Vampire Survivors has couch co-op now

Weird little hit Vampire Survivors has far and away kicked off an indie trend, but don't relegate it to the past quite yet. The roguelike bullet heaven's 1.6 update dropped this week,  bringing an entirely new couch co-op mode to the game alongside the brand new and much improved game engine the developer has been working on since last year.

The couch co-op mode is all kinds of new for the game, but to be clear it's local only. People are reporting some success doing it via Steam's Remote Play Together, but do expect a hitch or two doing it that way. You'll be able to play co-op on everything that Vampire Survivors has released so far, meaning every map and expansion will be available. 

The co-op mode also has a new item, the Friendship Amulet, which upgrades everyone  else when you choose it. Otherwise it's the same stuff—though co-op players have fewer slots for weapons and such in that mode to keep it balanced.

The most noticeable thing for most will be that new engine. It's markedly smoother than the old one, especially on limited-resource machines like older, handheld, and laptop PCs. Poncle's own YouTube channel uploaded a video comparing performance on a Steam Deck before and after the engine switch. For all that, Poncle has taken steps to ensure the game plays just the same as before and requests reports if you find differences.

The other additions are toggles for co-op. You can toggle on player colors, player outlines, and player indicators to make everything a bit easier to identify in the absolute chaos that is Vampire Survivors.

You can read the announcement of the local co-op and new engine on Steam, which is also where you can read the entire 1.6 Patch Notes. If you read them all you'll note that it still doesn't have any vampires.

Developer Poncle has also  shown off a trailer on YouTube of future content coming to Vampire Survivors. You might've seen some of this floating around as a leaked director's cut, but it wasn't really leaked. It was just shown off at an event by the developer.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.