Video Game Alternatives: 10 Best Alternatives To Video Games

What You Can Do Instead of Play Video Games

As fun and satisfying as gaming may be, sometimes you might not be able to play as you intended. From time to time, a server might crash or it might be someone else’s turn to use a shared console. Or, horror of horrors, the power goes out. And stays out for an indefinite period of time. How can you spend your time in an enjoyable—or at least useful—way while waiting for gaming to be available again?

What are the best alternatives to playing video games? Here is a list of easy and fun things you can do as video game alternatives:

  1. Read a book
  2. Listen to an audiobook
  3. Listen to a podcast
  4. Reach out to friends or family
  5. Tidy up your space
  6. Cook something to eat
  7. Go for a walk
  8. Do art
  9. Go to the gym
  10. Play a board game

While playing video games can be enjoyable, it can also get a bit addicting. Being able to step away and do something else for a change can be beneficial to you both physically and mentally. Keep reading to learn more about video game alternatives!

Video Game Alternative #1: Read a Book

If you’re in college, it could be a book for homework that you’ve been putting off for a while. Save your future self some stress and use this time to knock it out now. Or if it’s that novel you borrowed from your friend six months ago and haven’t picked up yet, maybe now’s the time to finally crack it open.

Benefits: You could get rid of that guilty feeling you’ve been having about not reading something you’ve been meaning to read. You can also get one step closer to getting that friend off your back if they’ve been bugging you to discuss or return it. And you might just get so into the book that you don’t want to put it down when video games are playable again!

Before there were video games or even TV’s, books were the go-to source in which readers could be transported to another world. Reading books and getting new ideas may also lead to you creating your own story that can be made into a video game. Learn more ways you can come up with your own video game ideas by visiting my article How to Create Unique And Addictive Video Game Ideas.

Video Game Alternative #2: Listen to an Audiobook

If reading just really isn’t your thing, you can still take in a story or some useful non-fiction information through audio. One of the best things about listening to an audiobook as opposed to reading is that you can multitask. You can exercise, tidy up, cook a meal, do a craft, or just about anything else while listening to an audiobook in the background.

Benefits: You can get stuff done while enjoying some entertainment. Even if you don’t have an audiobook buying app and don’t want to pay full price, you can get the Libby or Overdrive apps for borrowing audiobooks from your library. And there are some interesting old ones in the public domain over on youtube that you can listen to for free even without a library card.

Video Game Alternative #3: Listen to a Podcast

If you’re more interested in some short-form content rather than starting an entire giant book, a podcast is a great option. Some podcasts are made up entirely of episodes that each contain a short story if you’re looking for fiction. There are also podcasts like documentaries that tell true stories. And there are an infinite amount of podcasts about things like how to make more money, how to write a book, how to improve yourself in multiple ways, how to cook, and a myriad of other fascinating topics. If you want to learn more about any random thing, there’s a podcast about it out there. 

Benefits: Not only is this another chance to multitask, but it can also provide you with a different, more easily digestible size of content if a book is just too much for you to take on right now. And you just might find a new favorite podcast to make your commute and other boring situations more bearable in the future.

Video Game Alternative #4: Reach Out to Friends or Family

Odds are there’s someone you’ve been meaning to contact, but you’ve either been putting it off or accidentally forgetting over and over again. You have some free time now. You may not have another opportunity like this for a long time. Why not take this chance to do what you’ve been meaning to do? Not only will it stop that nagging feeling that you’ve been avoiding something you know you should do, but you just might surprise yourself and really enjoy it.

  1. Text that friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  2. Call your Mom. You’ll probably make her day.
  3. Send an email to that one teacher or professor who really got you and made class worth it.

Benefits: Touching base with someone you haven’t seen in a while can be surprisingly refreshing. And it could have a positive impact on the other person’s life, too. It’s hard to reach out when you are struggling, and people often struggle without others knowing about it because it’s easier to keep that kind of stuff hidden. But reaching out to show someone you care how they’re doing and want to catch up could be really helpful to someone’s life. Whether a teacher, family member, or old friend, there’s a good chance they’ll appreciate you reaching out more than you’ll ever know.

Video Game Alternative #5: Tidy Up Your Space

If the pile of dishes in the sink or the overflowing hamper makes you feel stressed and out of control of your life, but you normally would prefer to play video games after a hard day’s work…well. Now’s your chance to throw a load in the wash and scrub some dishes. Putting this task off over and over again makes you think it will take longer and be more unpleasant than it actually will. So just get started really quick before you can talk yourself out of it. Before long you’ll have a clean sink and a clean wardrobe and you’ll feel so much better.

Benefits: You’ll surprise yourself with getting something done and having a cleaner living space. It’s incredible the amount of positivity that a cleaner space can bring. Plug in a wall air freshener for an extra bit of satisfying home improvement.

Video Game Alternative #6: Cook Something Yummy

Do you ever want to cook but you’re in a hurry to get online before your team starts without you, so you grab a hot pocket instead? If you’ve been meaning to bake your roommate a cake for his birthday two months ago or you’ve been wishing for a chance to try out a cool recipe you saw on TikTok, why not now? Running to the store for a couple of ingredients won’t take that long. Or maybe your neighbor across the street would be willing to lend you some flour. You just might get to meet someone who will become a close friend who you would have missed out on meeting if you’d been gaming like you planned.

Benefits: Once again, getting something done that you’ve been meaning to do and putting off or conveniently forgetting feels so good! Just get it done and enjoy the satisfaction of the accomplishment. And you can listen to an audiobook at the same time.

Video Game Alternative #7: Go for a Walk

Sometimes stretching your legs for a few minutes can really clear the head and improve the mood. If you have a dog, they’d probably appreciate the chance for some exercise too.

Benefits: Burning calories is always a plus. And fresh air can improve the mood, especially if you’re in a bad mood due to your plans to game all night being changed for you. And if it tires out your dog for the evening too, that’s another bonus.

Video Game Alternative #8: Do Art

Are you an artistic person? Maybe only a closet artist? Well here’s your chance to finally sketch again or work on that painting. Art can be so hard to get started on but feels so satisfying and fun to work on if you can just get going. Take advantage of this opportunity to indulge in an old favorite hobby and do some art.

Benefits: It feels good to draw or write or paint if you’re a creative person. Especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve done anything like that. It could even remind you of a great way to spend your time that you completely forgot about. 

If you’ve been trying to come up with a video game concept, art can help you get in a rhythm. It enables you to use the colors you want seen in your game and create a vibe that needs to echo through certain scenes. To learn more tips fo designing a game, visit my article 10 Tips For Beginner Game Designers.

Video Game Alternative #9: Go to the Gym

If you’ve been meaning to work out, but it’s been a while, you could put that neglected gym membership to good use. Maybe do some weights, run, or swim for a few laps if your gym has a pool.

Benefits: Pushing your body a little physically can help increase serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain, which makes you feel happier. 

Video Game Alternative #10: Play a Board Game 

If the power is out or if there are other people waiting for their turn with the PlayStation, consider playing a game with those other people who are also in search of something fun to do.

Benefits: It’s easy to take people in your household for granted, but a little quality time can sometimes renew a stagnant familial relationship. You can forget how much fun someone is when you see them all the time when they’re tired and dressed in pajamas. But a board game or something similar can bring around a lot of laughs and make some good memories.


I hope this list of alternatives will make your gameless time a little more bearable and maybe even enjoyable. Keep in mind that you’ve got one life, and wasting time being mad about not being able to play when you wanted to only hurts you. If you can find a way to enjoy your time even when the games are unavailable to you, it will improve your enjoyment in life and may even help you enjoy video games more when you do get the chance to play.


One reason you may not be able to play any video games is because they keep crashing. Check out this article to troubleshoot this problem: Why Video Games Crash (And Simple Solutions To Fix Them.)


Hello there! My name is Collin. I’ve spent hours studying game design via podcasts, articles, and videos. This is where I share the helpful information I’ve learned about creating and marketing great games.

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