The Ultimate List of FREE SFX for 2023
It's never a bad time to make sure you're up to date on the best sources for free sound effects. My list from last year proved to be one of the most popular blog posts I've written, and why wouldn't it be? The more SFX you have in your sound design arsenal, the better equipped you are to deliver top-notch sounds for your game audio projects! You can never have too much of a good thing, so keep reading to find out where you can get the best free SFX in 2023.
Thousands of top-quality sound effects and they're all FREE!
A Note for Readers:
Efficiency and simplicity are the name of the game for me!
There are tons of places to find free sound effects, but I won't subject you to any unnecessary hurdles or time-consuming processes just to access them.
If you're tired of creating superfluous accounts, following numerous social media pages, or retweeting a ton of posts just for a handful of freebies, fear not, because you won't find any of those on this curated list.
My aim is to ensure you get your hands on the goods asap!
Now that you know how I roll, let's dive right in:
Free SFX You Can Download RIGHT NOW
You want free sounds and you want them now??
Then let's start with sound libraries that are online and waiting for you to download them right this minute!
1 | Sonnis GDC
At the annual Game Developer's Conference, Sonnis makes dreams come true by gifting game audio enthusiasts with a super-sized pack of samples from their extensive online shop.
Since 2015, they have shared hundreds of gigabytes of free sound effects.
The download for the years 2021-2023 can be found here and the rest are readily accessible in the revered GDC Sound Archive.
"Woah" is right!
Now, bear in mind that these are just tantalizing snippets from their vast sound libraries. That being said, this treasure trove of freebies is a phenomenal resource in its own right. And should you be left wanting, the full versions eagerly await your purchase on their online shop.
2 | Free to Use Sounds
Meet Marcel and Libby, audacious explorers who venture across the globe, capturing every sound they encounter along the way.
Their Free to Use Sound libraries offer the most reasonable prices on the market. Many are available for only $3!
Even grandma recognizes this deal!
But wait, there's more! Dive into the Freebies section and snag over 100 libraries absolutely free of charge.
Here's the catch – each free library must be downloaded individually from Bandcamp. With well over 100 libraries to explore, be prepared for a potentially time-consuming endeavor.
To save time, I suggest scanning the freebies for the ones you truly need or desire, and returning for the rest later.
However, if you happen to have $35 at your disposal, you can bypass this inconvenience and acquire the colossal 2TB bundle of sound effects from Free To Use Sounds in one click!
Yes, technically it's not entirely "free". But let me tell you, if there's a better deal for sound libraries out there, I haven't heard of it!
Full disclosure: I adore Free to Use Sounds so much that I've officially partnered with them. If you're considering purchasing their massive sound bundle, you can show some love to my blog by accessing the bundle through my link or by clicking the image below.
Click here to get the best SFX deal on the internet and support this blog at the same time!
Free Sounds Delivered Straight to Your Mailbox
I get it, we're all drowning in newsletters and have no desire to add to the chaos.
Except for mine, right? 😉
Believe me, I'm in the same boat as you. That's why I quickly unsubscribe when the emails lose their relevance.
However... I've carefully curated a selection of mailing lists that consistently deliver top-notch, high-quality, and free sound effects, with minimal fluff.
Check it out:
1 | BOOM Library
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware of BOOM and their groundbreaking sound libraries and plugins.
If you're longing to wield the same sounds and software that professionals use in your favorite movies, shows, and games, BOOM is your ultimate destination.
But let's face it, premium quality often comes with a hefty price tag, and not all of us can easily splurge at the BOOM store whenever inspiration strikes.
If this situation sounds familiar to you, rejoice, because BOOM showers its mailing list subscribers with monthly freebies!
Free sounds! Our prayers have been answered!
It's the perfect opportunity to test-drive some of the finest sound effects in the world, and who knows, you might just stumble upon the auditory gems your project craves, all for free!
As if that wasn't enough, BOOM is also currently running a daily raffle where you can spin their lucky wheel and win prizes such as discount codes, vouchers, and, of course, free sounds! I've been at it for a few months and have collected over 150 new SFX as well as a 50€ voucher I used to get a great library I needed. Sweet, right?!
Don't miss out—sign up now and let BOOM revolutionize your inbox!
2 | Krotos
In the realm of sound design, Krotos reigns as a true legend.
Their cutting-edge plugins like Dehumaniser and Weaponiser have left their mark on countless AAA projects, making them a force to be reckoned with.
And their sound effect offerings maintain the exceptional quality we've come to expect from this seasoned team.
Best sound design tools in the world? We'll let you decide.
And here's the exciting part: They generously share samples from their libraries every single month!
Prepare to embark on an auditory adventure by dashing over to the Krotos sign-up page. And brace yourself for a steady stream of free sounds delivered straight to your inbox!
P.S. Krotos is another partner of ours. If you pick up any of their awesome products using our link, we get a cut and can keep writing helpful blog posts!
2 | A Sound Effect
If you're in the sound game, chances are you're already familiar with A Sound Effect (ASFX for the cool kids).
ASFX is renowned as one of the top online marketplaces for sound libraries.
But wait, there's more!
Beyond their impressive online shop, they serve up a delightful feast of blog posts, featuring interviews with the industry's finest sound teams and deep dives into audio-related topics (cue shameless plug for my own blog post on Mastermind Groups, featured on ASFX).
And guess what? Their monthly newsletter takes it up a notch by delivering a steady stream of free sound effects to elevate your collection.
You heard it right, folks. ASFX goes above and beyond to keep us hooked with incredible freebies and irresistible SFX deals. If you haven't hopped on their mailing list yet, now's the time to sign up.
Crowd-Sourced Sounds from SFX Swap
Our final tip is a project that just launched this year called "SFX Swap". SFX Swap is a monthly event for sound designers where you can contribute a sound effect (or several) and go home with tons of free sounds in return! How does it work exactly? During the first week of every month, sound designers can add their homemade sound creations to a community pool. At the end of the week, every participant gets a download link to all of the sounds that were contributed. Since January this year, over 74GB of sound effects have been shared via this amazing platform!
Huge amounts of SFX are being shared every month!
And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, SFX Swap also organizes amazing sponsors each month who add their own free sounds, discount codes, and epic giveaways! Top sound designers and audio companies have contributed such as Mattia Cellotto, Pole Position, Pro Sound Effects, and many, many more! Sign up to the SFX Swap email list to get a pack of free sounds from top contributors as well as be notified every month when the SFX Swap is live!
Are you ready to unleash your creativity with these incredible FREE sound libraries?!
"The best things in life are free"
While there may be countless other free sound libraries out there, these are my absolute favorites. I'm always on the lookout for more, so if you have any hidden gems, share them in the comments below!
And here's another little secret for those craving even more free SFX: Almost every sound effects company out there offers something for free on their website.
Yes, you heard it right! All it usually takes is an email address. So, if you're willing to do some Google-ing and have a little time to spare, your sound library can expand in no time.
Let the hunt begin!
I created The Game Audio Pro with the goal of helping others understand the fundamental business skills that are often the difference between success and failure for freelancers.
If you're ready to take your game audio career to the next level, download my guide to The Most Important Mindset for Game Audio Success.