A group of local friends and I have become fairly engrossed in playing a certain chess variant over the last few years. We play on a regular basis; we've coded a program that allows us to play online, and we play over a board in person.

However, there is one situation in which we cannot play, and it is unfortunately the most common one: when we are together in person, but not in front of a board.

In these situations, we have our phones (which are all Android, as it happens). We could use an app that simulates a chess board (letting us put pieces on the board and moving them around without restriction), or an app that just lets you edit the board position (we could "edit" it to make each move as necessary).

We have found an app that allows you to edit a chess board (it is unwieldy and not the intended use of the app), but this is where the "chess variant" part really comes into play: like many variants, not every piece is a standard chess piece.

In this variant, every standard chess piece is used, in addition to one additional piece (one of the rooks is replaced). This piece could be represented by anything, as long as it isn't one of the other pieces.

I feel like the most likely solution would be an app that lets you place chess pieces and checker pieces (like a "tabletop simulator" of sorts, where you just place your own pieces and play as you want).

And just to clarify, the app does not need online functionality (although that would be amazing), and it needs to not restrict your moves (like most people, we all know the rules and can referee our own games).

So the question is: Do you know of any Android apps which could be used as an impromptu chess board in order to play a variant of chess that includes a nonstandard piece in addition to all standard pieces?

(Disclaimer: If you're interested in the chess variant, details can be included in a comment reply, but I don't want to include this information in the question itself because it is not relevant. For the purposes of answering the question, it should be assumed the chess variant in question is something of our own creation.)

  • Fics Mex / ex command... Download mobalia Chess Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 4:14

3 Answers 3


There is now an app called Chesscraft on Google play which allows custom boards and pieces. It plays reasonably well.

  • It doesn't support the variant via normal gameplay (because it still enforces turns and rules), but using the board editor to play makes it technically possible. It also has a graphic for the custom piece that fits the variant quite well. Thank you for the answer.
    – Az-
    Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 13:21

Since you have gotten no answer in 27 months, I will give you what is most likely only a potential solution. The lichess.org website supports eight variants, and also has a smartphone app.

It's fairly likely that your variant is not covered, but that is not the end of it! The site is 100% open source, and will almost certainly incorporate a variant if someone contributed the time and code.

I hope this answer was better than nothing!


Recently, many chess platforms including chess.com and lichess also allow playing chess variants. Most of them have mobile apps for playing.

Apps in which you can make variant or play online

Mobile apps to play (or make) chess variants include the following:

There are apps for some specific chess variants (most of them are at creation stage).

Apps that allow playing offline with friends (or agaist computer)

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