We’ve got nothing against online gaming, but there’s something special about sitting side by side with your player two. Whether you’re partnering up with friends, partners, or family members, couch co-op gaming is a treat. And the Nintendo Switch is easily one of the best platforms on which to enjoy it.
So what should you be playing? The great news is that the Switch couch co-op games catalog is a veritable treasure trove of delights. Whether you’re after easy-going antics or frantic challenges to face together, we’ve rounded up the best couch co-op games on Switch with details on what you can expect for each and every one.
The best couch co-op games on Switch
Overcooked! All You Can Eat
- Comedic capers
- Simple controls
- Shouting at one another
- Honing your co-operative timing to a tee
Overcooked and its sequel are two of the best co-op games of all time, and All You Can Eat bundles both with all their DLC extra into one mega package to test your teamwork. This top-down co-op cooking game challenges you to whip up and deliver dishes against the clock. The catch? Each level introduces increasingly ridiculous extra challenges. Sliding tables on a pirate ship and magical portals in a wizard’s tower are just the beginning of your troubles. It seems like simple silly fun, but perfectionists will find this couch co-op title the perfect place to fine tune their high-score techniques.
Lovers in a dangerous spacetime
- Brave explorers
- Spousal communication aid
What’s harder than exploring hostile space systems alone? Exploring them with other people! You and up to three other friends can test your communication skills by fending off alien attackers as your spherical ship blunders through frontiers unknown. Fire the lasers, adjust the shield angle, steer the course, all by running from station to station on multiple levels.
Why isn’t this all controlled from one easily accessed room like the bridge on any other ship? What do we look like we’re made out of money for cables and conduits? For hard mode, try taking on the challenge with just your significant other. You’ll soon learn to communicate better, and then the washing up will never accidentally be left undone.
- Fans of retro cartoon art
- Those looking for a brutally tough challenge
- Boss fight pattern recognition
You’ve likely heard of Cuphead’s infamously tough 2D boss fights, and believe us when we say, they’ve not been overstated. The 1930s-inspired cartoon art may look cute, but underneath is an unrelentingly taxing platformer which mixes bullet hell levels of screen maneuvering with boss sequences that put even the Dark Souls series’ enemies to shame. Co-op play barely eases the burden, but there’s nothing quite like the shared elation when you finally overcome each foe together.
ChargePlay Quad 2
Charges: 4 Joy-Cons
- Never running out of battery
It might not be a game, but the HyperX ChargePlay Quad 2 is still an essential pick up for any hosts of local multiplayer action. Capable of charging four Joy-Cons simultaneously, it's the best way to ensure you never sit down at game time only to discover half your controllers are out of juice. LED indicators will let you know when those batteries are fully restored, and it takes just 3.5 hours to bring four controllers from empty to full. Plus, the red-and-white aesthetic will fit in perfectly with any Nintendo-centric game spaces. Grab it from the HyperX store here.
- Those who’ve already beaten Overcooked
- Comedic capers – this time with physics fun!
- High-score and challenge chasing
Overcooked has inspired many co-op contenders, but Moving Out comes the closest to reaching the same heights. Put saucepans to the side, because here you’ll be taking the role of a removal crew as you ransack houses to load up their cargo for a new home. Utilizing physics is essential as you hurl sofas through windows and over swimming pools to meet both your time quota and each level’s unique challenges.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Chilled-out thrills
- Hoovering up collectables
- Kids and grownups
Nintendo’s classic co-op trick of having one player be the main driver and a second player helping as an indestructible force of nature continues in Luigi’s Mansion 3. If there are only two of you, enter the main story as Luigi and Gooigi, with one doing almost all of the puzzle solving and the other sucking up coins and goodies wherever they point their vacuum. The perfect division of labor for kids and grownups looking to play together. If there are more of you then enter the Scarescraper and attempt to clear out all the ghosts floor by floor against the clock. Who you gonna call? Three friends!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge or Streets of Rage 4
- Fans of retro beat ’em ups
- Vibrant, pixel art graphics
- Larger groups
The Switch isn’t short of quality co-op brawlers. River City Girls and Streets of Rage 4 are both well worth checking out, but for our money, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is the pick of the litter. Colorful pixel-art visuals combine with quality animation and a cracking soundtrack to deliver the ultimate nostalgic beat-’em-up blast. Boldly, the game even supports up to six players at once on a single Switch, though expect the action to get more than a little crowded if you choose to play that way.
Portal: Companion Collection
- Puzzle fiends
- Lateral thinkers
- Those who like dunking their friend in acid
- A brilliant single-player mode too
The Portal: Companion Collection brings both of Valve’s seminal puzzle titles to Nintendo’s handheld. While the first game is solo only, Portal 2 arrived with a separate, fully fledged co-op campaign in which you take up the role of two tester robots in the aperture labs. With four portal guns at your disposal, Portal 2’s co-op challenges quickly ramp up from simple tests to brain-bending challenges as you figure out how to shift cubes, light bridges, and one another around limited environments. A must play for not just puzzle fans but every co-op gaming couple out there.
It Takes Two
- Creative and varied gameplay segments
- Mild trauma
One of the finest recent co-op games, It Takes Two puts you in control of a soon-to-be divorced couple who find their minds shifted into the bodies of tiny dolls. The laughably terrible parenting which ensues aside, It Takes Two offers a ludicrously creative blend of gameplay genres. What starts as simple co-op platformer swiftly mixes in aspects of classic sidescrollers, fighting games, racing games, third-person shooters, and more. You’ll always need to rely on your partner’s abilities to progress, but there are loads of competitive minigames to duel in along the way too. Just make sure you’re prepared to remember the harrowing elephant sequence for the rest of your lives.
- Chilled out gaming sessions
- Hours upon hours of gameplay
- Fans of life sims
- Marrying someone else in front of your partner
Stardew Valley normally gets parked in the indulgent single player chillout category, but it’s no less zen when enjoyed in split-screen co-op. Tending to your pixellated crops is the perfect background to a good catch up with a friend, or just lets you enjoy each other’s company in amiable silence. Just make sure that you’re not both pining after the same villager. You can marry each other if you like, but only one of you can win over Leah’s heart. Sorry!
Untitled Goose Game
It’s a beautiful day and you are a gaggle of horrible geese. Enter the idyllic village and disrupt everyone’s carefully laid plans to have a relaxing Sunday, together. The cacophony of honking is sure to delight everyone in the party for the first few minutes, before becoming annoying, then funny again, then finally annoying again before being funny briefly about 40 minutes later.
The joys of chaos are no longer bound to the pitter-patter of a lone pair of flippers; distract a farmer so your friends can ransack their allotment; commit shoplifting sprees en masse; or, simply, traumatize a small boy with the chase of a lifetime. Honk.
Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
- Platforming fans who (sometimes) want a partner
- Those looking for a solo experience on top
- Nostalgic 8-bit inspired visuals
The ultimate Shovel Knight collection packs in five games from the acclaimed platforming series. Shovel of Hope is the only campaign to feature fully fledged 2p co-op, but there are also plenty of minigames to enjoy with up to four players in other titles, including Shovel Knight Showdown’s gem-chasing bouts.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
- Semi-cooperative scrambles to the finish line
- Inventive and often challenging 3D platforming
- Its jazzy soundtrack
- The excellent Bowser’s Fury expansion
Ported over from the underloved WiiU, Super Mario 3D World is a stellar platformer that’s best enjoyed in up to four-player co-op. You’ll be working together, yes, but the top player in each level starts the next with a crown. That’s more than enough of an excuse to “accidentally” ground pound your mates right as they’re trying to make that long jump to safety.
Want to play with a young child or inexperienced gamer? The Bowser’s Fury expansion puts player one firmly in control, but their co-op pal can zoom around in safety as Bowser Jr., lending a hand by defeating enemies, grabbing powerups, and freezing obstacles in place.
Snipperclips Plus: Cut It Out Together!
- Creative puzzle solving
- No stakes co-op challenges
- Wasting far too much time snipping one another
- Four-player team challenges
Snipperclips was one of the Switch’s first games, and it’s still up there with the best. Taking control of two paper shapes, you need to cut each other into shapes to solve various puzzles including popping balloons, filling in spaces, and carrying balls to and fro. The Plus release adds an extra 40 stages to overcome, along with new 4p minigames and activities to take part in. It’s simple, silly, and still superb.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- Parent and child play
- Low stress combat
- Sneaky hidden treasures
Kirby is already an ideal introduction to level-driven platforming and combat games, with a very forgiving difficulty and lives situation. But in co-op, Kirby and Waddle Dee can not only team up on enemies, but they can also help each other survive difficult sections where a single player would need to start again on failure. Also, four eyes are better than two when searching out all the hidden coins and capsule collectables sneakily sprinkled throughout levels.
Diablo 3: Eternal Collection
- Shared-screen dungeon delving
- Exploding hundreds of monsters in minutes
- Scratching that loot-loving itch
Dive into dungeons, kill monsters, get loot, and level up your character. The Diablo formula is well trodden by now, but it’s hard to deny the satisfaction of crunching through hordes of skeletons in the hunt for better gear. And with the Eternal Collection, you can enjoy it in local, shared co-op for up to four players.
The sheer chaos constrained within one screen as four players fire off abilities can get a bit much at times, but you’ll it’s easy to lose hours to that loot-seeking loop as you churn through the story together. There are even a few Switch-exclusive options like appearing as Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda or employing a pet Cucco to collect gold.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
- Brainless hack-and-slash combat
- Fans of Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- A surprisingly compelling alternate take on the world
- Big and flashy special moves that blast through enemies
Taking the impressively crafted world of Fire Emblem: Three Houses, this musou (think Dynasty Warriors) spinoff takes the houses and characters of the popular strategy title and spins an alternate story. The gameplay itself is straightforward and repetitive – you’ll be mashing through hundreds of generic soldiers before unleashing powerful special attacks on bosses. But for fans of Three Houses’ cast of students-turned-soldiers, taking real-time control of the cast makes for a brilliant romp. Shared in co-op, it’s the ideal way to blow off some steam in short sessions as you munch through troops and combo together powerful finishers.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
- A surprisingly challenging co-op platforming challenge
- Different character options for player two
- A quality, mood-lifting soundtrack
- Going bananas
Another game which got the short shrift on WiiU, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze thankfully made the jump to Switch as well. Despite the colorful front, there’s a fittingly icy edge to this 2D Platformer. The design remains inventive throughout, and the difficulty quickly ramps up. You’ll need to work carefully with your partner to secure all the puzzle pieces and KONG letters available on each level. It’s worth the effort, though, as doing so unlocks an extra wave of zany bonus levels to add to Tropical Freeze’s already generous stage selection. Provided you’re up for the challenge, this is a co-op game that’ll remain eternally ripe for the picking.
Kingdom Two Crowns
- A novel take on co-op gaming
- Gentle civilization management
- Slow-burn pacing with plenty to discover
Described as microstrategy games, the Kingdom series see you delivering coins from atop a steed, slowly developing your land from humble townships to grand palaces. As joint monarchs in Two Crowns, you must ride through your world together, expanding your defenses and recruiting warriors to defeat the monstrous thread of the Green once and for all. The slow, explorative pace of play won’t be for everyone, but if those after something a little different for their co-op gaming sessions should definitely give this beautifully unique experience a try.
You’ve read our picks for the best couch coop games on Switch, but what do you love? Share your favorite games to play together so that we can all join in on the fun. And when you're done playing, remember to dock those controllers in your ChargePlay Quad 2 so you're ready for round two!