Nothing beats chess when you’re up for a battle of wits, patience, and glory. The game has indeed become a sport of the mind and is very popular all over the world. However, due to its nature, chess requires two players and a chess set. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life plaguing us, who has the time for such a thing? Fortunately, we now have the marvel of technology and, hence, we can play chess whenever and wherever we want. So long as you have your phone, a wonderful chess app is just a tap away.
20 Best Chess App Downloads On Mobile
Unfortunately, not every mobile chess app is as good as the real thing. So, which one should you download? Let’s check out the top 20 best chess apps you can download right now.
Whether it’s on your phone or tablet, Chess24 is a great chess app to play chess against computer programs. If you’re a beginner, you can play a chess game set up for your skill level. On the other hand, if you’re up for a challenge, you can also play at maximum difficulty.
If you’re only getting into chess now, this app is also helpful for learning how to play the game. It offers puzzles and problems you can solve to sharpen your chess skills. Furthermore, since many people learn visually, this chess app also has training videos you can watch — both online and offline.
Lastly, Chess24 is a great chess app for enthusiasts who want to stay up-to-date with chess-related news. You can view daily news reports and get notified of the latest chess trends. Check it out on both iOS and Android.
2. Chess By AI Factory Limited
Perhaps you want a chess app that focuses mainly on gameplay. If so, then Chess by AI Factory Limited is one of the best you can download. It offers most of the basics you’d expect from a chess app, particularly chess games in various difficulties.
With Chess by AI Factory Limited, you can play 12 levels in either casual or pro mode. There are also a bunch of settings you can toggle to vary gameplay, like playing with handicaps and timers. If you’re the competitive sort, this chess app also tracks achievements and leaderboards. This chess app is mostly free with ads, but it costs $0.99 if you want to remove the ads.
3. Chess Clock
What’s a proper chess game without a time limit? If you’re serious about the sport, this chess app is a must-have. However, it isn’t like other chess apps that allow you to play chess virtually. Instead, Chess Clock is a handy tool for real-life chess players who don’t have physical chess clocks.
With this chess app, you can set timers for 1 minute, 5 minutes, and so on, adjusted to your preference. Moreover, times in the app are cumulative. Thus, players can save time left from previous turns to use for subsequent ones. It’s available for everyone on both iOS and Android.
Chess.com is arguably the most famous chess app that lets you play chess online. The app does an excellent job of giving you an authentic, free chess experience. It’s great if you’re looking for chess online multiplayer apps that pit you up against real people.
In addition, the app is also helpful if you’re a beginner who wants to learn chess. That’s because it has a built-in tactics coach, chess-related articles, and chess training videos to know more about strategy. Further, you can access your account via the website chess.com in case you want to play on your desktop.
The base chess app is free to use. However, if you want to break the limits of the free version, you can subscribe to its premium services.
5. Chess for Kid
Are you a chess-loving parent who wants to teach the ropes to your children? Then look no further than Chess for Kid, the best chess app for young folks. From the very aesthetics of this chess app, you can’t mistake that this has a targeted user base. It’s kid-friendly which makes it perfect to teach your kids all the fundamentals of chess. They’ll learn the rules and find basic lessons that’ll teach them all about the game. Check it out on both iOS and Android.
6. Chess Online
Sometimes, you want to play chess online with friends, or at least play with other real-life players. If that sounds like you, then Chess Online is a great chess app to try. It’s compatible both on mobile and desktop browser via chessfriends.com, so you can access it almost anywhere.
You can play on-the-go with people of all types: amateurs, novices, and even experts if you have the guts. The community is big with over 1.6 million players, so you won’t run out of people to play with.
7. Chess Repertoire Trainer
Are you having trouble learning chess? Perhaps you’re frustrated because you always lose, or maybe you just want to sharpen your skills. Regardless of the reason, Chess Repertoire Trainer is one of the great chess apps to help you become a better player. This chess app provides vital chess lessons, from good opening moves to tactics used for mid-game play. The app targets your weaknesses as you play so you can take the opportunity to enhance your skills. With this, you’re sure to improve with a bit of time and training.
8. Chess Tactics Pro
If you like chess but don’t have the time for a full game, Chess Tactics Pro might be the way to go. That’s because Chess Tactics Pro offers chess puzzles instead of full-blown chess games. You can play daily puzzles and purchase offline packs to play during your downtime. It’s a great way to sharpen your chess-solving skills and study different tactics. Moreover, it’s free, so you can start at any time.
Learning chess isn’t easy, especially if you want to become good at the game. That’s why a chess app like CT-ART is a godsend for students of chess. It offers thousands of exercises and 50 topics to study for all types of chess enthusiasts.
These lessons teach various tactics so that you can learn more than one. You can use them — or recognize them from your opponent — and get exponentially better at chess. Moreover, the app also tracks your progress to better cater to your skill level.
10. DroidFish Chess
If you’re familiar with the Stockfish chess engine, DroidFish Chess will probably feel familiar. That’s because it’s a mobile port and it packs loads of features. While the chess app features various difficulty levels, it’s great at giving players a challenge. It has a simple user interface and doesn’t feel as modern as other apps. However, it’s great for simple games with no-frills — including in-app purchases and ads.
11. Dr. Wolf
Alright, maybe you’ve heard of chess before but don’t know a thing about its rules. What are the basics? Where do you begin? Dr. Wolf is here to rescue you because it’s a chess app that explains everything. With Dr. Wolf, you can learn everything one by one without being overwhelmed.
It’s more of a chess app for learning rather than immersive playing. Dr. Wolf guides you and shows you both potential tactics and past mistakes. It offers 25 lessons that teach various chess concepts, coupled with practice.
FollowChess is not a chess app that lets you play the game. On the other hand, it allows chess fans to watch international tournaments to learn from the best. After all, there’s no substitute for learning from watching real-life players!
iChess is a chess app for casual players that don’t want to plunge too deep into the depths of chess. Sometimes, all you need is a light game, in which case, iChess is perfect. You can play chess puzzles offline and even include your own from PGN files.
There’s no end to how much fun you can have by playing casual chess with iChess! The puzzles are also sorted from easiest to hardest, so you can work your way up easily. Moreover, it’s completely free, unless you want to remove the ads. In that case, it’ll cost you $1.99 for the pro version.
14. Learn Chess
Learn Chess is a great place to start if you want to study chess without having to hire a tutor. You can learn all of the basics with this chess app like how to move and where to put pieces. Moreover, it also teaches you basic tactics, different moves, and how to open and close.
If you want to enhance these skills, you can also solve in-app puzzles and get better at the game. The app’s games are mostly non-linear, so you’ll find that it’s a good challenge for beginners. However, it’s not unforgiving because it gives hints to players who are stumped.
Finding a good chess app is fairly easy if you look hard enough. However, not every chess app provides as much variety as Lichess. With Lichess, not only can you play chess with different time variations, but you can also play in different modes. There’s Chess960, Three-check chess, and Atomic chess — all of which give a twist to your basic chess game. Moreover, Lichess also offers training to its users with 60,000 tactical puzzles available for them to solve. Certainly, you can never go wrong with using Lichess.
16. Play Magnus
If you’re a fan of chess, then you’ve probably heard of Magnus Carlsen, one of the world’s chess champions. What a privilege it would be to be able to play with such a person! However, it’s most likely impossible, so let’s settle for the next best thing: Play Magnus.
Play Magnus is among the best chess apps that allow players to go against Magnus in different stages of life. You can play against 5-year-old Magnus, 20-year-old Magnus, etc. There are 19 versions of him available, all of whom you can play against. Of course, the older he gets, the more challenging the games against him get.
If you concede from time to time, you shouldn’t feel ashamed, either. Just check out some of the in-app training videos taught by Magnus himself, and you might just boost your skills.
17. Real Chess
Most chess apps on our list are 2D chess games. Not so with Real Chess because it offers excellent quality 3D gameplay and graphics. It’s easily the most aesthetically pleasing chess app if you’re looking for something that matches the real world.
However, that’s not Real Chess’ only strength because it is also a multiplayer online game. You can invite friends and engage in live chat, almost as if you’re in the room with them. There’s also the option to play against a computer if you’re not up to socializing with other players.
18. Really Bad Chess
Don’t let the name fool you because Really Bad Chess is indeed an extremely good game among the ranks of chess apps in the market. Sure, it doesn’t strictly abide by chess rules, but that’s the fun of it. Really Bad Chess allows you to randomize your chess games and disrupt the balance of regular chess.
You can set it up however you like. For example, you can play with 3 bishops, 2 queens, and 1 pawn instead of the regular set. This makes for exciting gameplay for people who want to play chess differently. It also has different modes you can play and the paid version adds other features you might want to try.
19. Shredder Chess
Another good chess app on our list is Shredder Chess. Surely, it’s not the most popular among the chess apps available nowadays. However, it does have its quirks and features that make it enjoyable. Shredder Chess gives players over a thousand chess puzzles that can work to sharpen your skills.
Moreover, Shredder Chess also has adjustable settings and even allows you to save and load games (much like a video game). Perhaps the biggest downside to Shredder Chess is the unfortunate price; it goes for $6.99 with no free version. There is a desktop app you can purchase that automatically gives you the mobile app. However, this doesn’t work in reverse, so if you only want to play on mobile, you have to pay money.
20. WiFi Chess
Last — but certainly not least — on our list is WiFi Chess. Other multiplayer games let you play online through your chess app. However, that kind of setup requires an Internet connection for you to play meaningfully against someone else. What if you’re at home, you want to play chess, but you don’t have a chessboard? Introducing WiFi Chess: the chess app you can play with a housemate via a local network.
Don’t mistake a local network connection for having an Internet connection, though. So long as both you and your housemate’s phones are connected to the same WiFi network, it’ll work. Yes, even without internet available and the WiFi icon says “no connection”. You can play on the network offline with a friend!
The Verdict: Best Chess App
With the relentless introduction of highly-engaging games in the market, a lot of people still prefer playing classic board games, like chess, via the mobile platform. These versions are practical and convenient, especially to those chess enthusiasts who are always on-the-go. Luckily, there are many chess apps you can now download online. Some will offer rigorous chess gameplay against an AI while others offer online multiplayer. Still, there are some that allow users to learn the ropes and test their mental skills. Regardless of what kind of chess apps you require, there’s certainly one that will complement your current chess-playing level.