Top 30 Free and Commercial Game Assets sites

In Apps and Software review, Review by improveyourdrawings

The creation of video games came with an unending desire to keep creating more video games so a lot of companies hopped on the wagon and began hiring game developers from all works of life. Interestingly, these game developers also saw the thirst for new games so they broke out and started working on their individual ideas. 

However, not every developer can be skilled in all aspects of gaming and that’s where the companies have an edge. They hire a whole community of developers with each one performing a specific function for the team. This posed a new difficulty level for individual developers until the arrival of these gaming asset sites. 

Now, all you need to do to have your game up and running is to log into any of the free or paid sites and shop for sprites, characters, maps, icons, and any other asset from a vast array of gaming features. Without further ado, let us run through some of the top game assets sites you could explore and take cues from

Free sites:

Open Game Art

This is usually the first recommendation for anyone searching for “free game assets sites”. This is because the site is loaded with free 2D and 3D art as well as sound effects and textures. The host organizes contests for other developers to design accessories that could be used on the site so you with every new contest comes new assets. 

Itch.io

Itch.io is a website that features some of the coolest game assets anyone could get for free. The website also allows other developers to sell their assets but users can choose to support with a token or download it anyway. Currently, there are over 100,000 assets on the site which include free games for users to play or draw ideas from. 

CGTrader

CGTrader stands as the biggest game asset platform on the internet. The site hosts 910,000 game models in 3D AR/VR format, 3D printing format, and low-poly PBRs. Although the assets on the site are not free, CGTrader offers lots of high-quality models for both individual developers and companies as well. Buyers could also post their requests for custom-made models and have freelancers pitching their skills. 

Kenney

For game developers who don’t mind having really simple assets in their games, Kenney Studio is a good place to source for materials. Developers can create, edit and download free 2D and low-poly models which could be used on a commercial scale as well as private use. The site also features a hub—the pixeland—where gamers can interact and help each other with issues they may have.

Game Icons

This site provides what it says – game icons. Gamers can choose from a collection of over 3000 icons sorted into basic categories like “weapons”, “buildings”, “animals” and “food” whatever suits their gaming needs. The free models can be downloaded directly from the site in vector format and customized to serve the purpose of the gamer. 

Turbo Squid 

Although founded in Louisiana, TurboSquid is now a media company that serves users globally. The site features brilliant 3D models and textures that could be used in game development and architectural designs. Most of the models are not for free but fortunately, buyers have the option of asking for a refund if the model does not suit their needs. All their models go through their “CheckMate” program to ascertain the quality and that reduces the incidence of refunds. 

SketchFab

Formerly known as ShowWebGL, this site offers gamers the opportunity to buy models, create models and then sell them on the same platform in 3D format. Before purchasing a model, users can view the model and see how it works on the 3D model previewer. This can be done on a desktop or even a mobile browser without the use of plugins. 

Google Poly 

Google Poly from Google is yet another site for downloading free low-poly 3D models for gaming purposes. The models flaunt bright variations of colors and are well-suited for games with more cartoonish characters, backgrounds, and textures than real-life models. The models are filtered into basic categories to help users find what they need easily. 

NASA 3D Resources

NASA came through for game developers with a free library of 3D collections modeled according to what is obtainable in space. Users can download and print models from the site in 3D or feature them in their gaming software. The models look highly realistic so if you’re gunning for a game with AR, the NASA resource site is where you should be. 

Blend Swap

The Blend Swap community has over one million artists signed up because of the interactive platform they offer. The site is owned by the popular 3D design software, Blender. Most of the designs on the platform are created on Blender and imported to the site for gamers to gain access to them for free.

GameDev Market 

GameDev provides both 2D and 3D gaming models in its collection. Interested developers can choose from the free or paid categories (although the paid ones are usually of better quality) which have been created by other artists to incorporate in their projects. The site also features sound effects, textures, and backgrounds.

Unity Asset Store

The store makes use of the Unity game engine which was used to create some of the top games on our libraries including Assassins Creed. Most of the models on display are for sale but there are still over 1,000 free models on the engine. The engine is free to download and access so users can make use of or ‘steal’ ideas from the models available. 

Oyonale

It may not look like it but Oyonale is one site that accommodates a wide range of 3D models. Everything on the site is simple and straightforward so you only need to click on the category that suggests your specific needs and pick whatever you want from the free library of models. Some of those models were made on sophisticated graphic software like Cinema 4D and are downloadable in POV-Ray and OBJ formats. 

Free 3D

Free 3D hosts numerous rigged and animated models designed on some of the biggest 3D software including MAYA, 3ds, Blender and Cinema 4D. From the homepage, you can see how impressive most of the designs are and surprisingly, most of them are without a price tag. Because of its wide-open arms, it hosts over 15,000 models and 10,000 artists. The site makes searching easier for users by grouping the models into highly searched keywords.

TinkerCAD

This program hosted by Autodesk is one of the easiest modeling sites you’d find on the internet. Its models make use of simple yet solid shapes that are merged to create an array of 3D assets from characters to objects. Models could also be formed using Lego bricks which are also easy to use. The only challenge, however, is that you have to go through a lot of unimpressive designs to find what matches your taste. This is because many new artists are trying out new things and uploading them just because they can. 

Freesound Tags

Moving away from 3D models is a site that provides royalty-free tracks that are essential in adding life to any game. The catalog displays a long list of sounds – motion sounds, animal bleats, chirps, musical instruments, and those dark-themed tracks on play in thrillers and horror videos. If you go through the tags on the home page, you would easily find whatever you need and take it away without paying a dime. 

DMI 3D Models 

This modeling site is specifically for automobiles and a hub for developers looking forward to creating their own race games without having to build their cars from scratch. Alongside the car models are buses, trucks, vans, and tanks all of which are free to download. Although some of the models displayed were created on 3ds Max, none of them is licensed for commercial purposes. 

CADNav

If your potential game software requires accessories like armors, dinosaurs, medieval items or contemporary ones, you should check out the CADNav site. Hosting over 5,000 game assets, the site helps users by sorting items into relevant groups. In the 3D category are brilliant animal and character designs while the texture category flaunts some highly realistic backgrounds and wallpapers that are all available for free. Additionally, all the models have free licenses that make them available for both personal and commercial uses. 

Textures

Textures.com is a desktop-friendly site that provides lots of background textures—from wood to fabric to metal to bricks and the list goes on—that could be used on many different projects. The materials available on the site are of high quality which is no wonder that they have been used by companies as big as Pixar and Marvel. All images are free to download however, this offer is limited to 15 images per day. If you choose to download more than 15 in a day, you would have to pay for a pack or a subscription.

Game Art Partners

The Game Art Partners’ site features lots of simple, royalty-free models. The models provided are all 2D, mostly animated and downloadable in vector, PNG,  Adobe Flash, and Adobe Animate formats. You could get regular cartoon characters and objects like furniture and weapons but nothing sophisticated or realistic. 

Reiner’s Tilesets 

Reiner lays claim to arguably the best tileset store you would find on the internet. On the site are free sprites for creating character, environment, object or texture models. The 2D models look as realistic as any 3D model and any experienced game developer should be able to use and tweak the models as they please. For optimum value, check out the latest version on the site. 

Super Game Asset

Whether you’re looking for sprites, building props, icons or characters, the Super Game Asset library is always a click away. Besides the features listed earlier, the site also contains isometric game maps and other high-resolution assets that are customizable. On the Home page is a poll to help the developers determine which assets users need the most and also filter the available materials easily. 

Reddit

Reddit is a community for game developers and coders. What happens here is that developers who have created their models, sound effects, sprites, and other game assets sign up on the platform and post their work on it. Other users signed up on the platform can download those assets for free and without a subscription. The assets you find here may or may not be of high-quality since everyone posts what they want to and so, you have to sieve through them to see which serves you best. 

Premium Sites:

Game Art 2D

GameArt2D is simply a marketplace for royalty-free game assets. As you already guessed, the site only features 2D models that are downloadable for a fee. It was created by an indie developer from Indonesia who designs most of the assets on his own games. The site currently has over 100 assets including GUIs, Tilesets, and sprite sheets. Payments can only be made via PayPal and thus far, all transactions appear secure. 

Game Assets

The Game Assets community is another site managed by GameDev Market. Just like the Market version, it features highly aesthetic game assets such as buildings, characters, props, and sounds and most of them are only available for a token (you could filter out the free ones though). The only major difference is that this site is commercial. The site contains models in 3D and 2D format plus sound effects too so to make your search easier, you could use the filter or the search bar. 

Scirra

Scirra is a mobile-friendly site that hosts several royalty-free game assets. The assets are sorted into packs that contain sprite, fonts, animations, characters, objects, sound effects and textures which can all be downloaded for a fee. The assets in the packs can be modified easily and tweaked to suit your gaming needs. The models are 2D but the lighting and attention to detail make them look a bit like 3D art which is the spice that attracts most gamers whether they realize it or not. 

Game Developer Studio

This game studio features various 2D game models, sprites and sound effects for new and old indie developers. The models are filtered based on the oldest, newest or cheapest so picking out your preferred icons or character may not be as straightforward as you’d expect (but the tutorial page should help out with any other issues). Not all assets are free but creating an account on the platform is free. 

Game Creator Store 

The Game Store is a decent place for acquiring high-quality game assets. The site is packed full of 3D and 2D character and texture models as well as sound effects. The models are not free but their prices are very affordable for the quality they offer. To download assets from the store, you have to install the GameGuru software which is compatible with the site. 

Conclusion

Regardless of the type of game you hope to launch, these sites can provide all the help you need. We do not guarantee that the result would be as squeaky clean as Temple Run or even Assassins Creed because there’s only so much you can get from a free package but if you carefully make the right choices, you would have a fairly decent game sitting on your system in no time.

We advise that you take some time to go through the license regulations on any site you decide to use especially if you’re planning to put your product out for a commercial purpose. You wouldn’t want to go to jail after creating a cool game.