Nidhogg is the epic award-winning fencing tug-of-war, full of graceful acrobatics and clumsy stabs. IRL yelling and excitement may occur, in this ultimate two-player showdown of fast-paced fencing and melee attacks. Beware, advantages in Nidhogg are often fleeting, as new opponents continually spawn in your way.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,706 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 13, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Stabbing your friends is rarely this much fun. A 1v1 fencing tug-of-war. Lacking in content, but brilliant mechanics and a riotous competitive feel."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (2)

July 28

Multiplayer Update Now Live

ːnidhoggyengardeː Hey Everyone ːnidhoggoengardeː

We are super excited to unleash a big update for Nidhogg's online multiplayer functionality!!

We have been working with another programmer, Vadim Dyachenko (@yellowafterlife), to improve the latency and desync issues in the online multiplayer mode of Nidhogg.

Rather than having a set frame delay on the inputs, the new system sets the delay based on your connection. Remember that a connection is only as fast as the slowest player!

Matchmaking has also been sped up a bit and various graphical bugs that could crash the game have been fixed.

The current build ID for the update for mac+pc is 710182. If you want to confirm that you have the update, check preferences > local files and make sure you have a number the same or bigger than that.

We really appreciate your patience during this process, and hope to see you on a more equal online playing field.

ːnidhoggsːːnidhoggsːːnidhoggsːːnidhoggsːːnidhoggsːːnidhoggsːːnidhoggː ːnidhoggyrunː


38 comments Read more


“A brilliant marriage of mechanics, level design and music that will be played and talked about for years to come.”
93/100 – PC Gamer

“It’s the most exhilarating competitive game I’ve played in years.”
9/10 – IGN

“Nidhogg is about the purity of two friends on a couch duking it out as Daedelus’s moody dynamic electronica frames acrobatic displays of wits and reflexes. In that sense, it has no equal.”
9/10 – Edge

Feature List

4 Challenging Arenas
Castle, Wilds, Mines, and Clouds… where will your skills excel? Each level has multiple rooms that test your skills as a player, and highlight your strengths as you attempt to exploit your opponents weaknesses.

2 Player Local-Multiplayer
The best mode in Nidhogg! Playing next to someone is the most fun way to enjoy this game, but fair warning, things might get a little crazy!

Tournament Mode
Host the dopest houseparty on your block, with the 3 to 8 person local-multiplayer tournament mode in Nidhogg. Massive amounts of spectator excitement is guaranteed to occur.

Networked Play
Challenge your friends or find the lowest latency match online through matchmaking.

Single Player Arcade Mode
Practice and tune your fighting strategies against an array of AI personalities. Play a speedrun for bragging rights on the leaderboards!

Full Controller Support
Control the whole game from the couch in Big Picture mode!

Dynamic Music by Daedelus
Fantastic beats by the infamous electronic music creator, Daedelus. With dynamically altering music created specifically for Nidhogg, the music is unique with each play-through.

Unlock challenging achievements that will test your skills across all modes of Nidhogg.

Game Variants
In offline multiplayer or tournament mode, switch up your game play with a new game play mode (or a collection of them!). Toggle on and off Spine Swords, Slow Mode, Trails, Boomerang Swords, Time Limit, No swords, no Throws, Throws only, Divekicks, Baby Mode, Low gravity, Sudden Death Only, Skippy Mode, and Turbo Mode.

About This Game

Nidhogg is the epic award-winning fencing tug-of-war, full of graceful acrobatics and clumsy stabs. IRL yelling and excitement may occur, in this ultimate two-player showdown of fast-paced fencing and melee attacks.

Beware, advantages in Nidhogg are often fleeting, as new opponents continually spawn in your way. Use a variety of fencing maneuvers while armed -- lunges, parries, and even dirty tricks like throwing your sword. If swordless, press forward with punches, sweep kicks, dive kicks, rolls, and wall jumps.

The combat arena stretches in both directions, although besting an opponent only gains you ground. Matches aren’t won or lost with a single kill, but with a series of kills granting you right-of-way to run/fight/flee to your own goal-zone.

Each arena holds different strategic formations and chokepoints to use to your advantage. Until you reach your goal-zone, anything is possible. Only one thing is certain in Nidhogg… the only way to win is to outwit your opponent. En Garde!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.2GHz processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 8-compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of video memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller or Direct Input compatible controller
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: 1.4GHz processor or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 8-compatible graphics card with at least 32MB of video memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller or Direct Input compatible controller
    • OS: 10.9
    • Processor: 1.2GHz processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • OS: 10.9
    • Processor: 1.4GHz processor or faster
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
45 of 47 people (96%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
Nidhogg is a fast paced, local multiplayer focused fencing game developed by Messhof. In Nidhogg you take up fencing and fight one on one matches against AI or other players through local or online multiplayer. The aim of the game is to make it past your opponent and run to the other side of the map.

+Awesome pixel graphics
+Simple gameplay, all you have to do is stab your opponent and run to the other side of the map, it might sound boring but it's actually really entertaining, especially when playing with friends
+The different maps are very different to each other which provides some nice variation for the game
+Nidhogg can be enjoyed in Singleplayer, Local Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer/Matchmaking
+The fast-paced side-scrolling nature of Nidhogg makes it perfect for playing in Local Multiplayer and things get pretty intense, making Local Multiplayer pretty exhilirating and the best way to enjoy the game
+Nidhogg features a tournament mode which allows 3-8 players to play Local Multiplayer
+The soundtrack is great and fits with the game well
+The fighters in the game are all brightly coloured and blood basically acts like paint for the maps so you end up with some pretty cool designs on the floor if one area of the map gets particularly bloody
+Both the KB&M controls and the 360 Gamepad controls are very good and very responsive

-Nidhogg has a severe lack of content due to only having four maps, for £10.99 that kind of content really isn't good enough
-Singleplayer gets repetitive (thanks to the lack of content) very quickly
-Until recently Online Multiplayer wasn't very good (due to lag mainly) but it has been fixed, sadly it would seem not many people who own Nidhogg know that it was fixed since the game's Online Multiplayer remains pretty much dead

Highly Recommended, but Only When Discounted (6.5/10)

Nidhogg is a great, fast paced fighting game with awesome graphics and simple gameplay, sadly the game is very much let down by its lack of content and high asking price. If you're looking for what is one of the best Local Multiplayer games on Steam and you don't mind paying the high price then give Nidhogg a go, if not, wait for a sale.

No drama, Just Reviews.

El K.
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42 of 58 people (72%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 26
A.K.A The Roommate War Engine 10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
67 of 105 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 28
This is certainly a fun little game that is best played at a party. It gets lots of laughs. What you see in the trailer is exactly what you get - it is fairly bare-bones, which is ok because it works well. What is not ok is the asking price. Fifteen bucks for what I believe is only three levels and very little options just doesn't make me happy. I got it for like two bucks and I still don't really play it all that much.

My main problems:
-Too much money for not nearly enough content (not to compare or anything but Christ I got Minecraft for 13$)
-They could certainly add in more variation (I mean idk - how about different fighters/colors/levels/weapons/etc.)
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Nidhogg is a side scrolling fighting game which was released in early 2014. You duel against another sword wielding foe. You have to get to the other side of the map before your opponent. In order to do so, you must run, jump, throw your sword and slide past the other enemies.

The actual gameplay is very simple, just kill the other guy really. This can be done in a number of ways, the most common is just to kill the enemy in a sparing match. You can also disarm your opponent by knocking their weapon out of their hands leaving them very vulnerable with just their fists to fight back with. You can get quite technical if you want though, by wall jumping, dive kicks and knocking down enemies by sliding their feet out.

Nidhogg has a single player mode, which is quite enjoyable, but can be completed in about two hours if you have any sort of skill at the game. The single player is essentially the four different levels repeated over and over increasing in difficulty. While I did have fun playing this mode, the real fun from Nidhogg comes out of the local multiplayer mode. This will pit you against your friends in a duel with the same mechanics as previously mentioned, things get competitive very fast, so watch out! We also have an online multiplayer options available, however there were no players online every time I checked so I would class this as a no go zone.

The graphics are a very simplistic style, which actually have a nice look to them; this is the type of game that doesn't need fancy textures and shadows to make it more appealing, as you hardly pay any attention to the graphics due to how fast paced the gameplay is.

The single player mode of Nidhogg is about two hours long, so if you are purely looking for a single player experience, this may not be for you since there is not much replay-ability for single player. If you have friends who you can hook up a second controller with, Nidhogg really shines there. The majority of my time on Nidhogg was spent in a local multiplayer mode and it's an absolute blast.

Whilst I think the price of £10,99 is quite steep for this game given the lack of single player and online multiplayer content available, the amount of fun you can have in local multiplayer redeems it slightly. So I am going to recommend Nidhogg, but only when it is on sale for anything under £5. This is certainly a game I will be keeping installed for when friends come round.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Only recommended when on sale
3) Recommended
4) Highly recommended
5) This is a must play

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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Nidhogg embodies the aggressive, intoxicating thrill of competition. Through hazily defined personas and their ethereal exacting movements, a simple duel is transformed into a bustling frenzy of close saves, impossible luck, and overlapping cries of victory and defeat. It only took one match for me to fall in love with Nidhogg – to be hooked by the overwhelming energy that erupts both inside and outside the game – and hours later each round continues to bring with it that same feeling that I’m discovering something incredible for the first time and desperately need someone to share it with.

In the most concise and direct of terms, Nidhogg is a two-player fencing game which calls back to the simpler times of 80’s arcade classics like Joust and Pong, but bridges the generational gap with a precision and adrenaline that would have melted the insides of the quarter devouring machines which have grown extinct over the last 30 years. Nidhogg’s indirect heritage doesn’t define it so much as provides a sense of place for Nidhogg where so many other games are quickly lost and forgotten. Already it feels like a classic I’ve loved for years and a staple game that is kept installed eternally as part of an evergreen collection of multiplayer games.

Nidhogg works so immensely well because it’s the sort of game you stop thinking about almost immediately. Controlling your swordsman in Nidhogg is impeccably intuitive as they move and react contextually and clearly, causing you to forget about how your controlling them as you focus all your attention on what you’re actually doing. Nidhogg feels much like a spontaneous dance between two people attempting to kill each other. It’s not about executing a particular move or performing a perfect counter block, but allowing yourself to be taken by the moment as you and your opponent flow together in a blur of kicks and stabs as you fight against each other in a deadly tug of war.

The organic interplay which develops over the course of a match helps keep Nidhogg from ever feeling one-sided the way many multiplayer games do. Everything which takes place during a match is the dual result of two players colliding and reacting with one another, which forms a dynamic that feels cordial and joyful. Even during my worst matches I often found myself erupting in laugher over my own mistakes and haphazard attempts to regain ground, because even when I’m losing Nidhogg’s ridiculous pace and explosions of pixels are still ludicrously fun to be a part of.

To me the lifespan of a multiplayer game is almost entirely based on whether or not it’s enjoyable to the person losing, and I’ve never played a competitive game where me and my supposed competitor have fallen into such fits of laughter precisely because we’re losing. Nidhogg is a brilliantly tactical and engaging beast of a fighting game, but that it can also allow for a much friendlier mood and feel satisfying even when you’re outmatched is a remarkable achievement very few other games can boast.

I suppose it has to be mentioned though that there is one rather enormous qualifier to recommending Nidhogg, that being the requirement of another local player. Though there is a single player mode it feels like a lifeless shell of its multiplayer counterpart, only potentially worth venturing into as a means of practicing advanced strategies against increasingly tough AI opponents. The online mode as well, despite being fairly functional, can’t compete with the feeling of having another person in the room with you (even more so if you are playing against random players). It will suffice if you have absolutely no other options, but I found myself growing tired of it fairly quickly and wishing the person I was playing with was sitting next to me instead of on the other end of the internet.

I desperately hope that whoever is reading this won’t be hamstrung by a lack of local competition though, as with another person in the room Nidhogg is a phenomenal experience that takes only moments to sell itself but has had me repeatedly stuck in place for hours at a time, always shocked when I finally look at the clock and realize how long we’ve been playing. It’s a finely tuned machine you won’t notice and a catalyst for the delightful multiplayer mayhem that few other games have come anywhere close to matching for me.

Developer Messhof understands that multiplayer means more than putting two players on the screen; that making sure multiple people are having fun isn’t as simple as letting them play together, and that creating a friendly competition in a space where there can be only one winner is perhaps the easiest thing to screw up and the most imperative to get right. Nidhogg doesn’t assume what it’s doing is easy the way a lot of similar games seem to, but knows if it can get it right that the end result is an atmosphere and enthusiasm that can’t be matched. Wow, did they ever follow through on that one.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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