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Horror games are bountiful on the PC platform, and you’ll have no problem finding a game to pick up and play today. However, things can get a bit more niche if you’re looking for cooperative horror video game titles. We’ve compiled some of our personal favorite cooperative horror video game titles we think are worth picking up with a buddy.
#15 The Outlast Trials
Release Date: May 18, 2023
Horror games can be best had with friends that are not even necessarily on your team. If you’re a fan of horror games, then chances are you are aware of The Outlast franchise. While before we get a third mainline installment, the developers brought out a multiplayer experience with The Outlast Trials. The Outlast Trials is set years before the first two games, during the Cold War, when the Murkoff Corporation imprisons you. Forced to undergo a variety of unethical experiments, the only means of escape is completing a series of challenges. However, between you and these objectives are a variety of hostile enemies. Just like in previous games, there’s no means of attacking enemies. Instead, some items further buff your character up to quickly reach a new area or slow an enemy down. However, your greatest means of help is with friends. This game offers cooperative multiplayer support where you and some friends can try to complete these objectives together or potentially throw each other under the bus.
#14 Dead Island 2
Platform: PC PS4 Xbox One PS5 XSX|S
Release Date: April 21, 2023
It took years and multiple development studios to bring a sequel to Dead Island. Fortunately, the wait has ended, and you can dive right into Dead Island 2. The game takes place several years after the first installment, where we’re now dealing with a zombie plague outbreak in California. You’re just one of the unlucky few stuck in Los Angeles and on a journey to find an escape. Soon into the game, your protagonist will discover they are immune to the disease, and their blood could be the cure, but it’s a long way to reach an extraction point. Gameplay is similar to the first installment, focusing on melee combat. Fortunately, you can play this game online with friends. Currently, at the time of writing this description, Dead Island 2 supports up to three players online. All you need to do is reach about thirty minutes into the campaign before the cooperative mode opens up. From there, you and your friends can go through the storyline with progression carrying over to each player.
#13 Sons Of The Forest
Release Date: February 23, 2023
If you’re stranded on an island full of mutants and monsters that want to devour you, it’d be nice to have some backup to take care of them, wouldn’t you agree?
Thankfully, Sons Of The Forest will let you play with friends as you explore the island looking for a billionaire and trying to get off it alive!
Your allies will be vital as you build shelter and craft various items to help you fight off the monsters lurking around every corner.
How will you work together to survive? Or will your friendship fail when the mutants attack? Jump in and find out!
#12 7 Days To Die
7 Days To Die has a strong following on the PC. While it’s still an early access title, plenty of players have jumped online to enjoy the game over the years. While you’ll see quite a few changes having been made to the game throughout development, as it stands right now, it’s one of the more popular PC horror cooperative titles on the market.
If you haven’t heard about this game, the title puts players into an open-world where they must attempt to survive undead hordes. It’s all about scavenging for items, building up a base, fortifying your area, getting enough weapons ready to deal some damage, and attempting to survive another day. As the name suggests, players essentially have a week to get things ready as the seventh day brings out a horde which will progressively get worse each week.
Players must fortify their base and ready for a beating as the horde begins breaking through, leaving you to battle against the dead in hopes to make it through the day. The rest of the time is crafting, finding new supplies, and making more adjustments or upgrades to your base. You can make quite a few traps, like digging up a trench around your home and filling it with spikes to slow or take out enemies. The developers are continuing to add more content to this title, although it’s unclear how much longer the game will be an early access title. February 1, 2022, saw the release of Alpha 20.1.
GTFO is a cooperative game that is best played with close friends. The title throws players into a world where you’re tasked with venturing well below the surface to grab some necessary intel. Try not to wake the swarms of bloodthirsty demonic-looking creatures!
This challenging game can be played with up to four players. Quietly explore massive complexes, complete objectives, and get out intact. Players will start up the game with some different load options and when dropping onto the map, it’s all about teamwork.
GTFO isn’t a game asking players to drop in and start unloading clips into a room full of baddies. Instead, it’s all about taking things slow, carefully planning out strategies, and using weapons only when you have to. While not easy, this is a fun title that players reviewed favorably, but those looking for Left 4 Dead-style gameplay won’t find it here.
Phasmophobia is an indie hit that hasn’t seen a lull in popularity since its early access release in 2020. While a bit rough around the edges, new content has consistently been added over the past few years, with some media outlets calling the game one of the best ghost hunting games ever made. Step into the role of a professional paranormal investigator who is on the scene to track down ghosts and gather information. Each mission will set players up with a slew of different goals to complete and the necessary tools to complete them.
Players come together to head inside, using gadgets and even their microphones to communicate with the spirits. There is four-player online support with this psychological game and the team behind this project really made an immersive and atmospheric title. This game also comes with different ghost types with more bound to be added in the future. Not every ghost will behave the same, requiring different traits or certain tools to complete missions.
#9 Back 4 Blood
It’s no secret that Back 4 Blood was trying to fill in the void left by Left 4 Dead, but the problem was that it didn’t really do the best of jobs in making as compelling a world or gameplay loop. So you’ll want to do this game if you can get it for cheap.
In the game, the world had been overrun by monsters known as The Ridden. Humanity is very much on the ropes and you are one of the last hopes for the world. You must descend to where The Ridden are, and then go and destroy them all so the world can be free. Work together to stay alive, else the monsters will swarm you without a second thought.
#8 Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve follows a scientist named Wilson that’s forced to survive in an unusual and hostile world. The game has several vital signs to manage such as keeping Wilson fed and mentally stable, and hostile enemies lurking within the world can prove to be deadly. Despite releasing back in 2013, the video game is still a popular survival game with horror elements throughout.
One of the more popular updates this title has seen was the game mode Don’t Starve Together. Here, players can work together and attempt to survive the in-game world by helping each other deal with monsters and keeping each others vitals up. While a more lighthearted horror game, it’s still one well worth looking into today.
#7 Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is one of the more popular games on the list, acting similarly to another release that came out around the same time, Friday the 13th: The Game. While the latter was strictly based around Jason and the Friday the 13th setting, Dead by Daylight doesn’t restrict itself to one particular IP. The game pins a group of survivors against an opposing player that controls a monster. Within the game, the survivors are forced to flee the map, but to do so they’ll need to reach different power generators scattered around, repair them, and power them up. This eventually allows different exits to open up and gives the survivors a chance to escape. Meanwhile, the hostile player is running around attempting to take out the survivors by using various powers and attributes that selected monster hostile has available.
Survivors can get back up a few times after being attacked by friends coming to their aid and rescuing them, but after multiple hits the survivor will eventually be killed off, leaving fewer players available to get the generators up and running. Fortunately, some useful traps can be used to keep the hostile enemy away, such as knocking down debris behind you while the enemy is on your tail. To keep things a bit interesting, the game has seen a ton of different crossovers bringing more characters and maps into the game. These include creatures and survivors from Saw, Evil Dead, Scream, Stranger Things, Silent Hill, and more.
#6 Dying Light 2 Stay Human
Dying Light 2 is definitely a title you’ll want to play with friends in order to take on the zombie hordes that await you in The City. No, not “a city”, THE City. That’s what it’s really called!
Anyway, you’ll head to The City in order to find out the truth about the memories that you have. But to get the answers you seek, you will have to not just survive the zombies, but survive the people that are there too. You’ll go on missions for them and slowly alter the fate of the city as you know it.
Plus, you’re going to have to survive the zombie bite you have that is slowly turning you! So yeah, best to have a friend nearby for that.
#5 The Dark Pictures Anthology
Supermassive Games amassed a huge following when they released the Until Dawn. The cinematic-style horror experience saw players make choices that altered the narrative journey while also determining which characters survived the end. While the game was an exclusive for the PlayStation 4, the development team has gone on to make a new IP that brings similar horror titles to multiple platforms titled The Dark Pictures Anthology.
This collection of games feature their own unique storylines. Currently, three installments are available: Man of Medan, Little Hope, and House of Ashes. Another title, The Devil in Me, is in the works for a 2022 launch. The games are all about making choices, and the cooperative gameplay allows players to take control over a selection of in-game characters. With each choice a player makes, the storyline will adapt, adding plenty of replay value. This is a perfect entry for players not wanting too much stress–it’s like sitting down and watching a lengthy horror movie with some friends.
#4 Hunt Showdown
Those looking for a competitive style co-op title may want to look at Hunt: Showdown. This FPS game is set in a supernatural world where monsters roam freely. Players step into the role of a bounty hunter, able to take on contracts of different monsters proving to be problematic. Of course, collecting bounties is easier with friends, and you venture out in a group of up to three players in squad-based gameplay. However, you’re not the only group of players dropping into this game as you compete to find the monster and collect the bounty.
While there are plenty of players to fight, it’s sometimes best to stay quiet, deal with minor monsters that lurk the map, and continue seeking the main bounty monster. Once you find the monster and defeat it, you’ll collect the bounty. Unfortunately, this will trigger every group in the game to come to where the monster was slain on the map. Enemy players will then be rushing towards your area to steal the bounty for themselves. Hunt Showdown is tense and requires players to keep track of their surroundings–not only to keep an eye out for hostile AI monsters but for lurking groups of players as well.
#3 The Forest
The Forest is an iconic indie horror game that’s gained a massive following. Players take the role of a protagonist on a trip with their son, but things go horribly wrong on their flight. When the plane crashes, our protagonist finds that their son was kidnapped by a group of cannibals that inhabits this remote island. From there, it’s a battle to survive by keeping your vitals up, scavenging for resources, crafting structures, exploring the island, and taking out the hostile enemies. That’s not the easiest thing to do as the AI can be pretty unpredictable. The cannibals can keep their distance and study your movements, eventually charging you to see what you’ll do. They can eventually end up attacking you when they have enough in their group.
With that said, players have the choice to group up with friends online and venture into the island together. While you can progress through the campaign, others have found just as much fun building up structures and attempting to survive the cannibals. It’s a simplistic game, but it has a strong following. A sequel, Sons of The Forest, is currently in development with a planned release in October 2022.
#2 Dead Space 3
Dead Space still has a massive following years after release. The game series threw players into the depths of space, asking them to deal with hostile and grotesque alien parasites. While the third installment continues Isaac Clarke’s attempt to put an end to the hostile Necromorph outbreak, it also allowed players to go through this survival-horror game with a friend. Players can go through the entire campaign online with a partner, and the title is available for purchase on Steam.
While the first two installments were a bit more horror-focused, the third installment added more action to the mix. At the time of writing, a remake of the first game in the series is under development. A spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol, will be released in December 2022.
#1 Left 4 Dead 2
Left 4 Dead 2 remains undefeated in the co-op horror genre. Following the release of spiritual successor Back 4 Blood in 2021, players still chose to flock to this game in droves. This cooperative FPS zombie game asks players to complete different goals and fight a variety of undead hordes as you attempt to escape the area with friends, and thanks to modders, there’s still plenty of unique content left to discover over a decade after the title’s release.
With a variety of zombie-types and weapons to make use of, this game is what any game should be–fun. Despite attracting some negative attention and controversy upon launch in 2009, Left 4 Dead 2 is now considered to be one of the greatest video games ever made, and one of the best to play with buddies. It also boasts a robust competitive community, so if you feel you’re good enough, consider taking on a new challenge.