Asymmetrical multiplayer games offer a unique and thrilling gaming experience. As the name suggests, players assume different roles and have distinct objectives and win conditions. If you’re bored of traditional multiplayer experiences like Call of Duty, or if you’re just seeking a fun game you can play at a party, we’ve got you covered with the 10 best asymmetrical multiplayer games.
What Does Asymmetrical Multiplayer Mean?
Asymmetrical multiplayer refers to games where multiple players have different roles, abilities, and objectives within the same game. Unlike traditional multiplayer games, where all players are on equal footing, asymmetrical multiplayer games create an imbalance of power or tasks between players, resulting in intense and challenging gameplay. This genre offers a unique dynamic that adds depth and variety to the multiplayer experience, whether the players are cooperating or competing against each other.
Some games could be considered asymmetrical because of things like character selections, with games like Apex Legends having a small amount of asymmetrical multiplayer due to how differently the characters can operate within the game. However, all of these characters are still controlled essentially the same and share the same goal. Today, we’ll be focusing on games with a higher level of asymmetry.
Best Asymmetrical Multiplayer Games, Ranked in No Particular Order
Let’s dive in!
Predator: Hunting Grounds
First up on our list is Predator: Hunting Grounds. In this game, a team of grizzled human soldiers faces off against a player-controlled Predator. The humans must complete objectives and take down NPC soldiers, while the Predator utilizes its advanced weaponry and stealth abilities to hunt down and eliminate the other player soldiers. The game perfectly captures the tension and excitement of being stalked by an otherworldly creature and offers intense gameplay that keeps players on the edge of their seats.
The soldier players control their characters in first person, while the Predator player can see around them with ease from a third-person perspective. The power imbalance between the two is very high, with the Predator player easily eliminating soldiers if they wander off alone. Yet if the Predator gets caught by the entire team, they’re bound to get torn to shreds. The Predator even sets themselves up to explode like in the original 1980s source material, leading to an exciting escape even if the soldier team wins. It’s available for PS4 and PC.
It Takes Two
It Takes Two is a cooperative game telling the heartwarming story of a couple going through a challenging time in their relationship. Players control the two characters, Cody and May, who have been transformed into dolls. Each character possesses unique abilities, and both players must work together to solve puzzles, overcome obstacles, and navigate the beautifully designed world.
It Takes Two offers a delightful blend of gameplay mechanics, emotional storytelling, and cooperative play, making it an exceptional choice for fans of asymmetrical multiplayer experiences. Best of all, this game can be played from your couch or remotely online, making it a perfect choice for couples spending time together or apart. You can get It Takes Two on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and PC.
Dead by Daylight
Dead by Daylight is an incredibly popular asymmetrical horror game that pits four Survivors against a relentless Killer. The Survivors must work together to survive a procedurally generated map, activating a series of generators to escape, all while the Killer hunts them down mercilessly.
The game has countless expansions and lots of playable characters, offering a variety of unique Killers and Survivors based on licensed horror movie villains and monsters from games like Resident Evil. With each character’s unique abilities, Dead by Daylight offers suspenseful gameplay for both sides of the game. The game’s constantly evolving content and dedicated community ensures that there’s always something new to discover. There are versions of the game for the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, and Android phones.
Among Us took the gaming world by storm with its simple yet addictive gameplay. In this asymmetrical multiplayer game, players take on the roles of crew members aboard a spaceship while they attempt to repair the ship and escape. However, among the crew members, there are impostors whose goal is to eliminate the others without being caught, by sneaking around through vents and eliminating the crew members one at a time.
The remaining crew members must work together to identify the impostors and vote them off the ship, potentially tossing innocent crew members out of the airlock if they come off “sus,” as the community tends to say. Among Us became a sensation due to its social deduction mechanics, creating a thrilling atmosphere of suspicion and betrayal, and because it’s playable on almost any device, including low-end smartphones.
Crawl is a unique asymmetrical multiplayer game that combines cooperative and competitive elements. In this game, three players control ghosts who possess traps and monsters in a dungeon, while the fourth player assumes the role of a human hero. The hero’s objective is to survive and defeat the monsters controlled by the other players, lest they become a ghost themselves and have the victorious player take their place.
Crawl’s retro aesthetics, fast-paced gameplay, and strategic depth make it an enjoyable choice for those seeking a competitive asymmetrical experience from the comfort of their own couch. It’s easy to learn but hard to master, and the variety of playable monsters makes it a very complex and enjoyable game. It’s available on PS4, Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and PC.
A Way Out
A Way Out is an engaging co-op asymmetrical game that follows the story of two convicts who must work together to escape prison and navigate the challenges awaiting them outside. Each player controls one of the two characters, Leo and Vincent, and cooperation is essential to progress. You’ll need to watch each other’s backs through a dense and daring escape. This game comes from the same studio as It Takes Two, but story is significantly less cutesy.
The game offers a mix of action, stealth, and puzzle-solving, with a compelling narrative that keeps players invested. A Way Out’s emphasis on teamwork and its cinematic approach makes it an excellent choice for those who enjoy immersive storytelling. Best of all, it can be played right from the comfort of your couch on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and online via PC.
Secret Neighbor is a suspenseful multiplayer game set in the Hello Neighbor universe. A group of children must work together to rescue their missing friend from a mysterious neighbor’s basement. However, one of the children is secretly the neighbor in disguise, trying to sabotage their efforts.
The gameplay creates tension and paranoia as players try to uncover the neighbor’s identity while completing objectives. Think of it as a more child-friendly version of Dead by Daylight. There’s even a level editor for the game, allowing the best players to make their own version of the game. You can play Secret Neighbor on Android, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Spy Party focuses on deception and strategy. In this game, one player assumes the role of a spy attending a fancy party, while the other player acts as the sniper observing the party from a distance. The spy must complete specific missions while blending in with the AI-controlled partygoers, while the sniper must identify and eliminate the spy without harming innocent guests.
Spy Party’s depth, psychological mind games, and attention to detail make it a standout choice for fans of tactical asymmetrical gameplay, with less chasing than some of the other competitive games on this list. You can get Spy Party on PC, Mac OS, and Android.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a cooperative game that tests communication and teamwork. One player takes on the role of a bomb defuser who must disarm a complex explosive device within a time limit. The catch is that the defuser can’t see the bomb manual, which contains the instructions for defusing, while the other players, acting as experts, have the manual but can’t see the bomb.
Players must effectively communicate and solve puzzles together to prevent the bomb from detonating. This is a great game for parties and casual gamers. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes offers a high-stakes, tension-filled experience that rewards effective teamwork and communication. You can pick it up on Switch, PS4, PC, and Mac OS.
Natural Selection 2: Combat
Natural Selection 2: Combat is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that combines first-person shooting with real-time strategy elements. Set in a sci-fi universe, the game features two teams: the Marines and the alien Kharaa. The Marines rely on firepower and teamwork to eliminate the alien threat, while the Kharaa use their agility and evolutionary adaptations to overwhelm the Marines.
Reminiscent of the Aliens vs. Predators series, this free-to-play game is still one of the best asymmetrical games on the market. With a strong emphasis on team coordination and strategic decision-making, Natural Selection 2: Combat provides a unique blend of genres that appeals to both shooter and strategy enthusiasts, striking a balance with excellent precision. It’s only on PC and Linux, but you can grab it for free on the Steam store.
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That’s it for our list of the best asymmetrical multiplayer games — thanks for reading! We hope you’ve found some great new games to play with friends. Make sure you subscribe to High Ground Gaming’s newsletter and follow us on all social media for more tips.