During cell migration, cell-substrate binding is required for pseudopod anchoring to move the cell forward, yet the interactions with the substrate must be sufficiently weak to allow parts of the cell to de-adhere in a controlled manner during typical protrusion/retraction cycles. Mammalian cells actively control cell-substrate binding and respond to extracellular conditions with localized integrin-containing focal adhesions mediating mechanotransduction. We asked whether mechanotransduction also occurs during non-integrin mediated migration by examining the motion of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, which is thought to bind non-specifically to surfaces. We discovered that Dictyostelium cells are able to regulate forces generated by the actomyosin cortex to maintain optimal cell-surface contact area and adhesion on surfaces of various chemical composition and that individual cells migrate with similar speed and contact area on the different surfaces. In contrast, during collective migration, as observed in wound healing and metastasis, the balance between surface forces and protrusive forces is altered. We found that Dictyostelium collective migration dynamics are strongly affected when cells are plated on different surfaces. These results suggest that the presence of cell-cell contacts, which appear as Dictyostelium cells enter development, alter the mechanism cells use to migrate on surfaces of varying composition.