Mojang, Coffee Stain Studios, Klei Entertainment
Playing video games with friends is a great way to spend time together without the complications of a face-to-face meeting. Handicraft games (also commonly known as “survival games”) are particularly useful for this, as they allow you and your friends to work together towards a common goal.
The genre is a little difficult to define, but generally these games relate to the collection of materials, the manufacture of objects and construction. Some games that rely more on the “survival” side can also present enemies and hostile environments. Status bars are also common, usually requiring you to manage your avatar’s health, hunger and thirst levels.
And, with regard to this list, we focus on the cooperative side of the genre – not all competitive or PVP-based survival games (Player Vs. Player) will be mentioned here.
A few things to know first
Before we get into the games, we’re going to discuss how multiplayer works in each game, so let’s go over some basic terminology now to remove it.
Unofficial or official servers: The official servers are managed by the game developers, while the unofficial servers are managed by the players. The main advantage of official servers is that they are (generally) more stable, while unofficial servers can make game changes, usually using mods.
Dedicated vs not dedicated: Official and unofficial servers are classified as “dedicated servers”. To put it simply, it’s because the servers are, well, dedicated to running a game server. They operate 24/7, offer the most options and offer the best performance. Non-dedicated servers come in many forms, but for this article, all you need to know are servers running on your PC or console or that of your friend. Some games make this as easy as joining via the friends list, while others require the use of external software. The main disadvantage of non-dedicated servers is that users cannot play them when the host system is offline and performance problems are more common.
Server rental: Finally, renting a server is when you pay (usually via a monthly subscription) to either the game developers or a third-party server provider for your own dedicated server. This allows you to modify the game you want (be it difficulty settings or adding mods) and means that the server will operate 24/7. You can also define these servers as private to limit the number of participants.
Now that you know all of that, let’s get into the list.
The one you already know: Minecraft (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch / Mobile Devices)
You already know Minecraft-his the best-selling game of all time and has become the game of the genre.
Regardless of that, we have always felt the need to include it here because it is one of the best cooperative games you can play today. Every Minecraft mechanic is ready for cooperation, whether it’s building a great fortress or digging deep underground. The best part is that, with the cards ridiculously generated by Minecraft, you can have as many players as you want in the world.
When it comes to playing multiplayer, there can be some complications. First, which version of Minecraft everyone is playing. Currently, there is the Java edition (the original version of the game only available on PC) and the Bedrock edition, which is the version of the game available on consoles, mobile devices and PC with full support for cross games between all platforms.
If you’re on Bedrock, you can either join unofficial servers with your friends, join your friends’ world through the friends list, rent a dedicated server through a third-party provider, or pay Mojang (the developers of Minecraft) $ 7.99 per month for a “kingdom”—A dedicated server easy to customize.
On Java, your options are more limited. You can either host a server yourself, join unofficial community-created servers, get a Java “Kingdom” for $ 7.99or rent a server from a third-party provider. To be clear, there is no way to play cross-platform between Java and Bedrock.
Build your own factory: Factorio (PC)
Wube Software LTD.
Have you ever wanted to build your own factory, spilling mass pollution onto a foreign world? No? Well, it’s probably a good thing in real life, but Factorio makes it fun.
In Factorio, you are left in an alien world where you have to wrest all the natural resources from repairing your ship – that’s the main story anyway, there are a few other additional scenarios. The first thing you’ll notice about Factorio is the visuals, because to be frank, it’s ugly. But behind these muddy graphics hides a wonderfully complex game.
The main thing that you do in Factorio is how to build your factory to produce products efficiently. In multiplayer you will be able to understand these methods together (which I am sure will not lead to any argument).
Factorio has been in early access for about 4 years now, but the game is still rich in content and surprisingly stable, so there is not much to worry about.
When it comes to playing Factorio in multiplayer, your options are either host a server on your system or pay a third-party server provider for a dedicated server. (The developers have a list of providers they recommend.)
Factorio is currently only available on PC.
Open-World Factory Builder: Satisfactory (PC)
Coffee Stain Studios
Moving on to a game that shares more than a few similarities with Factorio, Satisfactory takes up the same logistics-focused gameplay and immerses you in a magnificent 3D world to explore too. Now, of course, like Factorio, your main goal is to extort this magnificent world for its resources, so it’s a bit bittersweet.
The third dimension really does wonders for Satisfactory – a large, expansive factory with conveyor belts moving in all directions is a sight to behold. The big world is a joy to explore with friends, and there are even hostile creatures spread over the map to fight. Satisfactory is currently in early access for about a year. It is still being expanded and the game has received several important updates since its launch.
As far as multiplayer support is concerned, your friends can simply join the friends list. There is a recommended limit of four players, but it is not enforced – you can have as many people as you want.
A great 2D adventure: Terraria (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch / Mobile Devices)
Terraria is another well-known crafting game, commonly called “2D Minecraft” (but the games are quite different). Terraria is much more focused on introducing RPG elements to the manufacturing formula.
There are many threatening bosses spread around the world of Terraria, and you’ll have to work hard to explore and explore dungeons to get the equipment you need to defeat them. Of course, fighting a floating eyeball or a giant wall of flesh (the two real bosses in the game) is much easier with friends by your side, and can also lead to a lot of fun, sometimes stressful, but still memorable experiences.
When it comes to playing multiplayer on the desktop and console, you can either run a non-dedicated server or join an unofficial one. You can also rent dedicated servers from third-party providers. On mobile devices, your only option is to host a local server outside of your device.
A great 2D adventure… in space: Starbound (PC)
Starbound takes a lot of clear inspiration from Terraria – it’s a 2D survival game with lots of bosses, enemies and loot to find. However, it is not only a cheap copier, it presents its fair share of ideas.
To begin, Starbound takes place in space. You have a procedurally generated galaxy to explore with various planets to discover. You also have a spaceship to pilot and customize. There is even a loose story you can participate in if you wish, with various alien races spread across the galaxy to complete the story of the game. Starbound also has a ridiculous number of blocks that can be used to build and decorate. your house and your boat.
With all these mechanics, you are ready for a fun ride across the planet with Starbound. Of course, it is fully multiplayer, and you and your friends can work together to improve your equipment and progress through the missions. To configure multiplayer, you must either need to host a server yourself or rent one from a third-party supplier.
Starbound is currently only available on PC.
A Silly Space Sim: Astroneer (PC / Xbox One / PS4)
System Era Softworks
If you prefer a more relaxed experience, Astroneer is the game to discover. This colorful aerospace adventure doesn’t put a lot of pressure on you. Your main goals are to broaden your base and explore the low-poly planets you are stuck on.
Astroneer doesn’t take itself seriously, which is great to see – nothing in the game even tries to be realistic. This makes the game fun to play because everything is simple to understand and fun to play. Multiplayer is even better, because you can do ridiculous stuff with terraforming features and vehicles if you think about it.
Multiplayer is easy to configure, just join your friends game via the friends list. There are also plans to add support for dedicated servers in the future.
Gloomy Survival: Don’t Starve Together (PC / Xbox One / PS4)
Don’t starve together is well known for its dark atmosphere and nail-hard gameplay. Not only do you have to worry about making sure your character doesn’t starve (as the title suggests), but you also need to make sure they don’t die from the inner horrors of their minds as the vicious world you playing by driving them crazy.
On that pleasant note, it was designed to focus on multiplayer – you and your friends can explore the hand-drawn world by fighting enemies and collecting resources. Joining your friends is as simple as joining via your friends list. Then you can watch each other die again and again.
Sail the Ocean Blue: Raft (PC)
Raft is a game true to its name: everything you do revolves around your raft. Your main base of operations is the raft, you collect raft resources and reach new islands to explore with the raft. This limited range may seem dull, but Raft has many mechanics to keep it interesting.
Realism is completely thrown out the window – you can create a raft that would never have the hope of working in the real world. You can search for new parts for your raft, like sails and grills for cooking, and thanks to the latest update, there is even a loose story to follow.
Playing in multiplayer is simple, just join your friend’s game via the friends list and you can extend the raft together.
Raft is currently only available on PC.
An honorable mention (but glitchy): Ark: Survival Evolved (PC / Xbox One / PS4 / Switch)
We only recommend Ark: Survival Evolved to players who are ready to face many technical problems in exchange for good experiences, because when Ark works well, it is a great game. But you will have to face major problems, constant performance problems, and your PC or your console will sound like an airliner every time you play it. These are issues that have persisted in the game since the initial launch of early access in 2015, so, unfortunately, there is not much hope that they will be fixed now.
If you’re ready to look beyond that, you can have a good time in Ark. The main feature of Ark is its dinosaurs, as they offer excellent challenges and can even be tamed to work for you. There is also a satisfying progression path that progresses from stone tools to futuristic science fiction technology late in the game. And, of course, working on the progression path is much easier with friends by your side.
When it comes to multiplayer, you have a lot of options. You can run a non-dedicated server from your system, join official and unofficial servers (and this is one of the few times that unofficial servers are more stable), or rent a server from a provider third. Playing on unofficial servers allows you to play the game with mods and increase resource gathering rates to speed up progression, which is great because on the default rates, Ark is a pretty massive time sinkhole.