Horror game enthusiasts have benefited more than most from the meteoric rise of online gaming, as many of the most well-known titles and franchises in the genre started as free-to-play indie games. Since Flash games are no longer accessible, horror games on Steam have become one of the best venues for independent game developers to showcase their creations. This is primarily because of the platform’s enormous size.
As we discuss the best horror video games for Steam, get ready for the scare of your life. Put your headset on, turn out all the lights, and get ready. Since many of the most well-known titles and franchises in the horror gaming industry began as free-to-play indie games, horror game fans have benefited more than most from the explosive growth of online gaming. Since Flash games are no longer available, Steam has emerged as one of the best platforms for independent game developers to present their work. This is largely due to the platform’s immense size.
Of course, the best horror games provide much more than just blood and jump scares. As a result, while we have included some obvious choices like Outlast and Amnesia, you can also anticipate seeing games that employ a variety of strategies to quicken your heartbeat and cause you to perspire. People who are looking for the best affordable thrill are in the right place. Here are some of the top free-to-play horror games available on Steam.
Best Horror Games on Steam – Free to Play
Following is our best horror games recommendation to play on PC (Steam) with 11 Free-to-Play titles and 2 Paid ones.
After Hours may have a few minor flaws here and there, but what it lacks in polish it more than makes up for in atmospheric greatness. The careful planning, painstaking attention to detail, and outstanding use of sound that went into creating the game’s setting may make it feel unsettlingly creepy at times.
After Hours is a free-to-play horror game that is set in an abandoned hospital, just like many other similar games, the abandoned building must be explored and escaped from, and players must do so while dodging the unknown beast that lives inside. Those expecting to survive must practice stealth and stillness, but even then, nothing is assured.
In that regard, the game does a fantastic job of generating tension while also Alien Swarm, a top-down shooter developed by Valve, is still a blast to play despite being more than ten years old. Even more unusual for the free-to-play industry, the game offers cooperative multiplayer. Of course, given the size and reputation of the company, players shouldn’t be overly surprised by this. Unlike some of the other excellent free-to-play horror games on Steam, Alien Swarm doesn’t use jump scares or frightening graphics, but it can still be quite frightful as an alien swarm starts to close in around the player’s position.
In that regard, the game does a fantastic job of generating tension while also rewarding players with pleasurable power-ups and weapon drops. It’s worth a look if you’re looking for a solid horror shooter. The game includes cooperative multiplayer, which is even more uncommon for the free-to-play sector. Of course, players shouldn’t be particularly surprised by this considering the company’s size and reputation. Alien Swarm doesn’t use jump scares or horrific graphics, unlike some of the other fantastic free-to-play horror games on Steam, but it can still be rather frightful as an alien swarm begins to close in around the player’s position rewarding players with pleasurable power-ups and weapon drops. It’s worth a look if you’re looking for a solid horror shooter.
Although it might be argued that the point-and-click adventure genre never really went away in the first place, it has had a sort of rebirth in recent years. Alpha Polaris: A Horror Adventure Game, which was released right before Halloween in 2015, is a standout example of a post-2000 point-and-click adventure game that has a great plot, challenging puzzles, and art that fits the genre nicely.
This is a game that aims to shock its players through immersion, atmosphere, and tension, so those who are used to cheap thrills and jump scares will probably be let down. In that regard, it burns very slowly, but considering the meager resources made accessible to the Finnish firm that created it, it does so with a surprisingly bright blaze it. Lovecraftian horror fans will like this game immensely, but those who are afraid of polar bears may wish to pass on it.
At Home, Alone Final was in development for quite some time until the current version was released at the start of 2022, as the game’s name could imply. As a result, the game is ultimately much more scary than horrifying, but it still more than justifies its position in the top tier of the free-to-play horror game genre.
The game’s gloomy ideas and imagery are juxtaposed with some of the charming and vibrant art in a way that works amazingly well and amplifies the creepiness to absurdly high degrees. Although the translation is occasionally shaky and it starts a little slowly, neither of these issues detract from the overall experience and should be sufficient to diminish the game’s otherwise superior quality.
Cry of Fear is indisputably one of the best free-to-play games available and is one of the most well-known horror games of all time because of its distinctive fusion of Silent Hill and Half-Life. In addition to a co-op experience and a vibrant modding community that satisfies anyone who is left wanting more, the game provides a triple-A adjacent experience with an 8-hour campaign and several ending possibilities.
The otherworld from Silent Hill is used as the basis for the first-person survival shooter Cry of Fear. With few resources and unexpected terror lurking around every corner, the game does a good job of making the player feel helpless, even though the addition of heavier armament feels like it would damper the horror experience.
One of the most compelling free-to-play horror games on Steam is Dagon: by H. P. Lovecraft, which the game’s developers have called “a 3D narrative adventure in madness.” The majority of independent developers, especially those who create free-to-play games, could only dream of adding this functionality while the game is played in VR mode. It is one of many video games that draw inspiration from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and can be played with or without a VR headset, as the title might imply. The entire thing can be finished in less than 30 minutes, but because of the atmosphere it creates, gamers are likely to come back whenever they feel like taking another eerie boat ride.
Similar to Pac-Man in some ways, Dark Deception has horrifying monkey bellhops in place of all the ghosts and pink shards in place of the game’s little yellow balls. The enormous maze that players must cross is similarly terrifying, and the dilapidated hotel offers no hiding places for gamers to take cover and catch their breath. The fact that players must be vigilant throughout their whole gameplay may be what makes Dark Deception such a superb free-to-play horror game on Steam. Being chased by one of the evil monkeys only to find another blocking the way ahead is terrifying, as is realizing that one of them might be waiting nearby.
There is still a lot of fun to be found with this asymmetrical multiplayer game, even though some of the more recent updates to Deceit may have diminished the overall experience. The gameplay has been expertly balanced by developer Baseline such that playing as a survivor or one of the infected is just as enjoyable as the other. The game’s enigmatic location exudes a very menacing vibe, and the blackout intervals that mark the end of each zone truly ramp up the tension. Everything also happens exceedingly quickly, which makes it difficult for players to plan, especially when they encounter an infection in their terror state.
There is currently no information available on the precise release date of Dark Fracture, but if Dark Fracture: Prologue is any indication, it should rank among the top free-to-play horror games available on Steam that are in first-person. The prologue, which the creator refers to as a stand-alone game, is intended to give gamers a small preview of what to expect from the complete release. It performs a great job at establishing the main character Edward and guiding players into the shadowy corners of his troubled psyche while still having its own creepy story.
Ginkgo’s magic needle mechanic is highly inventive and significantly distinguishes it from some of its competing horror games on Steam. It also enables the creator to include some original puzzles, many of which need players to think creatively to solve them. But that is by no means the only positive aspect of the game. The game’s East Asian inspirations have a significant influence on the setting as well as providing a fair share of fantastical creatures. The sound design is also superb, but there are a few clunky errors here and there that detract from the overall experience. But perhaps this is to be expected for a free game.
No More Room in Hell, published on Halloween in 2011, is still receiving sporadic updates and holds up reasonably well. At first sight, it might appear to be just another zombie survival game, but it has a lot of personalities and is a lot of fun to play thanks to its eight-player co-op. The feeling one gets when they are encircled when low on ammo is generally unsettling, despite some people finding the art design to be a little too basic to be truly frightening. No More Room in Hell has a sequel in the works, so now is a wonderful time to check it out, if only to get ready for what’s coming up.
What makes Phasmophobia so wonderful that it has grown beyond a cult following since its Early Access release and continues to increase in popularity?
Even though Phasmophobia is primarily a horror game, you may consider it to be a cooperative detective game as you and up to three other detectives investigate a haunted site to determine what kind of ghost is spookily terrorizing the area before reporting back. To navigate the dark, congested hallways and eerily quiet rooms, you’ll need teamwork, your best detective hat, and stable nerves.
Your team must investigate the haunting using tools, including Ouija boards, a spirit box, a crucifix, and smudge sticks. Tasks include taking a picture of muddy water or questioning the ghost. But be careful—all your probing will probably frighten the ghost, and you don’t want to be there when it starts looking for prey.
Exodus Metro (Paid)
In one tempting post-apocalyptic slice of Russia, Metro Exodus has a variety of games: it’s an FPS with a heavy metal soundtrack, a la Wolfenstein as well as a story-focused family drama. On the way to the thrilling Metro Exodus conclusion, there are numerous spine-tingling horror game segments.
Exodus Metro In one tempting post-apocalyptic slice of Russia, Metro Exodus has various games: an FPS with a heavy metal soundtrack, a la Wolfenstein, and a story-focused family drama. On the way to the thrilling Metro Exodus conclusion, there are numerous spine-tingling horror game segments. The day/night mechanic in 4A Games’ radioactive trip lets you decide whether you want Artyom’s adventure to be a guns-blazing assault or a covert affair buried in darkness.
However, if you decide to sleep through the day to sneak up on your opponents in complete darkness, then be prepared for a much more terrifying experience. Even though human adversaries may be on the back foot, the chill of a charging Hum animal or a howling Watchmen is agonizingly uncomfortable.
However, as we said in our Metro Exodus PC review, this is a game that is most frightful when the rules are changed. You learn how to extinguish light and control shadows in the game’s early stages. Then, in the bunkers covered in spiders.