The Best Coop FPS Games For Your Steam Deck

The More The Merrier

The Best Coop FPS Games For Your Steam Deck

Whether you’re on a bus, at home, or in your favorite drainage canal, today’s world makes it easy for us to connect and play games as a team. That being said, the Steam Deck makes this even easier on a whole other level. This list consists of the best coop FPS games for your Steam Deck that I could muster.

As per my usual rules, I tried to stay within the confines of the genre, meaning that I tried to stay between 2 to 10 players for the games on this list. I also took into account stuff like DRMs, anticheat and other issues such as screen readability and ease of play. No one is going to play CS:GO professionally on their Steam Deck out in the Catskill Mountains in between managing your shotgun still and maintaining satisfactory hooch output; that’s just ridiculous and outside the purview of this article, obviously. Big thanks to a good friend (who wished to remain anonymous) for lending me some of their games to test.

As usual, each game on this list will receive a small summary and my recommendation in pricing. Then you’ll get a small section of “Tech Stuff” that relates to either game tweaks or “Quality of Life” improvements. Sometimes this could be mods that fix up portions of older titles, or simple scripts or instructions for Lutris/Proton.

Extra One – The Darkness II

Hello Simon & Garfunkel, my old friends…Steam

Look at him, all plumb tuckered out from destroying the lives of the innocent…

Summary

Imagine a game that’s extremely dark and edgy, a game where after you play it you just have to grab your darkest hoodie from Hot Topic and listen to heavy grunge metal… That’s what this game isn’t.

Oh, what a merry bunch are we…

You see, I’ve had many people who haven’t played this game tell me what it is. And I’ll just state that it’s gotten a bad rap because of those people. The single-player campaign is an extremely fun shooter that had some pretty unique ideas at the time, and maybe the story drags on a bit too long, but I’ll give it a pass, considering every other game at that time was still suffering from ‘Realistic Military Shooter Syndrome’. You have an affinity for guns and dark clothing, you draw power from the darkness and the blood of your enemies by consuming their hearts, and you control a vast army of dark beings, much like every other angsty teenager.

The coop campaign isn’t the most epic thing out there, but it mostly serves its purpose and gets out of the way letting you enjoy the combat with a friend or 3.

If you want to enjoy the single player story, go out and play the first game. I don’t remember it being as polished as its sequel, but it was an overall fun game to play. It’s also only available on Xbox 360 and PS3, so that might be tough now that we’re 10 years in the future here. So either watch a review on the game, or dust off your old Xbox 360.

Don’t buy it for $30, in my honest opinion, there’s better games and game packs for that price. Instead, watch around the 28th of October and beyond. That’s when this game goes on sale for about $6. Find 3 friends and enjoy the ride and play the single-player afterwards.

Tech Stuff

I had no issues getting this to work. You can reduce the refresh rate to 40FPS, but beyond that, it runs great and it doesn’t consume your battery like EA consumes developers.

15. Gunfire Reborn

Sexy back muscles on birds make me uneasySteam

Summary

It’s one part RPG, one part FPS, and another part Roguelite. The couple of guns I got to use felt good, and I’m pretty picky about that stuff. You also get a slew of different abilities, and everything just feels so darn unique and enjoyable. I really enjoyed combining stuff together, and seeing that the bow and arrow was actually decent was a nice surprise as well.

There’s definitely a certain skill that some artists have that really showcase the strengths of stylized rendering vs games that just have low poly models that don’t quite mesh with each other. This is probably one of the nicest stylized games I’ve played that doesn’t kill my framerates when a bunch of stuff is going on.

This is one of those very few games that I think, at its price point and what it accomplishes, is worth its $20 pricetag. It does go on sale for around $15 every few months, so if you’re really hard up on cash, keep an eye on it for a bit.

Tech Stuff

There were complaints a bit ago about particles slowing the game down, but really this game runs smooth.

14. SWAT 4 Gold Edition

Taser everyone you meetGoG

Summary

This is the game that determines just how damn robust Steam Input is on the Deck. Having the ability to long press and double tap along with setting up radial menus is beyond helpful in this game. This is also the game that lets you know who your friends are and how well you work as a team. And boy, do I now know.

Do I recommend you play this on the Steam Deck without a keyboard and mouse hooked up?
Maybe. It’s passable fun if you’ve got patience and the thumbs of a mongoose.

Do I highly recommend this game as a hotel game where you can sit back and plug your Deck into a TV and enjoy it like that?
Absolutely.

SWAT 3 and 4 are beloved by the community because while there are imitators out there, there’s nothing quite like the SWAT games. And although you might consider it cheating for using a dock with a keyboard and mouse, the fact that you can simply bring a wireless mouse and mini keyboard and be able to enjoy this game on the go is awesome. Being completely honest, if you’re patient, the Steam Input isn’t that bad.

Game’s great, grab it off of GoG for $10 and be prepared to grab some new friends while you’re at it, because this game can make or break friendships when you’re 20 hours into the game.

Tech Stuff

I really recommend you read through adamhm’s post over on the GoG Community Discussions first. He’s done a lot of work for this game on Linux and most of my homework. You can certainly try just running the game through Proton experimental as well, it’ll most likely work fine.

13. Rainbow Six Vegas 2

Do you get XP for shooting the civilians or…Steam

Summary

My favorite Rainbow Six game and one I have a lot of hours in with friends. Between the campaign and hundreds of terrorist hunts, this game really was a lot of fun, especially when friends got competitive in the game.

You really have a good progressions system; the campaign isn’t bad at all, but the ranking up and unlocking system was definitely my favorite. I also quite enjoyed the 3rd person cover system as well. It really helped break up the gameplay and I still think that it’s a good idea in practice if you want to have a cover system.

Game goes on sale all the time for less than $3. It’s still worth it at $10.

Tech Stuff

No need to turn the settings down. This game could benefit from a ReShade profile and forcing some anti-aliasing though. Some people report the camera system for the custom faces works, I’ve no idea, but if it does, then that’s some major bonus points.

12. Call of Duty: WaW Zombies

Nacht der Untoten AGAIN!?Steam

Summary

I can’t even say how many hours I have into this game with friends, it’s almost embarrassing really. Every time I bring this game up I’ve heard nothing but praise and fond memories, which is strange for a game with so much death in it.

You can obviously play the campaign, but really, the meat of this game is community Zombie maps and playing with friends. The game came out a staggering 14 years ago and still has an amazing community for the game, with modders keeping the expiration date at bay for a good time to come.

Pick. This. Game. Up. I have seen this game for $15 on Steam, go to a key reseller and get it for $5. Buy copies for your friends and have an old fashioned LAN party with Steam Decks and tiny PCs…

Just be sure that CRTs are mandatory and weighed in appropriately.

Tech Stuff

First off, there’s some mods you might wanna check out:

Zombie Realism Mod is a must-have mod that completely revamps Zombies and how it’s played. Giving you a ranking system with prestige, in-game challenges, difficulty settings, customizable classes, AI tweaks, better zombies that are faster and more challenging, 10 bonus weapons, boss rounds, new powerups, and so much more, it practically turns Zombies into its own standalone game.

The Rising is just as comprehensive and no less impressive. Letting you play with up to 64 players on a single Zombies map, things get extremely hectic. It has its own custom classes with their own models, map voting, and custom maps.

As for the actual Steam Deck issues, be careful with unvetted maps that might crash your game. The game runs at high settings with no issues and sips power. Look up a decent community layout for the controls; I’ve seen a couple that handle everything (including leaning) very well.

11. Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Ed.

Featuring 35% More Space and HulkSteam and GoG

Summary

Space Hulk is about big boys in space with big guns sent to kill big angry aliens in a Grimdark setting. It’s Warhammer 40k and I’m not certified in talking about the finer points of The Imperium of Man, but I will say this: any game that gives you power armor and has you walking around as, essentially, a 2 ton behemoth of pure fanatical malicious intent is more than okay in my book.

Cease. Your. Heresy!


I found a copy for less than $8 and I think a buddy of mine snagged it for $6 and change. Worth the price.

Tech Stuff

You used to have to manually install the Media Foundation fix for this game, but it seems to work just fine on Proton GE 7.20 and above. The Media Foundation fix has been included since the GE Proton 5.9 set, and since around GE 6.5 it’s been fully featured with minor bugs.

The initial cutscene seemed a bit out of sync.

10. Sanctum 2

If Uncle Dane was videogameSteam

Summary

I played this game way back in 2013, it was fun then and it’s fun now, especially with coop. It’s a hybrid tower defense FPS with some upgrading and forethought placed in there as well.

You’re supposed to protect some oxygen cores from aliens who attack in waves (instead of bum rushing your sorry excuse of a defensive position and overwhelming you with numbers like they should). You construct towers and walls, walls and towers, and towers and walls. During the waves you’re able to jump in and help turn the tide, which lends itself to some great strategic moments of setting up chokepoints and mowing down hordes of enemies.

It’s one of those weird games where it does its job and does it well, yet I still see people absolutely shitting on it for the wackiest of reasons. It’s one of those weird conundrums, something I used to see about Monster Hunter before World and still see with Earth Defense Force. Regardless of the weird demeanor of gamers threatened by games they don’t like or don’t play, the game still plays great today.

Game regularly goes on sale and has a slight discount for buying 4 copies, was on sale in August for just under $4 a copy. Meaning you can outfit 3 of your friends with copies for around $16 and have another decent game in your roster.

Tech Stuff

Nothing, it runs great and is deserving of that platinum rating. Doesn’t tax the Steam Deck at all, you’ll still have plenty of battery life for you to browse Tumblr or order gamer girl bathwater if you so desire.

9. Generation Zero

I’m a peeping-tom techie with X-Ray eyes.Steam

Summary

Imagine going camping, then coming back to your hometown being swarmed by deadly and slightly explosive toaster ovens and various other household appliances. Good, now imagine this somehow only happened in Sweden and in the 80’s where punk rock was king and that the appliances are in actuality deadly killer robots with a lot of ammo and no concept of the three laws of robotics. You have Generation Zero.

You and 3 other friends get to destroy these various Swedish appliances in the name of IKEA, or something like that, I really didn’t care for the plot. It was the gameplay that more or less had my interest, which is that of a light RPG shooter that, in a way, reminds me of the first Borderlands with how the skill trees are set up. You can always re-spec later.

Guns feel great, coop feels great and I accidentally just made over 200 medkits… which is… great…

Game is worth the asking price if I’m being honest, you might get some enjoyment out of the story, but for us, it was the coop and stupidity therein.

Tech Stuff

Limit yourself to 40Hz refresh here, there’s some decent slowdowns here and there but only really when a lot of explosions are going on. Enable dynamic resolution if it gets bad.

8. Ready or Not

FBI, OPEN UP! Steam

Summary

Imagine SWAT 4, but modern and sleek, with gunplay better than most AAA titles… and it’s still in Early Access! This game really impresses me and, to be honest, has made me rethink whether I really don’t like tactical shooters anymore. Maybe I just don’t like Rainbow Six Siege and more “arcade-y”-feeling games like that, because I thoroughly enjoyed my short time with this game.

Just like SWAT, the name of the game isn’t blasting everyone to pieces. There’s hostages, there’s innocents, and you’re not above the law. Your goal is to take them in alive and let justice take its course, much like the Diablo sauce at your local Taco Bell. And just like that similarity, if you run in guns blazing, things will get extremely messy, usually with the walls being painted with your blood—much like the Diablo sauce.

Game’s definitely worth the asking price. You see it on sale and you want a tactical shooter, grab it.

Tech Stuff

First things first: enable DX12 mode, reduce refresh to 40, and spend a bit of time tweaking your graphics. It can run on High settings, but honestly Medium would be preferable in a more mobile environment. Enable FSR as well for some significant boost in frame times to stabilize framerates.

Grab the community layout called ‘Kingfisher’s RoN NoJump v1’. It has some caveats, but it’s easy to work around once you get used to it.

7. Dying Light & The Following

Country roads, take me homeSteam and GoG

Summary

I have a lot of hours in this game, it’s probably my favorite zombie survival game of all time. The verticality, the weapons, the setting, it’s all just so well done. And the best part is that it plays great with a controller.

That being said, Dying Light coop is just so simple and fun to play. Crazy moments are common, and there’s always that one time someone pulls something off so ridiculous that you’ll talk about for the next month. The skill tree is great, the combat is great, the driving isn’t half bad, and you get a grappling hook, guns, and even swords so you can actually commit to a crusade against the undead.

As strange as it seems, maybe it was a good thing Techland got betrayed by Deep Silver, because they said “fine, we’ll make our own zombie IP, with blackjack and hookers”. I swear this game was just designed to be fun to spite Deep Silver, and I’m A-OK with that.

It’s better together

Since Dying Light 2 came out, the game has decreased in price. You can usually find it for around $12 if you wait around for a while. But considering that it’s gotten huge amounts of support over the years (7 years in total) you might want to wait for a big sale like the Summer Sale or Winter Sale, or even this Halloween to pick up the Definitive Edition which contains everything for $50, but even that price might be less during one of these sales.

Tech Stuff

It’s platinum, there’s a native build. Try it out and then try out Proton experimental if you have issues. Limit the game down to 40Hz and go for broke.

6. Killing Floor 2

*Insert Wit Here*Steam and GoG

Summary

After playing the original Killing Floor for so long, you’d think I’d absolutely love the second one. After all, it’s just an improvement upon the formula, right?

I don’t hate the game, it’s extremely good in it’s own right, but something feels off to me when I play Killing Floor 2. There’s just something missing that I can’t put my finger on that stops it from being a favorite of mine (other than not having friends that are willing to play the game, that is).

Killing Floor 2 is a good time all around. You’ll get some solid amount of time out of this, if that’s how you measure a game’s worth. It plays well on controller with some adaptations and, unlike the first game, isn’t finicky on said input devices. As you play one of the classes, you level up and unlock new stuff. It’s simple, it works, and it’s rewarding.

The slow motion is definitely what sticks out here and can really help turn around the fight on your Steam Deck when you’re getting a bit overwhelmed.

Halloween’s coming up, expect this game to drop to around $8 for the sale, down from the regular $30 asking price.

Tech Stuff

Add these to your launch parameters:

PROTON_NO_ESYNC=1 PROTON_NO_FSYNC=1 WINEESYNC=0 %command%

Game runs solid, no real issues here. It did stutter a bit in the beginning when joining matches, but I’m unsure if this is a hardware or software issue.

5. Vermintide II

*Cocks Flintlock* WARFUNDING!!!Steam

Summary

I love this game, I love the setting, I love the righteous wrath of Sigmar, and I love the community surrounding this game.

This game has so much care put into it by FatShark. Every update there’s more bug fixes, more content, and more lore to find. The hats are probably the best part of this game, by far.

Dat’s mah boi. The fanatical One-Eyed mad lad

And you’d think it’d just be about the gameplay, but no, dear reader, it’s not. The characters talk with one another, they banter and mock each other, but when a character gets hurt, there’s also a genuineness when a companion (who had previously derided them for a comment or joke) gets a bit concerned. And it’s not because of anything wishy washy either; this is a forced fellowship, a point of no return.

The world is ending, and the only thing you can do is band together and try to stave it off for as long as possible with the most unlikely of friends, with whom you sit at the end of the day, wipe the rat guts off your boots, and talk about those 2 whole Nuln regiments that went missing by Holger’s Bridge, only to learn that you Elven ‘friend’ was there around that time. Elf? ELF!?

I do however have one Dawi friend, he’s a bit tall though.

A quick funny story about this game, since my friend exclusively plays Bardin (the shortest character) and I play Victor (the tallest). When we decided to swap characters we both got motion sick because of the perspective difference. It was an absolute riot and I’ve not played another game that I’ve experienced that with on such a personal scale.

Game’s available for around $9 pretty consistently. Buy it then, get your friends to buy it and enjoy it for 200 hours.

Tech Stuff

Proton has a slight stutter in the beginning of launching the game that disappears after a while of playing and never comes back. A larger issue is not being able to Quick Play, and you’ll have to host on your Steam Deck for now or you’ll get kicked in a short time, which isn’t a big deal. FatShark has recognized this problem and has steadily worked to fix it: you can now host games, and pretty soon you should be able to join without issue.

Without the EAC hosting issue, this game would be Gold instead of Bronze.

4. GTFO

I can hear them in the walls…Steam

Summary

GTFO is one of those games that can make your toes curl with how the atmosphere is. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and you’re literally told you’re not the first people to attempt this mission. If you die, no big deal, we’ll just send some other poor schmucks to retrieve what you couldn’t.

That’s the beauty of GTFO: you aren’t important, and neither are your compatriots. You’re just another person in this screwed up meatgrinder of an operation that no one really gets all the pieces to. You start unraveling the game’s lore slowly and you’re just left with more questions than answers.

Nothing like a theme park ride into a deadly abyss to really get the blood pumpin’

You start off learning very quickly that you’re outnumbered, your resources are very limited, and stealth is your best friend. What you learn later on, though, is that even more grotesque creatures await you the further your travel downwards, and that sometimes whatever you’re carrying may be more than meets the eye.

The gunplay is great, it takes some getting used to, but after a while of dying you’ll realize that you’re better off holding chokepoints and having someone guard your back than trying to get into open conflict with these things, because they are fast, they’re mean, and they hit hard.

The game goes on sale for $30. It seems steep until you realize just how much you get out of it and how unique the game is. There was a reason why this game was so heavily anticipated. Worth the $30 IMHO.

Tech Stuff

Grab the latest GE Proton, and add this to the launch parameters to get some more performance out of the Deck:

WINE_FULLSCREEN_FSR=1 %command%

Limit your refresh rate to 40Hz, lower the volumetric settings and you should be good to go. Some people have reported that it doesn’t work at all; I didn’t have that issue, but of course your mileage may vary.

3. PayDay 2

Armed robbery in styleSteam

Summary

I played this game a lot more a while back and actually was pretty good at it. It’s a wonder to me why more people don’t play it and yet complain that there’s a distinct lack of crime FPS games.

You get a setup of a few missions that you need to complete before you land the big score, in which you complete objectives. There’s challenges, competitive stats, etc. But you take that money and use it in your hideout, which gets raided from time to time. So actually, where you place certain objects can actually help or hinder your defense.

That feeling of getting away with the score as the last guy who survived is nothing short of exhilarating. The maps are all well done, the gunplay is excellent, PayDay 2 is just a very well-made game. Plenty of much better people have gone in depth with it, I’m really only here to give my recommendations for the Steam Deck.

Game is currently on sale for $5 at the time of writing this article and it’s not an uncommon price point. Get it for yourself and at least one other.

Tech Stuff

There’s a native version that you may get to work really well, but I installed mine through Proton. Grab GE Proton’s latest and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t stress the Deck out even at higher settings.

2. Borderlands SEries

Catch a RiiiiiiiiideSteam

Summary

There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t been said about the Borderlands series before. It’s a coop looter shooter with RPG elements and just a crazy world that wants to murder-death-kill you.

  • Borderlands 1 is quaint, it’s a good shooter, enjoyable, and you’ll get a fun run out of it
  • Borderlands 2 is probably the best game, it has a bunch of content, and 96.5% more wubwub (Seriously though, once you play 2, it’s really hard to go back to Borderlands 1. This game was such a step up that it’s probably why Borderlands 3 couldn’t do it again)
  • Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel is more of the same as 2, but ties up some loose ends in the story and is generally less serious
  • Borderlands 3 was a bit of a letdown, but still fun to many
I wasn’t joking about that wubwub

These games are always on sale, grab the Borderlands Handsome Collection for 94% off (at the time of writing this article). You get everything for Borderlands 2 for $12.60. I’d recommend staying away from the Borderlands: Game of the Year Enhanced Edition.

Tech Stuff

For Borderlands 2 set these launch parameters:

-nomoviestartup -nolauncher

There’s also an Unofficial Community Patch, which supposedly fixes and updates some stuff, but I haven’t tried it yet. It was updated last January, though.

For Borderlands 3, grab GE Proton, turn down some settings, lock to 40Hz and add these parameters:

-nostartupmovies -nosplash

Don’t use the native version of The Pre-Sequel if you keep receiving errors on launching or terrible stuttering. Instead, use GE Proton and set these parameters:

-nolauncher

1. Deep Rock Galactic

You’re just gonna have to toss meSteam

Summary

How can I explain why I have this game ranked above Borderlands? Easy. I like dwarves, I like mining, and I like heavy machinery.

I don’t always need to have a gigantic open world to explore. Sometimes I just need to grind some company hours with friends and have a nice drink after hours as we plan our next stop’s tactics while kicking barrels and other company property into the launch bay.

Rock and Stone in the heart

You get 4 classes, they all play differently but overlap slightly when it comes to mining (except for the digger; short of heavy ordinances, you’re not out-digging the digger, respect that class for what it does). The Scout provides some well-rounded support and can stay out of harm’s reach while peppering alien bugs some decent firepower, but doesn’t bode well in the thick of it. The Engineer provides some decent support on the ground and places turrets for holding points and creating defensive areas to fall back to.

Then you have the Gunner, my preferred class. Which is funny, because I usually don’t grab the heavy ordinance guy; I’m usually the support or the objectives guy. The Gunner’s job is to look at every corridor as a chokepoint and every high vantage point as the best place to lay down some serious caliber rounds, all while escorting the other members of the group out of some sketchy situations. I’d say the Gunner definitely is the weakest class for mining, but more than makes up for it when the chips are down and the other 3 dwarves are incapacitated. When the proper perks are selected he becomes probably one of the scariest characters I’ve seen in a coop shooter: unmovable, unbreakable, like literal rock & stone.

Just be sure to complain to management about how ineffective Molly is, and always protect Dotty and bring her back home (she’s an honorary dwarf to the community, ya know).

Game doesn’t go on sale all the time, but currently it’s only $15. Completely worth it, go and get this game.

Tech Stuff

Enable that sweet, sweet FSR 2.0 to get amazing battery life and rock on. Fantastic performance, it’s like this game was meant for the Steam Deck.

Honorable Mentions

Killing Floor – Steam –

I still think the Killing Floor community is far more fleshed out than Killing Floor 2. You’ll definitely get your money out of this title, and while I’ve had friends complain about the graphics, I personally think this game holds up fine. Just don’t expect to play a marksman class with the Deck’s control scheme unless you use a mouse and keyboard.

Portal 2 – Steam –

Not so much a shooter as a puzzle game, but it’s solid for a first person coop game that will have you and your partner screaming at each other and generally trying to cause mayhem.

Left 4 Dead 2 – Steam –

Everyone and their aunt’s dog has this game. If you don’t, get it.

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Steam –

Just didn’t have enough room for this one, and it deserved its own spot outside of the Borderlands series. Wait to pick this one up as it’s currently having issues with SHiFT online stuff bogging the game down for some reason or another.

Dishonorable Mentions

Halo Infinite – Steam

I don’t play Halo all that much, I don’t know all that much about John Halo and his sexual tendencies, but what I do know is that Halo Infinite has dropped the ball more times than I can count since its initial reception. When random people on the internet without a CompSci degree literally fix your game in half a day by adding coop, it leaves a lot of confidence to be desired from the development studio.

Conclusion

Phew, this was a long article for me, but I sincerely hope you got at least a game or two out of this list I made.

Have fun with your friends, let me know in the comments if I missed anything, and have a great rest of your day!

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