The best gay dating and hookup apps for men in 2024

The best gay dating and hookup apps for men in 2024

Grindr clearly wins but there are more apps for you to discover

Navigating the landscape of gay dating apps can be daunting. There are so many taps, swipes and unsolicited you-know-what pics to contend with. We’ve all deleted the apps and vowed never to use them again, only to download them again the following day. 

We’ve also been ghosted, breadcrumbed and orbited. Fake profiles have bombarded us with strange, automated chat while asking us to sign up to some kind of website. That being said, gay hookup and dating apps have turned the gay scene into a global village where you can, at least in theory, chat to any fellow gay man on the planet with a smartphone. This is an improvement on how things were in the past when gay bars and clubs were hidden behind discrete doors in dingy basements. 

It’s important to choose the right gay dating app for you. After all, picking a romantic partner is probably the most important decision you’ll make. It’s also worth keeping your options open if you’re picking a new partner every night.

1. Grindr

Grindr is the definitive gay dating app. Its location-based technology allows users to see potential matches nearby, fostering immediate connections (and creating a global gay village when it launched in 2009). Known for its huge user base, Grindr serves a range of needs from casual encounters to deeper, longer-term relationships. Regular users may conclude that casual encounters are more likely to occur than marriage.

The app has also taken strides in promoting health with features that allow users to disclose their HIV status openly, a step towards destigmatizing HIV and promoting safer dating practices. In the UK alone, almost a million gay men use Grindr. Rather like Pokemon, you gotta catch ‘em all (you don't really!).

When using Grindr travel options, you can move your profile to different locations ahead of visiting so you can check out the local talent. Read more: A guide to using Grindr when you travel.

2. Scruff

Scruff is known for serving a "scruffier" crowd. Beyond its dating features, Scruff includes a suite of travel-oriented services with its Scruff Venture, helping men find travel companions and organize gay group travel. A fine-tuned search function allows users to sift through a global community to find exactly what they’re looking for, whether nearby or in a city they plan to visit. Scruff is popular with more mature guys.

3. Hornet

Hornet merges traditional dating app features with elements of social media platforms, enabling gay men to connect over shared interests and social matters. It is as much a tool for socializing and networking as it is for dating, with features that allow users to engage with community news, events, and stories.