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Idle games (also known as AFK games) aren’t for everyone, but if you like the hands-off approach many of them take, finding the right one for you is important.
Of course, AFK Arena is probably the most well-known game in this genre, but there are many other options available to gamers.
Sure, AFK Arena is one of the better, more polished options, but it’s been out since 2018, meaning it would take a lot of time (or money) to catch up to others.
We’ve been diving heavily into this genre to see what all is out there, and we think we have a pretty solid list here.
The best idle games to check out in 2023
As a brief overview, these idle/AFK games all feature similar gameplay loops. You build teams of characters that typically require time (or money) to improve.
You use those teams to defeat opponents and push through more difficult, linear content.
They feature light RPG elements thanks to character abilities and typically feature a huge roster of characters to collect and build.
The AFK part of these games comes from auto-combat and game rewards that can be earned even while not playing.
We’re going to be honest. There is one in this list (Eversoul) that stands out above the rest currently.
But definitely consider some of the other ones if Eversoul or AFK Arena isn’t for you.
Unlike AFK Arena, which is a portrait-mode game, Eversoul is a landscape-mode game, which means you’ll need to hold your phone sideways.
Besides that, the art style is much different, so if you like anime-inspired visuals, Eversoul is already going to check an important box for you.
It features some great cutscenes as well, so if that is something you are looking for, Eversoul has it.
Gameplay is similar to many AFK games, in that you’ll set teams of five to push farther through the levels, and you earn rewards even when you aren’t playing.
Like many RPG games, characters have abilities, and one key to victory is building a synergistic team.
Finally, there are some elements in the game that require players to actually explore elements, which is a breath of fresh air in the genre.
Panilla Saga is another recent idle game that received a global release in 2022.
In our opinion, the art style reminds us a bit of AFK Arena, but definitely includes more Japanese-inspired artwork. It’s also a portrait-mode game like AFK Arena.
It features a large roster of really awesome-looking characters. But sadly, in-battle visuals leave a bit to be desired.
We’ve enjoyed our time with the game quite a bit and have seen plenty of praise on Reddit and Twitter, as well.
Mobile Legends Adventure
Mobile Legends Adventure is a veteran of the AFK/idle game space, having recently celebrated its 3-year anniversary.
It’s a landscape-mode game and has pretty engaging visuals on par with AFK Arena or Panilla Saga.
This one has a ton of different gameplay modes, including some that are more hands-on than what you typically find in these kinds of games.
Depending on what you are looking for, that may or may not be a good thing, so keep that in mind.
Heroes of Mythic Might
Heroes of Mythic Might is a portrait-mode AFK game that blends turn-based RPG elements with mainly idle gameplay.
As usual, there is a robust cast of characters to collect, most based on Ancient Chinese mythology.
In the 6v6 combat, turn order is represented through a card system, but all combat is still auto.
This is similar to most idle games, but instead of all units attacking at once, there is a refreshing turn element here.
Admittedly, this is one we haven’t spent quite as much time on, so we’ll revisit this soon to provide more information.
Idle games aren’t for everyone, but worth exploring
If you’re just diving into the world of idle/AFK games, AFK Arena and Eversoul are great jumping-off points.
You might find that the combat and gameplay loop isn’t engaging enough for you – and that’s ok! The genre definitely isn’t for everyone.
But if you enjoy idle games’ progression systems and hero collectors as a whole, finding the right AFK game will hopefully start with this list.
And for AFK Arena veterans looking for a change, hopefully, you find a new contender for the best idle game.