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Co-Op Multiplayer

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There are several distinct types of Multiplayer modes in Video Games. This trope is a Sister Trope of Competitive Multiplayer, Meta Multiplayer and Massively Multiplayer.

See also Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode, where multiplayer modes are featured in games that are really designed for single-player, and Sliding Scale of Cooperation vs. Competition, on how competitive and cooperative elements can be mixed in the same game.


All players are on the same team, playing against the Video Game A.I.; this only counts if it's the "main game" and not a seperate multiplayer with the teams set to be players vs. CPU. The characters played by additional players are almost always Canon Foreigners, rarely making it past Road Cones. Comes in several flavors:


All characters have an equal amount of influence over the game itself, including camera control if it's a shared screen. Occasionally allows players to attack each other in some way, either for added difficulty or possible competition/hilarity between players, and may keep track of scores as well.


    open/close all folders 

  • Bounty of One is a Vampire Survivors-like game that allows up to four players to play at once to fight the incoming bounty hunter hordes.
  • Lost Reavers is a four-player online multiplayer game that has teammates work together to gather Relics and bring them back to complete the mission.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker allows certain sneaking missions to be played with another player and boss battles to be played by four players.
  • Resident Evil 5 and 6 both feature the option to play through the story mode with an A.I.-controlled partner or another player (through split-screen or online matchmaking).
  • Battlezone (2016) allows up to three additional players to join a player's current campaign at any time.
  • Overcooked! was designed to be played in co-op. In single player, you switch between multiple chefs on fly, but in multiplayer, each person controls their own chef, and they must work together.
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors and its sequel Ghoul Patrol let Zeke and Julie walk around independantly, although they're stopped by the edge of the screen and have to contend for the limited available supplies.
  • Similarly to Overcooked! above, The Stretchers was designed for co-op multiplayer despite also allowing for single player gameplay. Each of the two player characters must work together to rescue Dizzies who have been incapacitated and perform the occasional odd job on the side.

    Action Adventure 

    Action RPGs 

    Beat Em Ups 

    Eastern RPGs 
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City has Superbosses that can be fought single-player, but can also be fought with up to four other players. Each player contributes one member of their guild to the party, and controls only that member. Like in single-player, each boss fight has variations where one to three NPCs accompany the party, but in multiplayer in particular these variations exist so that if there are less than five players, there won't be empty party slots.
  • Haven (2020) provides the option for two players to each control one of the protagonists, and the game's mechanics account for this — cooking and crafting, for instance, require the duo to contribute one ingredient each, and the real-time turn-based combat system relies on their ability to coordinate their attacks and shield/capsule usage for maximum effectiveness.
  • Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! has drop-in/drop-out local co-op: a second player can join at any time to help catch wild Pokémon and tag-team opponents in trainer battles.

    Fighting Games 

    First-Person Shooters 

    Flight Simulators 

  • The main missions in each entry of the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series are single-player only, but Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike includes nearly all of Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader's missions in a split-screen co-op mode, as well as the series' only competitive multiplayer mode.

    Maze Games 

  • Wizard of Wor, which in the arcade version also forced single players to contend with a computer-controlled ally's friendly fire.

    Party Games 
  • Mario Party 9: Bowser Jr.'s minigames all involve him forcing two players to team up in order to defeat him. The participants will either gain or lose five Mini-Stars depending on whether they win.
  • Super Mario Party:
    • The River Survival mode features four players working together to row a raft down a river within a time limit. Along the way, they can play minigames for chances to earn more time, all of which place the four players on a single team.
    • Partner Party is a board game mode where the players are divided into two teams of two. Players must work together with their partner to defeat the other team.
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: While the other modes are all competitions, All For One requires the players to work together to help one chosen player clear as many microgames as possible by moving a light around the screen to help them see the screen, which is covered in darkness.

    Platform Games 

    Puzzle Game 

  • The Castles of Doctor Creep: All the castles can be played with either one or two players, and are generally easier when played with two. A few castles, such as Parthenia, are specifically built to be run with two players (though a single player can still play them). If the two players go to separate rooms of the castle (a common occurrence), gameplay alternates between each player until the two players enter the same room at the same time.
  • Helter Skelter: Ten of the screens require the help of a second player to complete, and are accordingly skipped in single-player mode.
  • Tetris Party, Tetris: The Absolute - The Grand Master 2 PLUS, and Tengen's unlicensed NES version of Tetris have a mode in which two players co-operate in dropping pieces onto the same field. Tetris Kiwamemichi has a mode like this, but for four players.
  • Magic Twins is a fast color-matching game designed for 2 players controlling Abra and Cadabra, two twin witches that must cooperate to stop the Colormageddon. The game also features a single player mode in which the player needs to switch between both witches. An AI controls the other, to make things more manageable, although it won beat the level for you.
  • Picross S allows two players to work on the same puzzle together.
  • Portal 2 has a co-op mode where you play as two robots who work together to solve puzzles with their own portal guns.

    Racing Game 

  • Mario Kart: Double Dash!!: One player drives while the other handles items. This would be an example of the "Assistant" type, except that players can swap roles at will, allowing access to both characters' special items.

    Real-Time Strategy 

  • Battlezone II's MPI mode (Players versus AI) has one player take on the role of the Commander, who builds units and buildings. Other players on his/her team can be given units to order around personally, and they generally do most of the fighting against the AI team, leaving the commander and his Player Mooks to defend the base.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3
  • Pikmin 3 Deluxe has local split-screen co-op available during the Story Mode, with each player controlling one of the three captains. Can overlap with tag-along, as if the captains are close enough together, Player One has the option to force Player Two to remain as part of their group and stay nearby, which also returns the game view to a single screen experience.
  • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void has a set of cooperative missions for two-player teams, with each player playing as one of special commanders exclusive to this mode with unique sets of units and abilities.

    Rhythm Games 

  • BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!
  • GITADORA allows players on version-matched and linked GuitarFreaks and drummania cabinets to play the same songs together. Two versions even allow additionally linking up with Keyboardmania, but doing so heavily limits the songlist.
  • Guitar Hero
  • MÚSECA allows up to four players to play the same Mission together and try to unlock the Grafica as a group effort.
  • Pump It Up features Co-op charts where each player is assigned a color and has to step on arrows of their color. While the game can't distinguish between each player's pair of feet, it's generally unwise to try to deviate from your color of steps lest inter-personal coordination gets worse than it already is. Most Co-op charts require two players, but some call for three or four players and one requires five.
  • Rock Band
  • The Switch version of Super Beat Sports has 2-player co-op for its scored sports. Each player needs to hit the ball when its their turn in Net Ball, hit the balls of their color in Whacky Bat, and feed the aliens of their color in Gobble Golf.
  • Rhythm Heaven:
    • Fever has a few games made for co-op, where cues are given to both players and their scores are combined at the end.
    • Megamix has a co-op mode where all players play the same game in sync. Each player can see the hits and aces scored by other players. At the end, all of the scores are combined to determine if the team as a whole succeeded.

    Shoot Em Ups 

  • Most 1942 games
  • Aero Fighters
  • Crimzon Clover does not have it in the original version, which is to be expected of doujin shmups, but its arcade remake does. The PC port of the arcade remake, Crimzon Clover WORLD IGNITION, keeps it.
  • Dariusburst Another Chronicle allows four players. The game uses two 16:9 screens laid side by side, so that there is a lot of breathing room for players. All players share the same lives poolnote , and gain access to some exclusive features not found in a single-player game: ships with Fixed Bursts can combine their Bursts together into an amplified-strength beam, and when one players picks up a powerup item, the item will briefly have an aura that will grant the effect to other players who touch the aura. Additionally, some missions in Chronicle Mode require multiple players to start.
  • Heavy Weapon on the XBox 360 or PS3
  • Hyper Dyne Side Arms
  • Radiant Silvergun
  • Raiden
  • R-Type Leo. All other games in the series that have 2-player use segregated alternating turns.
  • Smash TV
  • Thwaite expands on the play style introduced in Missile Command by giving each of two players his own cursor and missile silo. Both players share the same score, since scoring is based on the number of houses still intact and ammo remaining rather than shooting down enemy objects.
  • TwinBee
  • Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa

    Western RPGs 



One character is the designated "leader," and has more influence over the game itself, particularly the focus of the camera. The other characters are optional and often expendable and may be controlled by the computer.

  • In Dead Rising 2, the host player's progress through the story is used. The guest player starts with none of the items they have in their 1-player game, and when they leave they drop everything they're carrying. All the guest player keeps from co-op is any money and PP earned.
  • DeathSpank
  • Demon's Souls
  • Donkey Kong Country Returns plays this mostly straight, though Player 2 can continue the game by himself whenever Player 1 dies (as shown in this video).
  • Endless Ocean and its sequel
  • Halo 3 and Halo 5: Guardians
  • Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil: A second player can control Popka, who can provide a massive bonus jump with a cooldown and, well, not much else.
  • In Madden NFL one player is responsible for calling plays. There is another variation with three players to a side, in which one player controls the quarterback and calls the plays, one player controls a running back, and the third controls a wide receiver.
  • Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dream Land 3
  • Mercenaries 2
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and onward
  • The 360 version of Spelunky is a mix of this and Individual. note 
  • The Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Tales Series
  • World of Mana series
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas featured co-op missions and freeroaming in this form, though the PC version requires a Game Mod to enable it.
  • Driver: San Francisco, Wii edition only. P1 drives, P2 shoots.
  • Street Fighter X Tekken. You can manually switch characters, Launchers automatically switch the current character out, and there are two super move types that incorporate co-op gameplay- Cross Arts, where both players use a powerful move to deal huge amounts of damage, and Cross Assaults, where both players can fight together simultaneously. In single-player mode, the player controls both characters and their switching, while the AI fights with them during a Cross Assault.
  • Urban Reign: in the game's Challenge Mode Co-Op works more like the games under the Individual header, while a cheat code will allow the second player to control the helper character in the Story & Free Mission modes. Under this circumstance the camera still only follows the 1st player, and it's Game Over if they lose while the second character can be knocked out without consequence.
  • The co-op mode in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon basically takes the single-player levels starring Col. Bishop (the main Player Character) and lets three players play as him and two unnamed members of his squadron, who are little more than Attack Drones in single-player. The host of the game always plays as Bishop and basically directs the gameplay. Weirdly, one of Bishop's three wingmen, Guts, remains computer-controlled even in co-op.
  • Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator. It can be debated whether Helm (moves the ship) or Captain (no actual ship controls, but coordinates the other players) is the "main" player, but e.g. Engineering's only effect is to make other stations' tools stronger or weaker (preferably boosting the ones that are currently or about to be needed), and Comms can seem like The Load.
  • The Binding of Isaac lets another player join the game as a co-op baby at the cost of one heart container from the player. They're fairly basic and work like a controllable familiar, which can fire tears and fly, but there are some special co-op babies with unique effects. Repentance increases the player cap to 4 and adds a true co-op multiplayer mode to the game.


Secondary characters help with some other indirect force as a part of the user interface. In combat flight games, this is known as "pilot and gunner".

  • Jet Force Gemini lets a second player take control of Floyd, a small helicopter robot who hovers over the player character's shoulder after he's put back together. All the second player can do as Floyd is shoot enemies with what is basically an infinite-ammo pistol, except for specific areas where Floyd has to go it alone, where either player can control him.
  • Sin and Punishment: Star Successor allows a second person to control another gun. The second player doesn't have any charge shots or melee attacks, and doesn't take damage. This does, however, mean that the death of Player 1 is a Game Over for both players.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker lets a second player connect a Game Boy Advance to the game in order to help the main player by dropping bombs on his local field of view and letting him buy some items, as long as Link collects a certain object early on in the game. This feature was removed in the Wii U Video Game Remake.
  • The canceled MechWarrior 3050 was planned to feature possibly the strangest example, allowing a second player to take on half of the controls used in single-player mode to act as a �weapons officer.�
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy allows a second player to collect and fire enemy-stunning Star Bits alongside the main player, as well as freeze most enemies in place and give Mario extra jumping power if the two players are well-coordinated. This turns the game into a Rail Shooter for Player 2, with the "rails" being Mario's movement as dictated by Player 1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 expands on this by adding an orange Luma that can further assist Mario by grabbing items and defeating some enemies alone, on top of the actions available in the first game.
    • Super Mario Odyssey lets player 2 take control of Cappy, the ally who's possessed Mario's hat. While Mario can still throw Cappy in the same way as in single-player, Cappy can also fly freely in a large radius around Mario, adding versatility and greatly simplifying many actions. In particular, Cappy is normally unavailable while Capturing an enemy, but player 2 can still control him to collect items, attack, and jump straight from one Capture to the next. Each player can use one of the Joy-Cons, meaning an additional controller purchase is not required.
  • F-15 Strike Eagle is a Jet Fighter game for the NES that practically NEEDED an assistant on the higher difficulties. On 'easy', the jet would practically fly itself (auto-speed, auto-level, auto-landing), you had 1 type of multi-purpose missile, and 1 type of counter-measure. On the hardest difficulty there were 3 types of missiles, 2 types of counter-measures, and you had to handle all normal flight controls (speed/leveling/etc...). Needless to say, with only 4 buttons there were LOTS of multi-button controls to switch which missile was loaded, or which C-M to launch, or how to adjust speed. The second player's controller did nothing BUT these secondary tasks.
  • Driver: San Francisco allows an additional player with a Nintendo DS to take some police attention away from the other player(s), place roadblocks, search the map for power-ups, and place a movable marker on the map.
  • Star Wars Arcade has player 1 play as the pilot of an X-Wing; their cursor is fixed in the center of the screen and they must move around in order to aim. Player 2 can play alongside player 1 as the gunner, and can freely move their cursor around the screen.
  • An arcade game, Lucky & Wild, features player one having to simultaneously drive a car and shoot enemies. Player two can join in but only as an extra gun.
  • Affordable Space Adventures allows multiple players to split up the tasks involved in piloting the Small Craft; The game pad player always has control of the Inventory Management Puzzle that is access to toggling the ship's individual systems, while a second player can take charge of actually flying the Small Craft in-game and a third player still can take control of the ship's searchlight/scanner.
  • Cho'Gall in Heroes of the Storm is the first and only co-op character in a MOBA game. One player controls Cho, who controls the actual unit's movements and has his own set of close-range abilities, and another controls Gall, who has a set of highly damaging long-range spells. The two of them have some abilities that require some coordination to use effectively.
  • Pikmin 4 has its co-op mode consist of the second player in the role of "Pebble Pitcher". As the name implies, this comes in simply throwing items onto the field, mainly pebbles that can stun enemies or help destroy obstacles, but also any items that Player 1 has in their inventory such as Scrummy Bones and Pikpik Carrots.

Progress in Turns

Essentially a single-player game where the game forces multiple players to take turns, a little like a Succession Game. Player 1 plays until he dies, then Player 2 plays until he dies, then back to Player 1, etc. Both players work toward a common goal and share progress. Individual players' scores may be tracked for competition.


  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Sega Pinball's Batman Forever has a "league" option, where up to six players form teams of two, then play for a combined score against the others.
  • Columns's Sega Genesis port has a co-op mode similar to the doubles modes seen in Tetris, but players take turns dropping pieces instead of playing at the same time.

Tabletop Games

While most tabletop games center around player competition, there are also games where all players are on the same team, opposed only by the Random Number God and Murphy's Law. Cooperative board games are distinct from games with team-based competition, ones where you're expected to form dynamic alliances, and ones without any winning condition at all (like narrative games). One common addition to cooperative board games is the "traitor"—a player secretly working to subvert others' efforts—but unmasking the traitor is neither necessary, nor sufficient to win the game, so there is no real competitive element there, either.

  • In any Tabletop RPG where the words "Player Party" are used, the Game Master completes the antagonistic triumvirate with the RNG and Murphy's Law.
  • Arkham Horror. The players are Occult Detectives trying to prevent the awakening of a Cthulhu Mythos monstrosity. Spinoffs include:
  • Battlestar Galactica, based on the eponymous series. Features a Cylon (sleeper) agent as the traitor.
  • Burgle Bros. is a cooperative Stealth-Based Game where the players are members of an elite crew trying to pull off a heist without getting caught. Together, they must explore the building (represented by a grid of initially face-down tiles for each floor), avoid the alarms, sneak past the guards, find and crack all the safes, and get to the roof to escape.
  • The Captain Is Dead is a cooperative Adventure Board Game where the players assume the role of the crew of your favorite Science Fiction TV show, and work together to survive an attack from hostile aliens.
  • Chronicles Of Crime is a cooperative crime-investigation game with a companion app.
  • The Crew - Quest For Planet 9 is a co-operative trick-taking card game.
  • Exit – The Game is a series of cooperative escape room style board games.
  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue. The players are firefighters trying to rescue as many people from a burning building as possible before it collapses.
  • Gamewright's Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert are cooperative games where players must work together to escape destruction (a sinking island or a deadly sandstorm, respectively).
  • The Grizzled is a cooperative game about WWI soldiers surviving in the trenches.
  • In the card game Hanabi, players work together to build sets of fireworks by relying on the information other players give them about the cards in their hands.
  • In Horrified, the players work together to rid the town of the classic horror monsters plaguing it.
  • Just One is a cooperative party game based on giving clues to help one teammate discover a mystery word, without giving the same clue as another teammate because duplicate clues are eliminated.
  • Legendary. The players are superheroes working together to try to stop the evil mastermind from successfully doing whatever it is he's trying to do (usually represented by Scheme twist cards). While players also compete for points to become MVP, nobody wins if the villans scheme is successful (though if it's a draw for some reason, there is still an MVP). Also in playable villain flavor.
  • Legends of Andor. The players are a band of heroes defending the eponymous realm from monsters across multiple invasion scenarios.
  • In Mysterium, the players are a group of psychics working together to decipher their visions, identifying the murderer of someone who died 35 years ago.
  • In None Shall Pass!, the players are a group of guards with different abilities working together to keep monsters at bay.
  • Pandemic. The players are scientists and emergency workers trying (usually, in vain) to stem four infectious disease outbreaks happening simultaneously across the world.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse pits three to five superheroes (each represented by a unique deck of cards) against one of several powerful villains, each represented by their own unique deck.
  • Shadows over Camelot. The players are Knights of the Round Table defending Camelot from a number of enemies and going on quests, while the (optional) traitor works to undermine their efforts.
  • In Trogdor!! The Board Game, players take turns moving Trogdor the Burninator around the board, helping him in his quest to destroy the kingdom of Peasantry.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cooperative Multiplayer


Umbrella Corps

Umbrella Corps is a multiplayer-based tactical shooter game developed and published by Capcom for Microsoft Windows via Steam and for the Playstation 4 worldwide on June 21, 2016, although Japan got the game on June 23, 2016, as part of the franchise's 20th Anniversary. The game is currently available to buy via PSN and Steam except for Asia, which has a physical release available. It was officially unveiled by Capcom during the 2015 Tokyo Game Show event behind closed doors.

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