What you need to know
- Vampire Survivors is the breakout roguelike hit from poncle that lets players be the bullethell for just $5.
- The game is updated at breakneck pace, having just received new content earlier in July.
- A new update is slated for August 17 for PC and Xbox that will add couch co-op.
Vampire Survivors may already be the best $5 you can spend on a game on Xbox and PC, but that doesn't mean the developers at poncle are slowing down on improving what you get for your money with this roguelike bullethell. Vampire Survivors is updated at near breakneck speeds, with the gaming having received numerous free content as well as two paid DLC releases since its initial launch on Xbox. The casual gothic horror inspired roguelike lets players choose from a colorful and unusual cast of characters and then slowly build up combinations of weapons and accessories to mow their way through hordes of enemies that increase in speed and number over time.
With the newest update launching on August 17, poncle will be adding one of the community's most often requested features: couch co-op. In an FAQ about the update, poncle states that couch co-op won't change too much about the overall game play of Vampire Survivors beyond adding more chaos. However, adding more players will result in some minor changes like a shared level up bar where you and your friends will take turns acquiring upgrades. While up to 4 players can join up together, co-op will not add split screen and friendly sabotage is entirely possible.
Couch co-op is coming to all platforms for free in the update, but there are some limitations that require you to have a controller input for everybody that you are buddying up with. If you are playing on PC, especially, you'll want to make sure you have an extra controller as you will not be able to share keyboard inputs between two players.
Unfortunately, the August update to Vampire Survivors will be couch co-op only, and online play is still not an option for those looking to play with long distance pals. There are some work arounds to this, namely Steam Remote Play Together. You won't be missing out on any new content if you don't have a friend to play with locally, however, as there will be no couch co-op related achievements or specific levels. There will also not be any sort of versus mode beyond the original potential for sabotage.
Vampire Survivors started its afterlife as a pandemic project by one Luca Galante and has led to poncle growing into a team of programmers, designers, and artists who are all dedicated to its continued improvement with additional free and paid DLC content into the future. The game was a surprise hit becoming a multimillion seller and the highest rated Steam game of 2022 with a 98% overwhelmingly positive rating while also being dubbed one of the most played games on Steam Deck. Vampire Survivors won 2 Baftas (including "Best Game"), is a well-known favorite of Xbox CEO Phil Spencer and can be played on both PC and Xbox as part of Game Pass Ultimate.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.