Hi guys, this is a post I wrote recently for the V-Play blog. Hope you find it useful.
Every game needs great music and sounds. Here at V-Play, we've put together a list ranking 16 of our favourite websites offering great free sounds to help you develop your next game. If you’re looking for effects, UI sounds, background music or more, you’ll find it here. Best of all, they’re all for royalty-free so you can use them again and again. Hope you like the free sounds!
The first site on our list is www.freesound.org. This site is a treasure trove of royalty-free sound samples and is utilised by many professional musicians and filmmakers. Samples from freesound.org have been used by The Prodigy and featured in the movie Children of Men. You can search freesound.org by keyword, licence type, file type and many more parameters so you'll only see the search results you want. If you don't find what you need, reach out to the community and someone might be able to help you.
www.99sounds.org is a website offering free downloads of royalty-free content generated by its own users. It has a great selection of high quality sound effects and is updated every month with a new sample pack. The variety of sample packs range from punching sound effects to ambient soundscapes. My favourite thing about 99sounds is that you don’t even have to register to access these amazing sounds, although registration does mean that you receive updates every time a new pack is launched.
www.NoiseForFun.com is a freeware project created in 2011 by sound designer and composer Filippo Vicarelli. All of the sound effects are available to use royalty-free and you don't even need to register. Sounds are arranged according to game genre making it extremely easy for game developers to navigate. If you need to find a sound quickly, then this is the place to go.
For an even broader and more eclectic mix of game music, you should definitely check out www.incompetech.com’s royalty-free music section. The unique thing about imcompetech.com is that all of the tracks that make up the songs are also available to download individually. So if you hear even one part of song that you like, you can download it and use it in your game.
www.OpenGameArt.org is the starting point for many indie developers on the hunt for graphics, but it’s also a source for sounds. Users upload their own sounds and choose what licence they share their music under. There are already hundreds of sounds to choose from and more are always being added. Besides the sounds, OpenGameArt.org also has an extremely active forum where you can interact with the very people that create the sounds.
www.Raisedbeaches.com offers something every game designer needs. The Octave collection that they've made available is a comprehensive selection of free UI sound effects in .aif form. The collection is made up of 48 beeps, slides and clicks that will bring your UI to the next level. The Octave collection can be downloaded at the click of a button and used in your project today. Its author doesn't require attribution but it's always welcome.
If you want to add a touch of class to your game, then you’ll want to check out www.musopen.org right now. This non-profit website is dedicated to sharing music, but most noticeably, it has a great collection of classical music that is free to download and use in your games. You can browse by composer, artist, time period or instrument. You can preview all recording, which may be a good idea as the sound quality varies from track to track.
www.Playonloop.com is the sister site of noiseforfun.com and offers background loops for games. This site definitely lives up to the standards of its sibling and is a fantastic source for game music. While all of the loops on the site have a price listed, the same loops are also available as a free download in shortened form. Free downloads are available with a CC-BY 3.0 License, meaning you need to attribute playonloop.com
www.Bensound.com is a source of royalty-free game music that is available to use under Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0. This website is really easy to use and the songs themselves really stand up at a professional level. There is a song for every game on this website and if you want to find a song as quickly as possible, then this would definitely be my pick. The songs are arranged by genre and made available for free as mp3 files.
www.Soundjay.com have a huge collection of royalty-free content available on their site that you can use without any attribution, although they would like to be properly credited for their work. Their content is very well organised and you can download both mp3 and wav files at the click of a mouse. The stand-out category for me is the miscellaneous section which contains some really obscure sounds.
www.Dig.ccmixter.org is next on our list and for a very good reason. This website gives you access to royalty-free songs submitted by its users and searchable according to different tags. A cool feature on this site is that you can listen to tracks from one artist while you continue to browse other titles. There’s a broad range of genres to choose from so it’s a great site for game devs to delve into.
www.Soundgator.com is a site dedicated solely to providing royalty-free sound effects. It does require registration but the effects are completely free to use. The site is really easy to navigate and it has great search functionality. The sounds are ordered according to category and I particularly like its collection of ambient sounds. If you want to add some real life sounds to your game, this would definitely be the place to look.
This website has been operational since 2001 and has amassed a great deal of sound effects since then. All of the sounds on www.Pacdv.com are royalty-free and have also been used by a number of filmmakers and music producers. The sounds are once again ordered by category and can be previewed on site. In order to download a sound, you just need to click on it and then right-click and select ‘Save as’ to anywhere on your computer.
www.Freesfx.co.uk is a great site to find sound effects for your game. This site has hundreds of effects in a large variety of categories that can be used in any commercial game, as long as you credit freesfx.co.uk. On top of the selection of sound effects, they also have a great library of royalty-free songs. It could have the effect that you're missing right now.
www.Soundtrack.imphenzia.com is the work of Stefan Persson and it offers a great number of sound effects for free. Although this site mainly offers sound effects for sale, it has a great number of completely free sounds which are available to download in a variety of file types. Stefan’s area of expertise is alarm, laser and explosion sounds, so if that’s what you’re after, don’t waste any time visiting his site.
www.Bfxr.net isn’t necessarily a resource, it’s actually an online tool that allows you to create your own sound effect and then export it to disk as a .wav file. It’s a really cool way to create your own resources and will keep any musically inclined V-players entertained for hours. If you've got a bum ear, don't worry too much. Bxfr is loaded with presets that can be easily tweaked to give you high quality sound effects in seconds. It’s also available to download as a stand-alone program.
How to Play Sounds in V-Play
Now that you’ve found all these amazing sounds for your new game, you may be wondering how to use them. With V-Play, you can add background music or sound effects to your game in seconds.
For background music that will always play during your game, you can use our BackgroundMusic element. It supports ogg and mp3 format and it streams the music to the game, saving on resources. On top of that, the music will pause if you ever get a phone call or some other game interruption.
For shorter sounds such as sound effects or UI sounds you can use the SoundEffectVPlay element. This element works best with low latency sounds and sounds that need to begin immediately after their play function has been called.