Why shoot alone when you can shoot with a friend?
Some of the best gaming experiences out there are those where we have with friends by our side. Sure, shooting your way through a horde of blood-thirsty enemies is always fun. But when you share that experience with one of your closest friends? Hundreds of times more enjoyable.
We love sinking into an action-packed shooter, but we find co-op shooters to be the most enjoyable. And thankfully, Xbox Game Pass has more than its fair share of them, all available to play at no extra cost if you’re a subscriber.
Whether you prefer shooting zombies, aliens, monsters or just humans on the wrong side of the law, there’s a co-op shooter for you. Read on to find out our picks of the best co-op shooters you can play right now on Xbox Game Pass.
Related: The best couch co-op games on Xbox Game Pass
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1. Back 4 Blood
If you’ve ever played Left 4 Dead, then you’ve got a good idea of what to expect from Back 4 Blood. This zombie-flavoured shooter from Warner Bros. and Turtle Rock Studios is Left 4 Dead in practically everything but name. Hell, they even left the ‘4’ in the title.
Back 4 Blood encourages you to team up with up to three friends (or randoms) in order to work your way through a series of missions. Most have a similar premise: get from one safe room to another, taking down zombies and trying to stay alive in the process. You’ll pick up loot along the way: various weapons, equipment and health packs to help you and your teammates stay alive.
We’ve had fun with Back 4 Blood: shooting your way through zombies is always entertaining. Especially when they’re big and explodey. And so if that sounds like your sort of thing, this is one of the best co-op shooters you can jump into on Xbox Game Pass.
2. Gears 5
Of course, we couldn’t have a list of best co-op shooters on Xbox Game Pass without including a Gears of War title. While they’re all great – and they’re all available on Game Pass – the latest is perhaps the best. Gears 5 is set several months after the events of Gears of War 4, focusing on the story of Outsider Kait Diaz. Marcus Fenix takes a back seat this time, but he of course makes an appearance. Rather, it’s his son JD Fenix that takes the limelight.
You can play the entire Gears 5 campaign in co-op if you like, with up to three players working together to take down enemies. There’s a surprisingly deep and enjoyable story to experience together, too. And when that’s done, a wealth of other co-op modes are available. In Horde, for example, you can fight against waves of enemies. And in Escape, your goal is to make it to an evac point under a time limit.
Or if you’re done being co-operative for a while, you can wage all-out war on everyone else in PvP mode.
More than just a co-op shooter, Outriders packs in a full-blown RPG system, making gameplay and progression more fulfilling than most in the genre. You’re cast as a titular Outrider, thrown onto a hostile planet in the hope of finding a new place for humanity to settle. Yes, it’s set some years into the future where Earth is no longer hospitable. But the planet you find yourself on here certainly isn’t any better.
Outriders can be played in teams of three, with players working together to take down hostile foes, search for loot and tackle a myriad of quests. There’s a lot to do – and importantly, a lot of loot to be found. And once you’ve finished the story, the action doesn’t end there, either. There’s plenty of end-game content which’ll see you completing endless missions, all with the hope of finding better and more powerful loot. We’ve put many hours into it, and can confirm it’s a lot of fun.
4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction
Not only is Rainbow Six Extraction a co-op shooter, it’s also a roguelike. Well, almost. While you won’t lose all of your progress if you die on a mission, you will miss out on rewards. Also, your operator will be out of action for a while. That’s right: this action-focused first person shooter from Ubisoft doesn’t have you playing as just one character. Rather, you’ll have a whole team to play with. But get them killed, lost, or injured, and you’ll have to work to recover them or bring them back to health.
That’s just one neat feature of Rainbow Six Extraction. There are plenty more, such as the fact that every operator has their own special ability. And that your missions are seriously varied: maybe you’ll be sneaking past enemies to retrieve information, luring them into a trap, or simply taking them down. There’s also a cool narrative running through the game, putting you at the heart of a world overrun by mysterious aliens. It’s all a little War of the Worlds, but with more futuristic tech. Co-op shooters on Xbox Game Pass don’t get much better than this.
Read our Rainbow Six Extraction review
5. Zombie Army 4: Dead War
You can play Zombie Army 4: Dead War by yourself, but you probably shouldn’t This Nazi zombie-infested reimagining of World War II is absolutely crazy, and its action is way more enjoyable when shared with a friend.
The Zombie Army series is essentially a spin-off from Sniper Elite. It’s less serious, of course, but you’re still popping enemies’ limbs off with fancy sniper kills. You still get to enjoy Rebellion Games’ signature kill cam, too, giving you wondrous slo-mo of zombie brains being blown out. It’s gross, but glorious.
Yes, this is a grizzly game filled with blood, guts and gore – but that’s what makes it so much fun. If you don’t like your games to be too serious, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is one of the best co-op shooters on Xbox Game Pass.