Multiplayer HTML5 Games

Buckle up as we make grounds for the best multiplayer html5 games for all the lads, freaks and fanatics, shoots and indies alike, from the online video game Fortnite to Overwatch and far beyond. Ready? 


So you want to know what is a multiplayer game, huh? See, intricate gameplay and enticing visuals only go this far; the humans provide real wall-breaking surprises. Any game that allows more than one player to participate in an ongoing game is a multiplayer game. Simply put, it doubles the fun and winning feels sweeter knowing you’ve defeated a natural person some miles away. 

How do multiple people play the game, you wonder? 

It’s simple. If the players are playing on one system, then it’s a split screen mode that maximum allows 2 to 4 players. If the gamers use separate systems, multiplayer is played over the internet or via a Local Area Network (LAN). Popular as a LAN party, it is a gaming event where game enthusiasts bring their systems and connect them to a LAN server. This allows hundreds of gamers to compete with one another in a particular game. Multiplayer games hosted by game servers over the internet constitute ‘cloud gaming.

In cloud gaming, users are connected over the internet via a multiplayer game server that lists available online games for people to join. Though developers maintain servers, some give you the flexibility of choosing your environment to begin gaming.

So we’ve talked about 2-4 player games and games that allow hundreds of participants to compete with one another in a single session. What if thousands of people want to play a game together? There is a particular video game genre called Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Genre (MMORPG) that lets thousands of people compete in a game.

Typically, these games start with the user being a novice at a low level or rank, and as the game progresses, they unlock skills, special powers, and achievements to advance towards an end goal. These games are highly interactive and immersive as they even enable players to communicate with one another via public, private, or voice chat. Some popular MMORPG games include The World of Warcraft, Desert Rose, Anarchy Online, and Final Fantasy XIV.


As thrilling as multiplayer html5 games sound, their mechanics are equally harrowing to wrap your head around. But we will break them down into digestible bits so you get the hang of it. If you are developing a browser multiplayer HTML5 game, there is a good chance your game concept falls in one of the following categories:

  • Turn-Based:

Turn-based games, as you might have guessed, are the ones that are played in turns between players. For instance, a classic card game or a board game like Chess or Monopoly are turn-based. Players go through strategic phases to make decisions and can pause the gaming environment to take their time to finalize their moves.

Did you notice something here? That a multiplayer turn-based game is played asynchronously. This means the players do not need to be online or present simultaneously to play the game. Cool, isn’t it?

How do you play such games?

The game uses a store-and-forward approach to progress. In simpler terms, player one makes a move and then passes the play to player two. The players continue to move forward in turns until the match ends, and one of them is declared a winner. 

Turn-based games are great for implementing board games due to their following attributes:

  • Players don’t have to be present simultaneously to start the game. You have the flexibility to choose or invite your opponent and begin the game by playing your turn.
  • To begin the game and be auto-matched with a player if you don’t want to choose any opponent to play the game with.
  • You get to take part in multiple matches simultaneously. Load the game you are interested in advancing, make your move to pass the play to other players, and then open another game (going on with another player) to make your turn.

When you implement turn-based play in your game, they store three key elements in the underlying platform (usually Game Centre for iOS and Play Store for Android-based games):

  1. The data that must be stored
  2. The match data that needs to be kept up to date when a player makes their turn
  3. The state of the game is when one player passes the match to the next player.
  • Real-time: 

Unlike turn-based games, in real-time multiplayer, players are connected simultaneously in a single game session, where they exchange or update data in real-time. They can implement these games in any form that requires live action and immediate response from players involved. In short, characters/objects move, some heavy action or strategy is involved, and they make choices on the fly with the clock keeping time.

Some common examples include racing games, sports (such as soccer) or strategy games.

To implement a real-time multiplayer in your game, you can use a real-time API that can significantly reduce the effort on your end by taking care of the following dynamics for you:

  • It provides a user interface to look for random players for auto-matching or invite players to join a game or a mix of both.
  • Handles the nitty-gritty network issues, such as maintaining a network connection to create and manage a virtual multiplayer room. A virtual room is a construct where the game happens, and all players can exchange messages and interact directly in one session.
  • The underlying game platform stores participants and room information for a particular session.
  • Enables sending invites and notifications to players on all devices unless disabled.
  • In-between

Yes, you guessed this right. These games are the ones that are a hybrid sort. In other words, they have a combination of characteristics from both real-time and turn-based games. Players are connected in a single session but are only given a finite amount of time to make their move, not to enrage the other player. To put it mildly, you don’t have to wait an eternity for your turn. Think speed-chess. 

Challenges faced in real-time multiplayer HTML5 Games:

With meaningful technological advances, there also come more noteworthy complexities. Launching a real-time game successfully brings its own set of complexities to developers. We are going to list down a few at the tip of the iceberg.

  1. Match-making between hundreds of players in a fraction of a second
  2. The robust multiplayer server that doesn’t suffer downtime
  3. A stable game runs lag-free, so the players don’t lose interest
  4. Resuming game from dropped connections

To combat these issues, developers need to choose game engines well suited to their requirements and deploy them on servers that can scale vertically and horizontally to accommodate the high traffic of players.

Read on to find out the popular frameworks for multiplayer HTML5 games.

Frameworks used to build multiplayer html5 games on the browser(html5)

Multiplayer gaming is nothing short of a technological breakthrough. There are players all over the world taking part in live online games. To make this happen, we need fast and lag-free servers to keep the game room running. If a person (Player A) is playing Counter-Strike and is gunning down, Player B will receive the messages (onslaught of bullets) through a network server or framework.

Amongst a myriad of frameworks available to build in-browser HTML5 games, we will cover a handful of popular ones to get you up to speed on multiplayer HTML5 game development.

  2. Photon
  3. Colyseus
  4. Nakama


Say you are building a real-time multiplayer game. It would help if you had an intermediary- a framework that communicates information between the server side of the player and the game server in real time. This is where makes an entrance. It is a JavaScript library for real-time web apps (including games). 

So how does it work? It establishes and maintains two-way communication between the client and the servers. The client library runs in the browser. Some typical applications where you see working in the background are: 

  1. Instant messengers, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, do not require you to refresh your window now and then to check for messages
  2. Push notification—soon as anyone follows you on Instagram or mentions you on Twitter, you get notified instantly. That’s socket pulling the strings for you.
  3. Online gaming—think big games like Counter-Strike and Call of Duty; they are built on for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience. has a vast user community, so finding help is easy.


One of the most powerful game engines specializing in multiplayer game development, the PhotonPhoton is a popular choice among developers. It is a series of products and software that accelerate the speed and performance of online games. So if you’re up for changing the face of the gaming industry, you might want to take PhotonPhoton for a spin. Photon offers real-time and PUN (Photon Unity Networking) products to facilitate game development.

Real-time fixes low latency issues with online games, and PUN makes it easy for game developers to integrate Unity with Photon for high-end gaming. The two offer a seamless gaming room experience, fast server speeds, and a reliable, cohesive network.


Multiplayer network games rapidly evolve from 4-8 players to hundreds of players engaged simultaneously in a gaming session. Almost all of these games are centralized—that is, players send messages to a single server which then updates the state of the game and the rest of the active players. This process is susceptible to issues in robustness and scalability. 

Colyseus addresses this problem by providing developers with API on the client and server sides for robust web-socket-based communication. It facilitates real-time and turn-based multiplayer games by providing synchronized data structures for any match-making solution.


Nakama is the first open-source distributed server that caters to social app development and real-time gaming. It offers many advanced features to build an incredible multiplayer game from scratch. From active and passive turn-based games to real-time gaming modes, Nakama caters to millions of players from a single server and is a rock-solid foundation for smooth in-browser gaming experiences.


It doesn’t matter if you’re a gaming enthusiast or a game developer; a wide variety of HTML5 games cater to all genres to satiate varied interests. We are going to look at a few of the popular ones.

  • War Thunder

War Thunder is a free-to-play online multiplayer game that keeps you enthralled for hours if you are into military-grade vehicles, destruction, and mass shooting. It is a multiplayer game with an incredibly detailed ballistic simulation and rich graphics that draw you right from the start.

  • Left to survive

This is for fans of the Walking Dead and people fascinated with a post-apocalyptic zombie world. In left to Survive, you fight against the army of undead and also against other humans as they fight for survival.

  • Blitz Chess

Blitz Chess, or speed chess, is a multiplayer, fast-paced chess game that is turn-based and real-time. For chess fans, it is exhilarating to watch quick moves, unusual openings, a stroke of genius moments, blunders, and other-worldly craziness that defines chess. 

  • 8Ball Online

8 Ball Pool is a multiplayer HTML5 version of the popular sport, which is turn-based. Challenge a friend online from around the world or begin the game and be auto-matched with a random player.

If you have a game concept that you want to build, get in touch with us for an execution plan. It can be the next trendsetter in the gaming industry.

Gamenary is an HTML5 game development company that can execute your game concept into virtual reality. Select a platform or framework of your choice, or let us take care of that, too. We build high-quality games with rich graphics and a high frame rate that work across multiple platforms and feel incredibly seamless as you explore through the game worlds that we create.