Web browsers can come with some neat little features, such as built-in games. Let’s explore a few of the most popular.
There are numerous websites where you can play freely-available online games. However, did you know that some web browsers include their very own built-in games?
Google Chrome, Opera GX, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Vivaldi each include one built-in game, but they’re quite well hidden. Here's how you can activate each browser's built-in game.
A built-in browser game is one that’s incorporated within web browser software. As these games are built-in ones, you don’t need any kind of browser extensions to play them.
These games can also be played offline without an internet connection. Certain browsers, like Google Chrome, will also feature other kinds of offline games.
You can activate most of these built-in games by opening tabs for them with their browser's URL bars. However, the process for activating Firefox’s Unicorn Pong game is a little different. Although browsers’ built-in games are generally relatively basic affairs, you can still have a lot of fun with them.
Google Chrome’s Dinosaur Game is a 2D endless runner-type game in which you can clock up scores by jumping a T-Rex over desert obstacles to keep running longer. It’s among the poorest built-in browser games in terms of graphics and sound that’s primitive even by ZX Spectrum standards. Nevertheless, Dinosaur Game has some playability value.
To play Dinosaur Game, type chrome://dino/ in Google Chrome’s address bar and press Enter. Press Space to start the game. Keep pressing Space to jump the T-Rex over the cactus plant obstacles to get a higher score.
You can also play a color variant of the game at the T-Rex Chrome Dinosaur website. That site tells you about the history of the Dinosaur Game and even includes some desktop wallpapers for it. Click the Play Now banner link to select a Color option for Dinosaur Game.
There are other variations of the Chrome Dinosaur game you can play there as well. You can select to play Mario, Batman, and Joker versions of the same game from the same page. Plus web designers can copy code snippets for the game variations from there into their websites.
Download: Google Chrome (Free)
Firefox has a Unicorn Pong game you can play. Unlike other built-in browser games, you can’t activate this one from the browser’s URL bar. Instead, you’ll need to activate it within the Customize Firefox tab in the following steps:
Press the left and right arrow keys to move your Flexible Space box and hit the unicorn ball. You’ll get five unicorn balls in total. Hit more than five unicorns beyond the opposite Flexible Space box to win.
Download: Mozilla Firefox (Free)
Microsoft Edge’s Surf game is one in which you must surf your way around all manner of obstacles in the sea. It gives you three lives to keep your surfer going ever longer distances. Although Surf doesn’t have sound, it’s a more colorful built-in game than those in Firefox and Chrome.
To start playing Surf, click inside Microsoft Edge’s URL bar, input edge://surf, and press the Return button. Then the Surf game’s title screen will appear from which you can select different surfers by clicking the left and right arrow buttons. Double-click or press Space to start playing after choosing a surfer.
You can control the surfer by pressing the left/right arrow keys or by moving the mouse’s cursor. Surf also supports Xbox One controllers. Move the surfer over the ramps to jump over obstacles and get a bit of a speed boost.
The Surf game saves your highest distance score. You can see your record score by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner of the game. That button opens a menu from which you can also select alternative Time trial and Zig zag modes.
Windows 11 and 10 users won't need to download Edge since that browser comes bundled with those platforms. However, users such as Apple macOS users who don't have Edge can download that browser from the Microsoft page linked below.
Download: Microsoft Edge (Free)
Opera GX is a gaming-optimized version of the Opera browser. One of the reasons you should utilize Opera GX is to play its built-in Operius game. Operius is a 3D space shooter game in which players blast away blocks to rack up higher scores. With its (basic) 3D graphics and groovy soundtrack, Operius is a cut above other built-in browser games.
You can play Operius by entering opera://operius in Opera GX’s website address bar and hitting Return. Then press the Space key to select Arcade Mode and get blasting! You can control your spaceship by pressing the left/right arrow or A and D keyboard keys on the keyboard.
Download: Opera GX (Free)
Vivaldi is an excellent browser jammed-packed with some novel features you don’t get in Chrome. That browser has a built-in game in the form of Vivaldia. Vivaldia is a cyberpunk-style endless runner in which you control a futuristic bike armed with guns. Its game format is similar to Dinosaur Game, but Vivaldia has better visuals and sound than Chrome’s offering.
If you don’t already have Vivaldi, download that browser’s installer from the website link below. Entering vivaldi://game in Vivaldi’s ULR bar and pressing Return will start Vivaldia. Press the left mouse button when you see the “Click to Play” message. Then press the Space button to start playing Vivaldia.
Vivaldia’s title screen displays all the game’s controls. Just to reiterate them, press the arrow or W, A, S, and D keys to move and N and M to shoot your guns. You’ll often need to press the up arrow key to jump many obstacles and grab coins. You can also play fullscreen by clicking the button at the top-left of the Vivaldia game.
Download: Vivaldi (Free)
You can have fun in Google Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera GX, Firefox, and Edge with the built-in browser games above even when offline. They might be pretty basic games, but they’re still nice additions to their respective browsers. So, check them out if you ever get bored waiting for software and files to download whilst browsing.
Jack has been a freelance tech journalist for more than a decade. He has covered Windows Vista, 7, 10, and 11 topics within a multitude of guides for MakeUseOf and numerous other websites.