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Color-Coded Multiplayer

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Player 1 is blue, and Player 2 is red. Get it? Got it. Good.

Video game sprites or polygon models of different colors to tell otherwise identical Player Characters apart. This was especially prevalent in games up to the mid-1980s, where ROM size meant that even different sprites for them would take up too much space. In later years, storage capacity has grown bigger, allowing game designers to give each player character a different design, but this trope lives on as a way for players to tell each other apart when they are both playing as the same character.

In early days, certain players were forcibly assigned certain character colors with no way to choose a different color (ex: P1 blue, P2 red, P3 green, P4 yellow); this was most useful in arcades, where the preassigned colors were often painted onto the controls and/or the surrounding area of the cabinet. Nowadays, games will often allow players to choose colors.

This trope can apply whether the multiplayer is cooperative or competitive. It can also apply to a mirror match with a computer-controlled opponent as long as it is using the same character as the player.

In two-player games, you typically see Red and Blue; four-player games almost always add Yellow and Green. Red and Blue have historically been used, such as the red and blue corners in boxing, whereas the other two are included for Chromatic Arrangement.

SRPGs often do this with the generic classes.

Also, there can be some minor differences, as long as the color is the primary way to tell them apart.

A Sub-Trope of Color-Coded Characters and Palette Swap.

A Sister Trope to Mirror Match.

Compare Good Colors, Evil Colors; Color-Coded Patrician; Color-Coded Armies.


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    Action Games 
  • Playing with Fire: Player 1 is red, player 2 is blue, the remaining opponents controlled by the computer are purple and green.

    Action-Adventure Games 

    Beat 'em Ups 
  • The arcade version of Bad Dudes had two main characters whose only differences were the colors of their parachute pants (white for Player 1 and green for Player 2).
    • In the game's Spiritual Successor, Crude Buster (aka Two Crude Dudes), Player 1 wears yellow and has a faux-hawk style, while Player 2 wears green and has a bald mohawk.
  • Castle Crashers, though, going by the FAQs, there is some debate over whether one of them is the Yellow Knight or Orange Knight. In addition, there are several unlockable enemy characters.
  • Double Dragon - Traditionally the series had Player 1 (Billy) as the blue guy and Player 2 (Jimmy) as the red guy, but there has been some deviations of this formula throughout the course of the series.
    • The NES version of the first game lacked a 2-player co-op, but instead had a 2-player alternating mode where both players controlled Billy Lee. This was because the NES version changed the plot by making Jimmy into the bad guy. However, the bonus one-on-one versus mode, which consisted exclusively of mirror matches, has both players depicted in varying color schemes depending on the character, but Player 1's life bar is always blue while Player 2/CPU's is always red.
    • The arcade version of Double Dragon II has Billy wearing a black outfit and Jimmy wearing a white outfit. The NES version brought then back to their original blue and red outfits.
    • The arcade version of Double Dragon 3 allows the option for a third player, who controls a yellow-clad palette-swap of the Lee brothers named Sonny. This also applies to the new characters featured in addition to Billy and Jimmy, which consists of groups of palette-swapped siblings similar to the Lee brothers. However, Masao (the player 1 member of the Oyama Brothers) wears a white karate gi.
    • The NES version of Double Dragon III has Player 1 start out as Billy and Player 2 as Jimmy as usual, but the players can switch characters at any point. A bug in the game's 2-players mode even allows a single player to play the whole game as both Lee brothers.
    • In Super Double Dragon, Billy and Jimmy actually have different hair styles for their sprites. Instead of the pompadour style they had in the arcade and NES games, Billy has straight brown hair, while Jimmy has a blond flap-top style. Some of the earlier manual/promo artwork for the Famicom versions (and even the story sequences and character portraits of Double Dragon III on the NES) already depicted the Lee brothers with differing hairstyles, but Super Double Dragon was the first game to actually distinguish them in-game. Some of the later games, like Double Dragon Advance and the iOS/Android remake from 2013, would use this style, while other games like Double Dragon Neon would go back to the original arcade game's palette swapped twins style.
  • Dynamite Dux: Player 1 is the blue duck Bin, and Player 2 is the red duck Pin.
  • Most games that copied the Final Fight template (usually 3 playable characters) followed this color scheme: blue, red, and green (yellow for Streets of Rage 1).
  • Golden Axe featured Tyris Flare (red; the best magic, the best speed, but weak), Ax-Battler (blue; average magic, average attack, and average speed), and Gilius Thunderhead (green; the worst magic, the worst speed, but has the best range with his axe).
  • Ninja Baseball Bat Man:
  • Ninja Gaiden (arcade version) has Player 1 as a blue ninja and Player 2 as a red ninja. While neither character are actually identified in the game, Ryu Hayabusa (the main character in the NES version) wears a blue ninja outfit, while his father Ken wears a similar red outfit, matching the colors of the two player characters (leading some fans to speculate that the events depicted in the arcade version is a mission that Ryu and Ken Hayabusa went through before the events of the NES series).
  • The Ninja Kids:
  • In Robo Army, Maxima (Player 1) wears red, while Rocky (Player 2) wears blue. However, the two characters are also head swaps, with Maxima having a human head with beret, whereas Rocky is completely robotic.
  • Violent Storm inverted it compared to most brawlers that followed the Final Fight template. Kyle wears green and is the weakest but fastest. Boris wears red and is the strongest but also the slowest, although not as slow compared to other mighty glaciers in brawlers. Wade wears blue and is average between the other two player characters.
  • The Superman Arcade Game by Taito allowed a second player to play a Superman colored red and gray instead of blue and red.

    Driving Games 
  • Daytona USA gives each player their own car color, even in a round consisting of as many as 8 players. The colors are as follows — 1P: red; 2P: blue; 3P: yellow; 4P: green; 5P: black; 6P: pink; 7P: cyan; 8P: orange.
  • Kirby Air Ride, with additional colors as some of the unlockable rewards.
  • Micro Machines, the first two, would have this as their way of telling players apart, Player 1 being red, Player 2 being blue, Player 3 being green, and Player 4 being yellow.
  • In Driift Mania, each player is assigned a specific color to their vehicles, being blue for Player 1, red for Player 2, green for Player 3, yellow for Player 4, pink for Player 5, black for Player 6, orange for Player 7 and purple for Player 8.
  • In Super Sprint, the first player controls a blue car, the second player controls a red car, and the third player controls a yellow car. The AI-controlled drone cars are always gray.
  • In Super Off Road, player one controls a red truck (or optional dune buggy if they play the Track Pak version), player two controls a yellow truck, and player three controls a blue truck. The AI-controlled truck of "Ironman" Ivan Stewart (or "Lightning" Kevin Lydy in current re-releases) is white, though it appears gray due to graphical limitations. The NES version had a green truck in place of the white truck if four human players compete.

    Fighting Games 
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy, the interesting part is that the alt colors make sense if you've played the other FF games or are otherwise a Final Fantasy nerd—some of the alts are based on original concept art of the character that didn't make the final cut for the original game (Cecil, Firion, The Emperor), some are versions of the character as they appeared in their actual game, their default Dissidia design having changed that (Golbez, Tidus, Terra), and others make references more complicated than that (Final Fantasy III was originally a game of four Featureless Heroic Mimes, while the remake did away with that and gave the characters all personalities, back stories, unique appearances, and names; Dissidia references this by basing the FFIII representative on the Onion Knight of the original game, while having his alt look like Luneth, the "hero" of the remake). And yet others are outfits the characters actually wore (Cloud's AC outfit or Squall's Seed Uniform). And others are a reference to other characters (Ultimecia and Jecht).
  • Mortal Kombat used mainly shading variations (likely since Sub Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Ermac, Human Smoke, Rain, Noob Saibot, and Chameleon were already palette swaps at various points).
    • Also, the women, Mileena, Kitana, Jade, and the often forgotten Khameleon.
    • As well as Cyrax, Robot Smoke, and Sektor.
  • Every Street Fighter installment since Champion Edition allowed both players to use the same character by distinguishing one player with an alternate color scheme. Super Street Fighter II, the fourth Street Fighter II game, actually has eight palettes for each character, allowing all eight players in the Tournament Battle mode to use the same character. Street Fighter IV retained the tradition of palette swapped costumes, despite the switch from pixel art to polygonal models and the introduction of alternate costumes.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • The first three games in the series uses alternate colors of characters marked red, green, or blue when playing team multiplayer. When the same character is on the same team, they're differentiated by being a slightly different shade from the other players. Free-for-All battles also had alternate palettes for each character, which can be selected from the menu.
    • The fourth generation games for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U changed the presentation for team battles so that teams are indicated by color-coded outlines instead, allowing the freedom of giving players the character palette of their choice. A yellow team is also present for the Wii U version's eight-player mode. This also meant that characters no longer had to have an obligatory "red palette," "blue palette," or "green palette."
    • In Free-for-all battles and Single Player mode, you can tell which controller port you're using based on the color of your shield/stock/icon/KO explosion; P1 (Red), P2 (Blue), P3 (Yellow), P4 (Green). Computer players are given gray. As of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, an eight-player mode was introduced, so there are four additional colors: P5 (Orange), P6 (Cyan), P7 (Purple), P8 (Dark gray). In Ultimate, purple became the color for Player Eight, while Player Seven is pink.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash Up uses colored 'auras' to separate players, much like Super Smash Bros. in that they are required for team matches. In free for all matches, the aura colors can be decided by the player out of a standard 256 color pallet. While alternate models exist, this is the main way to separate fighters.
  • Urban Champion involves two almost identical boys beating each other up, differing only in clothing and hair colors.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • BioShock 2's multiplayer depicts friendly hacked machines with blue lights, and enemy ones with red. Unhacked ones are white. One wonders why they didn't just keep up the red-yellow-green scheme of the single player.
  • Doom: The first game's multiplayer has each player a different color. One of the colors is brown, and this mixed with the oldschool graphics and brown colored enemies can cause problems.
  • Heretic: Multiplayer mode makes the players red, yellow, green, and blue.
  • Halo:
  • Halo's predecessor, Marathon, also had human players all look the same, but player sprites were split in two (primarily in order to avert Informed Equipment) so that the color of one's shirt and pants could be set separately, to denote both the individual player and the player's team.
  • The multiplayer for Metroid Prime 2: Echoes involves multicolored Samuses (Samii?) fighting each other.
  • Monday Night Combat uses orange and blue for its two teams.
  • In Pirates Vikings and Knights, the Pirates are colored red, the Vikings green, and the Knights blue.
  • Project Blackout has a red team and a blue team (although the "red" team is sort of a misnomer—they actually wear camo).
  • Quake (or at least QuakeWorld) also let players recolor the top and bottom halves of their models based on personal preference or team affiliation, and sometimes mods used this as well. The original QuakeWorld Team Fortress used pants color to assign people to the RED and BLU teams.
  • Team Fortress 2. Lampshaded in that their companies are abbreviated to RED and BLU.
    • It's lampshaded even further since the founders of said companies are named Redmond and Blutarch, respectively.
      • And after the Mann Vs. Machine update, RED and BLU have a common enemy called Gray Mann (whose "team", ironically, isn't this—they're robotic doubles of the actual characters, as the "Vs. Machine" part of the update title implies).

    Hack and Slash 
  • Gauntlet
    • In the arcade version of the original Gauntlet, multiple players could not be part of the same class - they were either, chosen by each player at the start of the game in the 2-player version or assigned by control panel in the 4-player version. This was changed in Gauntlet II, which allowed multiple players to be the same class if they wanted to, distinguishing each player by color-coding their characters. Incidentally, the color-coding in Gauntlet II matches how the four classes were colored and arranged in the 4-player version of the first game which goes red, blue, yellow and green in that exact order.
    • Gauntlet Legends at first appears to have standard Color Coded Multiplayer, but upon closer inspection, all of the art and in-game models for each color of each character class are radically different, with each color even having something of a theme (e.g. all of the blue characters resemble Western European knights and nobility, the yellow are inspired by Ancient Egypt with a bit of Ottoman Empire, reds are the "generic fantasy barbarian" culture, and greens have a Celtic/Gaelic flair). Each color variation also sports differing costume styles. The reds mostly had fur and were more barbarian-looking; the blues were often more regal and medieval-like; the greens were forest-themed with leather sashes and vests, and the yellows had an Egyptian/desert-themed flair to them.

    Maze Game 
  • In Pac-Man Arrangement (1996), the second player controls a green Pac-Man, while player 1 plays as the classic yellow Pac-Man. Both otherwise play identically.
  • In Trog, the four players (in the four-player version) control Rex the Red Dino, Bloop the Blue Dino, Spike the Yellow Dino and Gwen the Pink Dino; their respective buttons and joysticks are thus color-coded on the dedicated cabinet.

  • In Guild Wars, the two teams in PvP are red and blue. The factions in Factions have red and blue flags to support this. It also tends to refer to objectives in PvP maps by color.
  • Runescape differentiates teams in Castle Wars and similar activities with different colors of capes or hats.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party: Star Rush: The main player characters in Toad Scramble are different colored Toads, with each Toad's color corresponding to their player number: red for Player 1, blue for Player 2, green for Player 3, and yellow for Player 4.

    Platform Games 
  • Shadow of the Ninja assigns the first player the purple-clad ninja Hayate and the second player the orange-clad kunoichi Kaede. Their sprites are different, but their movesets are identical.
  • In Ninja Crusaders, the first player controls Talon a red ninja, while the second player controls the blue-clad Blade.
  • Claws of Furry: Each of the four Cat Ninja Player Characters have their own coloured ninja outfit. Blue, green, black, and purple.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 had eight customizable colors for six body parts, allowing an almost infinite variety of color-schemes.
  • The two teams in Killer Queen are identical sprites with blue or gold color schemes. The non-arcade version, Killer Queen Black, adds a black team (a team that wins against a black team, becomes a black team).
  • In the Kirby franchise, Player 2 is traditionally yellow (only in Kirby's Dream Course was the yellow Kirby named "Keeby.") Allegedly, this is because Kirby's creator, Masahiro Sakurai, and Shigeru Miyamoto disagreed as to what color Kirby should be: Sakurai wanted pink, Miyamoto wanted yellow. Sakurai won out, but yellow Kirby was kept as Kirby's secondary color as a Mythology Gag.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land lets players be Kirbies of different colors, but they can also choose between King Dedede, Meta Knight, or Waddle Dee, who don't have Kirby's trademark Power Copying, but they do have their own weapons.
    • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror used this trope before it, though it first showed up in Kirby's Dream Course. Also done in the multiplayer portion of Nightmare in Dream Land.
    • Similarly, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse features multi-colored Bandana Waddle Dees, players three and four being green and yellow, respectively. note 
    • Kirby Star Allies does this for friends (outside of Dream Friends, who always use their natural color scheme unless there are multiple of the same Dream Friend or theyre summoned in The Ultimate Choice or Heroes in Another Dimension modes); player 2 is yellow, player 3 is blue, and player 4 is green.
  • In Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, the first player controls Michael Jackson in a white suit, the second controls Michael in a red suit, and the third player (available in the Arcade Game only) controls Michael in a black suit.
  • The NES version of Rush'n Attack has a 2-Players mode in which Player 1 is in blue and Player 2 is in red, even though both characters are supposed to be Green Berets. The power-up carrying enemy soldiers also happen to be a yellow palette swap of the player as well.
    • In M.I.A., the arcade-only Spiritual Successor to Rush'n Attack, Player 1 is green and Player 2 is blue.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • The original Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario World did this with Mario and Luigi. They are identical sprites, but Mario is red and Luigi is green. The exception was Super Mario Bros. 2, the single-player game that put Luigi on Divergent Character Evolution.
    • Then Super Mario All-Stars gave Mario and Luigi different sprites in all of the remakes. In the version of All-Stars that included Super Mario World, Luigi got a new sprite in that game as well. Some of his actions had to be animated differently in order to keep his hit box intact (for example, he slides on his knees).
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, two Toads are color coded yellow and blue, but players can select between them or Luigi (Player 1 is always stuck with Mario, however).
    • The "Classic" Mario Bros. minigame included in the GBA version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (and with the GBA versions of Super Mario World, Yoshi's Island, and Super Mario Bros. 3, and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga) plays this straight by making all the other player characters (including Luigi) into palette swaps of Mario. The Player 3 and Player 4 characters wore yellow and blue respectively, with white overalls.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Two-player mode in the Amiga version of Lemmings: one player controls the blue lemmings, the other player the green lemmings, and each player's goal is to ensure that as many as possible (regardless of colour) enter that player's exit, also colour-coded.
  • Helter Skelter: The first player controls a red ball, and the second player controls a blue one.
  • Part Time UFO s Switch version introduced 2 Player Co-op. Player 1s UFO is the original in yellow, while Player 2s UFO is red. Even their costumes have differing aesthetics depending on the player.
    Rail Shooter 
  • This is a common trope for rail shooters.
    • CarnEvil: Player 1 and their life bar is green, Player 2 and their life bar is purple.
    • In Namco rail shooters like Point Blank and Time Crisis, player one shoots red while player two shoots blue.
    • Sega rail shooters that is not the House of the Dead has player one shoot blue and player two shoot pink. This is lampshaded in the rules for SEGA Golden Gun, point 1:
      "Sight mark is shown in the aiming direction. Player 1 is blue and Player 2 is pink."
    • In The Walking Dead (Arcade), player 1's crossbow shoots arrows with a green fletching while player 2's arrows have a blue fletching.
    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Age of Empires gives you two options for this: Either each team can have a different color or all your enemies can use a single color different from yours.
  • Battle Zone 1998: The Strategy and MPI game modes default to Team 1 having red units and Team 2 having blue units. Free-for-all strategy has Yellow and Green. In deathmatch, each player is given a random color at the start of the round — every player fears the neon pink Attila.
  • Pikmin:
    • Pikmin 2: The battle mode sets one player as Olimar (who has a slight red scheme) and gives him an army entirely made of Red Pikmin, with the other player as Louie (who has a slight blue scheme) with Blue Pikmin.
    • Pikmin 3: In multiplayer, although each player can access all colors of Pikmin available in a given scenario, the Pikmin's leaves are recolored cyan or magenta and used to denote each player.
  • Starcraft has this too. There are eight colors available, and you can be any of those colors (race does not matter). Color coding also happens for single player.
  • Warcraft:
    • Warcraft II attributes a separate faction (though the game isn't advanced to support every faction's individuality like naval units or mages) to each color: red orcs are Blackrock, blue humans are Stormwind, purple humans are Dalaran, purple orcs are Twilight's Hammer, etc.
    • Warcraft III has twelve colors (and black, usually reserved for neutral units but units can be made to appear one color), but the colors can be swapped out in-game to blue for your units, teal for allies, and red for enemies regardless of ownership.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Dokapon Kingdom: Players who share the same class look identical, other than color and gender. You can go to the barbershop and get a new hairstyle, but it is sometimes lost upon death.

    Rhythm Games 
  • The Just Dance series of games, Usually in Duet and Dance Crew songs, but the majority have visually distinctive dancers.
  • In Pump It Up's Co-Op charts, arrow colors indicate which player steps on what rather than the conventional "each row of panels has its own color". 1P is red, 2P is blue, 3P is yellow, and 4P balls. The one track in the game with a 5-player chart simply has 4P be blue (like 2P) and 5P (like 1P) be red, due to the fact that nobody really deviates from their portion of the stage.
  • Reflec Beat's two sides are distinctly labeled "red side" and "blue side", although "red" in this case looks more like pink.
  • Multiplayer in Um Jammer Lammy has Player 1 as Lammy and Player 2 as Rammy, a gray-scale Palette Swap of Lammy (though she is her own character).

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • In Aegis Wing, the four ships are distinguished only by color.
  • Atari's Combat for the Atari 2600 has different-colored tanks, biplanes, and jet fighters for each player. Likewise also Mattel's Armor Battle for the Intellivision.
  • Contra, as shown in the lead image. Particularly in the NES version, since the hardware wasn't capable of displaying detailed sprites like the arcade version, so Bill and Lance are distinguished by the colors of their pants. It's much more subtly handled in the original arcade game, as Bill's and Lance's are completely unique, but they still wear color-coded bandannas (blue for Bill and red for Lance).
  • Salamander, a spinoff of the original Gradius, has one player piloting a blue ship and the other player a red ship. These ships were later identified as the Vic Viper from the original Gradius and the newly-introduced Lord British (or Road British, as it was called in the localization of the NES port) and they actually have different sprite designs in the arcade version. The Lord British would later appear as a selectable ship in Gradius Gaiden for the PlayStation.
    • The MSX version of Salamander replaces the Vic Viper and Lord British with the Sabel Tiger and the Thrasher.
    • Gradius V would be the first game in the mainline series to have 2P co-op. However, the second player's ship is a red-colored Vic Viper (the Model T-301 to be precise) rather than a Lord British.
  • In Ikari Warriors, both players are shirtless men with black hair and pants. Player 1 (Ralf Jones, or Paul as he was called in the NES localization) wears a red headband reminiscent of John Rambo while Player 2 (Clark Still, a.k.a. Vince) wears a blue headband.
  • In Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, each player has an aura that is red, blue, yellow or green depending on the player.
  • In Gokujou Parodius, all the Player 2 characters are all differently-named palette swaps of the Player 1 characters using the same weapon sets. However, Sexy Parodius gave the Player 2 characters slightly different weapon sets.
  • Pixelvader: Player 1 and their bullets are green, Player 2 and their bullets are blue.
  • The Raiden series features a red Raiden and a blue Raiden. Raiden Fighters, on the other hand, make the red Raiden (Raiden mk-II) and blue Raiden (Raiden mk-II Beta) play differently.
  • Touhou Project fighting games Immaterial and Missing Power and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody have an alternate palette for each character. Touhou Hisoutensoku amps it up by having eight palettes per character.
  • In the Twinbee series, the players' ships are Twinbee (blue), Winbee (pink), and Gwinbee (green).
  • The cooperative 2-player mode of Twin Cobra gives the first player a red helicopter and the second player a blue helicopter. These were Palette Swaps of each other, but they received Divergent Character Evolution in Twin Cobra II.

    Sports Games 
  • In Konami's Escape Kids, the players are coded not only by color, but also by nationality. Player 1 (blue) is Syd Jones from the United States, Player 2 (yellow) is Dio Vitale from Italy, Player 3 (green) is Jya Aziz from India, and Player 4 (red) is Ken Kosugi from Japan.
  • Punch-Out!!: The multiplayer for the Wii game has Mac fighting a clone of himself in different clothes. Doc Louis even lampshades this.
  • In Speedball, the Player 1 team wears green, and the computer or Player 2 team wears red. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe changed the Player 1 color to blue, and added colored indicators and health bars to make the difference more obvious.
  • In Wii Sports, Player 1 is colored blue, Player 2 is red, Player 3 green, and Player 4 yellow.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • The Link Arena mode in the Game Boy Advance Fire Emblem games assigns blue units to the first player slot, green units to the second slot, red units to the third slot, and purple units to the fourth slot.
  • The Advance Wars series has its Color-Coded Armies. Multiplayer modes decide the colors from which slot each person is using.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • In MindJack, players on your team are blue 'wanderers', players on the enemy team are red. When in control of an NPC, the respective colour outlines the NPC.
  • S4 League is a little weird with this. Players on your team will have their equipment rendered with their natural colors which can be blue, yellow, green, or purple. Players on the opposing team will have their equipment Palette Swapped to be red. In Battle Royale, a free-for-all mode with no teams, all other players will be wearing red. As a result of this POV-based color-coding system, equipment that is naturally red does not exist.
  • The Splatoon games color-code the two teams in contrasting colors like blue and orange, though the colors tend to change between matches unless you're in Colorblind Mode. This is a key gameplay element, as players spray ink across the arena as both a means of offense and a means of control; players can swim through ink of their own color for faster traversal, and rapidly wash off hostile ink and replenish their own tanks, on top of making the players Friendly Fireproof; meanwhile opposing colors impair movement greatly and can damage the player, but outside of shots cannot splat outright.
  • While Transformers: War for Cybertron didn't use this, having players choose separate models and colors for the Autobot and Decepticon versions of their classes, the sequel Fall of Cybertron does use this; one creates just one model for a class and differentiates the Autobot and Decepticon versions of it by picking from different pools of palette options. Also, the game automatically swaps voices and Tron Lines colors based on faction, with there being an option to use player-relative colors (blue = allies, red = enemies, regardless of faction) or absolute colors (red = Autobots, purple = Decepticons, regardless of which team the player is on).

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Terraria's Team Dye allows players to optionally invoke this, changing the color of dyed items to that of the player's chosen team.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • BearZerkers: Each player has their own colour to indicate who is who.
  • Fight The Horror: The players all wear coloured headbands to indicate which team they're on.
  • In Glider Pro, the second paper airplane is folded from a yellow sheet instead of a white one. However, these use completely different sprites, because all the game's graphical resources have to share the same 256-color palette.
  • Grand Piano Keys: Player 1 has blue notes and player 2 has green notes.
  • In the Versus Mode of Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, the second player controls another Solid Snake clad in a red sneaking suit instead of the blue one wore in the story mode.
  • In Overcooked!, your chef's uniform color changes depending on your player number. They are, in order, blue, red, green, and yellow.
  • Unfortunate Spacemen: Every player is assigned a random colour at the start of each match. That is how each player is identified.
  • Vindicators made the first player blue and the second player red, right down to the control panel on the original arcade cabinet.

Non-video game examples

    Anime and Manga 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Disney Princess edition of the board game Pretty Pretty Princess, all the player pieces are Aurora in her bejeweled dress, with one being pink, another blue, another purple, and the fourth gold.
  • The pieces in just about any board game by Milton Bradley or Parker Brothers will have players coded Red, Blue, Green, Yellow:
  • In Chess, the leading player is the white side, while the other player is the black side.
  • The color coding in Go is inverted from that of chess: The leading player is the black side instead.
  • Euro Games commonly use color-coded pieces for worker placement and scoring.


    Web Original 
  • Red vs. Blue started out as merely a parody of this trope. Later, the Reds and Blues discovered that the two armies who were pitted against each other were just simulations for Freelancer Agents to train. Which finally, after most of eight seasons, actually made the Reds' and Blues' really mad.

    Real Life 
  • Older Than Feudalism: Ancient Roman chariot races had four teams, using almost exactly the same colors as today: Red, Blue, Green, and White. From the normal seats, color was the only way to tell who was who. Unlike modern sports teams, which have actual names instead of just team colors, the color was all that identified the factions.
    • This distinction carried over to Byzantine chariot races. The supporters of Blue and Green—the biggest teams—eventually got mixed up in political, religious, and social disputes, and their demes (fan clubs, basically) became, in effect, street gangs-cum-political parties. Tying fully into this trope, each deme wore the colors of its team (Blue supporters wore blue and Green supporters wore green). This led to the Nika riots of 532, when the Blues and Greens teamed up in protest of the emperor's actions to keep their roiling culture in check.
  • In Real Life sports, if two teams have primary jerseys with the same colors one will be forced to use their secondary kit, usually the visiting team. In most North American sports, including all instances at the professional level, one team will wear white-based uniforms while the other will use its colored uniform; whether it's the home team or road team that wears whites varies by sport (it's ultimately up to the home team to decide ahead of time, as they may choose to go against what is traditionally worn for their sport for various reasons):
    • In basketball, the home team wears white while the road team wears a dark color. The most famous exception to this rule is the Los Angeles Lakers, who traditionally wear gold at home, except for Sunday games when they wear white.
    • In baseball, the home team wears white while the road team wears gray, which can get even more complicated because baseball teams also wear colored jerseys. The tradition dates back to the early days of the profession when players were responsible for keeping their own uniforms clean and presentable — it was easier to hide some scuff marks and stains with a darker-colored jersey, and being on the road in unfamiliar cities meant less opportunity to have them laundered. However, even when wearing colored jerseys, one constant remains: The home team wears white pants while the road team wears gray pants.
    • In college and minor league hockey, the home team wears white while the road team wears their colored jersey, which is the inverse of what the NHL does.
    • Variants in casual sports include single color\multicolor (if the other team doesn't have a uniform - though it's asked for everyone who is wearing the same color as the adversary to get another shirt), and shirtless\shirt on.
    • In The World Cup, not even the home team has priority: in the 1966 final, in spite of England being the hosts, they chose to let Germany keep their primary whites and play in red (and won the game!). There have also been cases of last-minute replacements: in 1978, both France and Hungary came to the stadium with their white jerseys, forcing a delay until the officials got a different set for the French (eventually, the striped jerseys of local team Club Atlético Kimberley).
  • Boxing, professional wrestling and other ring sports typically have competitors in the Red Corner and the Blue Corner.
    • For martial arts, the competitors wear different colors: Olympic (Greco-Roman) wrestling has red or blue singlets, Judo has white or blue dōgi, and Taekwondo has red or blue helmets/pads over white dobok.
  • While not related to uniforms, several game shows have seated their contestants behind red, yellow, and blue podiums. A notable example is Wheel of Fortune. Some have red and blue podiums, like Card Sharks, for example. Tattletales had the studio audience divided into blue, yellow (later nicknamed "banana") and red rooting sections with the respective celebrity couple monitor box matching it.
    • The Japanese quiz show Panel Quiz Attack 25 takes this one step further and refers to the four players by their colors—Aka (red), Midori (green), Shiro (white), or Ao (blue)—rather than their names, when buzzing in.

Alternative Title(s): Colour Coded Multiplayer