You may have heard idle games termed as clicker games or incremental games. Not surprisingly, it’s because the primary method of interacting with the game is clicking with the mouse. Generally, you use clicks to generate resources and multiply your resource accumulation per minute by purchasing upgrades.
The 20 best browser idle games in 2021 are all click-heavy games that require resource management and upgrading.
Since Adobe ended Flash support, many classic browser-based idle games have moved onto iOS, Android, or Steam. However, there are still plenty of browser idle games for you to try in 2021. If you’re not sure what to look for in a new game, consider:
- The gameplay and graphics vary a lot between games. Many idle games are text-based, but others have more traditional graphics.
- There are different levels of interaction. Some games keep acquiring resources when you’re away. Others require more attention.
- Some games offer a blend of styles. Idle games like Cookie Clicker only require you to click and improve your resource generation. Others might have you interact with NPCs, fight, or make decisions to change the storyline.
Most idle games don’t require lots of computing power and work on almost any system.
Best Browser Idle Games in 2021
The game looks simple and almost nonexistent at first: a black screen, dim gray text, and a button to start the game. Once you’re in, it isn’t that different — there’s only some text telling you to turn an old crank. However, the game is much more complex than it first appears.
You have to manage your power output against your resources. It might be trickier than it seems at first, as the crank loses power when you click away from it. The more energy you generate, the more options and updates you unlock, making resource management more complicated as you go.
Cookies accumulate even when you’re away from the game, as long as you’ve purchased the right upgrades. Every time you return, there are more cookies to spend, more upgrades to buy, and more ways to generate more cookies. It’s a never-ending resource generator that only gets more efficient as you play.
CryptoClickers uses faux Ethereum as your starter cryptocurrency. You click on it to claim a certain amount and then use that to purchase upgrades. Upgrades include value and speed.
Unlike some idle games with many variables to manage, CryptoClickers is nice and simple at first. Eventually, you do unlock another cryptocurrency and more complicated management. The cooldown is long enough on collecting your resources, though, that you have a reasonable amount of time to understand the game first.
NG Space Company features gems, metal, and wood as your primary resources. You manage each separately from the left sidebar at the beginning of the game. Go from a humble builder to a person who can colonize space in this idle game.
The most challenging part of NG Space Company is balancing your resources. Each automated process consumes another type of material which means it’s easy to bottleneck yourself. Once you’ve got it under control, though, you can build your rocket and take it to the stars.
If you want something a little more strategic, try Nested by Ortiel. The game starts with a single word and a nested menu below it. Each click opens up a seemingly endless set of new menus and new clicks.
If you keep at it, you can experience unexpected encounters in the menus. For example, on a planet I found, there was a salmon who was thinking, “I gotta get food. The hunt is on.” The game is built on words, so don’t expect imagery or videos in the menus.
Why gamble with real dogecoin when you can dig up fake dogecoin instead? In Doge Miner, you hire Shiba Inus to mine piles of rocks looking for coins. Upgrading their pickaxes, hiring new miners, and even buying moon bases can help you increase your production.
The game is very meme-heavy, and the whole point of finding the dogecoin is to go to the moon. Words like “Amaze” and “Wow” flash on the screen as you click. If you’re looking for a more updated experience, Doge Miner 2 is also available.
In this game, you gain points on the left side of the screen and exchange these for prestige points on the right side of the screen. You can use prestige points to purchase upgrades and generate more base points. However, you also have to use points on the left side of the screen to unlock more of the tree and earn points more quickly.
Different options unlock as you progress through the game. There is even a point where it might seem like all your progress is lost — but it isn’t. Check your achievements and keep playing to succeed.
Room Clicker is precisely what it sounds like — clicking on a room. Your character sits in a bedroom, and you click anywhere in the bedroom to accumulate dollars. The more money you have, the better you can upgrade the room to generate more income.
The game also has a calendar to show how many days have passed. It has a variety of upgradeable items. A day-to-night cycle changes the look of the scene as time progresses.
In Heroic Battle, you use your resources to build up your army and your stronghold. You can click to attack enemies, gain gold, and speed up your progression. However, the game also has an auto-attack system that lets you generate more money and keep making progress when you’re not at the computer.
Fight goblins, train archers, and protect your people, all with the click of your mouse.
A Dark Room is a text-based game that can add a little bit of mystery to your day. In it, you wake up alone in a dark room and start stoking the fire to protect yourself from the cold. But then a mysterious stranger enters the room, and things get a little stranger.
A Dark Room features resource management, interactions with others, and a fully developed story with an ending. If you like trying to unravel a mystery, try it out. The game doesn’t offer a tutorial, but you’ll be able to figure it out as you go along.
In Trimps, you try to gather what you need to stay alive. You start by collecting food and cutting wood. As you’re able to harvest more resources, be careful to balance your time and make sure that you don’t only focus on one.
Building or gathering stops other resources from doing the same. In the beginning, it’s essential to notice whether you have a queue actively working for you. The timers on resource management are long enough that it’s easy to set it aside for a while and come back to find you’ve collected hundreds of pieces of wood.
NGU Idle might require a little active time to get started, but things start taking off once your resource production is going. You can choose to do basic training, take on an adventure, or fight a boss. You also have to manage your equipment and stats.
NGU Idle also has some bizarre encounters. For example, you can fight a giant sundae. It’s a game for someone who appreciates the absurd.
In Swarm Simulator, the entire point of the game is to create a massive swarm of bugs from a few larvae and a bit of meat. You eat the meat to upgrade your insects. You cultivate hatcheries to get more larvae and obtain meat with the units you create.
Swarm Simulator is a text game, so don’t expect bright colors and flashy graphics. It’s insect inventory management — and yet people still find it addictive. Perhaps it’s because you can use your insects to take over more of the world around you as you create your swarm.
In Cosmos Quest, clicks help you move your society through a series of increasingly modern eras. The primary resource is energy which you can spend on buildings to create more energy. Click anywhere on the screen to start to generate your resources.
There’s also a combat system that helps you use upgrades to advance your civilization further. Use orbs to unlock fighting units to obtain blueprints, which you can use to move through the game. There are also in-game transactions available if you want to pay to progress more quickly.
In War Clicks, you purchase, upgrade, and manage your military. While the game is an idle game, it also includes some active modes. For example, there are mini-games and missions to undertake.
As you obtain energy units, you can purchase units as powerful as super bombers, attack helicopters, and mobile rocket launchers. Each will speed up the rate of energy collection. If you have larger units and step away for a while, you might be surprised by how much you’ve accumulated by the time you return.
Improving your instruments and dyes helps make your artist from a novice to a professional. As you obtain dye, it fills up the pixels on the canvas the artist is painting. More colors mean more ways to generate resources.
One of the neatest parts of the game is watching the canvas change. The canvases also are saved to a gallery so you can look at earlier ones when you’ve mastered new colors and tools.
In Idle Breakout, click little squares to clear them off the board. Each square is worth a specific dollar amount, depending on the number of clicks it takes to remove it. You can use the money you make to purchase bouncing balls to clear more blocks.
Each ball has a different way of bouncing to connect with the squares. For example, a plasma ball costs $200 and causes splash damage to nearby bricks. You can purchase multiples of each type of ball.
It doesn’t even look like a game at first. There is only a candy counter and an option to eat the candy. Then, an opportunity to throw some candy on the ground appears.
You have to explore by clicking on the screen, building up candy, and requesting developer options until a map appears. Once you can click on it, you’re in the city — and have the opportunity to purchase or spend your candy. It only gets stranger from there, with swords and quests for the idle player who loves to explore.
Progress Knight is a quirky game where you earn money over time in various professions, starting as a beggar and working your way up. You click to level your skills and occupations, unlocking new opportunities. One thing to keep in mind is that you continue to age throughout the game and have an average lifespan.
When you’re too old to continue, you have the option to carry over things you’ve accomplished to your next character. In that way, you don’t waste your idle time as you age. Besides that, there are surprises and unexpected paths in store for a player who sticks it out to old age.
Click on the pizza to bake a pizza. Trade baked pizzas for toppings and other upgrades to make your pizza shop the most efficient. Things like mysterious creatures and sunbeams are optional upgrades, which help you make pizzas faster.
Aside from the odd fact that the second topping you unlock after the sauce is corn, it’s a cute and fun little game. It’s as simple as upgrading everything so that each click delivers more pizza. However, it does take a surprisingly long time to get a satisfying number of pizzas per click.
Most idle games are small and simple games that you can pick up and learn in a few minutes. That doesn’t mean there isn’t much to them, though. Many of the games in this list are surprisingly deep and, in some cases, even touching.
If you’re looking for something more involved, consider trying a browser-based strategy game in between rounds of your idle game. You’ll have the best of both worlds, depending on your gaming mood that day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any good browser-based games?
There are many good browser-based games. All the games listed above are fun games that people have enjoyed in the past. Just because a game doesn’t require much processing power doesn’t mean it won’t give you hours of fun.
What is the best mobile idle game?
Try AdVenture Capitalist. It used to be a browser idle game but switched to Steam, iOS, and Android in the recent past. You run a thriving business and hire a manager to oversee it when you’re not interacting with the game.
What’s the point of idle games?
The point of idle games is to have fun! They’re simple enough that you don’t have to carve out a large block of time to play them. Playing idle games in your browser makes it even easier since you can play from almost anywhere with a computer and an internet connection.