Trust Us, These Couch Co-Op Games Will Hook the Non-Gamers in Your Life

Who said couch co-op is dead?

Trust Us, These Couch Co-Op Games Will Hook the Non-Gamers in Your Life

Playing video games together is some of the most fun you can have on a couch, especially when you’re working towards the same goal. Here are some of How-To Geek’s favorite couch co-op titles that will tempt even non-gamers.

1 Nintendo Switch Sports

Not so much couch co-op as “standing in your living room flailing wildly,” Wii Sports broke new ground when it arrived in 2006. Switch Sports is its spiritual successor, bringing back favorites like tennis, bowling, and golf.

Though there’s a competitive aspect to many of the games, you can also team up and play sports like badminton and volleyball co-operatively, against real people online. The game works just like the Wii classic using Joy-Con motion controls, giving it that “party game” vibe that makes it so easy to pick up and play.

Play it on: Nintendo Switch

2 It Takes Two

EA’s 2021 breakout hit It Takes Two is a 3D action-adventure game that’s built entirely around the concept of working together as a duo. Working your way through a miniature world, you’ll need to need to co-ordinate to navigate obstacles and complete puzzles.

There are fun mini-games, a simple yet effective narrative, and a strong art style that brings the game to life. It Takes Two won Game of the Year at the Game Awards in 2021, beating titles like Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, and Sony’s latest Ratchet and Clank outing.

Play it on: Xbox, Playstation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows

3 Escape Academy

Do you love escape rooms? Maybe you love the idea of escape rooms but lack the inclination to get off the sofa. Escape Academy brings escape rooms into the digital realm, fusing cooperative puzzle-solving with the kind of situations that would be too dangerous and farfetched to experience in real life.

Escape Academy is a first-person title but one that emphasizes brainpower over reaction time. The game encourages you to keep a pen and paper handy, writing down clues and ciphers as you go. It’s a lot of fun, and there are even some paid expansions available if you want to keep playing after seeing the credits.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows

4 Overcooked (1 & 2)

2017’s Overcooked tasks you and up to three friends with running a kitchen from a top-down perspective. You’ll need to work together to man the various stations, serve customers, wash dishes, and put out literal fires as the orders stack up and the stress levels rise.

Working together is essential, but the game almost always devolves into chaos and hilarity. Overcooked inspired an entire genre of similar games and received a sequel in 2018. Grab both games in the Overcooked: All You Can Eat bundle.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows

5 Stardew Valley

Beloved farming and life sim Stardew Valley is an open-ended game about growing crops, befriending villagers, discovering secrets, and much more. It’s a game where you can spend your time fishing, mining, completing bounties, or just wandering around the soothing game world as life passes you by.

Stardew Valley’s version 1.5 update added true split-screen multiplayer (except on mobile), on top of the standard online multiplayer that was already there. With two farmers you can get so much more done by splitting tasks between one another, and it’s arguably more fun living out your farming fantasies with a friend or partner.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, Linux

6 Spiritfarer

Games rarely handle the topic of death like Spiritfarer does, a management sim in which you’re responsible for ferrying spirits of adorable animals to the afterlife. The game takes place on a boat and gameplay is centered around resource collection and management, building, and story-telling by conversing with your passengers.

In co-op mode, the game functions a lot like Stardew Valley, where you have a spare set of hands to help you take care of the many tasks on board. It’s a poignant yet tranquil experience and its unorthodox handling of a touchy subject shows that there really is a game out there for everyone.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, Linux

7 Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo was one of the first titles that not only proved that first-person shooters could work on a console, but that they could work as local co-operative experiences in split screen too. The Master Chief Collection includes five separate outings (the main numbered games plus Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach), complete with graphical overhauls and performance upgrades for modern consoles and PCs.

While first-person shooters require some mastery of the controls, Halo has a difficulty level for everyone. On top of the usual running and gunning, the games offer unique opportunities to collaborate in vehicular combat (“you shoot, I’ll drive”), unique and varied weapons, and some of the best soundtracks of all time.

Play it on: Xbox, Windows.

8 Diablo IV

Diablo is a legendary action RPG that’s all about collecting loot, leveling up, and experimenting with different play styles. 2023’s Diablo IV is the latest installment in the series, and we’d recommend starting there since the game is set to receive support for many years to come. That said, Diablo III is still worth a shot and also includes couch co-op.

You can work through the game on your own but it’s a lot more fun with friends, and split-screen is possible in the console versions (the Windows version is limited to online play). Choose from varied classes, pick upgrades, re-spec your character at any time, and explore what the world has to offer. This one is easy to pick up but very hard to put down.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5

9 Borderlands

Borderlands is a looter shooter in the same vein as Diablo, albeit from a first-person perspective. Pick a class, team up in split-screen (or online), and head out blasting everything in sight. The game’s leveling and loot systems keep you engaged, with heaps of upgrades and procedurally generated guns, armor, grenades, and more to continually surprise you.

Though the narrative can be a little grating, Borderlands is a ton of fun and its cel-shaded art style has aged gracefully. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is Gearbox Software’s latest spin-off title which sticks to the same formula. We’d recommend picking up a bundle like The Handsome Collection to get started, but avoid the Tales from the Borderlands series (they’re decent single-player adventure games, but they lack couch co-op).

Play it on: Xbox 360/Xbox, PlayStation 3/4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac

10 Terraria

Terraria is a 2D sandbox about exploring, crafting, and survival that also happens to have compelling local co-op play. Unlike Minecraft, Terraria’s 2D perspective makes it feel like a more accessible game to newcomers. It’s easy to pick up, and easy to get other people sucked into the world.

Once you’re in, there’s a startling amount of depth to experience. Much of the game involves mining and exploring the world’s procedurally generated caves and getting to grips with a vast crafting system. There is some combat to round out the experience, and having a friend with you will make these challenges a little easier.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac

11 Minecraft Dungeons

The Minecraft universe has spawned several spin-offs, but none are as compelling as Minecraft Dungeons, a top-down dungeon-crawling RPG. It’s a highly accessible hack-and-slash adventure game with procedurally-generated levels and endless loot drops.

The game lacks the depth and dynamic approach you’d get with something like Diablo in favor of a casual experience that will appeal to gamers both old and new. You can play with three other friends in local or online multiplayer.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows

12 Golf with Your Friends

Though golf is technically a competitive game, it can feel more like a pastime than a truly competitive sport. Golf with your Friends continues the tradition of surprisingly compelling golf video games, offering “crazy golf” style courses that are just perfect for hanging out.

The game combines a huge variety in level design with instant pick-up-and-play magnetism to the point where you won’t care how over-par you are. Co-op takes the form of a “Hotseat” mode where players pass the controller to one another between turns.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac, Linux

13 Quake (and Quake II)

Both Quake and Quake II have received re-releases for modern platforms, and split-screen local play is arguably one of the best upgrades. Not only can you play competitive deathmatch modes like this, but you can also run through the campaigns.

They’re especially interesting for those looking for a bit of a history lesson in video games. Neither is too early to be completely off-putting nor are they new enough that they feel like every other modern game. They’re blood-soaked history lessons in game design and 3D graphics, and they’re well worth a shot in co-op mode.

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows

14 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge

Side-scrolling beat ‘em ups have seen something of a revival in recent years, and Shredder’s Revenge might just be the best of the bunch. The game features gorgeous sprite-based 2D graphics, modernized controls, multiple game modes, and accessibility options so that anyone can play.

It’s a true love letter to the old ‘90s Turtles arcade cabinet, but it’s a lot more forgiving and easier to get along with. Grab up to three friends and battle level by level or try your luck at an arcade run (once you die, it’s game over).

Play it on: Xbox, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux

Before online multiplayer hit the mainstream, many PC gamers would gather for local network play. Known as LAN parties, these events represented some of the best same-room multiplayer fun you could have on a computer.

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