Co-op games can reward you like no other genre. Games offer up magic in lots of different guises, but working with a friend to achieve a goal is, arguably, where they really shine. So what are the titles that will really pull friends together and offer the best group-based thrills?
Single-player games can be a life-swallowing hoot, but those virtual victories taste all the sweeter when you share them with friends. Whether that’s sitting next to your mate with a gamepad in hand or working together in beautiful harmony via voice chat, co-op games produce some of the best gaming moments around. So embrace companionship and say so long to playing solo. These are some of the very best co-op games for you to share with your favourite people.
The best co-op games are:
Unlike many co-op games that sacrifice depth to speed up conversation and inventory management, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a full-fat RPG adventure. The game chucks both players into a well of mechanics, then waits patiently for them to get their bearings. This Ultima-indebted adventure is more tactical, wordy, and comprehensively interactive than any other modern RPG you’d care to name, cooperative or single-player, and ranks as one of the best RPGs on PC. Then, somehow, it was made even better with the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition, with Larian expanding and enhancing its already-wonderful yarn.
The plot revolves around outlawed magic and the impending end of everything, which you’ll attempt to avert with the aid of a friend or three. You’ll each take control of either a pre-made character complete with their own goals and backstory, or a blank slate on which you can project all your fantasy… fantasies. As you explore doom fortresses, trap-filled mazes, and ethereal realms, you’ll soon discover that there’s a unique and fun logic at play in everything you do. Work within those laws, and as our Divinity: Original Sin 2 PC review points out, you’ll be treated to one of PC’s most satisfying co-op games.
Though combat is turn-based, it requires close communication if you’re to have any hope of besting enemies. The best strategies lie in experimenting with Divinity: Original Sin 2 builds; combining the elements to explosive or paralysing effect; having your mage open the clouds so that your comrade can zap the resulting puddle with lightning, or breaking open a barrel of oil for a friend to light on fire. It’ll leave you glowing.
Easily the strongest entry in this charming platformer/puzzle series, Trine 2 remains a delightful co-op game. This gorgeous side-scroller cast you as one of three fantasy archetypes: a warrior, a wizard, or a rogue. Naturally, each one offers different abilities, all offering solutions to puzzles. The entire game is designed to be tackled solo, but it’s when two players with two different abilities come together, essentially subverting the game, that Trine 2 really sings. Playing alone, there are plenty of areas that feel inaccessible, but in co-op, one player can cast a levitation spell as a wizard and lift a second player to where they need to be. Take that, game rules!
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Trine 2’s puzzles are never quite as demanding as Portal’s, but having extra help from friends is always useful, especially when things get fiddly and timings become crucial. Like Valve’s masterpiece, discussing the problem and solving it with friends feels much more of a co-op victory than taking down a boss in a shooter ever will.
This devilishly difficult co-op game becomes a little easier when you add a Mugman to the mix. Well, that’s not entirely true, but at least it gives you someone to blame when you die repeatedly to a 1930s style wibbly carnation, as beautifully animated as it is unsettling.
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Playing as the eponymous Cuphead and his crockery-in-crime Mugman, you make your way through a top-down overworld, unlocking new areas by beating levels that usually consist of boss fights with multiple evolving stages. Learning the enemy’s various attack patterns and coordinating parries and attacks is key to victory, but if – no, let’s face it, when – one of you messes up and takes a projectile too many, you’re able to parry their immortal soul back to the land of the living – if you can reach them in time before they slip off screen into the afterlife.
While Cuphead is famed for its difficulty, don’t let that put you off – failing over and over again is all part of the appeal, and it means you forge real animosity towards the grinning cartoon villains you’re up against. There’s also some upcoming Cuphead DLC to look forward to in July 2022.
Any LEGO game is a great choice for Steam Remote Play Together, but we recommend the LEGO Stars Wars games as the marriage of studs and (light) sabers works so perfectly together. In The Complete Saga we play through the plot of the first six Star Wars films, with an extra helping of humour and charm thanks to the endearingly slapstick yet reverent approach of the LEGO games.
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The gameplay and puzzles are pretty straightforward, meaning you and your padawan won’t encounter a significant challenge – it’s more of a fun filled romp through the set of Star Wars, blasting away and swinging your glow sticks at enemies that crumble satisfyingly into bricks.
This also makes it a fantastic game to play with your family or friends, but be warned – friendly fire is enabled, so expect them to laugh uproariously as they thwack you to death… repeatedly.
This glorious co-op platformer takes the concept of Honey I Shrunk the Kids and instead shrinks two bickering parents down to the size of small dolls. On the verge of a divorce, and arguing in front of their daughter, Cody and May must work together to get back to their bodies after they’re mysteriously turned into tiny, walking toys.
Each area offers something different from every little nook and cranny of the tool shed, to the boughs and alcoves of garden trees. You’ll meet quirky characters along the way, including an army of squirrels, talking tools, and menacing bossies which embody old arguments between the couple.
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The Book of Love is the irritating guide who pops up on your quest, providing tools for each player like a hammer and nails or a grapple, forcing you to work together to reach new places as you swoop, swing, and climb to solve puzzles in this charming and twee tale of love and hope.
After a hefty hiatus you may have expected more change in Gearbox Software’s looter shooter FPS. Borderlands 3 does boast plenty of new content, but the core gameplay loop of slaying, looting new guns, and slaying again is untouched, and that’s a good thing. Of course, this time around there are a ridiculous one billion guns to get hold of, and even more shiny gold Borderlands 3 legendary weapons to farm.
But the best changes to Borderlands 3 can be found in its refined co-op gameplay. The four new Borderlands 3 classes each play a much more distinct role on the battlefield, and the synergies between Borderlands 3 builds in co-op are a sight to behold, with Fl4k’s pets marauding around, Zane juking foes with clones, and Amara phaseshifting enemies into the air for Moze to pummel in her giant mech.
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Welcome additions to the Borderlands 3 endgame, like the Proving Grounds game mode, Mayhem Mode, and Guardian ranks, provide you and your friends with plenty to do after the credits have rolled. And perhaps best of all, there’s now an option to instance loot so if you’re playing co-op with random players online then you won’t have to race to hoover up all of that loot.
Good co-op action has been woven into the fabric of The Division from the word go. It makes sense as any military influenced game worth its salt delivers on themes of friendship and teamwork, alongside some chuffin’ good loot. While some bounced off Ubisoft’s post-apocalyptic shooter due to a lack of endgame content, Ubisoft gradually expanded on the game, taking it from strength to strength with a slew of updates. All of that work is present in The Division 2’s Washington setting, which is why it’s one of the best co-op games on PC.
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Much like the original, you can take to the battlefield with three pals to take down gangs of looters and pyromaniacs. Aside from the story, you can also take your squad into the Dark Zone, where you’ll go shoulder-to-shoulder with other players to duke it out for more loot. There’s a wonderful hint of roleplay to it, too. If you’d like to play the good guy and protect others from getting picked on, that’s fine. Want to be the big baddie dishing out the hurt? That’s doable, too. Just slightly mean, really.
Once you’re geared to your ears with The Division 2 Exotics, you and your buds will have plenty of upcoming content to jump into, as well. The Division 2 is packed with PvE activities like The Division 2 Raids, Strongholds, and more snippets of story. For the PvP fans among us, Skirmish and the Dark Zone provide a welcome spot to hone your aim. There’s also a huge expansion, Warlords of New York, which lets you boost to level 30 to enjoy blasting your way around the Big Apple.
If the PC launch of Destiny 2 has been your first introduction to Bungie’s colossal console game, then you may have initially been a bit confused. As you can read in our Destiny 2 PC review, its paper-thin plot fails to tell an interesting yarn, there aren’t a huge amount of activities to do, and you will have seen pretty much everything it has to offer in around 30 hours. Think of the game as a social space for your buddies, though – the online games equivalent of a bar where you can shoot aliens – and it all comes together as one of PC’s best co-op games.
Be it speeding across a planet surface on a Sparrow hoverbike, spelunking into a cave in search of powerful loot, or using our Destiny 2 Shadowkeep raid guide to tackle the complex endgame mission, all of Destiny 2’s activities are tuned to work at their best when played with friends. Combining class skills, mastering Destiny 2’s best PvP weapons, and achieving victory over a powerful Nightfall boss provides a genuine sense of achievement for your fireteam that few other games can match. With server resets every Tuesday offering new loot and challenges, Destiny 2 makes sense as your weekly virtual meet-up with the gang.
Ditching the unbearably brown colour scheme Epic has loved so much in the past, Fortnite instead favours a lurid and vibrant style that’s brought to life by Unreal Engine 4. Though its battle royale mode may have taken over the world, Fortnite’s initial Save the World horde-style offering shouldn’t be forgotten, and remains a brilliant shooter/builder hybrid.
Banding together with up to three other people, you’ll combine your efforts to build an impenetrable fortress around a pal in desperate need of protection. Once you’ve checked out our Fortnite: Save the World guide, you’ll be ready to build defences and a variety of eccentric traps, before triggering the ‘go’ button to start a series of relentless waves of deadly-but-oddly-cute zombies. With an arsenal of weapons amassed from your never-ending drip-feed of loot boxes (which can be used to obtain Fortnite skins) you’ll hold the undead at bay and claim victory. Its progression systems are over-engineered, but the core components of Fortnite are incredibly polished and, importantly, fun to play.
If the building and tower defence-style gameplay don’t do it for you, the all-conquering last man standing battle royale mode can be played in duos, trios, or squads of four players. Okay, so that’s team-based competitive multiplayer if we’re being picky, but it’s popular for a reason and you can play it with your friends. Read our Fortnite tips to get the jump on your fellow survivors in the latest season where Fortnite animals can be tamed and you can use Fortnite crafting to make weapons better.
A fresh creative mode has also given players a new way to play with friends with endless terrain at their disposal. If you’re proud of your work, you can also share your Fortnite Creative codes online to let others have a peep.
Without a doubt, Overcooked 2 is the most insane, stressful, and joyful game on this list. Tasking four players with making food may sound simple, but as anyone who’s ever worked in catering will tell you, a kitchen is the devil’s own workhouse. As timers tick down you’ll need to coordinate on veg chopping, burger frying, soup stirring, and dishwashing. Each subsequent level introduces a more varied menu and increasingly complex dishes.
A set of incredibly designed levels only add to the challenge; sometimes your restaurant will be broken in two by an earthquake, meaning you’ll have to not only cooperate in separate halves, but time things so you can pass them to the right side of the kitchen when the opportunity arises. It’s this chaos that creates Overcooked’s best moments. Like the best strategy games on PC, this charming cook ’em up demands constant thought and communication. Shield your ear as screams cross the living room as you gleefully panic your way to victory.
We’re currently waiting with bated breath for any news of Left 4 Dead 3, which Valve have teased before. But until that day comes, we’ve still got Left 4 Dead 2 to satiate our ravenous undead appetites.
One of Valve’s true classics, Left 4 Dead 2 puts the focus on tight teamwork against the backdrop of an exceptionally gruesome zombie outbreak. Thanks to the sheer number of undead, it’s vital to stick together and assess threats at each turn of the campaign’s sprawling maps. You’ll need to make sure there’s always someone ready to save you from a surprise special infected attack, or to help thin the horde so you can make your escape.
It’s best played with friends equipped with headsets as the frantic pace means you need to be able to re-plan and alert your friends within seconds of things happening. But playing with strangers isn’t impossible, especially if they’re willing to teach you a few tricks. Try to keep away from filling spaces up with bots though: they’re barely capable with a gun, and won’t help you respawn should you die. Spiritual successor Back 4 Blood doesn’t quite reach the same lofty heights, so even though it’s getting on a bit, Left 4 Dead is still one of the best co-op games around.
Vermintide 2 is a sequel that addresses pretty much every qualm you had with the original splat the rat-simulator. Not enough enemy variation? Here are several new boss types and heaps of Chaos grunts to hack, slash, shoot, and burn your way through. Wanted more class-based progression? Now every Hero has three specialisations for you to level through, effectively tripling the number of classes for the sequel. Vermintide 1 too dank and dreary? Vermintide 2 maps are plentiful, varied, and absolutely gorgeous.
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All of this builds on the already perfect chassis of one of the best co-op games of all time, Left 4 Dead 2. Swapping zombies out for rat men and rotting Chaos troops is the easy part, though: what Vermintide 2 really nails is making you feel every decapitation, bludgeoning, and incineration. Combat might be a simple case of clicking until all the vermin have been turned to gore, but you won’t notice that as every weapon feels as good as Unreal Tournament Flak Cannon. Pop three of your best mates alongside you and there are few better ways to whittle away the hours.
The sleek space ninjas of Warframe are some speedy customers. How speedy? So speedy, in fact, that they managed to make it on to two of our lists at once, also taking a starring role in our list of best ninja games on PC. The Tenno of this free-to-play shooter aren’t just your regular ninjas, though, as you can probably tell from the one above dual-wielding pistols that look like they were designed by a rogue fireplace showroom attendant who ran off to join the Hell’s Angels. Spicy.
Warframe is, for many, the game that springs to mind when we talk about free-to-play done right. Its satisfying combat loop and gravity-defying acrobatics take place in a huge, lore-rich science fiction universe stuffed with socio-political storytelling, and whoever designs the Tenno suits seems to be a constant mission to out-cool themselves with each subsequent addition. For fans of Destiny, The Division 2, or just shouting “I’m a space ninja, woop woop!” over and over again.
Don’t forget to check out our wealth of Warframe guides, from the best builds for Nidus, Atlas, Oberon, and more to our Warframe Xaku abilities guide.
Valve’s hugely clever, genuinely funny puzzler is frequently cited as the king of co-op. And with good reason. Success in Portal 2 requires genuine teamwork to solve conundrums, preventing that frequent co-op problem of one player running off and impatiently doing everything before the other has a chance to even move the mouse. A microphone and a good friend are recommended, but Portal 2 has a neat voiceless chat system that uses emotes and pointing to make co-op with strangers easier.
While the original Portal is rightly heralded as one of the best PC games of all time, there’s no denying this sequel’s dedicated co-op campaign is also a work of genius. And Portal 2 is rarely more clever than when it throws up puzzles that require both players to work together simultaneously. More than the amazing noodle-scratchers though, it’s the addition of Steam Workshop features that makes Portal 2’s co-op a must-play. The range of user-created puzzle chambers is vast, with phenomenally well-designed challenges that can make Valve’s work seem like preschool logic toys.
A game that lets you share moments you’ll never want to speak of again. Example? In Don’t Starve Together, you can kill and eat your pigmen slaves while your chums watch.
Klei’s Burton-esque open-world game remains open, and your pockets just as empty – but this time you’re joined by another player or three in an identical predicament. The standalone game currently features two modes. You can either spawn next to your fellow survivors and enjoy infinite lives or be scattered randomly across the map and be subject to permadeath.
In the first, dead players can float about as ghosts and drive the rest of the gang mad. That’s not a figure of speech – a good haunting will lower their sanity and put their lives in even greater danger. Resurrection is easy, for a price: a piece of your max health. Weird and unique, Don’t Starve Together isn’t just a great co-op game, it’s also one of the best survival games on PC. While the isolation of the brilliant original was one of its strengths, fending off starvation together is simply a better way to live.
It finally happened; you and three of your gaming pals have been imprisoned. Now your gaming squad is tasked with exploring a terrifying underground complex to obtain loot on behalf of your captors, in one of the most challenging horror games we’ve played. To escape safely – aka GTFO – you must carefully sneak or shoot your way past horrifying monsters, gather resources, and communicate effectively with your team.
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GTFO isn’t a mindless run-and-gun; bulldozing your way through the eerie, atmospheric levels won’t work. Instead, your team will need to work together to complete objectives and navigate the level without falling victim to the dangers within. The game is intensely difficult – you and your friends may find yourself attempting the same level over and over again for hours before the relief of finally completing it. A squad of four is required; the game doesn’t adjust its difficulty if you’re missing players, and you will absolutely need to be in voice comms together, if only to enjoy your teammates’ screams, because that’s what friendship is all about.
If you love viking games and survival games, then Valheim is the perfect co-op game for you and your pals. You’re dropped into Viking purgatory to explore different biomes and fight Valheim bosses, but it’s a lot more relaxing than it sounds. Valheim slows down the pace of progression as you forage for materials and slowly build up your base and earn better gear, fighting enemies along the way.
You can set up a dedicated Valheim server, too, so you can play online with up to nine other people in PvE. From defending your base against trolls to taming boars and brewing beer – Valheim is a beautiful journey, and still receives updates with a planned Valheim roadmap and plans to add new bosses, biomes, and items.
Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak is the latest game in the series, where players team up to fight formidable wildlife. Compared to the previous game in the series, Monster Hunter Rise and its Sunbreak expansion emphasise fun above all else, with otherwise slower weapons becoming practically viable thanks to the Wirebugs.
Few games match the silliness of Rise, and the emphasis on using field items make it more fun than Monster Hunter World, as you’re always contributing to the hunt. You can lure another monster to fight your target with Stinkminks or use Marionette Spiders to slam your quarry into walls and knock them down. Provided you can get a hunting party together, you’re in for a treat.
This remastered version of the original game – which was released over 20 years ago – is a faithful adaptation of Diablo 2, and something to keep Diablo fans busy until the release of Diablo 4.
With seven Diablo 2 Resurrected classes to choose from, you and your friends can grace hell to fight its many denizens as you pursue the Dark Wanderer in one of the best RPG games on PC. If you’re just starting out, be sure to read our Diablo 2 Resurrected beginner’s guide for handy tips on what not to do, as well as separate builds for each class.
Those are our picks of the best co-op games. 2022 is going to be graced by some of the best upcoming PC games in recent memory, so to make the wait a little easier, embrace camaraderie, and pair together with a pal for the co-op treats above. Remember this, though: when it comes to solving complex robotic puzzles or shooting swarms of rat men, there truly is no ‘I’ in team. If you’ve had enough teamwork for the time being, why not try one of the best social deduction games like Among Us – where you only have to pretend to co-operate.