If you’re looking to start playing games online, PC app Tabletop Simulator is a rich digital goldmine. There are tens of thousands of player-made Tabletop Simulator mods of some of the most popular board games that can be downloaded for free, plus official DLC that offers up full recreations of some of the best board games going.
While Tabletop Simulator isn’t as visually polished and user-friendly as dedicated board game apps, its strength is in its versatility; you can be playing a miniatures game such as Star Wars X-Wing one moment before jumping into a party game such as Codenames or loading up an epic strategy game such as Twilight Imperium or Advanced Civilization for an evening’s worth of brain-burning competition. You can even play dexterity games like Dicebreaker’s beloved crokinole and Jenga, host a virtual Dungeons & Dragons campaign - or have a round of mini golf if you really feel like it.
In fact, there are so many Tabletop Simulator mods it can be hard to know where to start if you’re new to the app. What makes this Catan worth playing over that Catan? Is scripted better than non-scripted? How do games with hidden information work?
To help you find your way to some of the best Tabletop Simulator mods on Steam Workshop, we’ve gathered together a mixture of quick games you can play in half an hour, beginner board games you might already know and bigger board games to tackle once you know your way around the app.
Best Tabletop Simulator mods
Tabletop Simulator mods aren’t just a way of playing popular board games you already know. The app is also used by tabletop publishers to playtest upcoming board game releases, meaning you can try out the latest hotness before it’s even out.
While a digital board game can never fully match up to the experience of playing with people in the same room, using Tabletop Simulator to play online with your friends can be a great way to try out a board game before you invest your cash and shelf space in a boxed copy.
Just be aware that many Tabletop Simulator mods don’t include the rulebook for the board game - and Tabletop Simulator as a whole generally relies on the players knowing the rules and moving the pieces themselves. This means that you and your friends will need to already know how to play, have a copy of the physical rulebook to hand or need to search the rulebook online in order to learn.
If you can get over the relatively minor hurdles, Tabletop Simulator mods are a convenient and budget-friendly way of taking your board game library into the digital world and try new games. To get your collection started, here are some of the best Tabletop Simulator mods you can download and play today.
An epic fantasy adventure
Gloomhaven is one of the biggest and best board games on the tabletop. It’s a sprawling fantasy tabletop RPG in a box, a legacy game where the world permanently changes in response to your decisions and a highly strategic co-op game where victory or failure comes down to mastering your unique character’s deck of cards and working with the rest of your adventuring party.
In other words, there’s a lot in Gloomhaven’s hefty coffee table-sized box besides the hundreds of tokens and cards, packages full of surprises, and miniatures. The Tabletop Simulator mod of the popular board game similarly comes stocked with a whole lot of stuff. There’s both the original game’s campaign - spanning dozens of scenarios and many, many hours - and the content from the Forgotten Circles expansion.
What’s more, the Gloomhaven Tabletop Simulator mod is fully scripted, making setup automated and managing health bars for the player characters and monsters alike. Every item from the board game has been recreated in code, from the starting character class miniatures to the classes and monsters unlocked as part of the game’s lengthy campaign. Despite being code and pixels on a screen, the mod also lets players apply stickers to the game board as they complete scenarios - just as they can with the real thing.
Playable in both co-op multiplayer and as a solo game, Gloomhaven in Tabletop Simulator has plenty to keep you playing with your friends (or by yourself) before its upcoming sequel, Frosthaven, finds its way onto tabletops both virtual and real.
2. Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Explore the depths of space in the sci-fi sandbox
One of the Tabletop Simulator mods released for the PC app as official DLC - meaning that the game’s creators have fully approved this digital adaptation - Xia: Legends of a Drift System brings the sci-fi sandbox to a whole new virtual galaxy.
In Xia, the players are space adventurers able to explore a solar system made up of randomised tiles, each depicting a planet, asteroid field or another landmark in the cosmos. The players blast their spaceships around in search of missions, which can lead them down the path of heroic space captain or nefarious interplanetary pirate.
Missions can see the players transporting goods between planets, hunting other players or NPC ships controlled by the game itself, and more. Completing quests, earning money and gathering fame can eventually see players gaining impressive new titles, purchasing bigger and better vessels - or even ending up on the wrong side of the law with a bounty on their head.
As a Tabletop Simulator mod, the freedom of Xia’s galaxy comes to life with animated visuals, sound effects and scripting that automates parts of the board game’s rules. That still won’t stop you from accidentally flying into the sun - but don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun.
3. Secret Hitler
Lie to your friends without being in the same room
Social deduction party games are perhaps a curious choice to play as Tabletop Simulator mods, as you might think that games about lying, deceiving and staring into your lifelong friend’s eyes while swearing that you are absolutely, 100%, certainly not the spy (before sabotaging the mission for the win moments later) might not be as intense and involving over the internet.
The fact is, Secret Hitler actually works really well as a Tabletop Simulator mod, despite the players not being in the same room together. Whether you’re using video chat, voice chat or Tabletop Simulator’s built-in text chat to accuse your friends of being fascists, the mod’s scripted gameplay can help handle the actual game rules - letting you focus on sniffing out the liars in the group or putting together your own porkies.
While Tabletop Simulator has tools for allowing players to be blindfolded - and therefore not see cards being passed around or other hidden information involved in social deduction games - the Secret Hitler mod makes dishing out secret roles automatic, as well as giving you a handy reminder of how many players belong to the liberal and facist factions and whether Secret Hitler himself is allowed to know the hidden fascists trying to get him into power.
4. The Quacks of Quedlinburg
Push your luck to brew a potion without going bang
The Quacks of Quedlingburg is one of the best board games of recent years, picking up the Kennerspiel des Jahres - Germany’s highly-regarded ‘Expert Game of the Year’ prize - in 2018.
Coming from the brain of designer Wolfgang Warsch - who also created inventive party game The Mind - Quacks of Quedlingburg is a game about pushing your luck to the brink as you brew a cauldron of questionable medicine.
Each turn, the players draw tokens from a bag to add to their personal player board. The further around the track they get, the more victory points they get - along with coins to purchase more tokens to chuck into their bag, changing the odds for future turns. But draw too many cherry bombs before choosing to stop and the whole thing will go up in smoke, leaving them forced to choose between points or prizes.
5. King of Tokyo
Roll dice and clash in the capital as colossal creatures
Richard Garfield may be best known for creating Magic: The Gathering, but the designer’s dice-chucking King of Tokyo has enjoyed a mighty reputation of its own.
Inspired by the likes of King Kong and Godzilla, King of Tokyo has the players embodying massive monsters scrapping over control of the Japanese city.
Each turn, the players roll dice to dish out damage to their rivals, heal their own wounds, gain victory points and charge up special abilities. The kaiju can move into one or two spots on the board (depending on the number of players) to rack up points every turn, but with the downside of being unable to recover health and becoming the target for all the other players.
Fast and furious, King of Tokyo is one of the best board games for simply having it out with your friends or family on the tabletop. Its comprehensive Tabletop Simulator mod is no different, throwing together more than a dozen characters from the original board game, its two expansions and promos released over the years.
6. Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition
Conquer the galaxy in the massive sci-fi strategy game
Twilight Imperium is a beast of a strategy board game, throwing players to the edges of a sci-fi universe and watching them scheme and strategise their way to galactic domination over the course of several hours. Matches of the board game are known to stretch on for up to 12 hours as the players’ alien races deal in trade, politics, diplomacy and space warfare.
The board game’s impressive scope and combination of epic empire-building and social player interaction have earned it a reputation as one of the best board games ever made by many fans. It also means that the game is a whopping presence in any player’s collection, requiring no shortage of shelf space, spare time and a full table of friends for the full experience.
The Twilight Imperium Tabletop Simulator mod recreates the game’s fourth edition in full, meaning you don’t need to worry about filling your kitchen table with plastic and cardboard - although you’ll still need to find the players and free hours to play.
Lay down tiles and meeples in the French countryside
Alongside the likes of Catan and Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne is a classic beginner game for newcomers looking to get into the tabletop hobby.
The tile-laying game has become a favourite for many players old and new, with the appeal of creating the French landscape from square landscape tiles and claiming it with meeple knights, robbers and farmers staying just as strong for over 15 years. As players place tiles, they’ll create fields, roads and cities worth points - but only if they manage to hold onto control.
The Tabletop Simulator mod for Carcassonne includes the original, with the added benefit of automated setup, rules and scoring via the mod’s scripting. The mod also packs in all of the game’s official expansions, from big releases such as Inns & Cathedrals to smaller add-ons such as The River.
8. Betrayal at House on the Hill
Explore a haunted house with your friends (and one traitor)
A horror B-movie in a box, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a favourite of the Dicebreaker team and many other tabletop gamers - and with good reason. It’s a rollicking, slightly daft horror board game that sees all of the players working together to explore a haunted mansion and discover its spooky inhabitants until one of the players inevitably becomes a traitor and turns against the group.
Betrayal’s switch from co-op game to one-versus-many fight for survival - the dozens of possible haunts include everything from trying to escape a hungry cat as tiny bite-sized humans to summoning mummies, killer plants and Frankenstein’s monster - has made it one of the best games for a memorable time with friends. The group starts out creating the house on the hill by exploring room tiles and triggering events, encountering spooky omens and discovering items, with each omen card bringing them closer to the reveal of the traitor.
The game’s Tabletop Simulator mod brings both the second edition of the original game and its expansion Widow’s Walk to the digital world, including 100 unique scenarios that can happen while you’re playing.
9. Dead of Winter
Survive the zombie apocalypse - and the traitor in your midst
The walking dead are outside, but there’s just as much danger among the living in Dead of Winter. In the popular semi-co-op board game, the players must search the post-apocalypse for the resources, weapons and items needed to survive together as a group. Except each member of the group also has their own personal objective to achieve in order to win - and that might involve putting their companions in danger or even turning on them completely.
The first in the Crossroads series, which continued with sci-fi adventure Gen7 and this year’s upcoming board game Forgotten Waters, Dead of Winter weaves a story into the challenge of enduring the end of the world with event cards that throw up challenges and twists.
Dead of Winter’s Tabletop Simulator mod brings the uneasy tension of the board game to the PC app, letting you play online with friends - with the added benefit that you can just mute them after revealing your true colours.
10. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game + Star Wars: Armada
Spaceship battles in a galaxy far, far away
X-Wings ripping through the vacuum of space as TIE Fighters weave around asteroids and send blaster shots and torpedoes sailing after them. Star Wars board game X-Wing brings the dogfights of the movies to the tabletop, letting players indulge their desires to become Luke Skywalker (or Wedge Antilles, the true hero of the original trilogy).
Each player creates a squad of ships belonging to the Rebel, Empire or Scum and Villainy factions. The ships can be customised with different pilots and loadouts before launching out onto the starfield. Each turn, the ships use movement templates to whizz around, needing to time their turns and measure their speed carefully to avoid crashing into obstacles or ending up lost in space. Techniques such as barrel rolls and loops keep the cat-and-mouse pursuit tight, needing to line up your shots before unleashing the killer blow.
While X-Wing keeps things close-knit and pacey, Star Wars: Armada blows up the scale of the space combat, focusing on the bigger vessels of the sci-fi series. It’s a similar but notably different experience, as hulking Star Destroyers drift around and the squadrons of X-Wing become teensy swarms to be swatted by the battleship-like bigguns.
Whether pacey dogfighting or epic tactics are your bag, both X-Wing and Armada are available as Tabletop Simulator mods, letting you try out the miniatures games with a full fleet of ships before investing in the real models.
11. Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game
Betray your crewmates as secret Cylons - or expose the hidden liars to survive
The Battlestar Galactica board game is a cult classic, held up by its fans as one of the best games about lying to your friends and one of the best TV or movie board games out there. The only problem? It’s been out of print for years, meaning you’ll either have to be lucky enough to find it at a reasonable price or cough up the dosh for one of the rare copies out there.
You can still give the hard-to-find board game a go in the digital realm thanks to a Tabletop Simulator mod that includes both the base game and all of its expansions.
Each player is either a human or Cylon, determined by a secret loyalty card at the start of the game. However, even those that begin the game human can later turn to the Cylon side, as sleeper agents activate halfway through each playthrough.
The humans are trying to make it to the safety of a planet by jumping their spaceship across the galaxy. Meanwhile, the treacherous Cylons must disrupt and hinder their plans, trying to keep their ulterior motives hidden or risk finding themselves locked in the brig or even sent off the ship.
The original deckbuilding card game
The original deckbuilder, Dominion still stands up today as deckbuilding at its most pure. Each player starts the game with a matching deck of cards, and spends the game using their gold to purchase and add cards to their individual stack, gradually making it unique and finding their own way to acquiring precious victory points.
Dominion in Tabletop Simulator embraces the card game’s many expansions and extensive list of cards, which players can use to customise their experience by choosing a selection of different actions for each playthrough.
The Tabletop Simulator mod comes with both editions of the core set, plus more than 10 expansions and a number of promo cards - meaning there’s no shortage of different card combinations to try out and build your next deck with.
13. Star Wars: Rebellion
Relive the original trilogy of movies in a tense game of Rebel hide-and-seek
There are plenty of Star Wars board games set in a galaxy far, far away. Most of them just give you the chance to tell your own story of Jedi, Sith, Rebels and the Empire, whether it’s firing up the controls of a spaceship in X-Wing, blasting Stormtroopers in dungeon-crawler Imperial Assault or going one-on-one in a lightsaber duel in two-player board game Star Wars: Destiny.
Sometimes, though, it’s nice to go back to the familiar stories of the Star Wars films. Star Wars: Rebellion does just that, giving you the chance to play through the action of the original trilogy of movies while telling your own version of events.
The sprawling strategy board game is essentially an interplanetary game of hide-and-seek, as one player controlling the Empire seeks out the Rebel base. Meanwhile, the Rebels must travel between planets, gathering support for the Alliance and recruiting familiar faces such as Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian to join Princess Leia and her forces. Each side has different abilities, and must make use of their asymmetric powers to claim victory.
The Tabletop Simulator mod includes both Rebellion and its Rise of the Empire expansion, which introduces characters and events based on Star Wars prequel story Rogue One, set before the opening of A New Hope. Both the original game and the expansion can be played.
Although the mod will let you play online with friends, you’ll still need a copy of the physical game. The mod includes everything except the game’s Rebel objective cards, which have been blacked out to encourage players to purchase the full board game.
Trade wood for sheep to take over the island
Catan: you’ve probably heard of it. It’s one of the most popular board games of the last 30 years - even Hollywood celebs are fans.
For the unfamiliar: in Catan, players gather and trade resources on an island, spending their wood, sheep, brick and more to build roads and settlements across the land and gather victory points. The more settlements you construct, the more resources you’re able to gather (as long as the die roll works out in your favour) and the more points you can amass. Watch out for that pesky thief, though.
If you’ve somehow let this classic pass you by, its Tabletop Simulator mod streamlines the game’s setup and scoring, making it easy to jump into. The mod includes the board game’s expansion for up to six people and the option to automatically generate a random board layout, as well as a custom themed table to play on to boot.
Aside from the extra players expansion, this Tabletop Simulator mod of Catan is just the base game, so it’s best suited to players looking for the vanilla experience. Other Tabletop Simulator mods add in the hit game’s many expansions, while there's the official digital option for those looking to play against AI opponents or on their mobile.
15. Merchants & Marauders
Pirate adventures on the high seas
Much like Xia: Legends of a Drift System, Merchants & Marauders hands players an open world to explore as they please. This time around, though, you’re not space pirates and adventurers but actual seadogs and sailors charting the seven seas in pursuit of fame and fortune.
Set during the Golden Age of Piracy, Merchants & Marauders hands each player a basic ship and sends them out into the Caribbean to make their name. The players can travel from port to port to trade goods, seek out rumours and complete missions, or even choose to turn to a life of piracy, attacking other vessels and earning ire among the different nations on the waves.
As the players earn gold and explore the oceans, they’ll be able to recruit new crew members, upgrade their ship and become a feared pirate captain or respected merchant - or something in-between. Whoever earns ten glory points first, through whatever means, wins the game and will go down in history as a legendary seafarer.
Merchants & Marauders’ Tabletop Simulator mod recreates the entertaining board game in full, as well as including the components from its Seas of Glory expansion, which introduces 11 interchangeable modules that can be combined in any number to vary up the experience.
With the physical version of Merchants & Marauders hard to find due to being out of print, its Tabletop Simulator mod is a convenient way to try a board game you might have to sail to the ends of the Earth to hunt down otherwise.
16. Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile
The next board game from the acclaimed creator of Root and Pax Pamir
Cole Wehrle has made a name for himself as one of the most celebrated board game designers of recent years, earning widespread acclaim for woodland warfare strategy game Root and historical masterpiece Pax Pamir: Second Edition - two of the best board games of the last decade.
There’s reason, then, to be excited about Wehrle’s next big project. Upcoming board game Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile is maybe the accomplished creator’s most ambitious tabletop design yet, promising a board game about struggling over power in an empire that remembers’ players past actions and decisions.
While different to legacy games such as Pandemic Legacy, which see players tearing up cards and applying permanent stickers, future playthroughs of Oath are similarly shaped by players’ actions during past games. Every new game of Oath is influenced by the one before it, with the game’s players gradually creating a unique history for the world and its inhabitants across multiple playthroughs.
Following a successful Kickstarter earlier this year, Oath publisher Leder Games has uploaded a playtest version of the upcoming board game as a Tabletop Simulator mod, giving interested players the chance to try the game for themselves before its full release next year. While the mod doesn’t feature the same level of ambitious history-making as the final version, it’s enough to give you a taste of what Wehrle has in store.
17. Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Lovecraftian living card game full of secrets and scares
A spin-off from the horror board game of the same name - with which it shares the Arkham Horror Files universe - Arkham Horror: The Card Game throws players into a number of scary adventures involving cultists, cosmic nightmares and the end of the world.
In the living card game, players’ investigators travel between locations to seek out clues to each scenario’s main mystery. Along the way, they’ll face monsters and enemies and risk both physical and mental wellbeing, needing to either flee or fight back using items and equipment they’ve found.
Since its release the co-op game has seen a number of expansions and extra scenarios released, each offering standalone challenges and forming part of longer story arcs.
As a Tabletop Simulator mod, the Arkham Horror LCG features the mythos packs, promo cards and campaigns released by publisher Fantasy Flight Games, plus more than 30 campaigns and scenarios created by fans of the game. Thanks to scripting, the scenarios’ setup is automated, meaning players can dive straight into the terror.