How to play Facebook Messenger’s hidden games

Say goodbye to your lunch hour…

Not content with hoovering up your “quality time” with regular old Facebook, now Mark Zuckerberg wants to make his Messenger app a platform in its own right.

We’ve already heard how chat bots are the future, and soon we’ll all be having heart-to-hearts with the social media equivalent of Johnny Five.

But the Messenger app is also playing host to hidden games, for when you’ve run out of words and emoji.

Here are some of the secret games just waiting for your idle thumbs.

[Note that you’ll need to update to the latest version of the Messenger app on iOS or Android to make sure these work]


Perfectly timed to coincide with Euro 2016, this game is simple and addictive: the aim is to keep the football in the air, keepie uppie style.



How to activate: start a conversation with a friend or group, send them the football emoji (not a sticker), then simply tap it to start.


This is another ridiculously simple game, where you simply swipe up to shoot a few hoops. The scoring is based on consecutive successful shots.



How to activate: open the game the same way as Football, but by sending the basketball emoji.


For the more cerebral time-waster, Chess allows you put your strategy to the test, using the classic chess notation: “K” for king, “Q” for queen, “B” for bishop, “N” for knight, “R” for rook and “P” for pawn.

You then make a move by typing @fbchess followed by the move, e.g. Pe4



Other commands: x (take a piece), = (promote a pawn to a queen), 0-0-0 (to castle).

Then there’s always @fbchess resign – should you need it.

How to activate: type @fbchess into a message to a friend to start a game.

Spotted any more secret games in Facebook Messenger? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook

We’ll add more games to this page as we find them!


The eight types of Brexit posters dominating your Facebook feed

Facebook’s 360 degree photos: what you need to know

Facebook has a hidden game in its messenger app