Looking for a co-op tactical combat game

What it says on the tin. It looks like the only space this currently exists in is multiplayer modes for CRPGs, which is precisely what I don’t want because going through dialogue and running around a map with a friend is a slog. A buddy and I tried playing Wasteland 3 this way but, while it was actually very well done overall, the RPG elements mostly got in our way during multiplayer. YMMV.

So I want a game with co-cop turn-based tactical combat and character/equipment upgrades as the game progresses. XCOM 2, but multiplayer, would be exactly right. I’m aware there was a co-cop mod on Steam but it looks like they ran into copyright issues with the game developers and scrapped it.

Any thoughts?

I’ve wanted something similar for a long time too, and there doesn’t seem to be much.

Pit People is one that’s mentioned sometimes, but I’ve never tried it.

Divinity: Original Sin 1 and 2 come close, but they are still RPGs :frowning: Fortunately you can skip most of the dialogue and/or just kill everyone if you prefer, but there’s still a fair bit of running around the map.

The Roguelike genre sometimes feels similar, as in For the King, but combat there is more Final Fantasy style (still turn based and tactical, but not cover/positioning based).

Satellite Reign has co-op, but it’s more like the old Syndicate Wars than X-Com.

If you’re OK with a card game, Mythgard is team-based (2v2) and very tactical, lane-based and has a defense/cover system based on defenders and lurkers and such.

Also there are some digital board game adaptations that might meet your desires, like Gloomhaven or Scythe (standalone titles) or Zombicide through Tabletop Simulator

This. Gloomhaven fits almost exactly what you are looking for but is a tabletop game. I’ve never played the digital version to know how good it is. (I personally am not impressed with the equipment upgrades in the game, but they at least exist. Characters abilities and powers that do not depend on equipment, however, also exist and are handled quite nicely.)

I don’t think anything fits for:

-Turn-based tactical combat.
-Character Progression/Loot
-Minimal story elements.

Lots of options if you remove one of those, however. Ditching turn-based probably provides the most options. Assuming you want it PvE, Remnant: From the Ashes is probably the best fit.

I have two suggestions that I’ve experienced. Both are rather old affairs and turn based.

The first is Darkwind. It’s still alive on Steam, though it’s probably over a decade old at this point. It’s basically Car Wars, where you build up cars, strap guns to them, form convoys and go shoot up other cars. You can also just do deathtrack racing (with or without guns) or straight-up arena brawls, as your whims dictate.

There’s a strong AI enemy component to it, but there’s also a chance you may bump into other player convoys and they may or may not let you pass, so your mileage may vary. You can do this coop, though, as my wife and I (and sometimes an extra friend or two) got a lot of mileage sending out convoys of just a few heavily-armed SUVs to hunt pirates.

There is, as your requirements stipulate, no meaningful plot to get in the way (though it’s been a decade since I last played this) so who knows? The drawback is that a convoy mission can take some real hours before there’s an encounter, but supposing you have enough cash, fuel, crew and cars, there’s nothing stopping you from sending out multiple convoys.

Going with what @Palooka just posted here, if you’re willing to make a bit of a compromise, I’m also going to suggest Megamek.

It’s a tactical game that you can play coop. What it is is an entirely standalone, thoroughly complete, tabletop simulator of the venerable Battletech game, except it does all the bureaucracy and accounting for you–and since there’s a LOT Of bureaucracy and accounting, this is an astonishingly large amount of time gained.

I don’t know how well it handles AI opponents. I think it’s possible, I’ve just never tried it. You can form “teams”, you can fight other players, and it’s all very network-friendly.

Drawback: You’ll have to handle the character progression yourself. You may want a GM to oversee the affair or something. I mean, it’s literally a Battletech tabletop simulator.

Other Drawback: Darkwind is rather old and the graphics are a bit basic. Megamek is “graphics are the fourth priority,” and the graphics are phenomenally basic.

Both are, at least, free to play, though Darkwind had a modest monthly fee to unlock extra features. So you can try either out for size and see how they grab you.

I am a touch confused here. The OP is Johnny_Bravo but palooka is quoted above.

In any case, the Gloomhaven board game (not computer game) has all of palooka’s elements. Their online version is said - by a bunch of my Gloomhaven group people - to be really good and pretty much the same game, so there is a computerized version, too, if it is a necessity that the desired game be computerized.

In other words, Reply and Ludovic are on the ball.

Not quite what you asked for but ‘Card Hunter’ is a co-op (or single player) card-collecting, turn-based tactical game with a strong D&D/fantasy flavor. It is free-to-play so there are some micro-transactions to unlock some areas of the map; I never thought the cost was unreasonable.

If you can get past the fantasy elements and cartoony looking characters there’s a strong tactical game underneath. There’s also a very active PVP community if that’s your thing. If not you can avoid it entirely.

Thanks for the recs, guys. Online play is a requirement as this friend doesn’t live in the same town as me.

I haven’t thought about Gloomhaven in a long time! I know it’s in early access and so haven’t looked at it lately, but it looks like it’s nearing completion and in fact just released a “co-op multiplayer update.” That looks super promising. I did play it on tabletop a few times and recall that the vast majority of the game is the tactical combat.

We actually played a fair bit of this and enjoyed it.

Funnily enough, a coworker recommended this to me in a completely different context the other day.

Remnant isn’t turn-based but is still a good coop title. If you’re willing to remove the turn-based requirement, there are a LOT of good coop titles out there that are heavy on tactical combat and light on narrative: Diablo 3, Torchlight 2&3, Elder Scrolls Online (dungeons and such), Gears of War, the Mass Effect series (pay to win though), Sniper Elite, the Rainbow Six Vegas series, the old SWAT 4, Orcs Must Die, The Division, the Tom Clancy or Far Cry Ubisoft games, Pay Day…

This website is an occasionally good resource, but their listings aren’t very complete: https://www.co-optimus.com/games.php

Use the filters to select PC, online co-op, filter by review score.

Yep, I’ve played many of those and enjoyed a lot of them. But, like we see, this particular type of game is in short supply.

You’re battling against of winds of change here. Turn-based multiplayer games just aren’t very popular any longer. The ones that do exist are mostly competitive games without co-op or character progression. The overwhelming preference is for real-time multiplayer games.

Turn-based mostly remains in the RPG and Strategy genres. RPGs don’t seem to be what you want and Strategy games don’t really fit either. My understanding is the perfect game for you is an online co-op roguelike. I don’t think that’s a thing. Roguelikes are basically dead as a genre too, which is odd considering you still see the label on 50% of indie game releases.

There are too many amazing co-op games to name, but they more or less all require both players to play simultaneously. Wouldn’t that be more fun anyway?

Hades just left Early Access on Steam, and to rave reviews. I think it’s sold more than a million copies so far, so not a dead genre. Kind of beside the point, though, since that’s not at all what I’m looking for. However! Children of Morta is a solid roguelike with co-op which unfortunately suffers because the co-op is only available through Steam’s (not at all great) remote play feature. Several others that I’m aware of have some limited form of co-op but, again, not what I’m looking for.

I’m definitely not looking for anybody to arbitrate my fun. Please let me assure everybody that I am an experienced gamer with broad tastes who happens to be looking for a game with a very specific set of criteria.

It’s not like gaming preferences are mutually exclusive, you know?

Take a look at Grim Dawn. It doesn’t have turn-based combat, but checks all the other boxes. And even though I much prefer turn-based combat, the combat in Grim Dawn didn’t annoy me like most Diablo-type games do.


Since I posted this, a game came out that matches my criteria precisely. Wildermyth has it all. Tactical combat, class-based character progression and development, equipment management and crafting, and surprisingly effective (and consequential) storytelling that doesn’t get in the way of gameplay. It’s like XCOM and For the King had a beautiful baby.

The multiplayer interface is a tad wonky, but it’s still eminently workable and probably the best implementation I’ve seen of this type of gameplay.

Since a lot of it appears to be procedural, pulling narrative elements from a random pool of modular encounters, I’m sure it’ll get repetitive after a while. But we’ve only scratched the surface so far and haven’t even interfaced with some of its more advanced systems.