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Best Online Co-Op Games On Xbox Game Pass

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Palworld: All Mineshaft Locations

Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass is firmly established as a staple of the gaming landscape. While not the only subscription platform on the market, Game Pass is unquestionably the most popular and, many would argue, the best. The service provides subscribers launch day access to every first-party Xbox game, along with the occasional third-party release.



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While that is a crucial selling point for the service, Game Pass’ success can arguably be credited to its diverse lineup of games. From horror single-player titles to online-only PvP projects, there should be something for everyone on Microsoft’s service. Naturally, that includes online cooperative titles, but which are the best co-op games on Game Pass?


The selection will be limited to games that support only online co-op since
local co-op is covered in another article
. Also, in case someone wishes to pick up a physical copy, a link to a game’s Amazon page will be included if it exists.


Palworld

Metascore: N/A

Palworld

Released
January 19, 2024

Developer(s)
Pocket Pair, Inc.

Pros

  • 4-Player Online Co-Op
  • Co-Op Campaign

Palworld took the gaming world by storm when it launched into early access (or Game Preview on Xbox) on January 19, 2024. On paper, an open-world survival game where players catch Pokemon-esque creatures and engage in third-person shooter action sounds like a recipe for both success and disaster. Surely, such an ambitious title cannot conceivably come together to create a cohesive whole; yet, Palworld kind of clicks. Now, it is important to remember that Pocket Pair is still working on this project, and the current version is not only subject to change but also has plenty of room to grow. Technical issues are also normal, although Palworld is not a broken mess either.


Set on the Palpagos Islands, Palworld challenges players to survive and thrive. The former involves stocking up on necessities and building a base, while the latter requires exploring the impressive world in search of resources and Pals to catch. Monster-taming goes beyond battles as well, as Pals come with special abilities that allow them to be useful at bases or when traveling the map. While not the most complex survival project ever, Palworld‘s success lies in its clever incorporation of various genres and mechanics that are typically not associated with each other.

Although suitable for solo adventurers, Palworld is also designed with online co-op in mind, with players having the option to jump into 32-user servers or to team up with three of their friends. While its implementation comes with a few wrinkles that can be frustrating, this feature brings a whole new dimension to the experience that can help keep the gameplay loop engaging once players start to feel like they have seen almost everything currently in the game.


Remnant 2

Metascore: 85

remnant 2 player character archetypes

Remnant 2

Released
July 25, 2023

Genre(s)
Soulslike , Third-Person Shooter

Pros

  • 3-Player Online Co-Op
  • Co-Op Campaign

Both Remnant games are on Xbox Game Pass, and they are fantastic co-op experiences. The Soulslike genre is no stranger to multiplayer, but it tends to be a fairly small part of the overall package; however, Remnant: From the Ashes and its successor are exceptions. While solo is a viable option in both entries, the games are undeniably designed with co-op in mind, particularly the sequel. Although garnering criticism for some technical issues at launch, especially on PC, Remnant 2 is generally superior to its predecessor, and newcomers can just jump into the 2023 release without worrying too much about feeling lost.


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Remnant 2: Weapon Tier List

This weapon tier list ranks all available weapons in Remnant 2, so players can choose the best one to take down lethal enemies.

Remnant 2 is, essentially, a third-person shooter Soulslike, although melee weapons are also available. Still, the gameplay prioritizes ranged combat above everything else, and it is generally weighty and satisfying. At the start of a playthrough, players build a character and pick an archetype, which acts as a class. These options are all designed around specific roles, and most of them are intended to be complementary to each other. The only exception is Handler since that archetype is tailored for solo play.

Using procedural-generation technology and featuring a wide assortment of worlds that each come with unique esthetics, Remnant 2 is ambitious and addictive.

Warhammer 40000: Darktide

Metascore: 74 (PC)

Warhammer 40,000 Darktide - An Example Of A Poxwalker Horde In-Game


Warhammer 40,000: Darktide

$40 $60 Save $20

Released
November 30, 2022

Developer(s)
Fatshark

Pros

  • 4-Player Online Co-Op
  • Co-Op Campaign

There are roughly a billion Warhammer 40K games, and they not only cover a wide spectrum of genres but also quality. Darktide is among the franchise’s better releases in recent years, and its action-heavy gameplay should also satisfy non-fans who are just looking to shoot and dice their way through hordes of zombie-esque creatures. The game offers four playable classes, each of which feels wildly different to control. They all have their positives, and most players will likely find themselves gravitating to one or two of the characters.

Darktide‘s 4-class setup obviously lends itself to co-op play, to the point of the game not launching with a solo mode. The campaign can get quite punishing at times, so party members will need to work together if they want to survive against the game’s various bosses.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Metascore: 77

Leatherface and girl in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Released
August 18, 2023

Developer(s)
Sumo Nottingham

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • 4v3 Co-Op
  • Crossplay

Building on the Friday the 13th game, Sumo Nottingham’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has proven to be a great addition to the asymmetrical multiplayer world popularized by Dead by Daylight. Technically, these games are all co-op, although this feature tends to be lopsidedly implemented and not always emphasized. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an exception for one key reason: both sides are teams. Four victims must escape from three family members, a premise that goes against the subgenre’s traditional 4v1 structure.

Consequently, regardless of which group someone joins, communication will play a part in their experience. Beyond the PvP design, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre does a great job of capturing the spirit of its terrifying source material, all the while still being accessible to those who might not be familiar with the 1974 movie.

Minecraft Legends

Metascore: 71

minecraft legends 4-player squad


Minecraft Legends

Released
April 18, 2023

Developer(s)
Mojang , Blackbird Interactive

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Crossplay

Minecraft Legends lives with a decent but not glowing reputation, but the spin-off is generally a fun time. As RTS projects are not known for their accessibility, linking the genre to the most successful game of all time should introduce a wide batch of new players to the strategy world. Minecraft Legends offers a fairly straightforward experience, and while the game contains RTS fixtures, these elements are presented through a hack and slash filter. The result is an enjoyable but somewhat shallow overall package.

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If someone is bored with solo runs, they can invite a few friends to help them take on the Piglins. Minecraft Legends‘ online co-op feature does not really change the core loop all that much as the game does not tether the party members to each other, encouraging them to co-exist while still doing their own thing. Players can also team up for PvP battles.

Grounded

Metascore: 82

Working Together Grounded


Grounded

Released
September 27, 2022

Genre(s)
Survival Horror , RPG

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign
  • Crossplay

Obsidian’s resume speaks for itself, particularly when it comes to character-driven RPGs. However, Grounded saw the developer step into uncharted territory known as the survival genre. After being shrunk down to miniature size, players find themselves walking beneath a lawn’s leaves and cowering in the face of insects. Along with story-driven exploration with the goal of freedom, players will need to monitor and react to the behavior of the entities that make up this area’s ecosystem.

Grounded works beautifully as a single-player adventure, but it also supports online co-op. In fact, Obsidian even allows people to create a Shared World that can be accessed without needing a host to be present. The game features four playable characters who interact with each other during co-op sessions, which enhances the multiplayer’s immersion.

Space Engineers

Metascore: 68

space engineers


Space Engineers

Released
October 23, 2013

Developer
Keen Software House

Genre(s)
Simulation , Sandbox

Pros

  • 4-Player Support (Xbox)
  • Co-Op Campaign

Keen Software House’s Space Engineers is not the most accessible game out there, but it is also one of a kind (despite sharing similarities with projects like Minecraft). A proper sandbox experience, a playthrough generally drops players into space with only a handful of things at their disposal. From there, they are encouraged to explore their surroundings and mine asteroids for resources, which they can then use to start creating whatever they want. Ships might be one way to go, but Space Engineers is fairly limitless in this area due to being voxel-based, so players should be able to bring to life all sorts of impressive works of art.

Newcomers will probably want to start in a single-player universe, just so they can come to grips with the controls and mechanics. Make no mistake, Space Engineers is not easy, and it throws a lot of ideas at users while resisting the urge to give them too much direction. Once they start to feel somewhat confident, they can jump into servers with other players, with Xbox allowing for four people to share a space. Now, Space Engineers does not force people to work together, so not every co-op run will be the same or equally fruitful; however, it is still fun to interact with other people.


Sea Of Thieves

Metascore: 69

A couple of pirate players, including a Pirate Legend, in Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves

Released
March 20, 2018

Genre(s)
Adventure

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Crossplay

Considering it had a fairly tepid launch, Sea of Thieves has blossomed into a fantastic multiplayer-driven project. Four players can team up to form a pirate crew and head out into the unknown in search of treasure, adventure, and maybe a Kraken. While solo explorers do exist, they will be at a disadvantage since Sea of Thieves is intended with co-op and PvP in mind.

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Even though more than five years have passed since the game’s debut, Rare is still regularly producing updates that introduce fresh events and loot. There is almost always something new for a crew to discover in Sea of Thieves​​​​​​.

Payday 2 & 3

Metascore: 65 (Payday 3)

payday-3-masked


Payday 3

Released
September 21, 2023

Xbox Game Pass has Payday 2 and its 2023 sequel, Payday 3. In their current states, the former is the better overall game, which is not surprising since it is built upon roughly a decade’s worth of updates. Payday 3 is still very much in its infancy, and it launched with less-than-plentiful content. Consequently, someone who goes from the second game to the third might find themselves growing bored with the latter fairly quickly, especially since the core loop is largely identical between the two releases.

Ultimately, Payday 3 should be the franchise’s future. One has to assume that Overkill will be dedicating the next couple of years to expanding and improving the game, and it will hopefully reach a point where it can effortlessly repeat the success of its predecessor. It is not there yet, and it might not get there for a while longer, but if a few friends are tempted to dive into this heist-focused franchise, they should start with Payday 3. The core gunplay is also better in the newest entry.


World War Z: Aftermath

Metascore: 76

world war z aftermath

World War Z: Aftermath

Released
September 21, 2021

Genre(s)
Shooter

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign

Saber Interactive’s World War Z was decent when it launched in 2019 as a zombie-fueled third-person shooter with a heavy emphasis on co-op gameplay. Sticking somewhat close to Left 4 Dead‘s blueprint while still innovating in a few key ways, the game offered a fun albeit uneven time, and it did lack longevity. Nowadays, the original title is difficult to recommend since it has been rendered moot by Aftermath, a definition version that comes with an expansion. Along with a plethora of fresh content like new stages and an eighth class, World War Z has also morphed into a more complete and satisfying overall package, one that can stand toe-to-toe with most modern online co-op shooters.


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Campaign-wise, WWZ does not hold too many surprises since it follows a fairly straightforward formula. Players pick from a few character classes and have to plow their way through a handful of episodes set in different locations. While the story is forgettable, a shame considering it is set in the same universe as a great novel, the action is consistently entertaining thanks to WWZ‘s impressively large and aggressive zombie hordes. The classes are well-defined and cover a wide range of gameplay styles, allowing players to pick their favorites and craft balanced teams.

Deep Rock Galactic

Metascore: 83

Deep Rock Galactic Dwarves Group


Deep Rock Galactic

Released
May 13, 2020

Developer(s)
Ghost Ship Games

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign

Hoxxes IV holds many riches and even more hazards. Working for the eponymous corporation, players are charged with diving into the alien planet’s underground caverns to dig for resources, a process that tends to attract the attention of the aggressive and buggy locales. Thankfully, the playable dwarves are more than capable of defending themselves through an array of weapons and even a few skills. Deep Rock Galactic is a co-op treat that can be played almost endlessly thanks to its procedurally generated levels, and the game offers one of the best demonstrations of that technology’s potential.

Before heading out into the depths, players can pick from Deep Rock Galactic‘s four classes, all of whom serve specific roles that set them apart from their companions. As each dwarf can be leveled up independently, the game encourages users to swap them around as needed until they find a class they unquestionably prefer. While enjoyable in single-player, Deep Rock Galactic improves immensely when experienced alongside a few friends. This goes beyond the idea that “multiplayer makes everything better” since the gameplay is obviously intended to be played in co-op. The classes work well in solo runs, but their full potential can only be unlocked by linking up with their fellow dwarves.


Monster Hunter Rise

Metascore: 87

A battle in Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise
Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign

Monster Hunter has become a staple of not only single-player content but also co-op ones. Rise is no exception, offering up to four players the opportunity to form a party and go on hunts together. Obviously, this comes with a spike in difficulty for the battles, although the game is still among the easier entries in the franchise. Now, complete newcomers might want to start with the single-player village quests just to get a hand of things and learn the basic mechanics; while this content does not support multiplayer, it should take less than 10 hours to complete and essentially acts as a glorified tutorial. More importantly, all the quests in the hub can be played in co-op, and these missions are the real meat of the package.


Monster Hunter Rise is all about fine-tuning builds to cater to a specific monster, and the incorporation of multiple party members provides more room for experimentation. In solo runs, targeting multiple monsters per expedition can be too time-consuming, but this is more feasible when a few hunters are working together.

Valheim

Metascore: N/A

VALHEIM (1)-1

Valheim

Released
February 2, 2021

Developer(s)
Iron Gate AB

Pros

  • 10-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign
  • Crossplay

Regardless of whether it is played solo or alongside a few other Vikings, Valheim is a great in-development project that is an easy recommendation for fans of open-world or survival games. If players decide to go with co-op, they have the option to create a public or private server that supports up to 10 active participants at a time. The game’s focus is on PvE and cooperative multiplayer, although two players can engage in PvP if they both decide to go down that path.


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Valheim drops players in a procedurally generated world and tasks them with setting up a base, exploring various biomes, and taking on a few bosses (along with a myriad of smaller enemies). In single-player, Valheim plays out like a traditional survival experience with a few RPG elements, and the game can get rather difficult. In comparison, co-op adds a sense of community that is naturally absent from solo runs, and this feature arguably leads to a more unique and satisfying overall adventure.

Halo Infinite

Metascore: 87

halo infinite campaign co-op new achievements

Halo Infinite

Released
December 8, 2021

Genre(s)
First-Person Shooter

Pros

  • 4-Player Support
  • Co-Op Campaign
  • Crossplay

Halo and co-op are synonymous, which made the fact that Halo Infinite launched without the feature inexcusable. Eventually, 343 added online co-op support to the campaign, although the developer also made the controversial decision to nix local co-op. Due to everything that has happened since its launch, Halo Infinite cannot be described as an unbridled success for Xbox, but the game’s triumphs should not be dismissed either.


The campaign is ambitious, expansive, and, a blast to play through. Sure, it has some pacing issues and a rather rough ending, but the positives outweigh the negatives. The same can be also said for Halo Infinite‘s online co-op, which has a few frustrating moments but is largely fantastic. Co-op works better during the campaign’s linear missions than its open-world, but the latter is still enjoyable provided players stick relatively close to each other.

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