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10 Best Idle Browser Games for 2021

10 Best Idle Browser Games for 2022

Dwight Pavlovic
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Reading time: 7 minutes
Most popular idle games are based on a single interaction: clicking with your mouse. Sometimes called idle clickers and incremental games, idle games incorporate depth and complexity in their own unique ways. Some idle browser games are more about novelty and challenging yourself through successive runs, while others focus on upgrades and management.
While you can play most of these titles primarily in your browser, you can play some on other platforms, including mobile. We’ll include a note about those platforms in our reviews of the best idle games below.

1. Melvor Idle

Citing beloved free-to-play MMORPG RuneScape as a major influence, Melvor Idle released to popular acclaim on Nov. 18, 2021. The developers' goal was to create a game that’s equally streamlined and immersive.
In terms of story, Melvor Idle features a medieval fantasy setting and focuses on upgrading and developing skills. Just click or tap to improve your stats and fight monsters using your own unique balance of abilities. The interactions are simple, but Melvor Idle is one of the more detailed browser idle games out there.
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2. Cookie Clicker

Cookie Clicker centers on two things: cookies and clicking. Click on a springy cookie to produce the sweet treats, then use your accumulated wealth to buy upgrades and increase the number of cookies produced per click. The top of the game displays a news ticker of silly updates, and the production upgrades are equally ridiculous (like “grandma” or “factory”).
Can’t get enough cookies? You can also play the “classic” Cookie Clicker experience online. The premise is similar, but you’ll find a new stream of amusing encouragement and tweaked upgrades to speed things up. Cookie Clicker is currently available to play in-browser or mobile, but not for iOS yet.
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3. AdVenture Capitalist

Based on growing an automated and diversified business, AdVenture Capitalist takes the upgrade-and-grow approach of clicker games and adds a deeper, more nuanced interface and experience. You’ll build up and diversify your business through investments, allowing you to hire managers and earn money at an exponential rate.
In this game, you start with a single lemonade stand, working to hire squeezers to expand your capacity. From there, the experience opens up into a wide variety of other investments and activities. While it’s available for online play and your investments grow offline, AdVenture Capitalist is also one of the more popular idle games for Android featured in our list.
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4. Realm Grinder

Realm Grinder fittingly bills itself as one of the “deepest” idle games in almost any category, with layered mechanics and loads of content to uncover. Set in its own medieval fantasy universe, Realm Grinder tweaks progression by factoring in an allegiance system. Once you develop your kingdom to a certain extent, you also align with good or evil.
Faction preferences will have big implications for how you spend your time in the game. Your alliances shape your style of play and influence what bonuses you pursue during each run, as well as the appearance of your kingdom. You even unlock new factions and aspects of gameplay as you progress.
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5. Clicker Heroes

Clicker Heroes has a colorful animation style and a strong cast of characters to help you fight an increasingly challenging cast of monsters. The heroes are pulled from classical history, and they range from Athena to King Midas, while the monsters are a bit sillier.
With a more streamlined interface, Clicker Heroes is an older and more playful version of modern clickers like AFK Arena. While a sequel was released in 2018, Clicker Heroes 2, the original remains the more popular choice. Despite more sophisticated graphics and mechanics in the second installment, only the original is playable online, offline, and with Android or iOS.
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6. Cell to Singularity: Evolution Never Ends

Initially released in early access on Steam in 2018, Cell to Singularity: Evolution Never Ends is a newer clicker favorite. It’s actually one of the most recent releases on our list, earning a quick and extremely positive reaction from fans and players upon its full release in 2021.
Cell to Singularity uses an elaborate tech tree and clicker mechanics to show the breadth of human knowledge, with a colorful 3D rendering thrown in just for fun. Clicking helps you accelerate the pace of evolution, allowing you to immediately scope out new additions to the universe.
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7. Universal Paperclips

With roots in a thought experiment, Universal Paperclips is one of the simplest idle games for browsers. The interface is just a few text fields and buttons, with a deliberately minimalist, even drab, appearance. You can play it very simply like other idle games, but the mechanics actually place a lot of importance on planning.
You primarily make paperclips, but you can also raise and lower their price. Beyond production, you can invest money in a few different ways: in marketing to increase demand, on wire to sustain your supply, and then on auto-clippers to cut back on click time. The gameplay may be simple, but the up-close focus is a unique diversion.
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8. Super Auto Pets

Super Auto Pets is a popular “chill auto battler” that’s in its open beta phase. Despite that, it’s garnered thousands of rave reviews on a variety of platforms and is free to play in your browser. Fear not Steam players: it’s receiving regular updates. Also, based on the “very positive” trend in reviews, most of you are really enjoying it.
In Super Auto Pets, you build a team of different animals with unique abilities. Play happens in two modes: arena mode with asynchronous matchups, or a matched versus mode with other players. It’s currently only available for Android, but developers Team Wood Games are working on an iOS version.
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9. A Dark Room

A Dark Room is a text-based roleplaying game that starts simple but expands in scope with every click. You begin in a dark room, lighting a fire as the first step of your adventure. In this entirely black-and-white game, everything is based on text. But even with its minimalist presentation, the game becomes surprisingly engrossing with the slowly expanding variety of experiences, interactions, and activities.
You may start by simply lighting a fire, but as it burns down you gain access to resource gathering. Leave your warm room to gather wood and eventually check traps as you slowly build towards greater and greater complexity. It’s primarily designed for browser play, but A Dark Room is also available on Android and iOS.
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10. NGU IDLE

NGU IDLE arguably takes the content-first approach further than other games on our list. Players love its sense of humor and absurdist design, which combines cheeky illustrations with a universe of bizarre matchups and boss fights.
The core mechanic is to upgrade and improve your performance against what the game calls its “weird bosses,” including “a flock of Canada Geese,” among others. The backbone of the game is combat, but it’s all elevated by a strong story, frequent jokes, and the over-the-top illustration style.
Links and notes:
  • Absurdist adventure clicker with loads of content.
  • Play in your browser via Kongregate.
  • Download via Steam.
  • Not available for mobile play.

Tons of idle games you can play online

Narrowing a list of the best browser idle games is a challenge. There are older classics like Cookie Clicker and the more serious, plotted adventure of A Dark Room. You’ll also find plenty of amusing takes on the world of business, from the nihilism of Universal Paperclips to tycoon games like AdVenture Capitalist.
Whatever you prefer, there’s plenty to choose from and even more reasons to try these incremental games. The best idle browser games are fun and diverting, with accessible mechanics and enough content to hold your attention.
About the Author: Dwight Pavlovic is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Dwight is a music and technology writer based out of West Virginia.

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