From game developers to game players, finding good free game background music is like slaying your first dragon.
Free game background music can be downloaded from multiple sites, however, ensure you get a written music licence agreement that proves you can use the music and if you are looping the music for game development, avoid MP3s as they do not loop well.
The following list of free game background music comes with:
- A full professional music licence so you can show that you have permission to use the music in your games.
- Both MP3 & WAV file format. WAV file format is really important if you are looking for background music for game development as MP3s don’t loop well.
List of Free Game Background Music
- Fantasy Music – Free Game Background Music
These royalty-free Celtic fantasy music collections are great for fantasy games, needing a medieval or folk music vibe. Think of game soundtracks such as “The Witcher” or “Skyrim”
- Sci-Fi Music / Futuristic Music – Free Game Background Music
These royalty-free sci-fi and futuristic music collections are great as game background music for futuristic games or one with an outer world vibe.
Sci-Fi Music Vol 1 is inspired by the video game “Fallout” and Hollywood blockbusters such as “Terminator 2”. Therefore this collection has an apocalyptic vibe to it, with a distinct fear of machines and artificial intelligence.
- Retro Video Game Music / Chiptune – Free Game Background Music
This is retro game music inspired royalty free music. Inspired by retro games such as “Mario Bros” and the chiptune sounds of these early games I composed this collection. You can listen to the individual tracks <here>
As this is a relatively new and unique collection, it is not available for general free download, but if you subscribe, you can download this music for free as background music in your video games.
- Epic Adventure – Free Game Background Music
This royalty free epic music is great for some cinematic scenes and adventure quests.
- EDM [Electronic Dance Music] – Free Game Background Music
If you can’t find what you are looking for in the above suggestions, I have more music genres that can work well as game background music.
To be sure that this free background music for video games can be used in your own specific game, check out the licence terms as certain game genres such as “music only” or “music production” games are not permitted.
In addition, a video game where you can download music from within the game is also not permitted.
This is a very common restriction on free music for video games as typically, the music must only be used as background music and cannot be resold or reused which is a common feature of music production games, hence why they are not permitted.
How can I download background music for free?
You might be a beginner game developer or a seasoned pro. You might be a beginner streamer or the owner of a lucrative game stream. Whatever project you are seeking free game music for, ensure it ticks these boxes:
- Try to find music that comes with a written music licence so you can prove to anyone who may ask that you have permission to use the music.
A written music licence is the most reliable as you can download it and store it safely. Plus, it won’t just disappear if the music library collapses or is sold on to new owners in the future.
Just think about how you can protect yourself when using any music – free or paid for. You need to be able to prove you received the proper permissions from the music owner.
- If you are a game developer or game designer and need free background music for your game, find a free music library that supplies .WAV files or OGG files.
As a general rule, MP3 files do not loop well and often you can get glitches where the music is looped. This is because of the actual MP3 format and not the quality of the MP3. WAV files, OGG files or FLAC all work great.
Unfortunately, it is a lot harder to find free music that gives away free high-quality .WAV files. Because of this, I supply free high quality .WAV files as standard for game developers and game designers, which I hope will help you out on your quest for free game background music.
Can I use music in my game?
You can use music in your game as long as you have permission from the music copyright holder to do so.
As a general rule, there are two types of copyright on a piece of music,
- the publishing rights which are owned by whoever wrote the song
- the mastering rights, owned by whoever recorded or more specificall paid to record the song.
Imagine you wrote a song but your best friend paid to record the song. You would own the publishing rights (also known as sync rights) because you composed the song, but your friend would own the master rights to that specific recording as they paid for the recording.
These music copyrights could be owned by one person, for example, a DIY musician who controls all the writing, production and recording themselves or multiple individuals.
Using royalty-free music in your game is a good option as generally, it is much quicker and easier to licence royalty-free music as all music rights are included in the one licence.
Should I add music to my game?
You should add music to your game if it enhances the player experience or storytelling.
Music is a central part of the modern gamer experience. Often music can help build emotions, help immerse the player in the game world or, even act as a tool to help move the game along.
Adding music to a game is a big commitment, but worth it when done right.
I know many of us sometimes game for hours, listening to Spotify or our favourite album but I would not dream about playing an epic fantasy adventure such as Skyrim without listening to the game soundtrack. It is half the fun!
In a game like Skyrim, music is used to communicate action, tell you if a place is of interest, help build empathy with your characters and place you in the world with ambient Celtic Music / Medieval background music.
If you are considering using music in your game, check out this article that covers how you can use music to increase game immersion:
If you do decide to use music in your game, consider the audio file format. It is recommended that you use a high-quality WAV or similar audio file and not MP3 files.
This is because MP3 files do not loop well due to their design. You will often get glitches on the loop cut where WAV files or alternative high-quality audio files will avoid this.
The following article explores the best audio file format for game development in greater detail: