Stay inside, play games: How you can stay happy, social, and healthy at home using video games

(Image credit: Nintendo)

We've been training for this our entire lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently urging all of us to close our curtains, get comfortable on the couch, and to stay at home playing video games. We're all doing our bit to flatten the curve and combat the spread of coronavirus, but many of us are experiencing less social interaction and exercise than we might otherwise be accustomed to, which can have a negative effect on physical health and mental well being. 

That's why the WHO is recommending that we stay #healthyathome, and video games can play a vital role in helping us through these trying times. In light of that, GamesRadar+ has collated some of its articles that can help you stay Healthy at Home and Play Together, Apart. Whether that's rounding up the awesome co-op games that can bring you and your family together or the multiplayer games that can get you socializing with friends. The feelgood experiences that can help lift your spirits, puzzle games to keep your mind active, and the fitness games that can help you stay physically fit. The GamesRadar+ team wants to offer its insight into the games we are all playing to stay engaged and energised, and the ways in which we are seeking solace in virtual worlds. 

Video games will help us through

The UN agency has launched a number of initiatives in recent weeks, many of which are focused around the unique ways in which interactive entertainment can keep us active, engaged, and connected to a world outside of the four walls immediately surrounding you. 

The first is Play Apart, Together, a campaign that saw the WHO team up with 18 industry leading developers and platforms to encourage the WHO's health guidelines. You'll no doubt be familiar with these by now – physical distancing, hand hygiene, and other powerful preventative actions you can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 through your community. The second is Healthy at Home, and that's centred around the WHO's desire to remind you to stay healthy at home during this period of confinement. 

Why is the notion of 'staying healthy' being suddenly paired with 'video games'? Because the WHO is keenly aware that playing can be a way to stay physically active, to help look after your mental health, and to keep socially and intellectually engaged. It's up to each of us to stay healthy at home by whatever means necessary – in this particular case, you can do that through playing games. It's important to remind not only yourself of that, but your friends and family too. 

You can find our #healthyathome articles below, which tie into the WHO's desire to keep all of us safe and secure through the power of video games.

Healthy at Home

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Games to keep you fit
From Ring Fit Adventure to Just Dance 2020, here are the best fitness games to help you keep physically fit indoors.

(Image credit: Mojang)

Get free education in Minecraft
Microsoft and Mojang has released packs of Minecraft Education lessons to help kids stuck in quarantine learn, free until June 30.

(Image credit: PopCannibal)

Games that will make you feel good
Looking to bring some joy into your life through video games? Then you'll want to give try of the best feel good games

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Games as a force for good
People are turning to video games for comfort in uncertain times, but they've always been a force for good.

(Image credit: Concerned Ape)

Games that will make you happy
Looking for a break from everything going on outside of your house? We think these are the best games to make you happy

(Image credit: Activision)

Games that you can relax with
The GamesRadar+ team answers the Big Question: relaxing games we are each playing to keep ourselves calm in these trying times. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Couch co-op with Switch
If you own a Nintendo Switch and you're looking for ways to keep the whole household entertained, here are the best local multiplayer Switch games.  

(Image credit: Mojang)

Couch co-op on PS4
Here's our pick of the best PS4 split-screen games that you can find on Sony's machine to keep the family entertained.

(Image credit: Activision)

Play great games for free
Looking for something new to play to keep you busy but you're concerned about money? Here's the best free games right now

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Free to play on PS4
Own a PS4 but bored by the games that you own? Here's the best free PS4 games to keep you active and engaged in lockdown. 


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Free to play on Xbox One
Need something to play but you're worried about spending money? Don't worry, here are the best free Xbox One games you can download. 

(Image credit: Sirvo LLC)

Games to play in your browser
Want you or your family to get into games but don't have a console to hand? Here's the best browser games you can play on your computer.

Play Together, Apart

(Image credit: Nvidia/CDC)

Coronavirus relief efforts
From free games to harnessing computing power for a cure, the gaming industry is helping fight COVID-19 with video game coronavirus relief efforts.

(Image credit: Arkane Studios)

Comfort in game worlds
Now that we can't go out and explore our own cities, there's never been a better time to seek solace in virtual worlds.

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Roll the dice
How to take care of yourself by rolling dice on the internet: Playing D&D online has been my saving throw in a time of social distancing.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Combating anxiety through games
Why games with repetitive elements or a supremely chill vibe dull the noise in a hyperactive mind.

(Image credit: Atlus)

Looking for structure
How games like Persona 5 Royal can offer comfort in uncertain times through character-driven storytelling and clear structure.

(Image credit: Respawn)

Get your friends into games
My quarantine goal is to get my friends into Apex Legends, and it's proving to be a great way to communicate with loved ones even while apart.  

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Take your gaming online
Learn how to play D&D online with our handy guide and find out what you'll need to get started.

(Image credit: Team17)

Play with friends
Here's the best co-op games you can play to help you keep in touch, and have fun, with your friends while in lockdown. 

We'll be updating this in the weeks to come as we find new ways of using games to help us cope with the current situation. Stay safe, stay inside, and remember to wash your hands.

Josh West
UK Managing Editor, GamesRadar+

Josh West is the UK Managing Editor of GamesRadar+. He has over 10 years experience in online and print journalism, and holds a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Feature Writing. Prior to starting his current position, Josh has served as GR+'s Features Editor and Deputy Editor of games™ magazine, and has freelanced for numerous publications including 3D Artist, Edge magazine, iCreate, Metal Hammer, Play, Retro Gamer, and SFX. Additionally, he has appeared on the BBC and ITV to provide expert comment, written for Scholastic books, edited a book for Hachette, and worked as the Assistant Producer of the Future Games Show. In his spare time, Josh likes to play bass guitar and video games. Years ago, he was in a few movies and TV shows that you've definitely seen but will never be able to spot him in.