We all know it – gaming is far more fun with friends. Sure, we all enjoy getting lost in a good single player experience. But when it comes to getting social, nothing’s better than gathering with some distant pals and playing some of the best multiplayer games around.
If there’s one thing that the last eighteen months has taught us, it’s that staying connected is vitally important. Multiplayer games can offer the perfect outlet for that. Whether it’s competitive or co-operative that you’re looking for, here’s a list of five multiplayer games that are perfect for playing with friends in 2022.
Let’s get the hyper competitive one out of the way. Valorant is Riot Games’ answer to Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. CS:GO has dominated the twitch shooter esports scene since it debuted in 2012, but Valorant has something to say about that.
Following a similar formula, two teams are tasked with attacking and defending a bomb site in various colourful locations. The big difference is that, instead of purchasing utility items like flash and frag grenades, players can choose from an increasing roster of unique Agents.
These Agents play into unique playstyles. There’s something here for those who favour support, while other characters cater to those who suit running in with crackshot aim. That’s what makes Valorant so great to play with friends. You’ll end up finding a character that suits the way you play and can synergise with your teammates from there.
Competitive players will enjoy the high skill ceiling that Valorant offers. While simple enough to get to grips with, mastering each map, weapon, and game economy takes time. Valorant is something that you’ll need to commit hundreds of hours to if you want to get properly good. Those hundreds of hours will fly by much faster if you do so with a friend.
If you’re looking to get stuck into Valorant, we’ve got a bunch of guides that will help you on your way.
Divinity Original Sin 2
Taking things back a notch, let’s look at something a little slower paced. If you’re a fan of getting lost in fantasy worlds, then Divinity Original Sin 2 offers the perfect opportunity to do so with friends.
You can play this one as a solo adventure, but it’s far more entertaining with a squad of buddies. This top-down RPG is heavily based on the Dungeons and Dragons ruleset with regular skill checks and turn-based combat. As such, there’s up to four characters in a party to control, so having three buddies along for the ride splits up the workload evenly.
Using a creative variety of elemental spells, you’ll encounter all sorts of weird and wonderful characters along your journey. A fantastic combat system takes advantage of the gorgeous environment with details like elevation dictating the flow of fighting.
While a main questline powers the story forward, you’ll want to explore the many side quests Divinity has to offer. As such, make sure to start this game with pals you know have a reliable schedule. Otherwise you’ll be playing this one in the background for a good while. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing – it’s easily one of my favourite RPGs from the last few years.
Rainbow Six Siege
If there’s one other competitive game that’s dominated the esports scene recently, it’s Rainbow Six Siege. In a similar vein to Valorant, this is an excellent shooter to dig into with pals if you’re looking for a time sink.
Because of how insanely detailed the Siege maps are, it requires an intense amount of map knowledge. The same goes for the sheer number of Operators that are now in the game. Ubisoft has been hard at work adding new characters and abilities to the game since it launched in 2015. As such, the roster is now over 60 large, with Osa being the most recent addition.
It can be a daunting task to break into such a meaty shooter in 2022, which is why it’s best done with a pal. Even better if there’s a few of you, you can try out different operators and help each other figure out which ones are best for your group.
Despite a relatively steep learning curve, Siege remains one of the most popular esports multiplayer games on the scene. With such a dedicated audience, the game clearly means a lot to plenty of people. It could be the game that your friendship group needs, too.
I’m not going to stop shouting from the rooftops about this game because it remains a sleeper hit of this year. Knockout City is a dodgeball game released by EA earlier this year and sees teams of three trying to literally knock their opponents out of the game. A simple premise, sure. But mastering how to intelligently throw, pass, and catch the dodgeballs is all part of an incredibly fun experience.
Part of what makes this game so fun is how the dynamic changes when playing with pals. Playing solo encourages you to get to grips with just throwing and catching the ball. However, when you introduce friends and communication into the mix, that’s where tactical passes completely change the game.
Before long, you’ll be dodging and weaving like a pro in frantic battles that have you constantly on the edge of your seat. If you’re looking to get stuck in, then you’re in luck. Until the end of September, Knockout City is free to download on PC via the Amazon Prime Gaming service. If you’ve got two other friends at a loose end, then you’ve little to lose by trying out this excellent arena game.
Last up, we have Hunt: Showdown. Another game that seems to fly under a lot of radars, it takes an innovative approach to gameplay with a PvPvE structure. It’s set in the Louisiana bayou in the late 1800s. Using old fashioned weaponry, it’s your job to hunt down and banish several monsters that inhabit the swamps.
The twist is that other players are also looking to accomplish the same task and escape with the loot. Once you banish a monster, your crew is marked on the map for all to see. You’ll need to fend off any incoming players and make it to the extraction point to escape with the treasure loot.
Hunt: Showdown promises high risk, high reward gameplay. Its incredibly tense to play, which is why it’s best played with a couple of friends. Either duos or trios are available, so there’s a choice of just how intense you’d like the experience to be.
Showdown is receiving regular updates, too. Most recently, developer Crytek added the brand new map Desalle, which brings an industrial tinge to the otherwise natural aesthetic. Available across console and PC, this is one for you to try if you’re looking for something a little different to the norm.
What other multiplayer games are you enjoying playing with your squad in 2022? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: EA/343 Industries