Sound effects are important for creating emersion when you’re making games. At Mutant Monkey Games we’ve recently been working a lot with the sound of our upcoming game “Dr Demitrium’s Deadly Devices” to help with emersion and getting the right feel for game. Your game just won’t feel right if the footsteps are off, if there isn’t that metallic clank when swords meet in battle or if the doors in your spooky haunted house open without a sound. Some game projects are lucky enough to have a professional foley artist, who can create those sounds specifically for your game. However, that’s not the reality for many of us – especially in the indie space. This is where sound effect sites come into play. Comprehensive libraries of hundreds or thousands of different sounds just waiting for you. And the best thing: A lot of them are free – even for commercial use!
Which sound effect sites should you use? Well, there are a ton of different sound libraries out there for you to explore, but here are a few of our favorites at Mutant Monkey Games:
This site has a lot of video game specific free sound effects. People have specifically created item menu sounds or sounds suited for different types of spells. There are regular sounds as well like coffee pots brewing, clocks ticking or screams. While it isn’t the largest library of sound effects out there, the focus on games makes it useful for indie creators. There are also other assets, such as music, art, textures and more, which you can browse and use if you need a little something more than just sound effects. Most of the sounds are fit for commercial use (either attribution or public domain), but be sure to set the license types you’re interested in when you choose your search criteria.
This is more of a general sound effects site, with a broader scope and larger selection than opengameart.org, though this comes at the expense of the focus on game sounds. If you need people chatting in the background, balloons popping or other general sound effects this is the site to go to. All sounds on this site require attribution, but are otherwise free even for commercial use. How you attribute them is also very flexible – the owners suggest a range of options, including tweeting, so you should be able to find a way that fits your project.
Finally sounddogs.com offers a huge library of high quality sound effects. Unlike the other two, this site is not free. However, the quality and range offered by sounddogs.com makes up for the fact that it isn’t free. This site has all the sounds you thought weren’t out there. This is the site to use if you ever need the sound of an actual badger or of an airport baggage claim or 24 different versions of the same antique black-powder rifle, so you sure to get just the right one or… well you get the point. Everytime we need something very specific, which we aren’t likely to find anywhere else, this is our go-to. Free samples are available for download, which you can use to see how well the sound fit your purpose, but for the actual full quality files you’ll need to pay a small fee.
We hope you found this little rundown useful. At Mutant Monkey Games we use all of these sites frequently when working on projects such as our upcoming release Deadly Devices. Don’t hesitate to tweet at us @MutantMonkeyApp if you have any sound effect sites that you find useful. And if you like this list and would like to see more content like it be sure to follow us on Twitter or Facebook.