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PowerWash Simulator is Game Pass’ best co-op game, actually

PowerWash Simulator is the best co-op game on Game Pass and is far more than a game about washing dirty patios - it's about friendship and Bigfoot too

powerwash simulator game pass coop a group of friends pressure washing a statue

There has been a lot of hype around PowerWash Simulator since it was released on Game Pass and Xbox consoles – and rightfully so. But, what everyone seems to have missed is just how good the cleaning game is in co-op, and in a gaming landscape that seems to have forgotten about games that are fun to play with friends in favour of ones where you destroy them in PvP, it’s just what Doctor PowerWash ordered.

See, despite having the word simulator in its name, PowerWash Simulator isn’t as dry and arcane as other games of this ilk. It’s an experience where the physics and tools of power washing are replicated, but the world in which it’s set is more light-hearted; something I found out after twisting a friend’s arm to jump in a co-op campaign.

PowerWash Simulator cleverly starts off by having you clean your own very dirty van as a tutorial. It gets you acquainted with the power washing basics: how to change nozzles and clean grime. It’s also where you realise that the sound of water dislodging dirt at high pressures gives your ears an ASMR experience better than no other. However, the most important thing we noticed while hosing our vehicle down was a newspaper laying on a shelf that warned of Bigfoot sightings nearby.

This clued us in that there might be more to PowerWash Simulator than a by-the-books rendition of pressure washing. This became overtly evident when as we hosed what we thought was graffiti from someone’s house, until we started receiving panicked text messages from the inhabitants describing ghostly hauntings shaking the house inside – we’d washed off the protective sigils holding the ghouls back (or had we?).

The environmental storytelling in the game is fantastic, and it’s great fun to piece things together with co-op company. But, what makes PowerWash Simulator so great as a co-op experience is far more than that. More than just working together and generally being an all-around great game, PowerWash Simulator provides a calm sandbox for you and your co-op partner to actually socialise in.

Playing games with friends is a staple of most gamers’ lives, but the extent that you can actually have a conversation with them is usually limited by the chaos unfolding around you – there isn’t much time to talk when Nature’s Prophet is ratting your barracks in Dota 2 or you’re trying to coordinate the latest raid in Destiny 2.

powerwash simulator cleaning the van with a pressure washer

With PowerWash Simulator, however, there are no time limits or reasons to rush a job, so you have nothing but time. Grime-busting a skatepark at midnight while catching up with a friend you haven’t had the chance to connect with in a while, then, is something that can only be experienced in a game like PowerWash Simulator. Add to that the fact that it’s on Game Pass, which means most hobbyists have free access to it, and it makes PowerWash Simulator an awfully compelling proposition for those evening gamer gatherings.

If you want a relaxed but fun evening with friends that doesn’t end in screaming as your Apex Legends trio is downed because that one person who always puts their Gibraltar shield in a weird place did it again, then you need to try PowerWash Simulator. Not only is meticulously spraying down slides and bikes and jungle gyms with water more-ishly satisfying when you see the sparkly results of your work, but roping in others will inevitably result in you all having those conversations that can only be had in the dead of night; the ones that hit you like a therapy session you didn’t know you needed and make you feel more refreshed than how that that big shoe house level looks when you’re done giving it the spray treatment.

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