The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games let you play together in person or online with your friends or even your entire family. From titles with online multiplayer where you can show off your skills and compete against players around the world to light-hearted couch co-op games you can play on the couch with your friends, there’s something here for every kind of gamer.
The Switch gives you access to a wide range of popular multiplayer games including exclusives like Super Mario Bros. Wonder or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as well as cross-platform hits like Rocket League or Fortnite. While these are all excellent games, don’t forget to give some smaller titles like Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime and Overcooked a try too, as they offer just as much fun in fresh and innovative ways with a much smaller price tag too.
Although the Nintendo Switch OLED is the latest and greatest Switch console, the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite are just as capable when it comes to playing the best Nintendo Switch games as well as the best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games. These are the best multiplayer games on the Switch right now with new titles added to this list as they’re released.
The best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games that you can buy today
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1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the pinnacle of Nintendo’s beloved all-star fighting franchise, with 74 characters and 100 stages that allow you and your friends to create the chaotic brawls of your dreams. The game’s massive roster is a love letter to all things video games, with newcomers like Simon Belmont, Ken Masters and Incineroar mixing it up with Nintendo mainstays like Mario and Link and returning favorites like Solid Snake and Ice Climbers.
Ultimate is brimming with ways to play with friends, whether you want to have crazy 8-player brawls with items galore or get competitive with 1-on-1 matches. And with local and wireless support for up to 8 players, compatibility with everything from single Joy-Cons to Pro Controllers and a bevy of online options, you’ll be able to settle those Smash grudge matches anytime, anywhere.
Read our full Super Smash Bros. Ultimate review.
2. Super Mario Bros. Wonder
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a reinvention of the 2D Mario formula packing new characters, a distinctive art style and a host of gameplay twists that will surprise and delight you constantly. It's designed for new and veteran Mario players to enjoy, and the entire experience can be enjoyed with up to four players either locally or online.
Playing with friends and family adds a chaotic element to Super Bros. Mario Wonder, but that's part of the appeal. Don't worry about matching up younger players and experienced gamers either, as characters like Nabbit and Yoshi are immune to damage making them ideal for first-timers still getting to grips with Switch gaming.
Read our full Super Mario Bros. Wonder
3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the biggest installment in the series yet, with tons of characters, dynamic track design and highly customizable vehicles. Pick your speed, specify your power-ups and get racing with opponents either locally or online.
Best of all, Battle Mode is back. The fan-favorite game type that had all of us pulling all-nighters at our middle school sleepovers returns in Deluxe, after a brief absence in the original Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, and it's a much better party game for it.
4. Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle
If you and your friends have fond memories of mindlessly mashing away at hordes of bad guys at your local arcade, the Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle is a must-have. This collection packages together seven Capcom arcade classics, from staples like Final Fight and Captain Commando to more obscure cuts such as The King of Dragons, Armored Warriors and Battle Circuit.
The Beat ‘Em Up Bundle features save states, an art gallery and both online and local multiplayer support for every game. All of these features combine to allow you to relive the arcade experience both on your couch and on the road — while taking breaks when you need to.
You need two sets of Joy-Cons to get the most out of Arms, a bizarre fighting game that incorporates motion controls. In this competitive title, you'll take control of a warrior with inexplicably stretchy arms. And no, it doesn't make any more sense in context.
As you punch, dodge and block by actually moving your own (hopefully) nonspringy arms all around, you'll notice that the game packs a surprising amount of depth. Will you play defensively or go for broke with long combos and dangerous grapples? Either way, Arms is decent enough to play alone but an absolute blast with a partner.
6. Mario Tennis Aces
If you like how Nintendo serves up its tennis games, you'll like Mario Tennis Aces. It has Joy-Con motion control support so you and up to three friends can go at it, just like you did back when Wii Sports was hot to trot. Its deep roster even includes Boo, also known as the best character (Editor's Note: this is highly debatable) in the Mario franchise. And, most importantly, it's a blast to play.
Mario Tennis Aces is a fun, simple tennis game with a few neat mechanical gimmicks, such as trick shots and final-smash-esque special shots, thrown in to set it apart from the usual tennis game riffraff. But don't think that's a backhanded compliment: Aces' simplicity is its biggest strength, hence why it's so easy to lob this game into a party setting and get right to volleying.
7. Overcooked! All You Can Eat
One of the most popular local multiplayer games on any platform, Overcooked is a co-op kitchen simulator in which you and up to three friends work frantically to prepare dishes in a busy kitchen. With tons of tasks to juggle at once, Overcooked sessions often fail in grand, hilarious fashion — but that's part of the fun.
This "All You Can Eat" edition of the game combined both the first and second Overcooked, all their DLC, plus new add-on content, with everything receiving a graphics overhaul to boot. This is definitely the best way to play this game if you're interested.
8. Super Mario Party
You can’t have a Nintendo console without Mario Party, and Super Mario Party is one of the best entries yet in the iconic friendship-ruining multiplayer series. Super Mario Party mixes up the classic four-player Mario Party experience with character-specific dice, freely explorable boards and all kinds of wacky new rules.
The game’s 80 mini-games use the Joy-Con’s HD rumble and motion controls in wildly inventive ways, whether you’re flipping steak on a pan or shaking candy out of a virtual jar. Factor in an online mini-game marathon mode and a special set of games that you can play across two separate Switch screens, and you’ve got the ultimate package for a long night of raucous, controller-throwing fun.
9. Rocket League
Three words: soccer with cars. The Switch is home to one of the craziest multiplayer sensations in gaming, which has two teams of cars pushing a massive ball toward each others' goals.
The automotive thunderdome leads to crazy stunts, near misses and adrenaline rushes. While the concept is simple, the game takes a while to master, making each goal feel like a true achievement. When you take your skills online, you'll face challengers of all skill levels, making each match memorable.
10. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
One of the finest couch co-op games out there, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a gorgeous and charming 2D space shoot-'em-up in which communication is key.
You and up to three pals control various parts of a spherical spaceship, managing things such as weapons, shields and engines as you try to traverse the game's entrancingly colorful but increasingly deadly levels.
11. Puyo Puyo Tetris
You hear the phrase "perfect for the Switch" bandied about a lot, but if it's actually true of any genre, it's true of puzzle games. These titles have relatively simple gameplay, so splitting up a couple of pairs of Joy-Cons among four players is no big deal. Plus, Nintendo's hybrid system lets you take the fun on the road with you. Fortunately, the two most timeless puzzle games ever aren't just available for the Switch; they're also on the same cartridge.
Puyo Puyo Tetris offers a plethora of game modes that mash up the two series in a variety of clever ways, where mastery of both blobs and bricks is equally crucial to success. Of course, you could play the two titles independently, but where's the Joy-Con-throwing fun in that?
Read our full Puyo Puyo Tetris review.
12. Splatoon 3
Splatoon 3 builds on the success of its predecessor with a wealth of quality-of-life improvements including the ability to skip cutscenes and a new training room to hone your skills between matches. There are also new weapons to try out along with a brand new card game called Tableturf Battle if you get tired of Turf War or playing Salmon Run in co-op mode.
Splatoon 3 refines the tried and test formula of previous entries in the series but doesn't introduce anything that groundbreaking. Still, it's a fun multiplayer game that can be enjoyed online with friends or together in the same room with multiple Nintendo Switch consoles. Unfortunately though, it doesn't have a couch co-op mode.
13. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Although the main campaign in Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a single-player affair, you can still get in some co-op action. The game's cooperative missions become available early on, so you and one of your friends can collaborate to take on the tactical challenges within the Buddydome.
Each player grabs two characters — choose from among Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi and all of their Rabbid counterparts — and then you set forth to tackle increasingly difficult maps, full of foes from the campaign. The only downside is that you won't earn anything that carries over into the single-player game — but the game did recently receive a multiplayer battle mode for more local fun.
A couch co-op game all about communication, Snipperclips challenges you and a friend to cut each other's characters into unique shapes in order to solve puzzles. Between the core two-player game and its four-player party mode, Snipperclips is a perfect fit for puzzle fans craving something quirky and multiplayer-friendly.
If you want to be one of the cool kids who wears bulbous tomato masks while shooting strangers and constructing walls a la Minecraft, Fortnite is the free-to-play 100-person battle royale game for you. It's got everything: easy to play, hard to master shooting-building hybrid gameplay, a wealth of unlockable content (don't forget to buy some V-bucks with real-world money if you want the best costumes) and a wacky color palette so scattered and intoxicating that it's basically a living Jackson Pollock painting.
It's not the easiest game to follow given there are so many limited-time events to keep track of and constantly refreshing "Battle Passes" that lock up most of the content. However the size of the community and the quality of the basic gameplay means you can still enjoy this as a casual fan too.
16. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2
Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 is one of the most charming and robust Lego games yet, and it has no shortage of local multiplayer options. Up to two players can enjoy the main game, whether you and a friend want to breeze through the story or freely explore the massive world of Chronopolis as the likes of Iron Man, Star-Lord and Spider-Man.
There's also a four-player battle-arena mode to try if you don't want to fight through the campaign. It also makes a perfect venue for settling those debates over which of the game's 200-plus superheroes is best.
17. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
Sitting somewhere between the traditional 2D Mario and the newer 3D titles, Super Mario 3D World (yes it's a confusing title) lets you and three other local players run and leap around the colorful worlds you'd expect from a Mario title. New this time is the Super Bell power-up which equips you with a wall-climbing Cat Suit.
Make sure to try out the two-player Bowser's Fury expansion too. This part of the game takes place on one massive map that you unlock piece by piece, with dynamic moments of extreme peril when Bowser shows up. It's almost like getting two Mario games in one.
Read our full Super Mario 3D World review.
There are a lot of ways to play this famous blocky building game, but the Switch is just as good as any. You can enter a fresh world and set up a home for yourself, crafting better and more effective items, or go into creative mode and just build without limits.
If you play online, you can cross-play with owners of other consoles, a rare and valuable feature for playing with friends with different hardware. If you want some more content, then take a look at the Mash-Up packs with their special themed content like skins and maps.
19. Nintendo Switch Sports
As the follow-up to 2006's Wii Sports, Nintendo Switch Sports certainly has big shoes to fill. Although the lineup of available sports is a bit different this time around with the addition of soccer, volleyball, badminton and even Chambara , classic Nintendo sports games like golf, tennis and of course bowling also make their return.
While 2 players can play every one of the game's seven sports locally, bowling, tennis and volleyball support 3-4 players. In Nintendo Switch Sports, you can also play online in either single player or multiplayer for all seven sports. However, to play soccer and twin-sword mode in Chambara, each player will need their own set of Joy-Cons.
20. Kirby Star Allies
Kirby Star Allies is a fun and easy game that's an especially good choice if you have young gamers at home. In Kirby's first Nintendo Switch game, up to four players can team up or you can play on your own with the game's AI controlling your companions. However, you'll probably want to play this one with friends because you can team up and combine Kirby's unique abilities with those of his allies to unleash powerful new Friend Abilities on the game's enemies.
Unlike last year's Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Kirby Star Allies is a 2.5D platform game that shares more in common with past entries in the franchise. While the game's graphics, mechanics and soundtrack received a lot of praise when it was released in 2018, some players did find the game a bit too easy for their liking. However, this is what makes it such a great multiplayer game for kids.
How to choose the best Nintendo Switch multiplayer games for you
There are no real tricks with picking good multiplayer games for the Switch, you just need to know what you want and see if the games offer it.
For example — do you want to play online or locally? All these games offer one or the other, and a few offer both. However also keep in mind how many players are supported for both, and if you're playing in the same room as people, make sure you have enough of the best Nintendo Switch controllers around for them to use.
The other key thing to look for is genre and age rating. We imagine that some of you reading this are looking for games to try with younger players, so keep them in mind before choosing something particularly scary or violent. As for genre, that's simply a case of understanding what you'll be doing in game. Platformers like Super Mario 3D World are all about jumping around, whereas Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, despite starring the same characters, is a turn-based strategy game. But by doing a little research into a game's features, you'll know whether it sounds right for you or if it will probably leave you cold.