The best co-op survival game of 2022 is getting animal companions and a creative mode

Core Keeper adventurers mining, crafting, and fishing
(Image credit: Pugstorm)

Whether you play survival co-op sandbox Core Keeper alone or with friends, there are some new companions headed your way. On May 10 the Paws & Claws update will arrive to introduce pets you can bring with you on your subterranean adventures. And for those of you who love to build forts and bases, there's even more exciting news: the same update will add a creative mode that lets you build without restrictions or resources.

Core Keeper launched in early access last year, and it's a great blend of Stardew Valley and Terraria as you explore, fight, craft, and build in a massive procedurally generated subterranean world. Over the past year it has added new biomes and bosses, boats and cars, and dedicated servers. But the arrival of animal companions has me itching to dive back in, especially since they can help you fight the dangerous creatures of the underworld.

To get yourself a loyal pet, you'll need to search the world for eggs, then bring them back to your base and pop them into a craftable incubator. There are 5 different pets to find, from the Subterrier (a happy little doggie who can stun enemies), the Embertail (a cat-like creature with a fire attack), the Fanhare (a venomous rabbit), the Owlux (it gives you a speed and damage buff), and various baby slimes which have different attacks based on their colors, just like the enemy slimes in the game. 

Those aren't the only animals being added, though: Paws & Claws is also bringing cattle to the world for any aspiring farmers and ranchers out there.

Creative mode adds a totally different game mode, though you'll have to make a new character and world separate from your usual saved game. Then you'll be able to freely build as much as you want, and its god mode toggle does more than just protect you from threats, it also allows you to move through walls and destroy objects with a single hit. You can even switch off enemy AI causing the entire world to freeze in place while you work.

Core Keeper Paws & Claws update: Pets"

There's one more bit more important news related to the Paws & Claws update. Core Keeper's early access price is currently $12.00/£10.99, but at the end of May it's going up to $15.99/£12.99. The price change will go into effect on May 29, but before that happens Core Keeper will be 20% off from May 10 to May 22, so there's still time to get it at a discount off its original price.

Read the full notes about the Paws & Claws update here.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.