Do you want free game sound effects and background music?
There are tons of websites that indie developers can use to score free game sound effects and music for their games. The secret is knowing where to look. So, we’ve made the process even easier by compiling a list of websites that offer free game sound effects that you can use in your next project. Many of these sites vary from major sound databases like Freesound.org to small blog sites dedicated to a particular niche.
It’s important when you’re using sound asset sites to check the license agreement. Each website’s policy and usage guidelines may vary. So, be sure to check for commercial use and whether giving attribution is required or not.
Now that you know what to look out for, here’s our list of 13 great places to find free game sound effects and music:
If you’re an indie developer, bookmarking the Kenny.nl website is a must. This massive asset resource site not only features graphics but free game sound effects as well. In their audio section, you can find voice-overs, music jingles, and sound effects for RPG, UI, and other specific genres. Plus most of the sound packs are free to use with no attribution necessary.
2. 99 Sounds
99 Sounds is a site where talented sound designers from all over the world promote their work. There’s a special showcase section with nothing but free sound effects that you can download completely royalty free. All of the exclusive tracks can be used for game development or any other creative project. They have drone effects, drum kicks, cinematic sounds, and loops. 99 Sounds also features a nice eclectic collection of sound effects ranging from hand claps and finger snaps to weird more atmospheric sounds. It’s worth checking out, especially if you’re making a game with a sci-fi or dramatic theme.
3. Sound Image
Sound Image is a blog created by Eric Matyas that features free music and sound effects for game developers. Don’t let the basic appearance of this blog deceive you. It’s loaded with high-quality well-mastered tracks. There are categories for Action, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Chiptune, Urban, Puzzle, Nature, and tons of effects. You can find a wide variety of sounds for virtually every type of gameplay on this site. Also, all of the assets on the blog were created by Eric Matyas. It’s free to download and use if proper attribution is given. He also has the option of purchase a license if you don’t want to attribute him.
Another bookmark must is OpenGameArt.org. You can find a large collection of assets and even free game sound effects on their website. All of the assets are posted by members of the community so each will vary regarding use. However, it’s a great place to search for not only art but also sound and music to incorporate into your game.
If you’re making an arcade game, check out The Motion Monkey. They’ve put together a massive 300+ retro arcade video game sound effect library. The entire collection was inspired by the classic 8-bit and 16-bit arcade games. And all of the sound packs are available to download for free.
Developers can also find free game sound effects and music at Zapsplat. Zapsplat is an online royalty free music library that features over 19,000 professional sound assets. It can be used for non-commercial or commercial use, and download options include mp3 and WAV file format. All of the sound effects and tracks come with a standard license that requires attribution or credit to use in a game or app. However, Zapsplat does have an option for users to donate and upgrade their account to remove attribution requirement, if desired.
SoundBible is another place where you can find a variety of royalty free sounds. They have a large collection of free to download sound clips in both MP3 and WAV format. All of the sounds are either Public Domain (no attribution required) or Creative Commons (attribution required). Users can easily search for specific sounds or browse through one of their new or popular categories. They have funny, war, nature, and alert sounds. There are also many themes that you can search for to suit most game genres.
Freesound is a collaborative database of CC (Creative Commons) licensed sounds. There are over 230,000 sounds that you can download. Freesound is a huge repository. They have roughly 4 million registered users and growing. All of the sounds on the site are uploaded by Freesound users who are either musicians themselves or simply fans of unique sounds. If you’re looking for free game sound effects, it’s an excellent place to search. Plus with the active forum and community, you can ask questions and even make requests.
Similar to Freesound, Partners In Rhyme (PIR) is also a large database of sound effects and music tracks that you can browse through and download. On PIR the license terms for each sound or music track may vary. Certain items are for personal use only, some are for sale, and others are free Public Domain or royalty free with appropriate attribution. So, if you’re using the site to find sound effects for commercial use in a game or app, be sure to check the policy. However, what’s impressive about Partners In Rhyme is their extensive collection of various themed effects. There are tons of animal and creature sounds, weather-based effects, applauses, door sounds, vehicle noises, effects for various sport activities and holiday tracks that you can download.
10. Noise for Fun
As the sister-site to Music Loops, Noise for Fun was created specifically for indie game developers, creative professionals, and schools who want access to sound libraries but can’t afford it. The website features royalty free sound effects divided into ten different categories. You can browse and find some great game sound effects on Noise for Fun. Download action, fantasy, weapon, and object sound effects or even voices. All of the original sounds were created with games in mind, so it’s easy to find the perfect effect. Each sound is free to download but to use it your game, attribution is required. There’s an option to make a small donation to Noise for Fun, and if you do, you can use the sound without giving attribution. It’s a unique option since most sites have set subscriptions and prices.
Created by Alan McKinney of McKinney Sound, freeSFX is a large sound database of royalty free sound effects and music for audio enthusiasts. They have an excellent collection of fun and unique sound effects that you can use in your next game. Simply browsing through any of their categories can spark inspiration. In the Cartoon / Comical category there’s a variety of wacky sounds from sinister laughs to the classic guitar sneak up effect, the only limit is your imagination. There’s sci-fi sounds, various weapons and shooting effects, nature noises, and hundreds of music tracks. All of the sounds at freeSFX are free to download and use with proper attribution.
12. Game Burp
Game Burp has a free game sound effects pack that you can download and use. The pack includes 30 free high-quality audio files. Derived from one of their larger game sound effects collection, it features a variety of different effects. You get retro game sounds, coin collecting, water bubbles, gunshots, explosions, pops, bells, electric shocks and laser weapon effects. If you’re looking for free game sounds it’s worth checking out. At Game Burp there are also more extensive game sound effects packs available but you have to pay for them.
Soundjay is a small royalty free sound effect and music website with a few hidden gems. Despite it’s humble appearance, this little library features an assortment of high-quality button sounds, explosion sound effects, and seven themed music tracks. You can download any of their sound effects or music tracks for free. But be sure to read and follow the license terms, before using them in your app.
For more tips on not only finding but creating art and sound for your game, you can check out our previous article ‘How to Make Game Art.’