Getting everyone involved in a big group game can be extremely rewarding, not to mention the perfect way to break the ice no matter the age group.
Whether you’re in charge of a group of kids, trying to make friends when you first start college, or if your work has placed you in charge of team bonding, there are many games you can play.
If you’re someone who needs ideas for games in basically any scenario then we should have you covered with our list of 50 big group games.
Big Group Games for Young Kids
STUCK IN THE MUD
Game Objective: Similar to tag, divide players into teams with one team being the ‘taggers’ and the other avoiding getting tagged. The Stuck in the Mud game has different goals depending on the team. Either tag other players to get them stuck in the mud or avoid being stuck within the time limit.
Why it’s Fun: Stuck in the Mud is a great way to let kids run around with a goal in mind. It encourages forward-thinking and teamwork too.
WATER BALLOON TOSS GAME
Game Objective: An extremely simple but fun game. Simply divide participants up into teams, with the winning team being the ones who have a player who avoids getting wet. The Water Balloon Toss game has similar rules to dodgeball.
Why it’s Fun: This game is ideal for large groups of kids at a picnic or a barbeque, especially on a hot sunny day. Encourage kids to work together to become the winning team.
Buy it: For any successful Water Balloon game, you’ll need some water balloons of course. Prextex sells a set of water balloons that comes with enough to last several games.
FRUIT SALAD GAME
Game Objective: The Fruit Salad game is similar to musical chairs, although it doesn’t require any music to play. Have all children sit in a circle with a player in the middle without a chair. Assign each child a different fruit, and when you call that fruit out the players all run to another chair. The player caught in the middle is out. Shout out ‘Fruit Salad’ to have all participants have to swap chairs.
Why it’s Fun: Fruit Salad is a simple game to set up and explain, with the added bonus that kids will love playing it too. If you’re a teacher looking for an end of day activity, this could be the game for you.
EGG DROP GAME
Game Objective: Build a contraption that is able to stop an egg from breaking from a great height. The Egg Drop game enables players to utilize different equipment and think outside the box to come up with a device that may protect an egg.
Why it’s Fun: The Egg Drop game can be extremely satisfying for kids to see the results of what they’ve managed to build. The game is also for adults too.
THE UM, AH GAME
Game Objective: Split all participants up into around 4 teams. The aim of the game is to avoid using ‘filler’ words such as ‘um, ah’ etc. Announce a topic and then give teams a minute to prepare. Have the teams nominate one person per topic and see who can talk the longest, with the person who talks the longest gaining a point for their team.
Why it’s Fun: The Um, Ah game is definitely one that appears much more simple than it is. It also has the added benefit of making the participants really think about how they speak.
Game Objective: Walrus is a word game in which a player has to guess the masked word by the group and replace it with the word ‘Walrus’. The player who’s guessing then asks questions, with the other players answering by replacing the hidden word. Set a maximum limit of 20 questions to identify the hidden word.
Why it’s Fun: Word games in a big group are always great fun and it may surprise the participants and yourself to see who steps up to the challenge.
BOB, THE WEASEL
Game Objective: Have the group who’s playing all sit in a circle and designate one player to be ‘Bob’. Have the rest of the players discreetly pass an object behind their backs around the circle. ‘Bob’ should have their eyes closed for a minute whilst the object is being passed around. After the minute the circle should stop passing around the object and ‘Bob’ has to guess who has the object. If correct, the player holding the object becomes ‘Bob’ but if wrong then the current ‘Bob’ has to continue.
Why it’s Fun: This game encourages participants to concentrate and try to read guilty faces to be successful. It will teach valuable skills such as reading other people’s body language.
Game Objective: Have 2 teams of equal numbers and mark out 2 areas of the designated playing field as the team zones. Get a whole bunch of different sized balls and distribute them out to both teams. Teams try to kick all the balls over to the opponent’s zone, and if they do so the team shout ‘All Over’ to signify their victory.
Why it’s Fun: An ideal game to play outdoors when the weather is hot. All Over is a game that encourages teamwork above all else.
DRAGON TAILS GAME
Game Objective: Get all players to line up and all link arms, forming the ‘Dragon’. The person on the far left of the chain is the dragon’s head and on the far right is the tail. The goal is for the ‘head’ to catch the ‘tail’ but everyone in-between has to stop the head. Once caught, rearrange the line so that there are a new head and tail.
Why it’s Fun: Dragons Tail is definitely a game where the more participants make the game more fun. It encourages critical thinking, although be very safety conscious if you do decide to play.
Game Objective: Have a large group of kids walk freely around the room. One person will at random ask the players to follow instructions made clear at the start of the game. Shout out ‘form molecules of 6’ so that 6 players need to link with one another. If you call ‘submarine molecule’ then players must lie down with a leg in the air. Drop anyone not in the correct number of molecules or last to follow instructions from the game.
Why it’s Fun: A group game with a science twist. Molecules is a good game to encourage kids to listen to instructions closely.
Big Group Games for Adults
Game Objective: Cutthroat Pool is an elimination game where the more people playing the better. Decide on the order of play with participants first of all. Mark all players out with 3 lives each, with everyone taking turns attempting to pot a ball. The goal is to be the last person standing but every time players take a shot where a ball isn’t potted the offending player loses a life. As soon as players lose all 3 lives, eliminate that player.
Why it’s Fun: This pool game can have unlimited players making it unique. It is also ideal if you place a friendly wager with your pals as well while playing.
Buy it: If you’re someone who owns their own pool table, consider this pool accessory set from Billiard depot.
BANK CUTTHROAT POOL
Game Objective: Adjust this 2 player game so that it’s played with a big group. Bank Pool rules are simple enough to increase the participants if played in a similar way to Cutthroat Pool. The rules of bank pools are that when every player pots, the shot must not without hitting the sides. Failure to do so means that a player loses a life.
Why it’s Fun: Bank Pool adds an extra degree of difficulty in proceeding when playing in a big group. Try it out if you’re finding regular Cutthroat Pool too easy.
Game Objective: Divide up participants into 2 teams, just like you would when playing regular cricket. The Cricket Dart rules are fairly complex but get easier once you start playing. Teams must ‘open’ a number before they can score and the goal is to be the team with the most points at the end of the game.
Why it’s Fun: Cricket Darts can be both a seriously competitive affair or a relaxed game to hone your skills depending on the mood of participants.
Buy it: No game of darts would be possible without a good quality dartboard to play with. Winmau makes a dartboard which fits the bill perfectly.
Game Objective: The Killer Darts game is just like the darts version of Cutthroat Pool. An elimination game. Participants have to hit their designated number before hitting other players’ numbers to remove them from the game. The goal is to hit your number to spell KILLER before you can start eliminating other players. The winner is the last player left standing at the end.
Why it’s Fun: KILLER is a surprisingly tactical game and you’ll definitely see some unlikely alliances formed between players in their bid to win.
Buy it: To be the best at KILLER it can’t hurt to have the right equipment. Try out this set from Grebarley to see if it helps improve your game.
AROUND THE CLOCK DARTS
Game Objective: A game that can have as many players as you see fit. Around the Clock darts is a game that is simple to learn but hard to master. Players try to hit the numbers on the dartboard in numerical order, forfeiting their turn once their number gets hit. The winning player is the one who hits all numbers including the bullseye and the outer ring of the bullseye first.
Why it’s Fun: Anyone can get involved in Around the Clock as it’s so simple to play. Adjust the game to make it harder by using the double or triple parts of the ring.
TUG OF WAR
Game Objective: A game that is fairly self-explanatory. Divide up teams into equal skill levels so that it’s fair, have them stand on opposite sides, and get them to pull a rope to see which team is strongest. If everyone is happy, you could even have both teams standing next to a muddy puddle!
Why it’s Fun: A classic Tug of War is ideal for team bonding activities, try it out at your next work team retreat.
CAPTURE THE FLAG
Game Objective: Another big group game that is self-explanatory. Divide all participants up into 2-4 teams and have different areas assigned as that team’s base. Place a flag in the middle that teams compete to move into their base. Have players ‘tag’ others so that they freeze for 30 seconds and have to drop the flag if holding it. The winning team is the one who has the flag at the end of the game.
Why it’s Fun: A game that encourages teamwork above all else. Capture the Flag will bring participants back to their childhood as they run around like loons.
Game Objective: Kickball with a Philly twist! Divide players up into two teams and follow standard kickball rules. Set up cones for the bases. To get players out, they need to get hit with the ball whilst running between the bases. A once a player manages to run past all the bases, then their team gets a point. Continue playing until all players are out. The highest score wins.
Why it’s Fun: An adult version of a traditional game of kickball, make sure that everyone follows the rules so that nobody gets hurt.
Buy it: You’ll need a kickball to play, and this one from WAKA is perfect.
RELATED: Kickball rules
Game Objective: Have all participants stand in the middle of a field or other area. Yell ‘Army’ out so all players run left and ‘Navy’ so all players run right. Shout‘Hit the Deck’ so all players lie down until they hear ‘All Clear’. Shouting out ‘Midway’ means all players run to the middle. Remove the last player to complete the instruction from the game until there is only one person remaining.
Why it’s Fun: The ultimate game that proves players stamina, Army/Navy can work on the fitness of your big group.
Game Objective: Trashball is like basketball, except you don’t need to be tall or athletic to play. Get two trash cans to act as the goals, and use any ball you can find. Have players work together as a team by passing the ball about to get the ball in the goal. Set a time limit and have the winners be the ones with the most points at the end.
Why it’s Fun: A game that is easier to play than standard basketball, you can even play in the office if you have enough space.
Big Group Games for Campers
Game Objective: Organise a list of things to gather, either hide items or think of things that you would find in the woods. Arrange the campers into pairs and give each pair a list of what to find. The winners are the first pair to successfully find all the necessary items.
Why it’s Fun: Scavenger Hunt is a classic camping activity that will keep the campers entertained for hours. Although you’ll need to do a fair amount of prep, you’ll find it worthwhile.
CATCH OR DON’T CATCH
Game Objective: Very similar to Simon Says except with a ball used instead. Have all players stand in a circle and have one player in the middle with the ball. The player in the middle needs to throw the ball at the other players whilst saying ‘Catch’ or ‘Don’t Catch’. If a player does the opposite of the instruction, then they are out until there is only one player left. If playing again, the winner gets to stand in the middle.
Why it’s Fun: A game that increases listening skills, it’s also a great way to get everyone involved with the game.
Game Objective: Divide all campers up into teams and decide which events you are going to host. You can do tug of war, swimming events, or even include the scavenger hunt. Award medals for the top 3 positions and track how each team does to see who is the ultimate winner of the camp Olympics.
Why it’s Fun: It’s the Olympics, but in Camp form! The greatest part about this game is that you can mix up the events based on the ages, weather, and location of the camp.
Game Objective: Have different films, songs, and objects written on slips of papers and put them in a bowl. Have campers select a random piece of paper from the bowl and perform charade clues so that others can guess what is on the piece of paper.
Why it’s Fun: Charades is a classic game that can be easily adapted to fit into a camp setting. Possibly not suited to younger campers due to difficulty, however.
Game Objective: Another game that requires a bit of preparation before the campers arrive. Use a bingo set to save time, and give each camper a bingo card that comes with the set. Call out each number so that the campers can mark off each number as they’re called individually. The winner is the camper who marks off their card first.
Why it’s Fun: A great game to play at the end of a busy day camping so that everyone can unwind. Have prizes for the winners of each game of bingo.
Buy it: Although it’s done manually, to save time consider buying this bingo set from Regal Games.
DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE
Game Objective: Have all campers except one sit around in a circle. The one who isn’t in the circle is ‘it’ and they walk around the circle tapping each participant on the head saying ‘duck, duck’. At random, they pick a player to be ‘goose’ and they both race to the space left in the circle. The camper who fails to sit down is ‘it’ next.
Why it’s Fun: Duck, Duck, Goose is a zero pressure game which gives younger campers some much-needed exercise. It’s fun with no pressure of competition.
Game Objective: A simple game where you at first set up a set of obstacles for the campers to race across. Next split up the campers into two teams, and have them race along the course. The winning teams
Why it’s Fun: The obstacle course that you set up is different depending on your creativity. The campers are sure to love the different courses that you’re able to come up with. You could even integrate it within the Camp Olympics as well!
MURDER IN THE DARK
Game Objective: Count how many players are in the game, and give every player a slip of paper. On one there should be the letter ‘D’ for the detective, and another one has ‘M’ for the murderer. The remaining players have a blank piece of paper. Everyone must keep their role a secret except the detective, and the camper with ‘M’ winks at players to ‘murder’ them. The detective needs to discover who the murderer is before everyone is ‘killed’.
Why it’s Fun: Murder in the Dark is a game that teaches the campers to be attentive to detail. You might even get a laugh by encouraging players ‘murdered’ to have as dramatic death as possible.
PASS THE WATER
Game Objective: Divide up the campers into about 3 or 4 teams. Have them all stand in a single-file line with a cup each and a bucket at the start and end of the line. Set a timer of 2 minutes and have campers use their cups to move the water along the line by pouring the water into cups behind their heads. The winning team is the one who moves the most water to their end bucket.
Why it’s Fun: A team game that is perfect to play on particularly hot days. Try to avoid playing in not so warm weather if you didn’t want cold campers.
Game Objective: Noah’s Ark is a word game played with all campers sitting in a circle. The first camper says “I’m going on Noah’s Ark and I’m taking two aardvarks’’, while the next camper repeats and adds an animal by using the next letter along. See how far along the circle the campers go before they make a mistake.
Why it’s Fun: This is a game that can create great fun whilst also improving everyone’s listening skills. It’s always entertaining to see what animal campers say under pressure as well.
Big Group Games for College Students
Game Objective: Set up your cups in a triangle formation of 6 – 10 cups at opposite ends of the table. Fill each cup with some alcohol, but don’t go too overboard as you’ll be the one drinking it! The goal is to bounce a ping pong ball into your opponent’s cup so that they drink the contents. The winner is the player who manages to bounce a ball in every one of their opponent’s cups.
Why it’s Fun: If you’ve either ever gone to college or hung around with college students, you’re almost guaranteed to have played Beer Pong at some point. It’s also ideal to play in a big group so that everyone can join in.
Buy it: For a successful game of Beer Pong, it’s important to have the stereotypical red party cups to complete the look with this game.
RING OF FIRE
Game Objective: Avoid being the player who draws the last King in a standard 52 decks of cards. Place a cup in the middle of a table and surround the cup with a deck of cards faced down. Come up with different scenarios that occur when a certain card gets drawn, but always have the King be ‘pour some drink into the middle cup’. The player who draws the 4th King has to drink what’s in the cup.
Why it’s Fun: Ring of Fire is a game that is different every time you play. Think of new and unique rules and designate them to different cards for more entertaining results.
Game Objective: A standard game of Jenga, but with plenty of drinking involved too. Players take turns pulling out the Jenga blocks, and if successful they pick someone to drink part of their drink. The player who knocks over the Jenga pile has to do a forfeit, usually involving drinking alcohol.
Why it’s Fun: Jenga is more fun by adding an extra element of consequences to the game, making it more tense for everyone involved.
Buy it: Of course, to play Drinking Jenga, it would help to have an official Jenga set.
Game Objective: Umbrella follows similar rules to Jenga except uses glass and a deck of cards instead of a Jenga set. Rather than taking away blocks, however, the goal is to add cards on top of the glass with 2 edges off of the side. Before beginning, get everyone to add a bit of their drink to the middle glass. Go round the circle getting players to add cards on top. The loser is whoever knocks the cards off and their punishment is to drink what players pour into the glass in the middle.
Why it’s Fun: The budget version of Jenga, the fun that’s had is definitely not budget though. Try not to ruin the cards playing, however.
RELATED: The Umbrella game
FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
Game Objective: Friends and Enemies is another card game for a big group of college students. Shuffle the cards and deal them all out to participants. Go round in a circle, with each player picking a card from their pile and picking another player in the circle. Each card number represents how many seconds a player has to drink for. However, if another player has a card of the same value they can choose to save the nominated person. They can then pick another player, but the card numbers accumulate and can get quite high if people keep on saving their buddies!
Why it’s Fun: This is a game that can either make or break friendships. Make sure things don’t get too personal though.
Game Objective: Deal out all the cards to participants and make sure that they’re facedown at all times. Players have to start counting from 1 to 13 around the circle whilst turning over their cards to reveal what is on them. When you get to 13 the circle starts again at 1. If the player says the number which is also on their card, all players must yell ‘SNAP’ and slap their hands on the card pile. The one with their hands on the bottom of the pile keeps the cards. The winner is the person with all the cards at the end of the game.
Why it’s Fun: An adult version of the kid’s game of SNAP. Try to put in place a drinking element to keep everyone entertained.
AROUND THE WORLD
Game Objective: The premise of around the world is simple, correctly guess what is under each of the 4 cards. The first card players have to guess if it’s red or black. The second card, they guess if the number is higher or lower than the first. Players then guess whether the third is between the first 2 or not and finally they guess the suit of the fourth card. Players take as many sips of their drink that equals the card that they managed to get to if they get any wrong.
Why it’s Fun: Around the World is the big group game that can really get everyone involved due to how easy it is to understand and play.
Game Objective: Play this game if you and your pals are out in public or in the dorm rooms as random strangers are very important for this one. Start by deciding who is the first ‘Taskmaster’ by drawing cards – the highest number wins. The Taskmaster then sets a daring challenge for someone in the group, such as knocking on another room and asking for their underwear. If they refuse to do the task, they down their drink. Failure but attempting they drink half of it. Success means that they become the new Taskmaster and everyone else downs their drink.
Why it’s Fun: A game that turns strangers into friends, it may also surprise everyone at who in the group steps up and who can’t handle the pressure.
Game Objective: Stand everyone in a circle and begin by saying ‘Fuzzy Duck’ while the person to your left also says ‘Fuzzy Duck’ and so on. Randomly at points, players can say ‘Does He?’ where everything reverses. The game goes the other way round the circle and players have to start saying ‘Ducky Fuzz’ instead. Any hesitation or mistake players must do a shot of alcohol.
Why it’s Fun: Are you looking for a big group game that involves drinking but don’t have cards to hand? Fuzzy Duck is the ideal game as all you need is a group.
Game Objective: Piccolo is a game exactly like Hedbanz, except downloaded onto a smartphone. Piccolo is available on both Apple and Android devices. The game is trying to guess what is on the screen by solving the clues given by other players. Download the app and try it out!
Why it’s Fun: As it’s on your phone, Piccolo is available at any time, so you can play anywhere that you have your phone and your friends.
Big Group Games for Parties
THE CHOCOLATE GAME
Game Objective: Have all participants sit in a circle, with fancy dress costumes on a table next to some big bars of chocolates. Players have two dice that they roll to attempt to get 2 matching numbers. Once achieved, that player leaves the circle to put on 2 or 3 different items of fancy dress. They then proceed to use a knife and fork to cut squares out of the chocolate bar. They continue devouring the chocolate until someone else rolls a double. The game ends when the players finish the chocolate.
Why it’s Fun: This is a great big group game to play on Halloween, as dressing up is a key part of the game. There’s also no real point to the game other than to eat as much chocolate as possible!
Game Objective: A really simple party game that again is best played by kids at a Halloween party. Have players place a small-sized cookie on their forehead, and they have to eat it without using their hands. The winner is either the first to successfully eat their cookie or the person who eats the most.
Why it’s Fun: It’s hilarious watching players attempt to eat their cookie with their facial expressions. The kids playing get to eat a lot of cookies. What’s not to enjoy?
Game Objective: The Egg Toss game is pretty self-explanatory. Have all participants line up in two lines diagonal from one another. Get an egg and have the kid at the start throw the egg underarm to the person diagonal from them. If the egg cracks or breaks, the person who had to catch the egg gets removed from the game, but only if it was a fair throw. Otherwise, the thrower is out. Give a prize to the player who avoids getting an egg on their face.
Why it’s Fun: This game is an eggcellent way to get everyone involved in this game. Make sure you have enough eggs, and it’s a good idea to play outside as well.
Game Objective: It’s a classic Limbo game, and everyone should be aware of this game already. Put on some funky music, get everyone dancing in a line and start the limbo! Lower the bar every time somebody fails to make the limbo and knocks the bar off. Make sure players don’t fall onto their backs either as this is also a disqualification. The last person standing is the winner!
Why it’s Fun: Show off your flexible side to your friends. It’s also perfect for a Hawaiin theme party, complete with some fruity cocktails.
Buy it: Although you can use any long pole and two people, a proper Limbo set will make your party look professional.
NAME THAT TUNE
Game Objective: Name That Tune is a very simple game to play where all players need is a knowledge of music. Write down a whole bunch of songs on cards before the game begins and split participants up into 2 teams. One person on the team has to hum the song written on the card and their teammates need to guess what the song is. Make sure there are enough cards for all team members to have a go at humming.
Why it’s Fun: Name That Tune is so simple, especially trying to hear your friends re-enact some of your favorite tunes! If you or your friends aren’t comfortable humming then play the game with song intros from a smartphone.
Game Objective: Like Name That Tune, except Movies. Rather than having songs that players hum to, instead there is a clue to a move written on the cards. For example, a card may say ‘Caine, Doors Off’ which would refer to The Italian Job. Follow a similar points system to Name That Tune, with the winners being who has the most points at the end.
Why it’s Fun: It’s the same quick and easy gameplay that makes big group games so fun. With thousands of movies, there are plenty of potential questions and answers for movie buffs too.
Game Objective: The Celebrity version of Name That Tune and Movie ID that again follows the same rules. Have three clues to a celebrity written down on a card and have your team guess who it is. As always, points awarded for every correct answer with the highest-scoring team the winners.
Why it’s Fun: All the fun of the previous two games with a celebrity twist. Try to integrate all three together for one mega group game.
DROP A HINT
Game Objective: Try to guess the word written on the paper as quickly as possible. Divide players up into 2 teams, and have all players write objects down on a card for the other team. Have one person guessing, and a member of the team has to use one-word descriptions to describe the object. Point given for each correct answer, the highest score wins.
Why it’s Fun: Pressure is definitely the enemy in this game! And as the opposite team is writing down objects, it definitely makes things harder.
THE WOODEN SPOON
Game Objective: Players take turns guessing what is the odd one out in a list. So if the list was ‘Harry Potter Characters’ players have to pick out the characters in the list who aren’t in the Harry Potter series. The twist is that there could be any number of odd ones out within the list to keep players on their toes. Have a wooden spoon that a player has to hold if they get their list wrong.
Why it’s Fun: The Wooden Spoon is a game that really rewards the critical thinkers. Try to make the lists hard to give your guests a real challenge.
Game Objective: Players are all given a piece of paper and a pen. The game is very easy to play, all you need to do is name a category, and players have to name as many answers as possible. Players sit in a circle and the topic might be ‘European Countries’. Each player says how many of the categories they can name. The player to their right either raises the number to how many they can personally name or challenges the number. When challenged, if the player is successful they get the point. If the player is unsuccessful, then the person who challenges gets the point.
Why it’s Fun: The twist is the element of gambling that there is in Sporcle. Try to see if the player is bluffing about how many they can name or if they’re too overconfident in their abilities.
More Group Games Worth Playing
Hopefully we’ve given you some inspiration with our selection of big group games. Whatever scenario you’re in you’ve got a game that you can bust out to keep everyone entertained.
If you’re looking for more games catered to a smaller group of people, check out our Small Group Games guide.
Also check out some of our other Group Games: