In the midst of the age of quarantine, socially distanced get-togethers, and drive-up dinners, multiplayer video games for couples may just be the saving grace for the dating scene.
Since the early months of 2020, more businesses have embraced working from home, family gatherings have gone virtual and no-contact deliveries have become a norm. But what about dating? According to Helen Fisher from the New York Times, while this pandemic has significantly affected everyday life, quarantine may have changed the dating game for the better.
Instead of basing attraction purely on superficial qualities such as appearance, which may have been a greater factor back in 2019, we rely more than ever on communication skills–over video nonetheless! Not only have the qualities of a potential boyfriend or girlfriend changed with the times, but the way we get to know others has changed as well. Due to social distancing, couples have been forced to take their relationships slow. instead of rushing in the heat of the moment.
Now, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with video games? Well, due to the change in social interactions, we’ve had to find new ways to nurture romantic relationships and meet new people. What better way to get to know someone than by building a farm together in the casual world of Stardew Valley or fending off challenging raiders in Rust?
Why should couples play video games?
Multiplayer video games offer couples an amazing chance to bond, collaborate and communicate. Not only are video games great for long-distance relationships, but they are also the perfect spin on date night for all couples (you only truly know someone when you see them react to losing to a barrage of pink lasers 5 times). Instead of loud bars where you can barely hear what they are saying or trying to eat at your favorite Italian restaurant without getting pasta sauce all over your face, video games provide a great way to take the edge off and really get to know someone.
Talk and Chat Platforms for Gamer Couples
Now, you may not have issues with communication if you’re playing video games with your boyfriend or girlfriend on the couch, but what about long-distance or new love? While using your cellphone is definitely a viable method, there are plenty of programs available to talk, message, or even video chat with your significant other while gaming.
Some of the platforms that I would personally recommend include:
All of these platforms offer free one-on-one video chatting and will save you those excessive data charges (perfect for the budget-conscious). These programs offer different features such as private servers, screen sharing, free video calls, and live streaming. Discord even has convenient game overlays and integrations for easy messaging while you play!
8 Video Games to Play with Your Significant Other
There are so many entertaining and rewarding multiplayer video games available on all types of platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, mobile, Windows, Mac, PlayStation, and Xbox. But, there are a select few that made it onto my top 8 for various reasons including popularity, replay value, and rich features.
These video games offer some great choices that vary in difficulty, genre, and platform availability. For each of these listed, I will be listing the platforms that offer the game and a brief synopsis, but also the reason why they would be perfect for getting to know someone new or maintaining that special connection.
1. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
Windows | Mac | Linux | Nintendo Switch | PS4 | Xbox One
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a colorful and primarily multiplayer video game published in 2015 by Asteroid Base. While this bright neon game may seem cute with the adorable characters running about their spherical spaceship, commanding different posts, this video game is notoriously challenging. An absolute blast to play both in its capacity of 1-4 players, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime possesses unique obstacles requiring teamwork, collaboration, and quick thinking!
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime would be a great multiplayer video game for couples not only for its emphasis on teamwork, but its local area network (LAN) multiplayer style. While that means that this game does not support online gameplay, this is perfect for couples who live together and are looking to find an engaging game to play on the couch. Each level is uniquely generated, offering new challenges every time and providing immense replay value. While the developers recommend a gamepad, this is definitely playable on the keyboard. And between date nights, this game can be played solo as well!
2. Among Us
Windows | Nintendo Switch | iOS | Android
You’re looking sus. The number of memes that came from Among Us truly speaks for the popularity of this multiplayer video game in itself. In this video game developed by InnerSloth, you play as one of the many colored astronauts working to not only fix their spaceship but also find the murderous imposter in their midst! Periods of frantic running around to complete tasks around the spaceship, while also avoiding the imposter(s), are broken up by periodic text/voice chat where all the players try to identify the imposter in their midst. This cross-platform game offers online and local modes with a capacity of 4-10 players.
Among Us would be a great game for couples not only for its simple yet unique gameplay but also for its relatively low price tag–perfect for casual gamers who aren’t ready to throw down a lot on a game. The game’s sessions are also pretty quick too, so this game is perfect if you are more of a quick gaming session type of person. The psychology behind this game is fascinating as well since each imposter must act if they are completing regular tasks like the rest of the crew and fake their way through eliminations. Among Us would be an amazing game for couples looking to play with some friends, family, or PUGs (Pick Up Group or Random Players).
3. Stardew Valley
Windows | Mac | Linux | Nintendo Switch | PS4 | Xbox One | PlayStation Vita | iOS | Android
Stardew Valley is the pixelated brainchild of Eric Barone, more commonly known as ConcernedApe, and is the perfect video game for couples due to its rich gameplay and laid-back atmosphere. In this side-scrolling game, your character finds themselves bored with the typical, office environment and with the passing of your dearest grandpa, comes into possession of a humble farm in Stardew Valley. Looking for a fresh start and new surroundings, you move to Stardew Valley. Once you arrive, what you do with the land is up to you! While the town’s residents are a little wary of newcomers, they slowly warm up to you over the coming seasons as you learn more about the town’s celebrations and mysteries.
Stardew Valley originally started out as a strictly single-player game in its early development days. But as of the August 2018 version release 1.3.27, ConcernedApe introduced the option to play with friends over LAN and the internet. This co-op feature makes this relaxing game perfect for building a blueberry empire with your significant other whether you are near or far. Stardew Valley would make for the optimal game to play with your significant other if you are looking for a fun, relaxing, cooperative game.
4. World of Warcraft
Windows | Mac
World of Warcraft (WOW) is a widely popular, massive-multiplayer game set in a fantasy world full of goblins, elves, the undead, and more. WOW was created by Blizzard Entertainment and has developed an insurmountable following since its release in 2004. This online game is unique due to its various gameplay options including cooperative dungeons, solo questing, PvP, and role-playing.
Thanks to this flexibility, World of Warcraft is the perfect video game for couples co-op. This online game actively receives updates, seasonal content, and expansions and has thousands of quests–making it well worth the subscription price. WOW also has something for every type of gamer. More of a solo gamer? Questing might be great for you! Feel like gaming as a couple? You can party-sync, hop into a dungeon and kick butt together! While the semi-complicated game mechanics can take a bit of getting used to (especially if you haven’t played a similar game before), there are plenty of resources out there such as Icy Veins. The online community is also very welcoming and helpful as well.
5. Soul Caliber VI
Windows | PS4 | Xbox One
The Soul Caliber series, created by Bandai Namco Entertainment, is a video game that gives me endless nostalgia. Soul Caliber VI and its predecessors are 3D fighting games, famous for stylized combat and epic battles. The fourth edition of this video game offers single-player, local multiplayer, and online play.
One of the first games I played on GameCube (yeah, I know I’m a baby), Soul Caliber was an amazing game to play. While I’m sure there are more involved ways to play this game, its classic fighting gameplay is pretty straightforward. Newer editions of Soul Caliber have since then introduced extra features such as customizable characters (beyond the green/blue/red outfit options), online sharing, and more. This game is perfect for a couple who is new to video games and prefers something with the basic hit/block/kick mechanics.
6. Rocket League
Windows | Mac | Linux | Nintendo Switch | PS4 | Xbox One
Rocket League is a fantastic mixture of RC cars and extreme soccer, perfect for plane flights, bus rides, and quick local or online co-op gaming sessions. This video game was developed by Psyonix and initially was released to Windows PCs and PS4. Rocket League presents a new way to play soccer–with extreme physics and ridiculous, futuristic cars.
Rocket League is an excellent choice for any couple looking to play video games together, due to its cooperative elements, competitive potential, and all-around hilarious gameplay. This video game is especially great on a mobile console such as the Nintendo Switch. It is non-committal–you can set it down at anytime–and the mechanics are hilarious. You have no clue how funny seeing cars crash into each other and chase after a soccer ball at 32,000 feet ✈
Windows | Mac | PS4 | Xbox One
Rust was released to the public as a fully-completed game in February 2018 by Facepunch Studios, after remaining as an early access game for 5 years prior. Rust is a massive-multiplayer online survival game that takes place in a world where it’s every man (or woman) for themselves. Starting out with nothing but a torch and a large rock, you must fend for yourself, build a stronghold and fend off other invading players. This survival game has become one of the more popular in its genre and has been compared to other video games such as The Forest, Ark: Survival Evolved, and Stranded Deep.
While teaming up against an unforgiving world, relying on each other for survival is a great way for couples to work together and beat the odds, Rust is definitely a game for the more experienced and those up for an incredible challenge. Its procedural-generated sandbox landscapes leave room for immense re-playability, the wide variety of craft-able items, skill trees, and challenges are enough to keep anyone entertained for a while. What’s even better is that Rust offers cross-platform gameplay! Romance is no longer limited by console versus PC.
8. Genshin Impact
Windows | Nintendo Switch | PS4 | iOS | Android
If you’re less into hack-and-slash and are looking for a colorful world to explore, packed with beginner-friendly action, then Genshin Impact may be for you. With graphics and gameplay comparable to Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild, Genshin Impact is a cute, enjoyable yet challenging action role-playing game created by miHoYo and released in 2020.
In this fantastical open world, you create an unstoppable team of fighters to travel the land of Teyvat and rescue your sibling from the clutches of a god. While there are in-game purchases available, these bonuses are not required to play the game to its fullest. Genshin Impact would be an amazing video game for couples due to its beginner-friendly nature and single-player and co-op capabilities. And get this–it’s free to play! You can either play solo by progressing through the campaign or take on some more challenging battles together by inviting your significant other into battle!
There you have it! Eight amazing video games that you could give a shot on your next date night with your boo. While short, this video game list gives an excellent variety including fast to slow-paced, 1-10 player to MMORPG, and casual to more time-demanding.