From magazines to app stores to comparison sites and more, the world of gaming continues to expand with its overwhelming popularity. Whether you’re into mobile app games or first-person shooters on Xbox, you may find yourself wanting to create your own game and sell it online, or even make an online magazine to review the games you’ve played recently. Regardless of your motivation, the idea behind building a website for your gaming endeavor may seem a little intimidating.
However, when you use one of the many free WordPress gaming themes it minimizes the cost and time you’ll need to spend generating the site. Since most gaming blogs start out with few readers, a free theme gives you the opportunity to cut down on the expenses. Then, whenever you’re ready to expand, you can opt for one of the many premium solutions.
The Features to Look For in a Theme
A few of the themes are suitable for serving up ads, while others include ratings integrations that are great for showing users exactly what you think of the games. Most gaming websites are filled with media items, from pictures to videos. Therefore, it’s important to find a theme that supports high-resolution photos and embedded videos. Along with that, you’ll need widget support and a strong blog that lets you format however you want.
Who Might Be Interested in a Gaming Theme?
Video game blogs and review sites are the primary targets with the themes listed. We also like the themes for more expansive coverage from gaming magazines. On the other hand, some webmasters may want to develop eCommerce stores for selling video games or guides. Therefore, you’ll be looking for the themes with a WooCommerce integration. Since we’re listing free gaming themes, they make the most sense for beginners with small budgets.
The Best Gaming Themes to Choose From:
The HotGames theme is one of our favorites, because it provides a stylish design with clean coding. The background is customizable for you to include a large picture of one of the more recent games you’ve reviewed, and the WooCommerce-ready functionality means that you can post and sell games or merchandise to your readers. As you may assume, the HotGames theme is primarily for running an online gaming magazine.
However, we also recommend this for people who want to sell their own games through the WordPress interface. A Contact page template is offered for keeping in touch with your customers, while several custom widgets are included for turning your template into a drag and drop interface. For example, it lets you insert social media buttons and ads, which are both useful in boosting conversions and bringing in more money for gaming publications.
The Neongame WordPress theme includes a layout that’s primed for blogging about online games and physical gaming systems. The blog provides related posts to show people all the other games you’ve written about, and the eCommerce support comes through Ecwid and WooCommerce. A physical video game store could utilize the Google Maps shortcodes, and any type of gaming website will enjoy that readers can view images and all website elements on mobile devices.
The theme comes with a custom sidebar, so you can insert custom widgets like recent post lists to the hottest news articles in gaming. The social sharing bar comes in handy, since you might be able to get one of your video reviews shared several times. We particularly enjoy that the theme is optimized to support a slider, so large pictures of recent releases can grab attention from your users. Along with translations, custom menus, and antispam for protection, the Neongame theme aims to please.
Consider the Play WordPress theme if you’re looking for a fun and modern design, with backgrounds and sliders for featuring screenshots from games. The responsive theme has support for both YouTube and Vimeo, improving your ability to insert trailers. The related posts keep people on your site for longer, and the translation files let your gaming site work with multiple languages.
The WooCommerce support allows you to sell anything from used games to books about how to work through Call of Duty. Furthermore, you get threaded comments on your blog, drumming up conversation about Nintendo’s new system. You get some demo content that is geared towards the gaming world, and the custom contact form keeps gaming manufacturers and fans in touch with you. We also like the custom drop down menus to showcase all of your categories and pages.
The Gameadvance theme is built for those who would like to feature videos from their favorite video games. From trailers to demos, the options are endless with the video support and dynamic content loader. We feel the theme has a more professional/business look than the others on this list, but that might work perfectly for some magazines and businesses. Heck, if you’d like to sell video games, you have support from both Ecwid and WooCommerce.
The theme has a slider-ready interface, letting you upload your photos and watch them slide from side to side. The antispam protects your site, while the custom menus feature multiple categories like first-person shooters and online games. Select from multiple colors, and utilize the related posts to give people an idea of your other gaming reviews. The social share bar puts your reviews on social media, while you can also install shortcodes for quicker designing.
The Grinch theme has nothing to do with the popular Christmas story. In fact, it’s more catered to video game builders who would like to start distributing information about their new game. As you’ll notice with many of the free gaming themes, you get Ecwid and WooCommerce support for peddling those games. The custom sidebars pair nicely with custom widgets, but in general, you have to go out and find your own plugins for these.
A social sharing bar gets the word out to gaming fans on Facebook and Twitter, while the related posts are sure to intrigue people to read more about the features in your game. A slider can be implemented on the theme, and the translations are there for when you’re attempting to sell a video game in other countries. Along with that, the Grinch theme includes features like antispam, SEO optimization, and responsiveness.
The Gamelab theme delivers a simple, yet powerful, blogging interface, suitable for beginners who would like to start sharing thoughts on how the World of Warcraft movie was nothing compared to the video game. The dark and inviting design is something you would find in most premium gaming themes, and the beautiful slider gets gaming fans pumped with interesting graphics. The menu even creates a sense of coolness.
Selling your own blog merchandise or video game apparel comes easy with Ecwid and WooCommerce support. You can even utilize a Google Maps shortcode if you want to share information on an upcoming gaming convention. The responsive theme has support for shortcodes, sidebars, and custom widgets, while the social sharing bar connects you with the rather strong number of gamers who constantly chat up their favorite topics online.
Cybergames presents a solid layout with pixelated demo content for a throwback look. I wouldn’t use this simple theme for anything crazy, but it’s certainly calling out to beginners with thoughts about video games. The flexible design lets you share walk-through tips about games or even programming knowledge. Both videos and images look nice on the blog, and a simple written review does well, too!
A custom background could show a picture of the most recent game you developed, or you could reveal a high-resolution screenshot from Halo. The custom headers and menus come in handy for customization as well. Not to mention, all of the blog post previews reveal featured images, and the right sidebar can deliver information about the author or anything from social media buttons to recent post lists. Along with translation support and clean, threaded comments, the Cybergames theme crushes it in the simplicity department.
The Gegame theme presents a dark and modern vibe, with slider support and a simple blog for getting your thoughts about the next big PlayStation game online. The responsive template connects nicely with both WooCommerce and Ecwid. So, you’ll have an excellent system for presenting product pages for games and collecting money from purchases. What’s more is that the theme includes related posts so that your old gaming posts don’t sink into oblivion.
It’s amazing how so many free themes are packed with premium features. For example, the Gegame theme includes support for custom sidebars and widgets. This expands the possibilities for plugins since you can find custom widgets and plugins for star ratings, social buttons, and more. Along with that, the theme has a Contacts page, and you can mess with the translation options, just in case you have some gaming fans from the other side of the world.