How to play Dungeons & Dragons online with friends

Play the quintessential RPG board game online with friends.

Image via Wizards of the Coast

With everyone being forced indoors this year, gamers are looking for ways to play their favorite games online. Unfortunately for tabletop RPG lovers, nothing beats the experience of playing Dungeons & Dragons side by side with a friend. There are, however, alternatives to the in-person experience. This guide will walk you through how to play Dungeons and Dragons online with your friends. 

Video Chat

Image via Discord

Because Dungeons & Dragons is what your imagination makes of it, you can play online with your friends with just a microphone and a camera. All you have to do is get your friends to meet on any video chat program that supports group calls such as Discord or Google Hangouts. You can even have the dungeon master show a board on camera to simulate the in-person experience further. If the dungeon master does not have a board to display, you can still play Dungeons and Dragons with just audio, but it lacks visual aid.

Roll20

Roll20 is the most popular way to play Dungeons & Dragons online. This virtual tabletop simulates a game board onto your computer screen. It offers visual aids, virtual dice rolling, and even accessible character sheets for each player. Roll20 is accessible straight from your browser, has a built-in rulebook, and is entirely free to play, making it an excellent choice for new players. The only issue is, there isn’t much room for creative gameplay customization as the program has only preset modes. 

Tabletop Simulator

Tabletop Simulator is the closest you will get to the in-person boardgame experience. It’s an open sandbox that allows you to create figures, environments, and even particle effects that anyone can interact with. You can even flip the table if you’re so inclined. If you aren’t interested in creating the board and figures yourself, you can always download one of the many Steam Workshop Mods that allow you to set up a Dungeons and Dragons campaign quickly.