How To Make and Maintain Friendships in Online Gaming

min read
A person smiles while playing games on their gaming computer.
BetMGM Sep 05, 2023, 8:31 AM

Online gaming is a great way to have fun and connect with people. Regardless of the genre of online video games you enjoy — whether it’s first-person shooters, strategy, online role-playing, or even online casino games — any game that puts you in the same virtual space as other people presents you with an opportunity to make new friends. Online games can also be a great way to maintain existing friendships. But how do you do this? 

While online friendships may sound like a great way to connect with people, there are pros and cons to connecting and making friends online. Read on to discover the pros and cons of making online friendships, learn how to make friends online through video games, and find advice on safely taking an online relationship into the real world.

The Pros of Online Friendships

There are many advantages to making friends online. Here are some reasons you might want to expand your social network via online games or use games to help keep existing relationships:

Easier for People Who Are Shy or Who Struggle With Social Anxiety

If you’re someone who might struggle to initiate things in person or even struggle to communicate with people at all in face-to-face scenarios, online friendships open the door to allow you to communicate with others and grow relationships into proper friendships.

Great Way To Meet People Who Like the Same Things You Do

When you meet a new person, it may take a while to find out if they’re interested in the same things you are. However, if you’re looking for friends who are into online games, there’s no better place to find them than the games themselves.

Connect With People From All Over the World

If you want to expand your horizons, you could form online friendships through playing online video games with people from different countries. It can also help you maintain relationships with people who have moved far away. Staying connected with friends is important — no matter where they are — and keeping a relationship strong can be easier when you have an activity, like an online game, to enjoy together.

Easier (And Cheaper) To Hang Out With People Online

Once you’ve formed a connection with someone, it’s easy to find out if they want to chat or game with you. Simply open your friends list, message them, and find out — no need to get dressed up or drive anywhere. With just a few clicks or button presses, you’ll be instantly connected.

Easier to End a Virtual Friendship Than a Real One

It’s not easy to end any friendship, but it is easier to end an online relationship than in person. With online friendships, you can politely explain why you’re no longer interested in being friends and decide whether you want to give them the chance to ask questions or simply block them entirely because they’ve been rude or if there are any other concerning red flags.

The Cons of Online Friendships

That said, there are some downsides to online friendships that you need to know about.

People May Be Misleading or Outright Lie About Who They Are

This could be anything from a prank to someone trying to take advantage of you.

It’s Sometimes Harder To Tell What People Mean

There is no body language when communicating by voice, and it’s possible to misinterpret the tone of a text message.

No Physical Interaction

This may not be an issue for some. However, whether it’s a hug or even bumping fists, physical interaction adds another layer to friendships you can’t replicate online.

You May Not Get To Meet Them in Person if You Decide You Want To

If your online friendship network spans the globe, meeting these people face-to-face can be challenging. 

How To Make Friends Through Online Gaming

So you’ve decided you want to try to make some online gaming friends. Where do you begin?

1. Find and Play an Online Multiplayer Game You Enjoy

Start by browsing online games to see if anything sparks your interest. There’s little point in playing a game to make friends in a game you don’t like, especially since you’ll probably spend some time getting to know people while playing it. 

2. Try a Game That Encourages Communication

The best games to make friends require or encourage people to communicate. Co-operative games are a great place to start. Whether it’s a role-playing game like “Monster Hunter” that requires you to group up with others to take down mythical beasts or a sci-fi game like “Deep Rock Galactic” where you join other players as space dwarves mining for treasure, co-op games offer an excellent opportunity to get to know people. 

However, making friends in competitive player-versus-player (PvP) games is also possible. You can still reach out to others, whether you’re facing off one-on-one or playing on a team against other players. Some friendly banter or compliments during the game might also open the door to a new friendship.

3. Pick a Game With a Small Community

Another thing you should consider is an online game that has a relatively small community. This will make it easier to “randomly bump into players” that you recognize, and you’ll be able to get to know them more organically before adding them to your friends list. This can be much harder in larger games, especially if they use matchmaking systems optimized around getting players into the action as quickly as possible.

4. Show Off Your Skills and Stand Out From the Crowd

Whether it’s someone asking how you pulled off a special kick in the latest FIFA soccer game or someone congratulating you on a good shot during a game, showcasing your skills could result in players reaching out to you. 

But be warned that not all of these people will be reaching out for advice or to compliment you on your good play. Be on the lookout for rude players or trolls simply looking to vent to or insult you.

5. Start Streaming

Many people start streaming, hoping to get lucky and become the world’s new PewDiePie, Ninja, or Pokimane, but streaming can also be a great way to connect with people. With some luck and the right personality, you may find people joining and watching your stream and wanting to chat with you while you play. Reach out to the people in your chat — if things go well, you might find yourself making new friends.

6. Find the Places Where Online Gamers Hang Out

There are many social media platforms where gamers hang out, like Discord, Reddit, and even Facebook and X (formerly Twitter.) Do your homework on where gamers who play the same games as you like to hang out online and join in discussions, debates, and meme sharing. You might even get invited to groups to play, and you can always invite people you are interested in playing with to your own groups.

Consider taking part in offline gaming events, like gaming or LAN parties. If your area has a place where gamers hang out, like an internet cafe or a video arcade, that could also be an option.

7. Always Treat Other People Online With Kindness and Respect

No matter how you choose to make gaming friends online, it’s important to always treat others with kindness and respect. The easiest way to avoid being rude or upsetting anyone is to ask yourself how you would treat this person face-to-face. But don’t forget that communication can sometimes be misinterpreted online. Depending on the medium, things can easily go wrong. A joke that’s spoken may be hilarious when you say it, but it could be interpreted entirely differently if it’s in plain text — especially if you don’t have any emojis to help convey the tone.

Be Careful When Taking Things Offline

Sometimes, you meet people online and just “click.” The vibe between you might even be so good that you both decide to meet IRL (in real life.) 

However, if you’re tempted to take your online friendships offline, be selective with whom you decide to meet in person. The cons section touched on this point, but it’s worth reiterating because some people are not the same in person online as in real life, and some may even have malicious intentions. 

If you do decide to take a chance and meet in person, here are some tips to help you stay safe.

Organize a Video Call Before Meeting in Person

Always do a video call beforehand to verify who they are.

Always Meet in a Public Place

For your first few meetups, meeting in public is important until you get to know and trust the person.

Consider Bringing Along a Friend

If you can’t, let them know where you’ll be and that you’ll check in with them when you’re done.

Don’t Share Too Much Personal Information Too Early On

After all, you don’t know whether you can trust your online friend, and the last thing you want is someone turning up at your house, especially if the meetup didn’t go well.

Have an Excuse to End Things Early if You Need To

If things don’t go well, it’s a good idea to plan an “escape route” just in case something feels suspicious or you and your online friend aren’t getting along well in real life. Whether it’s meeting another friend or a family commitment, this can make it easier to slip away when you want to.

Don’t Leave Food and Drink Unattended

While the majority of your meetups will likely be with people who mean you no harm, it’s better to take precautions. Online predators might attempt to spike your food or drinks, so make sure that you keep an eye out for anything strange.

Enjoy Online Gaming With Your New Online Friends

Remember to stay safe whether you meet your online friends in person or keep these relationships strictly online. You can have a lot of fun in these online worlds, and you might even make some lifelong friends along the way.

Play Your Favorite Online Games at BetMGM

If you want to play online casino games with your friends or just have a great time on your own, you can do so at BetMGM. When you play casino games online at BetMGM, you’ll gain access to an incredible library of games, including online slots, table games, variety games, and much more. 

With live dealer games and online poker, you can engage with other players, allowing you to connect with people with the same passion for gambling as you. Who knows? You might even find yourself learning how to play poker with your newfound friends.

Register at BetMGM to join an online casino with great gambling thrills and excitement that you can find online. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.