25 Best Online Communication Games for Team Building in 2023

If you find yourself in Tom Hanks’ shoes, AKA. bonding with a DIY bestie like Wilson the ball, it’s time to take heed and rework your communication skills. Online communication games can be the go-to between you and the world out there. 

With a good mix of technology and creativity, the possibilities to communicate are endless. We give you 25 such engaging online communication games that can be great communication exercises for remote teams. 

1. What are online communication games? 

What are online communication games? 

Online communication games are typically played on virtual communication platforms to engage remote employees. These may also be played in different variations for office or hybrid work setups. These games essentially focus on developing and improving communication among team members who are spread out across different locations. There are plenty of free online games for virtual teams along with paid versions, icebreaker games, and more that one can choose from based on the dynamics of your team and nature of work.

2. Why are online communication games good for work?

Why are online communication games good for work?

Considering that it’s so common to feel left out or isolated when working in remote setups, online communication games are a great way to bridge the gaps. Some of the benefits of virtual communication games are:

  • Creates open channels of communication for teammates to stay updated with each other
  • Fosters a spirit of team unity and company loyalty
  • Helps to minimise stress levels and boost productivity
  • Hones a range of interpersonal skills such as creative planning, collaboration, active listening and more 

3. 25 Best Online communication Games for Remote Employees

3.1 Virtual Ice Breaker

Virtual icebreakers are simple yet fun ways to ease into conversation specially during initial rounds of meetings or events. You can create a whole lot of get-to-know-you-more lists with questions that require quick thinking and short answers. These work well as communication exercises for remote teams. With over 100 interactive virtual icebreakers that come under different categories, there’s plenty to choose from. 

How to play:

  • Form two main teams and appoint a representative each who will share clues 
  • Based on the mystery image/text on the card, each representative will try to get the opposite team to guess what’s shown on the card. 
  • The hitch on this is that the representative sharing the clues can only use one-syllable words to describe what’s on the card
  • While one team’s representative tries to describe the term, opposing team members need to observe, listen and try to  catch the clue giver using multi-syllable words

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – We like that the game’s simple and versatile range of questions can be customised as needed to work as communication exercises for remote teams.

3.2 Back-to-Back Drawing

Another creative one on the list of online communication games is Back-to-back Drawing. The game essentially requires pairs to sit with their backs towards each other and centers around a drawing activity. In the online or remote setup, players in each pair can turn off their videos and play the game.

How to play:

  • One player will describe a completed picture that he or she is holding through a story or narrative
  • The other player in the pair needs to then draw the picture as close to the picture being described by Player 1 without asking questions
  • When done, both players can turn on their videos and compare the two pictures. At the end of the activity, the two players put the pictures side by side and compare the images

Our like-o-meter : 9/ 10 – This one’s all about verbal communication minus any visual component while channeling your inner Picassos. A great way to share some good laughs when you share your ‘works of art’, collaborate, and break the ice.  

3.3 Can You Hear Me Now?

Can You Hear Me Now?

This particular entry into the list of virtual communication games is an online remake of the classic Pictionary. It’s designed to boost interdependence and collaborative skills among teams.

How to play:

  • Split team members into pairs wherein one player is assigned the role of the Describer and the other one is the Artist
  • The Describer needs to explain an item within three minutes to the Artist using instructions that revolve around only shapes and geometry
  • You can then share the completed image on screen and let the rest of the team members guess the image

Our like-o-meter : 7/10 –  This one’s a fun and easy entry into the list of communication games for virtual teams, but we still prefer the classic for its human element.

3.4 3-Minute Vacation

The 3-minute vacation game makes a fun yet valuable entrant on the list of online communication games. The game focuses on the importance of active listening where players are either talkers or listeners and share their inputs.

How to play:

  • The chosen talker has to share details of their dream vacation within three minutes, without stating the exact location
  • The listener in the pair needs to pick up vital clues and use only non-verbal clues to indicate that they are listening
  • After the timer ends, the listener needs to give a summary of the dream vacation and promote it as a vacation sales pitch 
  • The talker can then decide on how close the listener was with regard to the narrative 

Our like-o-meter : 7/10 – For those who want to pitch ice to an Eskimo, this one’s a great choice to fine tune their pitch skills. We think it might be just limited or suitable for those in BD and sales.

3.5 Guess The Emoji

If you are looking for communication games online, this is one game that’s addictive. We all know how emojis have reduced the art of communication to simple graphics that are fun and engaging. As one of the easiest online communication games, this one is all about interpreting a string of emojis that one player sends out. These could be popular phrases, movies, names of famous personalities and so on  

How to play:

  • Let each player share a sentence or phrase in the form of emojis or a string of emojis
  • The rest of the team members need to guess or decode what these emojis mean

Our like-o-meter :  9/10 – This one will win smileys from us for its one-for-all kinds theme. Very few will want to resist deciphering a mystery phrase or sentence, making it a good engagement exercise too.  Additionally it works well if you are looking for communication exercises for remote teams, as everyone can participate in it.

3.6 Remote Charades

Charades is one of the most popular online communication games that teams can never get tired of. In its virtual avatar, you can use a random image generator like RandomWordGenerator.com to collate a wide range of topics that range from pop music, movies to phrases and more. 

How to play:

  • Share the topics with teams or individual players through video conferencing 
  • Set a timer for each guessing session
  • Players then need to act out the given topic so the rest of the team members can guess the correct answer

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – Enacting anything on screen may lack the punch it has in person, but the fun element is there to stay. If you look at online games for communication skills, this one always makes the cut, and for good reason.

3.7 Mad Gab 

With primary focus on creative thinking and quick responses for effective communication, Mad Gab makes it our list of online communication games. Mad Gab Flashcards is a great point to borrow some fun starter prompts.

How to play:

  • Use video conferencing to share cards that have a series of randomly arranged words that do not make sense at one go, but are actually jumbled parts of a common idiom or saying
  • Set a timer and let the players try to quickly rearrange the words to form the right sentences in the correct order

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 –  We love the quick pace of the game and the excitement of making sense out of gibberish. If you are looking for communication skills games online, this one is a great one to try out.

3.8 Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang is one of the more engaging question-based online communication games. The hitch here is to ask questions and decipher the meaning through effective verbal interactions.

How to play:

  • Jot down a list of items that go together such as pen-paper, socks-shoes, or yin-yang and share them with appointed players from each group
  • The trick is for teams to guess what the complementary pair is based on just clues shared by the host

Our like-o-meter : 7.5/10 – This is a simple school-variety guessing game that does not need much else but can be played without too much prep or tools.

3.9 Two Truths and a Lie 

Two truths and a lie is yet another digital version from the list of classic communication games. This one is an excellent way to break the ice and help team members socialise easily while sharing a good laugh. 

How to play:

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – With no need for any tools or props, this one’s fun across all age groups and group sizes as everyone gets to play Sherlock Holmes and dig up the lies.

3.10 Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Virtual Scavenger Hunt

In its virtual version, this scavenger hunt is just as exciting and challenging. Remote team members need to scramble against time to collect all the called out items. 

How to play:

  • Share a list of items such as a pen holder, cup, ball and more that need to be searched around at home or other workspaces your remote members may be playing the game from
  • Set a time for them to get all the items and have them share it onscreen so the rest of the team members can also have a look to decide who got the maximum number right

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – While there may be no intercommunication at play here, we like the childhood nostalgia attached to a scavenger hunt.

3.11 Donut for Slack

Donut is similar to having a simple coffee table chat – only this one’s online. It’s an excellent way to get to know a team member on an informal basis and connect one-on-one. 

How to play

  • Team members are randomly grouped in pairs by Donut for a coffee chat based on a preset list. The pairs can then proactively coordinate with each other to set their schedules
  • An email with the scheduled session is then sent out to the participants
  • These members can then connect with their allotted chat buddies to schedule their coffee sessions

Our like-o-meter : 7.5/10 – This one’s especially great for introverts who would rather enjoy a quiet tete-tete rather than engage in a large-scale team activity. But it misses the mark on having fun and interaction with a larger group since it’s limited to a random pair. 

3.12 One-Syllable Mystery

All you need is just index cards with different terms and a video conference platform to engage team members in this cool online communication game. This is a great choice when there is a need to improve focus and communication styles. 

How.to play:

  • Divide your team into two main groups and let each team select one person as their Clue Giver
  • The Clue Giver selects one card and attempts to elicit guesses from the rest of his team on the image or item that’s on the card 
  • The Clue Giver can provide clues only with one-syllable words to describe the thing on the card 
  • At the same time, the opposing team needs to listen and find out errors

Our like-o-meter : 8/10 – This one requires total focus and razor-sharp thinking to guess the right answers.

3.13 Virtual Escape Room

Virtual escape rooms are quite the trend now post-pandemic and are a fun way to get team members to interact and communicate. Here the aim is to foster team building through problem-solving and communication skills.

How to play:

  • Every individual chamber in this game features a dynamic and adventurous plot
  • Teams need to solve puzzles and figure out riddles within a stipulated time period to get secret clues and escape a specific area

Our like-o-meter : 9.5/10 –  It’s one of those cool escape-from-reality games that’s a much-needed refresher for anyone who’s doing the daily grind at work. It also constantly ranks high on the list of communication team building games.

3.14 21 Questions

21 Questions is one of the more interactive communication games online that’s aimed at getting to know the person a little better. The hitch is to identify  a player’s line of thought using a limited number of questions to arrive at the correct answer. This is great since it helps with collaboration within teams to gather information quickly and effectively when working on busy  projects and tight deadlines. 

How to play:

  • Let a team member choose a word or idea
  • The rest of the team members now have to guess that that idea, phrase or word is just 21 questions
  • Each question carries a point and the player who identifies correctly using the correct questions gets the maximum points

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – We like the icebreaker style and the freedom to express yourself creatively.  If you are looking for communication games for virtual teams, definitely check this one out.

3.15 Forensic Sketch Artist

The Forensic sketch artist game is all about inspiring creativity and effective communication among team members. It is a fun addition to your list of communication games for virtual teams. All you need is a great video communication platform and teams to play this one.

How to play:

  • Create small groups among your team into smaller groups if you manage a larger one
  • Set the narrative that explains how a few robberies took place last night, and that there are witnesses who have provided valid information for the forensics team to create  the sketch of a possible culprit
  • Use the Random Face Generator to generate a face
  • Now send out a direct message or private email to one team member of each group and let them see the face
  • This specific person needs to brief their team members within the group on how the robber looks
  • The team members then need to draw the robber based on the description
  • When the timer ends, all of the players can share their sketches to see whose came closest to the real one 

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – This one’s all about honing your active listening skills besides sketching skills to see whose creative insights work best. This makes for a good addition to any list of virtual communication games.

3.16 Lip Reading Liars

Lip Reading Liars is one of the more versatile online communication games that can be played  in person, online, or in hybrid workspaces. The crux of the game is that chosen players need to interpret the scene without any sound.

How to play:

  • Select one or two players who have to mute their device audio and wear noise-cancelling headphones or earphones
  • Within the next three minutes, two to four other players must enact a scene 
  • The players who wear the earphones or headphones then  need to try and interpret the scene that’s being enacted by observing lip movements and body language

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – This is an exciting game that’s great for those who seem to need to work on their focus skills and on the flip, it helps those who need to work on communicating more clearly. So if are looking for communication skills games online this is one to check out,

3.17 Pet Peeve

As one of those online communication games that hone your active listening skills, this is a great way for team members to blow off some steam and have fun at the same time. 

How to play:

  • One team member gets 60 seconds to share a pet peeve, something that annoys or works him or her up at most likely the workplace. It could be as simple as pop-up ads, network issues etc.
  • The second player or team member carefully listens and tries to figure out the root cause, what Player 1 really wants or values, or what matters through this. For eg, if they hate pop-ups, it’s because they are looking to have smoother online shopping experience or prefer more in sync advertisement
  • Player 2 deciphers the rant and repeats his summary to Player 1, only highlighting the positives through statements like “You value…” or “You care about…” or “You believe that…matters a lot”

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – We love the whole sentiment on sharing and caring here through interactions between team members and the positive turnaround on it. All of this makes it a great addition to any list of communication games for virtual teams.

3.18 A Penny for Your Thoughts

This is a simple icebreaker and makes a fun addition to online communication games

How to play:

  • Handover a penny that’s not over 15 years old
  • Each of the players are then supposed to share something interesting or significant that happened on that date or that year

Our like-o-meter : 6.5/10 – This one is more on sharing anecdotes or significant milestones through verbal expression rather than playing or interacting with each other through team building activities and games. So, as far as virtual communication games go, this isn’t one to talk about much.

3.19 Twenty Questions 

This is a different variation to the 21 questions game but yet another question-based communication games online. Here the questions needed should be either in closed style or Yes or No style.

How to play:

  • One player will select a secret object or item on something such as an animal, fruit, food or other generic categories
  • Let the rest of the players use the closed-style questions to answer

Our like-o-meter : 7.5/10 – The challenge to use a limited number or type of questions adds some fun quotient to this otherwise simple question-based game.

3.20 Crazy Comic

This fun game in communication can be tweaked on a video conferencing platform like Zoom where team members can use break-out rooms to gather and then return to the main room. Crazy Comic is all about encouraging creative expression and collaboration to create a cool comic strip with only verbal communication on how to progress. This is a great addition to any list of online games for communication skills.

How to play:

  • Create groups with 3 to 6 participants and ask to arrange for some colouring and drawing supplies
  • Each group needs to create a distinct comic strip with one frame that represents each group member. This means if there is a group of 4, the comic strip will be 4 frames long
  • The members of each group need to decide the plot of the comic and all the details. The hitch to this is that all group members will draw at the same time,  without referring to the preceding frame

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – This one’s slightly offbeat and works great when teams are ideating and trying to sync those into a great story line. So, if you are looking for communication team building games this is one to check out.

3.21 Secret Agenda

Secret Agenda

This fun game is designed for team members to hone their creative skills, by collaborating on  the story and improving communication. 

How to play:

  • Let the players come up with terms or phrases that they can jot down on their cards and keep it to themselves
  • Get one member to start off with “Once upon a time…” and the adjacent team member continues the story by adding one of their secret words
  • The story then continues until the last member of the team concludes to complete a quite understandably hilarious storyline

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – Make-believe stories are welcome here and the more ludicrous they become, the more fun with this for everyone around.

3.22 Tree or Bob Ross?

Another fun question-based variation in the list of virtual communication games is Tree or Bob Ross? This one focuses on creative reasoning and analytic style questions to arrive at a conclusion using this or that style questions.

How to play:

  • Player 1 needs to decide on a random item and keep it a secret to elicit guesses
  • The rest of the team members need to then ask this or that style questions to guess the correct answer.  The first standard  question in every session starts with  “is it more like a tree or Bob Ross?” 
  • The thinker should come up with a category that is closest to the answer. For example, if the object was a coconut, then the answer would be a tree. The game can continue this way until players guess the answer or simply give up

Our like-o-meter : 8.5/10 – This is all about hitting the mark as close to as possible by working those grey cells and asking relevant questions. It’s one that gets the banter going among teammates.

3.23 Conference Call Bingo

This is a fun and interactive bingo board game that is also one of the highest-rated communication games online. Perfect for active listeners and to engage employees in shared camaraderie.

How to play: 

  • Share printable bingo sheets to teams or individuals and ask them to familiarize themselves with them
  • As the session begins, strike off the box you get. The phrases can also be the closest match and not necessarily the exact words
  • Use the screen share option or chat to update your progress
  • The first player to strike off 5 boxes across one row, vertically in a column, or diagonally across is the winner

Our like-o-meter : 9/10 – No one can resist a classic Bingo even if it’s online, at least we can’t. It’s a versatile game for all kinds of age groups and team sizes.

3.24 The Trip

We picked this out of a whole list of fun team building games on Zoom for its versatility and theme- trips to faraway places that may be apt in the wake of the pandemic. This game needs brainstorming, communication and collaboration on how to use puzzles to get there. The games are a mix of riddles, word puzzles, number games and visual problems. Making it one of the most versatile virtual communication games to exist on the list.

How to play:

  • Divide teams into groups and have them solve a series of puzzles to get to the next level
  • Once the series is completed, the main puzzle needs to be solved to emerge as the winner

Our like-o-meter : 9.5/10 – This one wins brownie points for the unique concept. Its stress-busting, educational and engaging format is sure to keep everyone hooked. It requires a little more effort than other communication games online, but it is a lot of fun.

3.25 The Puzzle 

As a time-based team-building exercise, this puzzle game is also one on the list of fun activities for online meetings too. It also often shown up in lists for communication skills games online.

How to play:

  • Have teams work on ten rounds of puzzles and a ‘master puzzle’ to win in 40 minutes

Our like-o-meter : 8/10 – The charm of traditional puzzle solving never gets old and team members will find this a welcome break.

4. FAQs

  • What is a good communication game?

A good communication game is one that combines the best elements such as excellent engagement, skill building value, and fun quotient to ensure it’s a success in honing effective communication and team building spirit.  Some of the most popular communication games are virtual Pictionary, Blindfold Stroll and more like the above listed ones.

Some of the best communication games that can be played on Zoom are 

  • Conference Call Bingo
  • Lightning Scavenger Hunts
  • Guess Who?

These are fun online communication games that use Zoom features such as white boards, screen sharing, reactions and breakout rooms. 

  • How do you engage a virtual team?

The right mix of icebreaker tools, online communication games and team-building activities can go a long way in boosting remote team morale, fostering team unity and engaging employees.  Some of these could be arranging for getting-to-know-each-other buddy calls, creating fun non-work channels, arranging for movie nights and lots more. 

  • What makes virtual team building work?

Virtual team building needs to be based on the foundation of effective communication and active listening. When remote or distributed employees are given opportunities to share and express themselves through a variety of creative ways, they are happily engaged and also develop more positive mindsets. You can 

  • Use the power of technology to conduct online games and activities though various communication channels.
  • Schedule frequent 1-on-1 sessions and team trainings
  • Arrange for quick conflict resolution 
  • What games can you play remotely?

Online communication games such as the ones listed above are great to hone effective communication skills. They also work towards honing your skills in creative strategy, active listening and effective collaboration. Some of the games are:

  • Pet Peeve
  • Back-Back Drawing
  • Two Truths and a Lie
  • Virtual Escape Room