Starting to Game with a Non-Gamer Significant Other
Recently, a thread on reddit popped up titled “Gamers of Reddit, what are good videogames to play with your non-gamer girlfriend?”
Which is a thread that pops up a lot. This time it just got a LOT more upvotes than it usually does.
That title makes me balk, though. What if you’re a girl with a non-gamer boyfriend? What if you’re a boy with a non-gamer boyfriend? What if, what if, there’s so many different variations here. I’m so fucking tired of that “girls don’t like to play games” standard.
Regardless, there were a ton of really good suggestions in the thread. I’ve rounded up some of the better ones here but definitely give it a full read if you’re looking for other new ideas! And, pleasantly enough, a lot of these games overlap with my existing list for my friend who wants to game but has anxiety and nausea challenges – check out that overview here.
- Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Rasaska
- “This game is fairly easy to run and is on PS4 VR and Steam, and the game isn’t graphically demanding either, a laptop or pc that’s old and decent should run this fine.”
- “Only one person needs the screen. Unless you’re using the manual on another screen. The game can also be played over discord and skype using voice, unfortunately, only the owner of the game can be the defuser. “
- “I played this with my girlfriend, and we beat the game. This is the best team-building game I can Imagine. Can only recommend.” –Hirurawa
- Overcooked – mmoustis18
- “Over cooked is good for communication” –nousernamesleftsosad
- “This is my house when we play…ONION!!! TOMATO!!! BUNS!!! WHERE ARE MY PATTIES!!!! AAAAAHHHH FUCK SHIT IS ON FIRE YO!!!!! I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!! fuck the space levels, and the lava ones too” – WereAllGonnaMakeIt_8
- “How the fuck… my wife and I play better while drunk apparently. Did you know you can dash? We had no idea until after sinking 10+ hours into it” –StickySnacks
- “My wife hadn’t played any games since SNES and somehow heard about this game. DL’d it and now she’s obsessed. It’s a lot of fun.” –rewerB
- Stardew valley, showed her last week and haven’t gotten my computer back yet. – [deleted]
- (Note – this is not a co-op game. Yet)
- Mario kart bro – Jellysnake3486
- “Am a girl who games, challenging men to Mario Kart used to be my number one dating strategy.” –mangovee
- “Mine was Super Smash Brothers. (Am also girl).” –kitzunenotsuki
- Battleblock Theater. I bought it after seeing it recommended in one of these threads months ago and my gf and I tried it out. Ended up playing it for like 4 hours straight. – walkingcarpet23
- “castle crashers by the same guys is just as good” –Bedroomeyes420
- The lego games are usually good. Nothing too intense and there are enough games that there’ll probably be one for a franchise she likes. – Taylor7500
- “Yes, all the Lego games. Walking around smashing things is a viable strategy and as fun as playing to win. Plus they are funny, low-pressure, and can be co-op! ” –tinyarmsbigheart
- “Look at the reviews for them first in steam, some of them randomly have features that are different or weird and it can be super disappointing, such as the hobbit only have the first two movies in the game so it’s really weird and bad.” –KingGrizzleBeard
- Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. Or as my girlfriend calls it “the pew pew spaceship game”. She loves it. Also Diablo 3. We have a blast playing that, too. – Hovie1
- “Came here to suggest Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. It’s really pretty and fun to co-operate on.” –vicioustyrant
- Non-gamer girlfriend here, Civilization is the only game my partner has been able to successfully get me to enjoy. It probably depends in her interests, so learn those by participating in some non-video game activities with her. – mandisays
- “Civilization is the best strategy game I have ever played” –muchvape2000
- The Switch seems right up your alley. Snipperclips is adorable and Mario Odyssey has a nice co-op system. One person (her) controls Mario and the other controls Cappy. The game is fairly easy and exploration based. – Wetstew_
- “One person (her) controls Mario and the other controls Cappy. The game is fairly easy and exploration based. If you are new to games, or just took a break; I have some suggestions.
- If you like Mario Odyssey, keep an eye out for Yooka Laylee, it’s made by ex-Rare employees, who made Banjo Kazooie which improved on Mario 64 in literally every way. Yooka Laylee isn’t better than Odyssey, but it is different. There are less worlds, but they are expandable. The platforming is more difficult, but you get a ability later on makes platforming much easier. Also Yooka and Laylee are more cute than Mario. Fight me.
- If you like Zelda Breath of the Wild, give Minecraft a try. The PC version is the best, but the Switch version isn’t bad to introduce you to it. There is also difficulty options ranging from weakening enemies to removing them or getting full creative mode that lets you fly around and gives you access to an unlimited number of building blocks.
- If you like Snipperclips, give Picross a look. Picross is a logic puzzle game that is like a cross between Sudoku and Minesweeper. The numbers on the side of the rows and columns tell you how many series of blocks are in the row. As you figure out one part of the puzzle, it gives you a hint of another part, eventually making a picture.
- The thing is she has to learn where the buttons on a controller are without looking, which I think is the hardest for people who never played videogames.”
- I was once the non-gamer girlfriend, and Skyrim changed everything for me. I’d say anything that breaks away from the typical shooter that isn’t too difficult is a good idea. Portal/Portal 2, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect were some early games I was introduced to that I fell in love with. Pretty much the same route I’m currently taking with my non-gamer boyfriend. – Ryshatha
- Katamari Damacy is fun no matter who you are. – Colin__Mockery
- “This is my go-to game for non gamers and parties. You dont need experience or advanced controls, its easy fun and not violent, multiplayer goes quickly and usually without the grudges that come from mariokart or FPS games where skilled gamers can crush inexperienced players.” –loungeboy79
- My best advice would be that that the way you interact during matters a lot more than the game itself. Don’t expect her to want to min/max her itemization on day 1 or shit like that. Just chill and accept that the playstyle will not be identical to your own – SilentStorm32
- Got my wife into Minecraft. Good times. – [deleted]
- “Seconding Minecraft. I prefer building/crafting games on PC and my partner prefers shooter/platformers on console. Minecraft works for both of us and since the ‘Better Together’ update, we can play together on our platform of choice.” –JohnoTheFoolish
- Portal 2. Even though i’m the one solving the puzzle 90% of the time, but it’s still fun – WhenAllElseFail
- “I’ve tried this one before, and it’s actually not super ideal. A lot of people don’t understand just how tough first person shooters can be to people who have never played them before.” –page395
- Little Big Planet. Relatively easy. You get to play dress up and collect things. If she gets stuck somewhere you can just go ahead till you get to the next checkpoint. – Puckfan21
- My husband, then boyfriend, tried to teach me to game by throwing Halo at me and nitpicking every choice I made. I got frustrated and quit and now I never want to try a team shooter ever again. So don’t do that. – LizzyLemonade
- “Portal 1 taught me how to aim and shoot in first person.
- Skyrim expanded upon that knowledge and taught me how to to use both sticks accurately.
- Co-op games like some of the Tomb Raiders, Rayman, etc. are fun because I don’t have to actually be good to succeed, my co-op partner carries me.
- Puzzle and interactive games like The Witness and What Remains of Edith Finch are good because they’re more like a movie or experience than a game game.
- I don’t play a lot because I get bored pretty easily, but my husband and I play a lot of games “together.” Like the first Shadow of Mordor was equivalent to watching a TV show for us. He’d put it on and play and I watched the whole thing while adding commentary.
- Also, maybe try to find games that have a really easy difficulty setting—Fable 2 is one that I just put it on God mode from the beginning and never really tried. I’m mostly invested because of the story, and if the gameplay is too hard I will just stop.”
- My non-gamer gf (now wife) enjoyed Don’t Starve Together and Civ V. – tehfunnymans
- I’m the non-gamer girlfriend. I avoided games for ages because I thought they were all first-person shooters and car racing–neither of which ever remotely interested me. – lkseoaijv
- “My boyfriend introduced me to Steam, and we figured out that I actually do like puzzle- or story-based games. So Portal, Riven, Talos Principle, Braid, old school adventure games like Grim Fandango, etc. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a fan of action or fighting games, but I enjoy calmer games that make me think or let me relax after work. My boyfriend hates those kind of games, so we just play our own games but sit together while we do it.”
- My husband and I have very different play styles – I like to fight things, he likes to build things. We started playing Don’t Starve Together and it works out quite well, since I can go off and fight and gather resources, while he builds the base and crafts things. – vicioustyrant
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