Online Games with Friends

I’ve talked about my love for co-op games many times before. Up until High School, I always enjoyed spending a day (or weekend) beating a game with a friend living off of candy, snacks and soda. There was just something special about playing a co-op experience together in person.

In the past two years, I’ve been able to have a couple of great co-op in-person experiences with my girlfriend (Overcooked 1 & 2, It Takes Two, B.Ark, Unravel 2). We even restarted Overcooked: All You Can Eat Edition a few weekends ago.

Once online games came into the picture we started getting a lot more online multiplayer shooters and battle-type games. Today, we have battle royale and massive multiplayer online games where you can be playing with up to 100 players — sometimes more.

I do enjoy playing online games. I put so many hours into Overwatch, Fortnite, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (online) and so many others over the past few years. I mostly play these with strangers though — set to mute.

I do squad up with friends in online games every once in a while. Now that my friends live all over the country (and the world), it’s great to have the option to play online with them. I just always find myself running into the same problems:

1 Scheduling

It’s always hard to find a good time to play games with friends online. I’ve received many, “You down to play some [INSERT GAME HERE]?” texts while out to dinner or nowhere near my PC or console. 

There are other times where you’re in the middle of a solo adventure and you receive that text, only to ignore it because you want to keep playing your solo game. However, deep down inside you know that your friend can and will see what you’re doing and why you’re ignoring them as soon as they log in or turn on their console.

2 Choices

There are just way too many games to play. Even when you narrow it down to online multiplayer games only, that’s still a giant list of games. Let’s say you do schedule the proper time for you and a friend (maybe a whole crew) to play. Next, you have to choose a game that everyone has and wants to play. 

It’s sort of like going on vacation with too many people. What happens when everyone gets hungry? I want pizza, but Tom wants a taco, and Steve wants Greek, and Sandra is Vegan so what the hell are we going to eat?

3 Families

I once jumped into a couple of matches with my friend and his work buddy in PUBG (Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds). His friend was whispering and being very quiet when he would talk. It wasn’t until later on that I realized he was playing in a room with his sleeping baby.

Why was he doing this? It’s fine for you to not chat with us quietly if you’re going to disturb your baby. You can just play without your mic on. I’d actually prefer that over you hating me for waking your sleeping baby.

4 Not Enough Players

Sometimes you get a group together and you’re missing one, or someone has to bounce early. That’s when you have to add a total stranger. Anytime I’m playing online with strangers and have voice chat on I always get paired with the most horrible people. That’s why I’ve decided not even to try using voice chat with strangers.

The Ping system has really added another dimension to playing online with strangers and not having to talk to them. There have also been so many times when you’re playing with some random and they have music blasting on their mic. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing music by a band I like, because the sound quality is so bad on their headset and it keeps cutting out.

I want to play more online games with my friends — my real friends that I don’t get to see. So many of my friends love video games as much as I do. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with friends who don’t live nearby and you can’t see or talk to every day.

I guess we’ve moved more into the online multiplayer shooters rather than the online co-op story games because most of us don’t have the time to meet every night to continue a story.

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