The best co-op games for PC

As much as we PC gamers love the quiet isolation of an RPG or the thrill of a competitive shooter, nothing beats the joy of playing games cooperatively with friends. 

Best of the best

Baldur's Gate 3 - Jaheira with a glowing green sword looks ready for battle

(Image credit: Larian Studios)

2024 games: Upcoming releases
Best PC games: All-time favorites
Free PC games: Freebie fest
Best FPS games: Finest gunplay
Best MMOs: Massive worlds
Best RPGs: Grand adventures

For many, our most memorable gaming moments are only meaningful because someone else was there to laugh, cry, or celebrate with.

Co-op games have been on the rise lately, but finding a group chat hangout game can be tough when trying to nail down a game that everyone owns, everyone likes, and everyone has time to play. With that in mind, we've spelled out for you the player count each game can accommodate and specifically called out some of the best cheap co-op games that your whole Discord server will be willing to pick up.

The best dirt-cheap co-op games

Co-op games your whole group chat will buy

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We've all got that group of friends who says "we need a new group game" but just never settles on something to play. Here are some great co-op games under $10 that make it super easy to just drop the link in your group chat on Friday afternoon and say: "Everyone buy this. We're playing tonight." Be warned, some are more friend group PvP than strictly co-operative, but they're all good for gaming together.

  • Fall Guys (Free❗) - Silly physics tournament game
  • Sven Co-op (Free❗) - Co-op based on Half-Life 1
  • Among Us ($5) The social deception phenomenon
  • Stick Fight: The Game ($5) Stick figure physics fighting
  • Mount Your Friends 3D ($7) Competitive human stacking
  • Super Video Golf ($9) - Criminally overlooked online golf
  • Halo Reach ($10) - Get individual Halo games for cheaper than the Master Chief Collection
  • Terraria ($10) - Eternally good side-scroll survivalcraft

Co-op games to snag on sale

Aside from those eternal freebies, there are a few more co-op games we recommend that have higher normal prices but go on sale all the time. Here are great co-op games and the price that you'll often see them discounted to:

Best two-player co-op games

It Takes Two

(Image credit: Hazelight Studios)

It Takes Two only requires one friend to own the game. The other only needs to download the "It Takes Two Friend's Pass" for free.

Players: 2
Price: $40/£35 or Game Pass/EA Play
Style: Co-op action campaign

Leading up to its launch, It Takes Two's game director made bold claims that every level in the game swapped to some new type of co-op task—from puzzles to platforming to shooting, and several types of boss battle. The change from co-op adventure to sudden third-person shooter was not the finest moment of Hazelight's former split screen adventure A Way Out and yet it managed to pull off some seriously fun stunts in It Takes Two. Every new area is a thrill to tackle even if the story itsn't anything to write home about. Best yet, only one person in your pair needs to own the game for both to play.

Read more: It Takes Two review

Styx: Shards of Darkness

(Image credit: Cyanide Studio)

Players: 1-2
Price: $20/£18
Style: Co-op stealth campaign

The second Styx game is a real rarity: a co-op stealth campaign. It's like 2-player Hitman but full of sweary goblins. Each level is a big map patrolled by various enemy types where you can choose your own approach, whether that be poisoning food and dropping light fixtures on heads or going for a loud kill before running away into the crawl spaces. It's a great romp with a friend as you each take different skill unlocks for new stealth abilities and start pulling off simultaneous kills.

Read more: Styx: Shards of Darkness review

We Were Here

(Image credit: Total Mayhem Games)

Players: 2
Price: ❗ Free
Style: Co-op puzzle campaign

We Were Here is a puzzle adventure series designed entirely around co-op. Seriously: You can't play it any other way. The puzzles are inspired by escape rooms and games like Myst, and you and your co-op partner have to talk each other through what you're seeing and doing to get through together. As we wrote about one of the sequels, you and your partner are the real puzzle—figuring out how to communicate is the challenge and satisfaction of this trilogy.

The first game, We Were Here, is free, while sequels We Were Here Too and We Were Here Together are each under $15. There's also now a spinoff series of short puzzle experiences similar in length to the original game called We Were Here Expeditions.

Read more: So far, co-op puzzle game We Were Here Forever is the best in the series


(Image credit: Nine Dots Studio, Prime Matter)

Players: 1-2
Price: $40/£35
Style: Open world RPG

Outward is an RPG experience like few others on PC. You're a truly fragile nobody. There are no map waypoints to guide you where to go, and no level-ups to raise your stats and make you stronger. You can't fast-travel across the world. You have to navigate by landmarks and play as cautiously you would in a real adventure across the world, and that's a really fun experience with a friend by your side. 

As Chris wrote in his Outward review: "It makes minor setbacks feel like major obstacles to overcome and it makes small victories feel like utter triumphs. Outward is harsh and occasionally frustrating, but it does what so few games do. It requires you to put real thought into the choices you make, and it makes those choices feel like they really matter."

Read more: Playing Outward with a reckless co-op partner is a good way to test your relationship

Portal 2

Players: 2
Price: $10/£9
Style: Co-op puzzle campaign

There's no denying the raw quality of Portal 2's distinct co-op campaign. As the two testing robots Atlas and P-Body, you and a friend get to explore the darker, more dangerous side of GlaDOS's testing routines—the stuff that's too dangerous for (non-protagonist) human testers. The three-dimensional spatial thinking that makes the Portal series so addictive is only magnified when there's another friend getting stumped at the puzzles with you.

Portal 2's co-op is strongest when neither of you know the answer: if your partner waits patiently for you, you feel like a moron; if they don't, they'll be rushing you through all the discovery that makes the game great. Several years after release, though, finding two fresh players would be a rare trick indeed. Luckily, Valve's excellent map editor community has created a full array of excellent new maps to explore, and get stumped in, together.

Read more: Portal Reloaded is the closest we’re likely to get to Portal 3

Best four-player co-op games

Helldivers 2

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Players: 4 (solo optional)
Price: $40/£35
Style: Mission-based squad shooter

Helldivers 2 absolutely took over the first half of the year when it launched in 2024. It's a fast-paced, third-person squad shooter ideal for for players. The intergalacic war needs you to defeat horiffic bugs, bots, mechs, and other extra-terrestrial threats. But you're not some undefeated hero, you're just a bunch of grunts doing your damndest not to get impaled by giant bugs and eke out a victory in each mission.

One of the most incredible parts of Helldivers 2 has been its evolving galactic war in which an actual Helldivers 2 "Game Master" at Arrowhead Game Studios is in charge of the meta narrative. The studio has surprised players with tweaking difficulty on certain planets behind the scenes and interrupting a planned offensive in one part of the galaxy with the sudden appearance of Automatons on another front. Arrowhead likens it to running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for millions of people.

Read more: Helldivers 2 review


(Image credit: Pocketpair)

Players: 1-4 (up to 32 on a dedicated server)
Price: $30/£25 or Game Pass
Style: Open world survivalcraft

Pokémon-imitating crafting game Palworld was a smash hit when it launched and for good reason. Co-op crafting remains super compelling and so does creature collecting, and wouldn't you know it? They're great together too. It's all about the resource gathering grind to unlock new structures and crafting stations in a tech tree while upgrading your ever-expanding base. You'll also have boss battles against other Pal tamers to pursue as you explore.

It's specifically excellent in co-op because having several players and their Pals all working together alleviates a bit of the resource grind that would otherwise encourage you to participate in Palworld's weird Pal labor exploitation side. If you need a new open world to build a base in with your group chat, check out our details on Palworld multiplayer to get set up.

Read more: Palworld breeding guide

Lethal Company

(Image credit: Zeekerss)

Players: 1-4
Price: $10/£8.50
Style: Goofy horror

One of the latest viral hits in the genre of wacky social horror games that Phasmophobia popularized, Lethal Company is another one that's best when listening to your friends die. Like Phasmo, the humor here comes from proximity-based voice chat in which hearing a friend's muffled voice from the room next door suddenly becomes screaming for their life.

On its face, Lethal Company is a run-based game where you and your unlucky pals need to loot scrap from abandoned spaceships to hit the company-set quota. Except the thing's haunted. It's always haunted with horrifying monsters.

Read more: Lethal Company is a viral hit in no small part thanks to all the intense shouting


(Image credit: Coffee Stain)

Players: 1-4
Price: $30/£28
Style: Open-ended crafting

Satisfactory gives the first impression of a galactic survival sim in the vein of No Man's Sky, but play for five minutes and you realize that it's actually a very pretty, very satisfying cooperative logistics game. Players start from the ground up gathering resources and building machines that will help you build more useful machines and automate the whole process. This can be fun alone, but in group play you really feel the benefit of extra pairs of hands.

Eventually, you can make fully automated planetary factories with AI assistants, self-driving delivery trucks, miles of conveyor belts, and train networks.

Read more: I'm obsessed with building more elaborate, more efficient factories in Satisfactory

Don’t Starve Together

Players: 1-4
Price: $15/£11 ($7.50 per person, includes two copies!)
Style: Open world survivalcraft

Klei fought shy of adding co-op to its brilliant game of goth survival whimsy for a couple of years, reasoning (not unreasonably) that the addition of other people might break its esoteric spell, which relies on feelings of isolation and discovery. Turns out the developer needn’t have worried, because a disaster shared is even more fun. The mutual blame when a deerclops stomps through your camp, ruining days worth of winter prep, is a strategy game in itself.

In keeping with Klei’s attention to detail and balance across its games, the core Don’t Starve experience is tweaked across Together’s three modes—Survival, Wilderness, and Endless—to ensure revival items and certain character abilities aren’t overpowered. It’s Endless mode that you’ll likely find most enjoyable, chilling out on Discord with a friend whilst pooling your resources to try to keep each other alive against the increasingly brutal effects of the seasons.

Remember: Happiness is a fridge full of frogs legs.

Read more: Don't Starve Together — the first five days

Back 4 Blood

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Games)

Players: 1-4
Price: $60
Style: Mission-based FPS fest

Back 4 Blood proves that there's more life to squeeze out of co-op zombie shooter. Turtle Rock's spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead drags the genre into the 2020s with modern conventions like aim-down-sights, sprinting, mantling, and a card-based progression system. Amazingly, it all works pretty darn well.

Back 4 Blood is perfect for a crew of four that's tired of playing through Left 4 Dead 2 for the billionth time, but what it gains in depth it loses in simplicity. There is really good, mindless zombie shooting to be had here, but only after spending a few minutes fiddling with cards and deciding on a loadout.

Read more: Best co-op 2021: Back 4 Blood

Deep Rock Galactic

(Image credit: Ghost Ship Games)

Players: 1-4
Price: $30 or Game Pass
Style: Hectic horde-fighting FPSing

Deep Rock Galactic is like procedurally generated Left 4 Dead with bits of resource management and open-ended exploration. It had its issues when it launched in Early Access in 2018, but developer Ghost Ship Games has spent the last several years bulking it up with new weapons, biomes, enemies, mission types, and challenges. Where before missions felt pointless, you now always have weapon unlocks on the horizon that change up the playstyles of its four dwarf classes. It's a casual game to go spelunking in together. The shooting feels great and its voxel-based destruction never gets old. Deep Rock has found its groove, and hopefully keeps on growing.

Read more: Deep Rock Galactic is a doorway to infinite co-op adventure

Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Players: 1-4
Price: $30
Style: Horde-fighting but with swords

This sequel to Vermintide confidently expands on the Left 4 Dead-alike formula, adding a whole new faction of enemies to fight in addition to the Skaven, and more robust class leveling and loot systems. It still feels nice and meaty when you smash in a rat man's face with a giant club, and there's a welcome build variety now with the game's five characters. Switching characters or even classes makes levels easily replayable a dozen times over.

If you loved Left 4 Dead but have simply played enough of it for the past decade, this is one place you should redirect your attention. There are newer co-op games these days, like Back 4 Blood, but Vermintide is great for a few dozen hours of bloody melee carnage. It's also gotten a lot of free (and paid) post-release support, adding quite a few levels to an already substantial campaign.

Read more: Vermintide 2: Chaos Wastes feels like a Winds of Magic do-over

Divinity: Original Sin 2

(Image credit: Larian Studios)
Recent updates

Larian's newer and bigger RPG Baldur's Gate 3 is also co-op. However, playing as origin characters in BG3 forces you to miss out on story interactions with the characters you're each playing as, so I'd still recommend going with D:OS2 for co-op.

Players: 1-4
Price: $45/£30
Style: Getting together for weekly D&D

You can play one of the best RPGs ever made with up to three other friends in online co-op. Chaos and player agency reign supreme in such a reactive world, meaning one friend could piss off a guard or reveal their undead identity at an inopportune time—but that's exactly what makes Divinity 2 so great with friends. 

You're no longer dealing with a loyal party of characters you shape over time. You're dealing with three other stubborn people, all vying for different outcomes. It's a beautiful role-playing mess set in one of the most lush, engaging RPG worlds ever. And once you complete the campaign, the Game Master mode lets you create new campaigns from scratch with an extensive D&D-style dungeon master's toolkit.

Read more: This Divinity: Original Sin 2 total overhaul mod has me itching to play it all over again

Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Players: 1-4
Price: $20/£18 or Game Pass
Style: Cackling in the group call

Rare's swashbuckling sandbox makes for a decent co-op game but it really shines as a co-op hangout. Sea of Thieves is one of the most stunningly beautiful open world games and it can be completely undemanding—board a ship with your friends, pick a direction, and just sail around drinking grog until you barf, playing musical instruments, and firing each other out of cannons. Or just chat for an hour while you cruise around taking in the picturesque sunsets. Nowadays, the game is regularly updated with new quests that are sometimes frustrating but frequently serve up some thrilling Goonies-esque moments of adventure, and will make you feel like a brilliant crew of swashbucklers.

For excitement you can chase down other crews for some bracing ship-to-ship combat, hunt for buried treasure, or take down a skeleton fort, but it's just as enjoyable to treat it like a chat room with beautiful waves and the occasional Kraken.

Read more: Two Sea of Thieves players became Pirate Legends in a single day without getting sunk

Monster Hunter Rise

(Image credit: Capcom)

Players: 1-4
Price: $40
Style: Mission-based hunts

As Capcom's second crack at getting Monster Hunter on the PC, Rise is leaps and bounds better than 2018's Monster Hunter: World. You can play all of Monster Hunter Rise alone if you want, but the game truly shines when you spin up a multipayer lobby and invite up to three friends along for hunts. Monster Hunter's weapons are varied and distinct that your friends will naturally gravitate to a specialty that brings its own strength and synergies with others. Grinding for cool armor is also way more fun with friends to show it off to. Rise's lobby system is friendly to drop-in/drop-out play and easy to use once you get used to talking to a mail cat every time you want to send an invite.

Read more: Best co-op 2022: Monster Hunter Rise

Overcooked! 2

(Image credit: Ghost Town Games)

Players: 1-4
Price: $25/£20 or Game Pass
Style: Head chef chaos

Overcooked is chaos incarnate. It’s the type of co-op game where you’re supposed to be helping each other so that you’ll all succeed, but you may never want to speak to the people you play with ever again by the end of it. Overcooked 2 shares the same penchant for destroying relationships, but before you hate each other, you'll love playing this game together. The sequel adds new maps and new complexity. You can play multiplayer locally or online. Now you can make sushi, and there's teleportation involved. Just like your standard kitchen, really.

Read more: Overcooked 2 review

Best more-player co-op games

Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)
Recent updates

March 2024: Stardew Valley used to support up to 4 players in co-op but now allows groups of up to 8 to all share a farm together.

Players: 1-8
$15/£11 or Game Pass
Chill group farming

As of 2024 Stardew Valley co-op now supports up to 8 players all sharing the same farm. It's a pleasant place to spend time together, dividing up the endless farm chores and watching your overgrown homestead slowly morph into a thriving veggie kingdom. Multiplayer works pretty seamlessly: you have your own houses, inventories, and relationships with the townsfolk, so your whole crew can mostly do their own thing, then come together for special season events. While you become the master of planting, I'll be over here catching enough fish to keep us in money during the winter.

Read more: Stardew Valley is so lovely, even its creator spent the pandemic hanging out there


(Image credit: Iron Gate)

Players: 1-10
Price: $20/£16 or Game Pass
Style: Open world crafting

Valheim doesn't reinvent survival games, but it gets rid of all the stuff we don't like about them. This relaxing, but punishing PvE camping trip to Viking purgatory will never let you starve to death, and you'll never need to pay a dime to repair your items. All the busywork is gone, replaced by a gorgeous, threatening world, and an elegant crafting system that lets you make everything from ugly lean-tos to the flippin' Eye of Sauron. Teaming up with friends to plan adventures and build a home together makes the experience even better. 

In his Early Access review, Chris sums it up nicely: "Valheim is an utterly engrossing experience that blends thoughtfully-designed survival systems with exciting RPG-like adventures, where each small nugget of progress sets the stage for the next."

Read more: Valheim is making me love survival games again

Project Zomboid

(Image credit: The Indie Stone)

Players: Varies
Price: $20/£17 (4-pack for $60❗)
Style: Slow, strategic survival

Apocalypse survival game Project Zomboid has been shambling through early access for years but saw a huge resurgence at the end of 2021 when a major multiplayer update was released. It may not be a looker, but the simulation in Zomboid is deep and surviving with friends is heart-stoppingly tense. Thanks to a lot of custom game settings, you can trun Zomboid into an intense running and gunning game or dial it all the way back to an apocalypse effectively devoid of zombies where you'll farm, fish, and fuel up your vehicle to haul across the map.

Read more: How to start a dedicated server for Project Zomboid


(Image credit: Mojang)

Players: Varies
Price: $30 or Game Pass
Style: Open world survivalcraft

Of course Minecraft makes the list. You probably don't need us to tell you Minecraft is very fun with friends, but on the off chance you've never experienced the joy of creating a little settlement or exploring miles-deep caverns with 8-20 of your best buds, it's still as good a time as any. The Minecraft of today has hundreds of hours of stuff to do (or thousands if you're a natural builder).

If you want the quick and easy route to multiplayer with friends, Minecraft Bedrock Edition is the one you want. You can host a game with up to four players or rent an official Realms server that supports up to 11 players at once. If you're aiming bigger and want to explore the endless world of public Minecraft servers, then you'll want to go with Minecraft Java.

Read more: How to download Minecraft on PC and install the version you need

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Players: Varies
Price: $40 or Game Pass
Style: Co-op campaign or PvP matchmaking

The Halo series may have the most replayable FPS campaigns ever. Each game has a handful of levels that put you in wide open spaces, free to tackle enemies when and how you choose. Steal a ghost or warthog and careen around the map running over Covenant enemies are they dive out of the way. Seek out a rocket launcher to blow them to smithereens. Hide behind cover and ping down their shields with headshots. Harder difficulties are made easier with a co-op partner, since as long as one of you is alive, there's a chance to respawn. In the Master Chief Collection, you can even toggle on a scoring mode and modifiers that tweak enemy behavior (or make them explode into confetti). It's a good time.

Now that every game in the Master Chief Collection has arrived on PC and has crossplay with Xbox, it has become one of the ultimate co-op packages in games. And of course, all of the games are on Game Pass, too.

Read more: I wish 343 would leave Halo: The Master Chief Collection alone

Grand Theft Auto Online

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Players: 1-4
Price: $30
Style: Open world online action

GTA Online has a whole of stuff going on, but the heists bring out the best in Rockstar’s open-world playground. Four players team up to conquer a series of story-like missions that involve each team member performing a different role building up to a bigger heist. This includes everything from stealing vehicles as part of the setup to assassinations and other interconnected tasks—the missions very cleverly allow everyone to feel like they’re playing a key part in the journey towards that endgame of earning mega money.

When all four players come together in the finale of each heist, making a dramatic escape from the cops as a collective is incredibly exciting and rewarding—more so than anything found in the main story. If only Rockstar would make more of them. They’d be worth paying for.

Read more: How to play on GTA 5 roleplaying servers

Forza Horizon 5

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Players: Up to 12
Price: $60 or Game Pass
Style: Chill racing

As has become a habit with the Forza Horizon series, the latest version of Playground Games' social racer is also the best. Horizon 5 makes it super easy to hop into an open world lobby with friends and do whatever the hell you feel like. Out of the box, Horizon 5's Mexico map has hundreds of races, stunt jumps, drift competitions, and cross-country treks that can quickly devour entire nights of gaming, and that's if you don't spend an hour custom tuning its hundreds of cars or creating your own liveries.

If your buds are car people as much as they're game people, look no further.

Read more: Best Open World 2021: Forza Horizon 5

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.

With contributions from