you've ever wanted to live out your dreams of being a truck driver, embarking on long-haul journeys and handling complex vehicles, then Euro Truck Simulator 2022 is for you. Rather than only focusing on set courses and trips, this free simulation game places you in the midst of a vast open world where you're able to drive to wherever you like. All sorts of biomes are found within, ranging from dusty deserts to packed metropolitan cities, testing your ability to adapt to different environments.

But the driving is what makes it so engaging, with realistic handling and weight physics to add to the challenge. Driving an eighteen-wheeler should never be as easy as zipping around in a supercar, and Euro Truck Simulator 2022 ensures that's never the case. Combine that open-world trucking with some intense heavy races, and you've got a driving simulator unlike any other.

That's it for our list of the best free simulation games! If it's real-to-life simulators you're after, in all sorts of genres, you should have something new to check out by now. While you're here, feel free to also take a look at our picks of the best free strategy games for some equally realistic military games.

If you liked this list and want to grab some other free games, you're in luck! We've got a breakdown of the best free FPS games, as well as the best free action games for some high-octane thrills. For something more atmospheric and nerve-racking, our picks of the best free horror games should do the trick.

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