How to Play Codenames Remotely with Team on Zoom

How to Play Codenames Remotely With Team on Zoom

Do you feel your Zoom meetings are just revolving around an agenda and fizzle out quickly? Have you been looking for fun, creative games to play on Zoom with co-workers? 

Then you should learn how to play codenames on Zoom. 

The new ‘normal’ calls for innovative ways of socializing. By now, many are accustomed to maintaining physical distance while keeping up their social life. And thanks to Zoom, whether it’s friends, hanging out with colleagues, birthday celebrations, or a happy hour, we all have been zooming our way out. 

Playing board games on Zoom is a recent frenzy among the masses. These game sessions take the awkwardness away from long video chats, especially with co-workers when the only ice to break has also been frozen by corona. Amid the Zoom fatigue, Codenames entered, solving Zoom dilemmas and making calls fun again. 

Codenames is a simple yet creative board game that you can play with 4-10 players. Everyone gets to channel their inner spy. While its setup might seem a task for the host, this is just a fun ride from thereon. 

This game is apt for video meetings with the team since each round goes by quickly. Earlier in the lockdown, the game host had to put some effort into setting up Codenames for all to play. But soon after, the launch of a Codenames online version for the web made espionage a lot simpler and extra fun.

Recommended Read: 7 Ideas to Energize Virtual Team Zoom Meetings in 2021

So, how to play codenames on Zoom?

Do you already have the board game? Then, you can lay it out, project to your team over Zoom, and get started. If not, then you can always ‘Create room’ in Codenames online version from and invite your team, who can use the Zoom windows to access.

As the name suggests, this is a guess-work game, where identities are Codenames. The secret names are the only clues to contact each other. Those players who have the codenames are ‘Secret Agents’, and there are 25 of them. The ‘spymaster’ is the one who gives the clues. 

The two teams are red and blue. These groups need to make contact with their agent using the clues before the opposing team does.

codenames game

Codenames present a grid of 5×5 on which you lay out a series of cards. Each card has a code name on each of its faces. Each team then elects its spymaster to guide them to victory. 

If any team guesses a card based on the clue by a spymaster, they move forward in the game.  But the round stops if they stumble upon the opposing team’s card or a death card, dubbed an “assassin.”

While spymasters are alluding to a card, they can associate numbers to it to help their teammates guess more in a single turn. For example, the hint could be “city,” followed by number 3, which indicates three city names.

However, a spymaster cannot just give any number or degree of clue. Some rules bind them:

  1. A clue can only be one word and about the meaning of words (you cannot use a hint for ‘ball’ for ‘bawl’).
  2. One can give different meanings for the same word.
  3. Any form of the visible word from the table isn’t allowed
  4. As codenames get uncovered, you can use them as a clue.
  5. As long as you follow rule no. 1, the spymaster can use any letter or number.
  6. You must play in English and avoid jargon, compound words.
  7. Homophones are considered separate words.
  8. Homographs are considered as same words.

If the spymaster gives a clue that doesn’t abide by these rules but goes unnoticed by others, the game goes on. On the other hand, if it gets noticed, the opposing team’s spymaster can cover one of their words before giving the next clue. 

Zoom codename game

A spymaster”s role is that of suspense, thrill, and intrigue. While the teammates can discuss among themselves, the spymaster keeps deadpan. You may or may not have the timer set to each guessing. You can stop the guessing at any point, or it may go on and on.

Recommended Read: How to Host A Remote Trivia Night on Zoom in 2021?

How do you win in the codenames online version?


When your team has all the words covered, you win. Time to win also depends upon luck. If any of your players make contact with the ‘assassin’ card, you win too. 

While playing Codenames games online is super fun, unveiling everyone’s creative process, their interpretations make it even more enjoyable. This game is an excellent way to bond, align on thoughts, frequencies, and tighten their synergies. Moreover, at a fundamental level, it will reduce miscommunication, conflict, and tension among teammates. 

The game began as a reason to hang out with friends physically. But now, it has evolved into virtual hangouts. It’s also coming as an app soon. And the best part is, it is as fun virtually as it could be face-to-face.

So if you are a board games geek or looking to have a creative social life or bond with your teammates, this game is for you.

Play Codenames together, grow more!

Springworks Team

Building products and tools to simplify the life of an org's HR function in terms of recruiting, onboarding & retention!

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