Did you know that 214 million Americans play video games? If you’re interested in joining their ranks, a great place to start is by playing with friends and family. And, if you can’t play a fun cooperative game sitting on the couch with a loved one right now, you certainly can online.

Collaborative online and multiplayer games can be a great way to stay in touch and build relationships among people of all ages. In this guide, we’ll go over some basic multiplayer gaming tips and some of the top cooperative or multiplayer games you can enjoy with friends and family of all ages.

Couple plays a video game together

Getting started

While many games can be played across multiple gaming platforms, it’s always a good idea to think about what games/platforms you will want to use and which ones your friends and family already use if you want to play with them online. For example, Minecraft’s splitscreen multiplayer option is only available on consoles like Xbox One, PlayStation4, and Nintendo Switch. It does, however, offer multiplayer servers for PC gaming as well. Choose a gaming platform and games that will help you meet your goals for online gameplay.

The whole family can play multiplayer video games together

Multiplayer gaming tips

Communication is key

Whether you communicate through chat or over the mic on your headset, being able to collaborate is essential for many games. Eliminate any background noise that might make it hard for your teammates to understand you, mute the mic when you’re snacking, and don’t spam the chat with memes or all caps.

Practice the golden rule

A lot of work can go into building and creating an online world. Treat other people’s digital creations even better than your own. Don’t trash someone’s hard work and worldbuilding!

Be mindful of what content you share with others

If you decide to go off and make new friends on an online gaming platform (according to the ESA, 30% of gamers have met a good friend or a significant other through online gaming!), be careful about how much you share with others. Keep your personal information to yourself and be mindful of the language you use when speaking to others.

Family plays video games with their young son

5 fun multiplayer games

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing has been a hugely popular game during quarantine, and it’s a great game for both individual and multiplayer play. The gameplay centers largely around individual worldbuilding, but you can also meet up with your friends online to visit each other’s islands and go exploring together.

Minecraft

Like Animal Crossing, Minecraft is another worldbuilding game where players mine materials and create virtual worlds through Lego-like blocks. It has several other game modes depending on your interest that you can explore. You can set-up a multiplayer game to build together and explore realms. There is even a player vs player (PVP) option to try out.

Overcooked

Take gaming to the kitchen with Overcooked 2! Together, you and your teammates can work to try and accomplish as many tasks as you can in the time allotted in this fun cooperative game. Play with up to four family members and work to complete cooking tasks like preparing food, making dishes, and cleaning in spite of the numerous hazards and obstacles in your kitchen.

Rocket League

Cars meet soccer in Rocket League. Play with or against friends in an online league on four-player teams. The gameplay is much like a soccer match, including a giant ball that you try to hit into a goal using your car. With matches at just five minutes in length, you can rack up several games in one gaming session.

NBA 2K21

It’s time to become the baller of your dreams. In NBA 2K21, you can play as a simulated character working your way up through the National Basketball Association’s ranks. While the game is great for single-player, it also shines as a multiplayer game online, allowing you to play pickup matches with other gamers, your friends, or even a real NBA player.

What about VR gaming?

Virtual reality (VR) offers unique immersive gaming experiences, and you can join your friends and family in exploring digital worlds. With regular advancements to headsets, hand controllers, the games themselves, VR has a lot of exciting updates to come. For now, VR gamers can enjoy co-op and competitive play.

What do you need to get started with VR gaming? Well, a headset is a must. The Oculus Quest 2 headset from Facebook supports multiple users, but for true multiplayer game play, each player will need their own headset. From there, you can meet up in a virtual world for some fun gameplay. Depending on your gaming system, you may even need a handheld controller.

No Man’s Sky

Explore galaxies with your friends and family in No Man’s Sky, a VR game that allows up to 32 players. You can build a colony in space, trade, and pilot a spaceship all from an immersive, first person perspective.

Star Trek™: Bridge Crew

If you’re the only one in your friend group with a VR headset, no worries. Star Trek™: Bridge Crew allows you to play with non-VR gamers too. Join three other plays to form a crew aboard the U.S.S Aegis to explore an unknown area of space.

Raccoon Lagoon

As an island spirit, you’re in charge of helping some marooned animals survive in Raccoon Lagoon. You can farm, mine, build, and fish to help create a livable island for your new animal friends. Best of all, you can team up with another player in the VR world and work together to make your island the best it can be.

A mother plays a multiplayer video game with her son

Internet for gaming

With multiple players, it’s important to think about your WiFi bandwidth and speed to make sure you can all enjoy the experience. For optimal gaming, we recommend an internet speed tier of at least 25 Mbps so you can enjoy your games with minimal lag. You may even consider using a wired connection for your gaming sessions to improve your experience, or you can look at getting a WiFi extender to boost your connection.

Even better? Upgrade to fiber internet, which is fast enough for virtually lag‑free online gaming and has symmetrical upload and download speeds. See if CenturyLink Fiber Internet is available near you.