Playing online with friends (or strangers even) is one of the best ways to play certain types of games. Heck, there are plenty of games on PC, Mac, PlayStation, and Xbox that are solely designed for online multiplayer action.
While Apple TV has a ton of different games available to download, online multiplayer ones for tvOS are extremely rare. With barely any titles available on the App Store, it's easy to get a little frustrated; however, there are a couple of titles you can look into to if you're craving some online gameplay on Apple TV.
Asphalt 8: Airborne
When it comes to racing games, Asphalt 8: Airborne is one of my favorites. It skips all pretensions of realism and provides an over-the-top, high-octane experience that's incredibly fun!
Players can drive their way through the career mode, unlock new rides, upgrade the ones they have, or take the competition online in staggered or live multiplayer. The usual race modes are there, plus a new Infected mode where players have to tag other racers before succumbing to an explosive virus.
The online multiplayer mode is pretty barebones as it only allows you match up with strangers, meaning you can't really play with your friends online.
- Free - Download Now
If you have kids in the house or just enjoy world-building and games that pass the time, then Minecraft is up your alley. It's not fast-paced — unless you want it to be! — so you can create your own little piece of the world as you please. Build structures, farm animals, make weapons, and then you can go take over someone else's homestead if you want. Or be a pacifist. Whatever, man.
The world is randomly generated, so you can explore and live like a king in creative mode, with unlimited resources. Or enter survival mode and mine everything you need, creating weapons and armor to fight off enemy mobs. Don't forget, Minecraft requires an MFi-based controller.
Unfortunately, to play Minecraft with friends online you have to pay a monthly subscription for a Minecraft Realms account. To play with up to two friends it will cost you $3.99 per month, but if you want to play with a lot more people, $7.99 per month will let you play with up to 10 people.
- $19.99 - Download Now
Why does Apple TV have barely any online multiplayer games?
There's no easy answer. I wish I could point to one specific reason so all us gamers could get some closure, but life isn't so simple.
Money plays a factor into everything, and it's no secret that developing online gaming servers is a pretty big expense for any game production company. For a developer to justify the cost of something like that, they would need to be confident that they could recoup that money on game sales, in-app purchases, or other revenue streams.
While gaming on the Apple TV has come a long way since the beginning, it's still a much smaller market than the iOS market, meaning developers may not see it as worth their time.
In the end, this is just my theory. There doesn't seem to be a clear-cut answer as to why there are so few online multiplayer games for the Apple TV. One thing is for certain, I hope to see more in the future.
Other online multiplayer games I should check out?
It seems to be slim pickings on the Apple TV App Store, but I'm only human and could have missed some great online multiplayer games. Let me know in the comments below if you know of any others!
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