Flirting over mutual interests is hardly a new concept. Just like outdoorsy folks probably wouldn’t want to date someone who’s scared of camping, gamers would probably like to weed out people who say they love video games, but really just mean they like to play Mario Kart at parties.
Gaming isn’t just the after-school hobby that parents think it is. It’s a culture. Though the physical products (from brawls over the PS5 to brawls over the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080) are an obviously crucial part, gaming culture today is highly based on connection between players. Live streaming, chatting with internet friends on Discord, and gamer content creators on TikTok have taken “multiplayer” to a new level.
People are clinging to video games for comfort and interaction during an otherwise extremely lonely pandemic. It’s only natural that gamers — a highly-enthusiastic group that’s already used to interacting in a virtual setting — would look for love on an app.
SEE ALSO: How to maneuver dating apps when you’re bisexual
Which dating app will work for you depends on what your end goal is. People whose endgame is a big The Last of Us-type finish (like getting married or at least settling down in something long-term) and people who want to see what’s out there without the pressure to get serious (like an Overwatch scenario) will likely sign up for two different apps.
Here are our picks for the best dating sites for gamers — hit the grey arrow on each box to see more about why you might like one over the other.
Best gaming-specific app
Non-binary gender option • App founders collaborated with 100 women gamers • Connect with in-name games over phone numbers • Profile cards dedicated to favorite games, characters, etc.
Still a ghost town in some areas • Limited matches unless you pay • Expensive for such a small userbase
Easily the coolest take on gamer dating in recent history, Kippo is super inviting but needs more users.
Gaming culture is perfectly channeled on this newer app that gets design advice from popular Twitch streamers. Free version: Yes One month of Kippo Infinity: $9.99
Profiles are colorful, graphics-heavy, and feature a space dedicated to displaying favorite video games. Other highlighted cards include factors that matter to this crowd, like their star sign and favorite Animal Crossing character, plus a fun “This or That” section. Inspired by Fortnite, users can even unlock achievements and badges.
The opportunity to form platonic bonds adds to Kippo’s inviting energy. According to VentureBeat, 93 percent of users play together before meeting — a low-pressure setup for friends and a way for potential love interests to experience their crush’s voice and sense of humor.
best if you’re looking to win the dating game
Easy to tell who’s serious about finding a real relationship • Even number of men and women • Free users can now message their “Top Picks” • Lots of ways to showcase who you are
Notifications for EVERYTHING • Prices change too often
Match offers six months for free if you’re still looking after the first six, but be ready for it to work *much* faster.
Find love *without* that lovey-dovey pressure with Match’s new design that make it easy to tell who’s serious. Free version: Yes One month of Premium: $35.99 Three months of Premium: $19.99/month Six months of Premium: $17.99/month One year of Premium: $15.99/month
One of Match’s shining points of consistency over the years is its well-populated but balanced user base. There’s a near-even split between men and women, users who don’t have kids and users who do have kids, and a pretty stacked feed of people to match with even if you’re looking for love in a less-populated area. Whether your love for gaming stems from Space Invaders or Overwatch, finding someone with the same preferences shouldn’t take long.
Match (mins the “.com”) has totally reconstructed its questionnaire to be less of a monotonous interrogation and more of a conversational probe into how you’d react to realistic situations — both with a partner and, say, a neighbor who needs help at 3. a.m. The probe into your daily habits and values (plus the ability to mark traits that are deal breakers) ensures that Match sets you up with someone whose ideal lifestyle matches yours. The meshing of playfulness and rational thinking downs the pressure of signing up for a paid dating site.
best for left-leaning gamers
Expands compatibility to social justice views • Dedicated space for preferred pronouns • Trendy redesign is genuinely fun to navigate • Shows a percentage for each match based on things you agree on (or not)
Often marked as free, but you have to pay for the best features • Not great in small, rural areas • Inconsistent rules
Affordable, woke, and just plain fun, OkCupid has a unique system and makes online dating feel cool.
Informed millennials dig OKC’s focus on the nexus between political views and meshing romantically. Free version: Yes One month of A-List: $9.95 Three months of A-List: $7.95/month Six months of A-List: $4.95/month
Users can illuminate the issues they hold dear and weed out people they’d want to argue with by answering deal-breakers like “Would you date someone who keeps a gun in the house?” or “Should the government require children be vaccinated for preventable diseases?” As one of the most inclusive dating sites on the market by far, OkCupid is known for its decision to let all users choose their pronouns. In June 2020, the site introduced the option to add a Black Lives Matter badge to your profile. It’s that inclusive mindset that makes OkCupid such a home-run pick for gamers.
A voter badge was also introduced in September ahead of the 2020 election — and per OkCupid’s own findings, singles who marked an intention to vote were 63 percent more likely to get a match and 85 percent more likely to receive a message (compared to non-voters).
Of course, politics aren’t the only determining factor in romance. OKCupid has in-depth user bios, but profile building isn’t long or tedious at all. The questions are smart and dive into your dating style without being too mushy. You’ll even get to see the percentage of how much you have in common with other daters based on the questions you both answer.
Best anecdotes on Reddit
Quality matches over quantity • No swiping • Little to no effort required after making a profile • Offers more info about the person than Tinder
Matches only come in once a day • User base isn’t huge • You might see the same profiles again and again
With only a handful of matches a day, you’re forced to really consider who you want to meet IRL.
Coffee Meets Bagel
Avoid a blown-up inbox with this Reddit-backed app’s smaller community and authentic, curated matches. Free version: Yes One month of Premium: $34.99 Three months of Premium: $24.99/month Six months of Premium: $19.99/month
Millions upon millions of active users is usually a plus. It is nice to know that your options are virtually limitless, but it can be jarring to have 20 new messages every time you sign on. This happens on eharmony and Tinder alike — people want connection, and they want it now. CMB’s unhurried approach is great for singles who are rusty, introverted, or who simply don’t feel like scrolling every time they have a free minute.
Every day, seven of your best matches (bagels) will be released, chosen by your answers to prompts, how you swiped on yesterday’s batch, and who has already expressed interest in you, too. Bagels are limited regardless of whether you upgrade to a paid account.
CMB encourages users to get the ball rolling by only keeping your match for seven days. It’s less pressure than Bumble’s 24-hour time limit but still eliminates a list full of matches who don’t care enough to respond or plan a meet-up. Plus, not being bombarded with available hotties 24/7 gives you time to contemplate whether you genuinely want to get to know them or if you’re just bored.
Best for people who care about astrology
Can see the birth chart of every potential match • Queer users can opt out of seeing or being seen by straight people • Many pronoun and sexuality options • Less rigid than Bumble’s sun sign filtering • Great tool to make friends, too
Crashes often • Login/password issues
Tired of haggling your date about their birth time? NUiT has already compiled their whole birth chart.
A magical app that takes care of asking for someone’s birth time, plus a truly special feature for queer people. Free version: Yes
Remember when Bumble announced it would let users filter matches by their zodiac sign? NUiT is the better version of that. The creators at NUiT know that, for many, birth charts can be a wildly helpful tool in maneuvering the dating world by predicting how well you’d mesh with someone in aspects like argument stye or the importance of sex. NUiT also accounts for the nuances in different combinations of placements outside of sun signs. It encourages daters to use astrological compatibility as insight to understand why a match might act the way they do, but does so while avoiding overly-simplistic “What fried food you are based on your zodiac sign” energy. People who study astrology will be the first to tell you that astrology is a cosmic guide to behaviors, but it isn’t tell-all as to how good of a partner or friend someone will be.
Creators also recognized another thing that turns queer users off to heteronormative dating apps: They don’t want to see or be seen by straight people. Sure, Tinder and OkCupid have their share of well-meaning allies — but the lack of shared experience as a queer person can make or break a relationship’s dynamic. Such a feature has been a long time coming as dating apps increase focus on inclusivity, and people on Twitter are pretty psyched about it.
Best for instant gratification
Massive user base (in the U.S. and globally) • Tons of ways to interact • LGBTQ+ and poly friendly
Most features aren’t free • Prices are too high for the level of sketchiness • Mobile app is rough • Looks like a computer virus waiting to happen
The abundance of people to sext may not be enough to outshine the nightmarish user experience.
Relieve some tension without leaving the house — as long as you can ignore the deserted strip club vibe. Free version: Yes One month of Gold: $35.99 Three months of Gold: $26.95/month One year of Gold: $19.95/month
Regardless of whether you’re looking for an in-person hookup or to blow off some steam via sexting, raunchy videos, a group chat for ultra-specific kinks, AFF has everything that your dirty mind can think of and then some. Almost nothing is blurred out, but if you don’t mind that the entire thing looks like a sketchy “There are hot singles in your area” ad, you’ll find a way to get off (or get laid) in no time.
Though a lot of young people use Tinder to find casual sex, AFF is more… mature (like a Pornhub that you can actually interact with — pop-ups included). You’ll find people who work the regular 9-5, people who work the night shift, and people in other time zones, so it’s nearly impossible to log on and not have people to talk to.
Most of the premium features are a part of the paid Gold subscription, which is a relatively hefty investment for gamers who are already forking over payments for Xbox or PS4 online, a Twitch account, or in-game purchases. The fact that AFF’s mobile app is so shoddy that sitting a computer is necessary for a decent experience might be enough of a turnoff for people who treasure their PC.
Best if gaming is a side gig
Great for people looking for a partner in the same job field • Very specific age group target • Recent update makes questionnaire more fun
Distance filter starts at 50 miles • Might get suggestions that don’t match your filters • Easy for users to lie about salaries
Veteran gamers who also nerd out over their jobs might appreciate EliteSingles’ specific calling.
The mature user base to delve into when a similar work ethic is just as important as similar hobbies. Free version: Yes Three months of Premium: $69.95/month Six months of Premium: $53.95/month One year of Premium: $39.95/month
EliteSingles loves to brag that 82% of their members are college grads, and with most of its members between 33-50 years old, we can pretty surely say you won’t have to worry about accidentally coming across a fresh college graduate. College kids probably wouldn’t be down to pay $30 to $70 a month on a dating site anyway, and that high subscription price is just another giveaway that EliteSingles is targeted toward more established folks with a disposable income.
Getting started, you’ll fill in your basic information and then take the new and improved personality questionnaire. EliteSingles attempts to match you through 29 algorithms and the Five Factor Personality Test, which looks at attachment style, selfishness, and more stuff that you should try to be honest about.
Don’t get too caught up on the salary and education questions — you’ll still get to showcase the fun and quirky parts of yourself with different prompts that are displayed on your profile. This is where you can make mention of your favorite pastime — gaming.