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Best Co-Op Games to Play With Friends on Low-End PCs (2021)

My top six recommendations for cooperative games to play with friends on low-end PCs.

Gaming Room Chuck Fortner / Unsplash

Published: September 30, 2021

Last Updated: October 4, 2021

Written by Brandon Jones

In this article, I go over my favorite co-op games to play with friends that will work on lower-end PCs.

Since you're here for the games, let's get straight to them!

Valheim

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Valheim is massive open-world survival and exploration game that's procedurally generated and inspired by Viking culture. You can travel to various islands and across the sea, build the town of your dreams, and defeat bosses of myth and legend. There are many resources to collect for crafting food, weapons, armor, buildings, and more.

You will die many times while trying to level up and build your village (or castle), but every day is a new day to complete your own goals. Whether it's fighting the next boss, expanding your town, or planting a garden and chopping down trees. Your imagination is your limit here.

Valheim is still in early access but is more polished than many games out there. With over 140 hours of playtime, I've only run into a few issues, which have since been fixed.

  • Valheim on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 10 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • 2.6 GHz quad-core CPU
    • 8 GB RAM
    • GeForce GTX 950 or Radeon HD 7970
    • 1 GB of available space

A village my friend created in Valheim A village my friend created in Valheim Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Deep Rock Galactic

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Deep Rock Galactic is one of my most-played games, with over 200+ hours of playtime. This game has 100% destructible environments, procedurally generated caves, and hordes of alien monsters. You and your friends are a team of snarky dwarfs who travel on a drop-ship to an alien planet, mining various biomes. Your team is there to please corporate by mining minerals, building pipelines, killing giant alien monsters, and more. You'll get paid for a job well done in a currency that you can spend to mod and upgrade your weapons. With these upgrades, you can advance to more challenging assignments.

Overall, it's a silly but fun game that keeps on giving. The developer continually updates the game to ensure it's running smoothly while also adding new biomes, missions, and more weapons. It's best to play this with friends, but solo is fun also.

  • Deep Rock Galactic on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 4 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • 2.4 GHz dual-core CPU
    • 6 GB RAM
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB VRAM
    • 3 GB of available space

A friend on The Space Rig in Deep Rock Galactic A friend on The Space Rig in Deep Rock Galactic Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Heroes of Hammerwatch

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Heroes of Hammerwatch is an unexpectedly great 2D rogue-lite game where you traverse through the randomly generated levels. You'll encounter different types of enemies in five differently themed areas. At first, this may seem like a simple game, but it escalates quickly into an in-depth game with many unlocks and upgrades for your character.

Speaking of characters, you can play nine different characters, each with their unique abilities. Four characters are playable at the start, four more are unlockable, and two more are available with DLC.

You'll fight through the game multiple times, each time unlocking different abilities via coins and upgrade points. You can upgrade the main town also to unlock more abilities, items, drinks, and more.

It's a simple but fun and addicting game that I've played for more than 120 hours so far with friends. There's a lot of replayability in this game. I'm still finding small details that I missed before.

  • Heroes of Hammerwatch on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 4 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • 2 GHz dual-core CPU
    • 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics support for OpenGL 3.2+ / DirectX 11+
    • 500 MB of available space

Testing my luck in Heroes of Hammerwatch Testing my luck in Heroes of Hammerwatch Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition

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Age of Empires III is a classic real-time strategy game where you can fight through historical battles, battle online, or play with friends to test your strategy. You can play any of the sixteen civilizations (nineteen including expansions), each with their different playstyles.

During a game, you build up your city while collecting resources to do so. You upgrade buildings and units through the ages while fighting against each other and for resources. The strongest army will prevail and win the battle.

  • Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 8 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • Intel i3-2105 @ 3.1 GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 973
    • 8 GB RAM
    • GeForce GT 430, Radeon HD 5570, or Intel HD 4400 and 2 GB VRAM
    • 42 GB of available space

Starting a new game in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition Starting a new game in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Planetary Annihilation: TITANS

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Planetary Annihilation: TITANS is a large-scale RTS game where you can build your armies across the galaxy to defeat your enemies. Units range from small to massive, including ground units and orbital units.

There's no absolute limit on the number of units or buildings you can build, so you can hoard them for as long as you can protect them with your defensive structures before sending them all to attack. The main goal is to kill the enemy commander and preserve your own. Once your commander dies, it's game over.

One of the most memorable moments while playing this game was when I peacefully built up an army with an ally friend. I was paying attention to close-up units when suddenly my entire planet splits open out of nowhere. Little did I know at the time that planets could collide with each other. While I did lose the game, I wasn't disappointed because it was funny and awesome that it was even possible.

  • Planetary Annihilation: TITANS on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 10 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • Modern quad-core CPU
    • 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics support for Shader 3.0 / OpenGL 3.2 +, 1 GB GPU RAM
    • 5 GB of available space

Gameplay from a match in Planetary Annihilation: TITANS Gameplay from a match in Planetary Annihilation: TITANS Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Generation Zero

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Generation Zero is a stealthy action open-world game set in an alternate-reality 1989 Sweden. The main characters are teens who were away on an island excursion, returning to deserted cities due to a robotic invasion. You will traverse through the land, fighting mechs small and large, following the story of how this new reality came to be. Players will scavenge for weapons and resources trying to defeat the machines.

I love the game's setting with its beautiful landscapes and lighting, which are more enjoyable on higher-end machines. There are various types of mechs with different weapons, ranging from single-shot to radioactive rockets. You will be able to scavenge for varying levels of weapons with specific ammo types, trying to take the machines out before you end up like the rest of the residents.

This game requires a little higher system requirements, so it depends on how low-end your PC is. Please see the system requirements below to verify if your system is ready to play beforehand.

  • Generation Zero on Steam
  • Supports single-player and up to 4 players online
  • Minimum system requirements:
    • 2.4 GHz quad-core CPU
    • 8 GB RAM
    • Nvidia GTX 660 / ATI HD7870 - 2GB VRAM / Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 580
    • 35 GB of available space

Enjoying the sunset in Generation Zero Enjoying the sunset in Generation Zero Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

New World

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  • New World is an open-world MMO from Amazon Games which takes place on a supernatural island.

  • Play in a small team or with massive armies.

  • New World on Amazon (affiliate link).

    New World - Deluxe Edition