There are many struggles for the average Indie Game Dev, as well as hobbyist developers. Not everyone you work with can handle all the things people expect to see in a game, and not every team has a music composer.
Music and Sound effects might end up being an afterthought for everyone, including players, but when it’s missing, the effect can be bad for immersion.
Fortunately, there are avenues that can be used to get those necessary assets for free. We found 8 places where indie developers can find royalty free game music to use in their games.
Here are the 8 places to download free game music and sound effects for your games!
1. Unity Asset Store
For those who have chosen to use the Unity Engine for their game development, the Unity Asset Store has many free game sound effects and music options. The only drawback to this service is it’s only functional in the Unity Engine.
Simply go to the Unity Asset Store, log in and go to the audio tab. Click the option for pricing and check the box for free assets and then go to town. There are multiple sound packs and themes for any genre of game, all for the indie friendly price of free.
For music, you can find much casual game music tracks to orchestral tracks, horror soundtracks and more. You can also find zombie sound effects, soldier voices, and weapon sound effects here.
2. Epic Stock Media
The next website that you can reference is Epic Stock Media. With this particular website, you won’t be tied to a specific engine, and it’s a good resource for more than just game devs.
Upon first login, you can get an offer for a percentage off purchases in case you have the budget for sound effects and game music later. There is indeed free sound effects and music here however. The interface isn’t quite as simple as the Unity Asset Store, but the offer of a discount later and no proprietary file types makes this a great place to pick up free game sounds.
3. GameDev Market
There is also a website geared toward Indie Game developers with limited budgets and small teams. GameDev Market is great for getting placeholder sounds, as well as GUI assets, and other models for games.
To find the free music and sound effects you’ll need to browse around the site using the audio tab. Every selection does have an option to filter for free stuff. It may take a few minutes to track down something that fits, but free is always worth the effort. If you end up with the budget to pay, there’s still plenty of reasonably priced assets here for you to check out as well.
4. Unreal Engine Marketplace
For those of you who chose the Unreal 4 Engine, there’s an option for free assets at the Unreal Engine Marketplace that you can take advantage of as well. Their website user interface makes finding those free game sounds easy.
They offer a rotating selection of free assets every month as well as a permanently free option as well, just in case nothing from the monthly offerings feels right for your specific game. This is of course tied to the Unreal Engine so it’s not the most dynamic option, but it’s still free, and that’s pretty great.
If you aren’t interested in the other options so far, there is a website called Sonniss. It’s a great resource for Indie Devs and filmmakers alike. Sonniss also provides free sound effects and music during GDC, so it’s always good to check there during the conference to get a chance to get free high quality assets for your project.
They offer free music and sound effects throughout the rest of the year too, so you don’t have to wait when the GDC is going on to snag something for your game.
6. Open Game Art
Open Game Art is also a great site to browse for free assets. Pay attention to the license agreements and take a look at the FAQ so you can find out where to credit the artists on the site. It’s not the easiest thing to navigate, but there is a wide selection of assets for any section of your indie project.
The bulk of creators have multiple licenses they create for, so keep an eye out for those if you pull assets from the site. It’s all free, so show the creators on the site some love.
PacDV is another place to find free game sound effects and music. It’s all royalty free and the site itself has a pretty easy to use interface. There’s a big library of audio assets to help you on your way. You don’t even have to do much digging to find specific sounds, so that’s a plus.
8. Alternative methods
You can also try Youtube’s Audio Library to get free music and sound effects to use in your videos. Lastly there are ways for you to convert audio files on Youtube that should work in whatever program you’re creating your project in. Some websites offer digitized versions of music that’s passed into the public domain. You have to be careful when using those files, because while the song itself may gone public domain, but the performance itself may still fall within copyright.
If you’re needing old sounding music or period specific music there are many resources in addition to the ones linked here. The Library of Congress is a good place to start for old music that’ll add an authentic flair to a period piece.
Hopefully this has helped you find some good resources to help you on your way to finishing your game. It’s tough being a small team or being a single dev, so having open resources to get your concept solidified.
Getting everything you need to can be tough, and not everyone can do every job, so there’s no shame in getting free assets to make sure people can enjoy your project.
Get these 11 royalty free video game music loops, sound effects, and background music for free when you download our Starter Pack.
These free game background music and SFX in the pack are variations of existing tracks in our library! If you like the tracks and want the full track with all its variation, do purchase them in the link below!
Game Music List:
1. Casual Game Music: Level 2 (no. percussion)
This music track is calm, relaxing with a hint of cheekiness. Without the percussion, this music track is perfect for any casual game map, beginner’s level map as background music. This music works great for cutscene story’s underscore music as well.
2. Treehouse (Spring)
This music track is pleasing, sweet, and calm. Works well with any casual game genre and children’s game as it fits snuggly in the background.
3. Jealousy (Lite)
Funny, quirky, and, playful, this music track works well with Role-Playing games, visual novels, and any genre of games that have a comical storyline.
4. Safe Haven (Short)
This short music cue helps to set up the stage for a world full of mysterious and fantasies. Could be used as a cutscene prologue to introduce your audience to a magical world and adventure you have created.
5. Space Bobble: In-game theme 02 (30 seconds)
Imagine cute aliens in the space world. This music track is perfect as background music for a cartoony and cute space world. Instrumentation includes digital synthesizer patches as well as bell-like instruments to give it a warm, sweet and cosmic vibe.
Sound effects List:
1. Game Lose (fast)
A game defeat stinger. Great for casual, cute role-playing games and puzzle games.
2. Cute Chirpy Button 03_2
A soft, chirpy, bird-like selection button. This user interface sound effect works perfectly with casual, Japanese role-playing games, and puzzle games.
3. Save Load 02_2
A soft, digital, and chirpy loading user interface sound effect. This user interface sound effect works perfectly with casual, Japanese role-playing games, and puzzle games.
4. Simple UI 03
A simple woody-sounding user interface. Could be used as a back or selection button for casual games, Japanese role-playing games, and puzzle games.
5. Win Sting 01_3
A positive and cute game music stinger. Perfect for game events such as level up, level complete, and any other game events that require positive stinger.
6. Negative Sting 02_2
A short negative harp-like stinger. Useful for negative feedback in games. Perfect for Japanese role-playing games, casual games, and puzzle games.
DOWNLOAD these free game sounds from the Starter Pack now if you haven’t! We hope this pack has been useful to you and we might have more freebies in the future so do check back here once in a while or subscribe to our mailing list!
Do remember to credit us with a link to our website if you used our music tracks in your video game or other projects!
Happy Game Developing,
WOW Sound Team