The lowest latency in the world can’t compete with having friends, family, and loved ones gaming right beside you. Local multiplayer is a brilliant thing, and the Switch is still the best place to enjoy it.
Whether you’re after co-op capers, minigame madness, or competitive cunning, this year has plenty to keep you gaming together. Here are our picks for the 2023 Nintendo Switch local multiplayer games to get you grouped up for fun.
The best Nintendo Switch local multiplayer games of 2023
Before you start planning that local multiplayer meetup, make sure you’re prepared. No one likes to grab the spare Joy-Cons only to find that they’re out of juice after sitting unloved on the TV stand for two weeks. The HyperX ChargePlay Quad 2 docking station can recharge the batteries of up to four Joy-Cons at a time, making it the perfect companion for any local multiplayer loving gamer. With the controllers topped up, here are the 2023 Nintendo Switch games you should be using them with.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp
- Available: Now!
Nostalgia meets tactical strategy in Nintendo’s bundle-package revival of a classic (and cute!) series. Advance Wars will let you go head to head with up to three friends in local, turn-based battles. You’ll each get control of of a faction led by a CO with unique powers. It’s a race to capture the map and outmaneuver your enemies. You can even dive into the custom level creator to concoct fiendish challenges for your friends.
- Available: October
Enjoyed Overcooked? PlateUp! should be next on your menu. This roguelite co-op title serves up frantic kitchen action, but here you’ll have the chance to customize your restaurant’s layout, equipment, and more. PlateOut! has been available on PC since 2022, but this year will see it shift over to the perfect platform for local play: your Switch.
LEGO 2K Drive
- Available: May 16
Had enough of Mario Kart for now? Get behind a decidedly blockier wheel in 2023 with the launch of LEGO 2K Drive. Two-player split-screen co-op is supported for the game’s story, cups, and race modes, meaning you can tear through the world of Bricklandia in tandem. Rocking two Nintendo switches? You can link up locally to enjoy the game together across both screens.
Kirby’s Return to Deam Land Deluxe
- Available: Now!
Kirby’s Wii outing has had a major upgrade as it comes to switch, and it’s built for multiplayer mayhem. Up to four players can join the sidescrolling fun as the King Dedede, Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee, and the kirbster himself. And if you’re after a break from the story, you can dive into a selection of silly competitive minigames as well. Unsure if its your sort of thing? There’s a demo available on the Switch eShop now.
- Available: July 21
We don’t yet know what multiplayer features will be available in Pikmin 4. Given Nintendo’s history with their major releases, however, there’s a good chance that a couch co-op pal will be able to lend a hand. The game will take a wayward captain to another mystery planet, where they’ll need to rely on the aid of their numerous Pikmin minions to solve puzzles and rebuilt their rocket ship.
Disney Illusion Island
- Available: July 28
Mickey Mouse and his friends are on a quest to save a new world from disaster in this beautiful side-scrolling co-op adventure. Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy join the fun, letting up to four players leap through levels in unison. Disney Illusion Island has been built with co-op in mind, forcing you to platform in parallel to navigate the world and take on tricky boss battles.
Pokémon Stadium 1 & 2 (Switch Online + Expansion Pack)
- Available: 2023
If the ChargePlay Quad 2 is keeping your Joy-Cons ready for action, it’s only right that you pair it with a game befitting that PokéBall aesthetic. Here’s where the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack can help. The online subscription service packs in plenty of classic multiplayer options, but we’re here for the Pokémon Stadium minigames!
Anyone who enjoyed the originals in the early 2000s will know that the minigames were unequivocally the best part of Pokémon Stadium and its sequel. The likes of Clefairy Says, Ekans’ Hoop Hurl, and Sushi-Go-Round rival the best of Mario Party’s minigames, and they’re just as likely to have the entire room hooting and hollering as the action unfolds. Pokémon Stadium is already available for Online + Expansion Pack subscribers, with Pokémon Stadium 2 set to join the collection later this year.
Those are our picks for the best 2023 Switch local multiplayer games. If you’ve discovered any recent couch co-op or competitive gems of your own, share them with us so we can start planning our next party night!