If you have some free time and you’re a fan of Monopoly, then you might decide that this property-trading game is the perfect way to while away the hours. Of course, by its very nature, trading requires two people.
Officially, according to the box, Monopoly is a game for 2-6 players. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you always need to find a friend to join you. In fact, playing Monopoly solo can be just as fun – and it’s a lot less likely to end with somebody holding a grudge!
Can you play Monopoly by yourself?
It is possible to play Monopoly alone. You can use the physical game board and a different set of rules. You can also play Monopoly online, or purchase one of the many versions for games consoles.
How to play Monopoly by yourself
Whether you’re bored in a hotel room on a business trip, you live alone, or you’re trying to pass time on a train, read on for several different ways to play one player Monopoly.
1. Play as two people
If you’re wondering how to play Monopoly alone, then your first idea might be to act as two different people. That’s entirely possible, and it’s one way that some people play Monopoly alone.
Set up the board as though two people are playing, then play out the game against yourself. You may decide to physically move between two different seats, so you can keep track of which player is doing what.
Playing Monopoly solo, but as two different people, has one very notable benefit – You’ll always win, no matter what happens in the game! This is also a great way to practice your Monopoly strategy, as you can very clearly see how the ‘other player’ is affected by your decisions.
Some people feel a bit silly, pretending to be two different people, so this option might not be for you. This is also a method that looks a bit strange if you’re playing travel Monopoly on the train!
2. 20-Minute Timer
Playing Monopoly solo with a 20-minute timer is a good option when you’re short on time.
You set the game up as normal, but with only $100 and 20 minutes on the clock. Move around the board and choose to buy properties you land on. If you land on a property you’ve purchased, take your rent directly from the Bank. Will you go broke from tax and jail fees, or survive until the timer gets to zero? Count your remaining cash at the end, then try to do better next time.
Monopoly alone with a 20-minute timer can be a fun and fast-paced game. The competitive element remains because you’ll play again in the future and try to get even more money.
You can also adjust this version of the game to the time that you have available. If you want to make it quicker, set a 10-minute timer instead.
Some elements of the game do not work as well if you’re playing Monopoly alone. For example, there’s no need to sit in jail for three turns when you’re the only person playing. You might need to get creative with some of the rules and Chance cards.
3. Stephen Rogers’ version
BoardGameGeek forum user, Stephen Rogers, created a fun set of rules for Monopoly Solitaire. These rules include using spare player tokens to mark properties you didn’t choose to buy, then needing to pay rent until you purchase them.
Rogers added extra optional rules to increase the game’s difficulty level, like forced buying and unmortgaging. You’ll want to read the Stephen Rogers Monopoly Solitaire rules in full before playing this version.
The Stephen Rogers version of the game has a genuinely challenging element. It’s as close as you’ll get to a game with more players if you don’t actually have anyone to play with. There are many ways to lose the game, just as there are many ways to win.
One issue with this version of the game is the length of time it can take to win. You’re playing something close to a real game of Monopoly, so your game might last for hours. When you’re playing Monopoly solo, there’s a chance you’ll be bored long before you reach the game’s end.
4. Play Monopoly online with strangers
You can play Monopoly online solo as well as with friends.
The Monopoly smartphone app, on iOS and Android, can connect you with strangers if you don’t have anyone to play with. You can also play Monopoly against strangers from all over the world with Monopoly Plus, which is available for the most recent games consoles, Google Stadia through your compatible TV, and PC.
All of these Monopoly video games will connect you with other online players, so you can play a full Monopoly game. However, if no online players are available, it may instead connect you to an AI.
Another option is to play an unofficial game of Monopoly for free. You can find new friends to play with in this Discord group.
Playing Monopoly online can be even more fun than playing the game with your loved ones. As you’ll play with a different stranger each time, the gameplay will be a surprise. Different people use different strategies, so you never know exactly what to expect.
In order to play Monopoly online, you’ll need a fairly modern device such as an Xbox One or PS4, or a PC with enough processing power to get through the game. For Stadia you’ll need a Chromecast and a Stadia controller. You can’t play like this without an internet connection, and you’ll end up frustrated if connections weaken and drop when you’re part-way through a game.
5. Play Monopoly against the computer
If you don’t want to play online against real people, many versions of Monopoly on consoles, smartphones, and PCs will generate AI competitors.
You can choose to play against one or more computer-controlled players. If you’re wondering how to play Monopoly by yourself, but want the full game experience, getting a console version of the game is usually the easiest way.
Monopoly’s been sold as a console game since way back in the late 1980s, with a version on the Sega Master System. The original PlayStation included a great version, and even on the latest consoles you can avoid online play and stick to single-player offline.
When you play Monopoly on a video game console, you’ll enjoy the full experience of one-player Monopoly. This is just like the real game, but with AI players in place of actual competitors. You don’t need a steady internet connection (unless you’re using Stadia, which streams the game itself) or the latest devices. Getting your hands on an old copy of the game and an old console shouldn’t be too difficult.
When you play Monopoly offline with a games console, you might be frustrated by the AI players that you’re up against. Be prepared to spend some time finding the perfect difficulty level. Particularly if you set the level too low, your AI competitors will become very predictable.
It is possible to play Monopoly alone, even with a physical game board, though the easiest way is to use a device to play online or against an AI player. You’ll get the real Monopoly experience, but using buttons, instead of cards and tokens.
Playing against an AI competitor can be a little predictable, but arguably it’s the very best way to play full Monopoly alone. Playing online relies on a good internet connection and equally committed competitor, but provides all the unpredictable madness that only a human brain can offer.
If you’re playing alone with a physical board, simple versions of the game will not take very long but can be very easy to win. Longer versions of the game add significant challenges but can drag when you’re playing on your own.
If you really want to experience one-player Monopoly, the most obvious answer is to set up the game as though there are multiple players. Then, you can act as all players in the game and move around the table as you play. This might feel a bit strange, but it’s actually a good way to hone your Monopoly skills.
When you play as every player at once, it’s very easy to see how each decision has an impact on everyone else. Then, you can take your new Monopoly skills to win against your friends and family.