Top 10 Command Line Games For Linux

You can play games on the Linux terminal. Here are the best command line games for you.

Linux has never been the first preference among operating systems for gaming. However, gaming on Linux has evolved, and now, even a new user can try to play the latest games on Linux.

You can download Linux games from various sources and also explore some of the best distributions tailored for gaming if that is what you want.

Moreover, you can also play some cool games on the terminal or the command line. Did you know that? 😲

Linux has one added advantage over its Windows counterpart. The mighty Linux terminal allows you to do many interesting, powerful, and useful things, including playing command line games.

Games that run on the terminal are light, fast, and fun to play.

And the best thing of all, you’ve got a lot of classic retro games available for the Linux terminal.

The list is in no particular order of ranking.

1. Bastet

bastet screenshot

Who hasn’t spent hours together playing Tetris? Simple, but totally addictive.

Bastet is the Tetris of Linux. You can play the normal version or choose the harder version to challenge yourself.

Use the command below to install Bastet:

sudo apt install bastet

To play the game, run the below command in the terminal:


Use spacebar to rotate the bricks and arrow keys to guide. You can also customize the keys as per your preferences.

We mention installation instructions for Ubuntu as we test it, but the games should be available in repositories of other popular Linux distributions.

2. Ninvaders

ninvaders screenshot

Space Invaders on a command-line interface. I remember tussling for a high score with my brother on this. One of the best arcade games out there.

Copy and paste the command to install Ninvaders.

sudo apt install ninvaders

To play this game, use the command below:


Arrow keys to move the spaceship. Space bar to shoot at the aliens.

3. Pacman4console

pacman4console screenshot

Yes, the King of the arcade. Right?

Pacman4console is the terminal version of the popular arcade hit Pacman. ⍩⃝

You need to re-size the window and keep it a bit big/wide to be able to launch the game.

Use the command to get pacman4console:

sudo apt install pacman4console

Open a terminal, and I suggest you maximize it. Type the command below to launch the game:


Use the arrow keys to control the movement.

4. nSnake

nsnake screenshot

Remember the snake game on Nokia phones? 🐍

That game kept me hooked on the phone for a long time. I used to devise various coiling patterns to manage the grown-up snake.

We have the snake game in Linux terminal thanks to nsnake. Use the command below to install it:

sudo apt install nsnake

To play the game, type in the below command to launch the game.


Use arrow keys to move the snake and feed it. You can also download various levels by following the instructions in the game.

Suggested Read 📖

Best Games On Steam You Can Play On Linux and Windows
Here’s a curated list of the best steam games in various genres. The games listed here are available on both Windows and Linux. When it comes to gaming, a system running on a Windows platform is what anyone would recommend. It still is an excellent choice for gamers with

5. Greed

Greed is a little like Tron, minus the speed and adrenaline.

Your location is denoted by a blinking ‘@’. You are surrounded by numbers and you can choose to move in any of the 4 directions,

greed screenshot

The direction you choose has a number, and you move precisely that number of steps. And you repeat the step again. You cannot revisit the visited spot and the game ends when you cannot make a move.

It may look confusing, so I would say it may not be to everyone's liking. It is still fun.

Install greed with the command below:

sudo apt install greed

To launch the game use the command below. Then use the arrow keys to play the game.


6. Air Traffic Controller

What’s better than being a pilot? An air traffic controller. ✈️

You can simulate an entire air traffic system in your terminal. To be honest, managing air traffic from a terminal kind of feels, real and sounds cool. (what do you think?)

atc screenshot

It is one of the games that come included with BSD Games package. You can explore the other free and open-source games included with it as well.

Install the game using the command below:

sudo apt install bsdgames

First, you need to read the instructions to play the game, to do that use the command:

man atc

Once you understand how it is done, enter command below to launch the game:


Suggested Read 📖

Play Multiplayer Tron Arcade Game In Linux Terminal
When it comes to gaming in Linux, Linux has an added advantage of terminal games. These ‘terminal games’ are played in the Linux command line terminal. Unlike the usual games, terminal games are mostly in ASCII display. ASCII might not sound fancy, and it isn’t. But you can still

7. Backgammon

backgammon screenshot

Whether you have played Backgammon before or not, You should check this out. The instructions will be prompted when you launch the game. Play it against the computer or your friend if you prefer.

It is a two-player board game. Also, included with the same BSD Games package as mentioned above.

Install Backgammon using this command:

sudo apt install bsdgames

Type in the below command to launch the game:


8. Moon Buggy

Jump. Fire. Hours of fun. No more words to describe. Lots of fun! 🚗

moon buggy screenshot

Install the game using the command below:

sudo apt install moon-buggy

Use the below command to start the game:


Press space to jump, ‘a’ or ‘l’ to shoot.

9. 2048

Here’s something to make your brain flex 🧠

2048 is a strategic as well as highly addictive game. The goal is to get a score of 2048.

2048 screenshot

You need to install an addition gcc package to build the game from source.

sudo apt install gcc

Head to its GitHub page if you are curious.

Copy and paste the commands below one by one to install the game.


gcc -o 2048 2048.c

Type the below command to launch the game and use the arrow keys to play.


10. Nudoku

Want to play sudoku on the Linux terminal? Why not.

nudoku screenshot

You can install it using the following command:

sudo apt install nudoku

To run the game, simply type:


Your pick?

If you want to have fun with Linux terminal, these games should give you a good experience. I guess it is time to press Ctrl+Alt+T now that you've read this.

You may also check out our list of best ascii games for Linux:

Best ASCII Games for Linux That are Insanely Good
Text-based or should I say terminal-based games were very popular a decade back – when you didn’t have visual masterpieces like God Of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Spiderman. Of course, the Linux platform has its share of good games – but not always the “latest and greatest”. But, there

💬What is your favorite on the list? Or got some other fun stuff for the terminal? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

Become a Better Linux User

With the FOSS Weekly Newsletter, you learn useful Linux tips, discover applications, explore new distros and stay updated with the latest from Linux world


Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to It's FOSS.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.