While there's a great many different types of gaming experiences available on Switch, the chances are that couch co-op games were a big part of the reason you bought Nintendo's hybrid console. After all, Nintendo is the bonafide master of local co-op games, and the Switch is tailor-made for those experiences thanks to its Joy-Con controllers, which double up as two separate pads when you've got a friend nearby, even when you're out and about.
But what are the best couch co-op games on Nintendo Switch? Well, that's a question we aim to answer in this selection of co-operative local multiplayer titles. We're going with the definition that co-op games allow players to work together as teammates, as opposed to competing against each other. We're also only including games with local multiplayer on a single device, which rules out games like Splatoon 2, for example.
If you're not concerned specifically with the local co-op experience, be sure to check out our selection of the best Nintendo Switch games, an ever-evolving list of the top 50 Switch games as ranked by Nintendo Life users. However, assuming you're looking to collaborate with a mate, we proudly present - in no particular order - the best cooperative experiences on Switch...
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Kirby Star Allies was developed with four player local co-op firmly in mind. One of you plays as Kirby and recruits enemies to serve as allies, which any Joy-Con wielding friend nearby can take control of. You can even combine the abilities of your allies to various effect, like adding lightning or flames to your swords. The game is pretty easy, with very little real challenge in sight, but it's definitely fun and should keep inexperienced or younger gamers and Kirby fans entertained.
Death Road To Canada allows fans of the zombie genre to live out their ultimate survival fantasies again and again. In the game, you can bring one other friend along with you on the wild and deadly road trip. As the game is quite a challenging roguelite, you will need all the help you can get, so enlist your nearest compadre and get going.
You might not be aware that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has an excellent co-op mode, with you and a friend tackling a variety of mission maps as your favourite characters. You'll have to have completed World 1.5 in solo mode before it becomes accessible via the Buddydome to the right of Peach's Castle. We'd love to see this expanded on in a potential sequel, and we're keeping our fingers crossed for an announcement this year.
Turn-based RPGs of yesteryear and today owe a lot of their fine-tuned tactics to the legacy of tabletop board games, and For The King pays tribute to this legacy with a digital adventure where anything can happen. The fast-paced nature of its exploration and combat keeps everything feeling fresh and lively, but the considerable reliance on chance does take the shine of its otherwise competent combat. However, with adjustable difficulties (which amend the severity of each death) and a sizeable amount of expansive DLC, this is one roguelike RPG that really shines in co-op.
Fire Emblem Warriors combines the insanely addictive Dynasty Warriors combat with the strategy and dramatic plot of a Fire Emblem. The result is a unique game of taking strategic locations with force, directing troops, and battling bosses.
You can play pretty much the entire experience in co-op as well. After a few short missions, a friend can pop in and join you as you work together to capture all of the strategic locations, defeat bosses, and find the secrets in each level.
Rocket League is a fine online multiplayer game of driving really fast, pulling off insane tricks, and scoring ridiculous goals with an oversized ball in a car. Make no mistake, despite the odd concept, this is arguably the finest football game available on Switch right now. Local co-op is supported for up to four players, and you can battle against the CPU in 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 matches. That's plenty to sink your teeth into.
The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ offers four player local co-op in this Zelda-like endless dungeon crawler roguelike. Bit of a mouthful, eh? Sadly, you won't play as four Isaacs. Only player one is Isaac, with the other players playing as babies instead. These deal half of the damage of Isaac and can fly, but only have a single heart container – which they take off Isaac when they join.
A beautiful little game, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a winner whether you're after puzzling or jump button-less platforming, and the two-player co-op Nintendo added post-launch makes this offering even tastier with Toadette able to join the Captain through the entire game. There's even a nice little nugget of DLC for once you've polished off the main story. With beautiful visuals and an upbeat soundtrack, it's is a real gem; a wonderful and gorgeous 3D platform puzzler fit for all ages, and one which you should definitely experience if you're yet to.
Enter the Gungeon is as mad as its name suggests. This is an absolutely bonkers bullet-infested roguelike in which you shoot, loot, roll, and flip a bunch of tables on your journey through hordes of enemies to earn the legendary gun that can... er, kill the past. Whatever that means. Who really cares about story – this is an action-packed shooter that makes the action of The Matrix look like a Yoga session for the elderly.
Minecraft was at one point the biggest game on the planet before Fortnite arrived to steal all of the limelight. Even so, its influence is far-reaching and explains the sheer number of copycat survival games and blocky builders. The original and best is available on Switch though, of course, and provides you with countless hours of co-op fun as you pretty much do anything you want from building stuff to crafting weapons and beating up enemies.