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Socialization Bonus

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"But this is not a true ending! Come here with your friends!"
Bubble Bobble, if you get the bad ending. Spoiler 

An aspect of a video game in which one can get additional content or powerups by interacting with other people who own the game. And then there are the games that can only be played in Multi-Player.

It's supremely awesome if one actually has access to friends who own the game; a Fan Convention is a great place to do this. Modern consoles and handhelds are able to go online, so many games with these features also include anonymous internet matchmaking.

It's supremely annoying if no access is possible due to location, you're replaying an older game that isn't in sync with whatever is popular these days, or you simply don't have any friends, or at least any who are just as interested in the game as you are. In this case, you might have to buy multiple copies and play with family, give them as gifts, word-of-mouth advertise to get your friends to buy the game, or just play entirely on your own on both copies. (This can make some Socialization Bonuses seem more like Revenue-Enhancing Devices.)

The reason this can be a problem is because most of these games with such bonuses come from Japan, where the population density is much higher and people often walk around in public with their handhelds out. In other countries, this just isn't the case at all, leading bonuses like these to often end up on the wrong end of Americans Hate Tingle.

Compare One Game for the Price of Two and Player Data Sharing, where some games require this for 100% Completion. Supertrope to Viral Unlockable. Contrast Multiplayer Difficulty Spike, in which playing with other players makes the game more difficult, and Misbegotten Multiplayer Mode, where the multiplayer experience is worse than single-player. For bonuses gained from socializing with fictional characters, see Level-Up at Intimacy 5.


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    Video Game Examples 
  • Pokémon is the quintessential example in video games, for if you have the desire to catch 'em all, you must interact with other players by trading Mons with them. This is because not only is each major release actually a pair of games where a handful of Pokémon species are exclusive to one or the other, but every generation continues to add more and more Pokémon that only evolve when traded with another player. There are also occasions in each game where the player has to choose from one of a selection of Pokémon to add to their party: most commonly, one of three starters at the game's beginning and a choice of fossils to revive. Since the player can only pick one, the others must be obtained by trading with someone who picked the other option. As a bonus, Pokémon obtained in trades gain experience faster than Pokémon caught in your own game, in addition to other minor perks that have been added over the years. How much all this player-to-player interaction actually requires one to physically go outside and interact with other people has decreased over time once the series introduced and began refining its online services (to the grateful cries of fans who live in rural areas), but you'll still need the help of at least one friend or kind stranger if you want to complete the Pokédex. Or you could just buy both copies and trade with yourself.
    • These days, Mystery Gift is used to receive Pokémon and items from special events by inputting a code or going to certain locations, but when it was first introduced in Gold and Silver, it rewarded players with random items (usually decorations) whenever they linked their games together.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and their upper version and remakes have the Spiritomb event, where you must talk to 32 other players in the Underground to trigger said Pokémon's appearance so you can capture it. In the original releases, NPCs don't countnote , but the remakes alleviates this problem by counting NPCs, though you still have to run around the entire Underground for distinct NPCs.
    • Also from Diamond and Pearl, there is a daily lottery where the game draws a number and compares it to the trainer ID of all Pokémon you have, with more matching numbers rewarding better prizes. Thus, having multiple trainer IDs increases your chance of winning better prizes, and the best way to get different IDs is by trading.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 have the "key system", which allows players to unlock special features in other players' games, including the different difficulty levels and the ability to swap out certain areas of the game world. Notably, the extra difficulty levels (one easier than normal, one harder) can ordinarily only be unlocked if you have beaten the game; the only way to play through the main story on the other difficulties is to have someone who's already beaten the game unlock it for you.
    • The point of Pokémon GO was to encourage socialization and urban exploration to begin with, but for the first year of the game you could roam your area on your own and still catch 'em all. Then came Raid Battles, which are boss battles spawning at Gyms featuring Legendaries or more powerful versions of regular Pokémon, with the opportunity to catch the raid boss if it's defeated. Lower tier raids can be beaten by a single trainer, but higher tiers require multiple trainers to work together. In addition, friends get a damage bonus if they're fighting together in the same raid, and they get more Premier Balls to attempt to catch the raid boss.
      • Later, Pokémon trading was introduced, but you can only trade with a friend within 100 metres of you (so you can't trade with strangers on another continent for regional exclusives), with a very high stardust cost (up to 1 million) to trade if you're trading Legendaries, Shinies, or a Pokémon the other person doesn't have in their Pokédex. The cost is reduced the longer you've been friends with the person you're trading with, up to a 92% discount on the base cost if you've been friends for 90 days. Trading also became the only way to receive Lucky Pokémon, which only half as much stardust to power up.
  • Bubble Bobble, in the original game. In order to get a good ending, you have to beat the Final Boss with two players. Of course, you can subvert this if you give player 2 a continue before you land the final blow. This is also possible in the NES/Virtual Console version by having player 1 pause the game and press Select to give an extra life to whoever's missing (since Select and Start only worked on P1's controller at the time).
  • Many of the Pins in The World Ends with You only "evolve" into other Pins if the points gained are from connecting with someone else with either a DS Wi-Fi active, or another TWEWY game, also searching for other players. In theory, one can hope for random "alien" encounters for socialization points, but this would take days in real time to evolve a single Pin this way, days spent not actually playing the game. While the game was still new, it was very easy to get Mingle points in Japan due to the higher population density, but in other countries, even in major cities, finding other players without coordinating some sort of meetup is nearly impossible; the only sure-fire way to get 10 passes was to attend comic conventions; nowadays since the game is over five years old, it's unlikely you'll find players to Mingle with now.
    • In fairness, these points are weighted; in absolute numeric value they do nothing extra to level up the pin, but pins evolve based on what type of point comprises the majority of experience on the pin, and the socialization points counted for nine times as much as battle points.
    • There are also several Gatito pins that only work if you have a complete set consisting of several pins. There are only two ways to complete the set: one is through incredibly low-percentage drops on Ultimate difficulty from Optional Boss fights, and the other is to buy them from stores... which only sell one pin per set per DS. To buy the others, you have to play the game on other DS units.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Game Boy Advance rerelease of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past had two pieces of added content that you could only legitimately unlock by playing the included multiplayer mode, Four Swords. The Bonus Dungeon required you to have completed both ALttP and FS, while the Riddle Quest required you to get 10 Medals of Courage, each being the award for collecting the most Rupees in a single run through an area. Hope you have a friend, that your friend also has the game, and you both have a Game Boy Advance Link Cable!
    • Hilariously, two aspects of A Link to the Past cannot be accessed without first completing Four Swords. The first being the quizlike series of Fed-ex quests to receive an upgraded spin attack, and the second being the Palace of the Four Swords. Well, at least said palace was accessible and completable by exploiting a glitch that was present in the original SNES ALttP, but don't tell Nintendo that.
    • In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise, Nintendo made the Four Swords game for DSiWare to be played with one person if there are no other players to play with. Playing in single player has a 2nd Link tag along who doesn't do anything but follow you and help you set up for executions requiring the actions of multiple players at once and both Links can be swapped should you need to split them up. However, there are several bonus levels that qualify as a Brutal Bonus Level because of the huge amount of enemies that are thrown your way and some are also Elite Mooks, thus you need friends to help you stay alive.
    • Similarly, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a multiplayer co-op game by nature. While there is a single player mode, doing the work of three people by yourself can be tedious and in some levels, outright impossible. You need people to play with to make each run smoother.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games each have two flavors of this bonus: Firstly, a pair of players of either game can link their systems up to trade magic rings, in a manner that ought to be familiar to anyone who's played Pokémon. Secondly, a collection of cryptic passwords, along with vague hints for their intended recipients, are sometimes spoken by NPCs in each game. Writing down the password and telling it to the respective NPC in the other game will unlock a bonus for that game, and occasionally a very powerful one at that. This system is even utilized at the end of each game, too; typing in the password from after the end credits of one game into a new save file of the other will allow one to play a "linked game", which ties together their storylines and even enables a Golden Ending for both of them. The password system was cleverly designed such that, while a single player with both games will be able to fully experience it, it could also be effectively used for a pair of friends who each have a different version.
    • Hyrule Warriors: In the Wii U and 3DS versions only, connecting to the Nintendo Network in Adventure Mode will make Network Links appear on the map. Helping them will offer generous rewards such as lots of Rupees, EXP, Rare Weapons, and Gold Materials. There is even a Medal for it if you help 10 of them. The 3DS version also includes StreetPass Links, which work similarly.
  • Many powerful chips in the Mega Man Battle Network series are only possible via this method. While the Wii U Virtual Console releases don't include the multiplayer, Capcom was nice enough to give these chips to the player for free in those releases.
  • In Final Fantasy III DS, sending a sufficient number of mail messages to other owners of that game via the Nintendo DS e-mailer unlocks the Lethal Joke Character class and extra dungeon.
  • Forza has some cars (unicorns in earlier games, now called hard-to-find cars) that can't be bought or obtained by playing through the game, and can only be obtained either by wheelspins or special events. If you want a certain car right now, the other options you have are A) waiting until the next opportunity to unlock that car, or B) that someone decides to sell that car through the Auction House... if you can afford it.
    • A straight example in Horizon 5's gift drop mechanic, that lets people gift cars to a random player. Series 2 (in other words, Christmas) plays with this mechanic to encourage everyone to gift cars to each other: once the game's community gifts a certain amount of cars, everyone will get a Santa suit and a Peel P50.
  • This is what makes Rock Band fun, as the main meat of the game (the Band World Tour) is only accessible in multiplayer. The more players, the better.
    • Though if you are a decent singer (or settle for the lower rewards of lower difficulties), you can play any instrument while singing yourself. It's hard, but also epic awesome.
    • Rock Band 2 reduces the impact of this trope in some ways (offering single-player career-like "challenges"), but improves it in other ways (said challenges are easier with a band to help correct your screwups).
  • Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks has elements of this, in that some of the secrets are only accessible in co-op mode. None of them are ultimately that essential, though, and generally just consist of artwork.
  • Some Team Fortress 2 achievements (particularly the Medic achievements required for the Infinity Plus One Bonesaw, before the requirements got lowered) require the use of Steam's not-entirely-intuitive Friends list.
    • Then there's the achievement for playing a game with seven people on your Steam Friends list. Too bad if you don't have seven Steam Friends you can get together, or even seven friends.
    • Similarly, many of the Medic achievements needed another player to do something totally counter-intuitive (like a heavy punching people while Ubered), that they effectively required a cooperative partner to help you boost them.
  • While not required, all Creatures games allowed players to save their Creatures as discrete files and give them to friends (or put them in stasis for six generations, or clone umpteen times), and Docking Station introduced the ability to send them over the internet within the game. Additionally, Creatures 2 was somewhat backward-compatible, allowing creatures from the first game to be converted for the second.
  • zOMG! places a heavy emphasis on socialization. The game is designed in such a way that if you don't find some people to crew with, you're not going to progress very far. In fact, the path to the Final Boss for the launch chapter requires synchronization between at least 3 players to open. In addition, your character gets bonuses by interacting with other players, called G'hi bonuses. You can fill your G'hi up by visiting Barton Town or joining a 6 person crew. But if your G'hi runs out, all of your bonuses will be gone until you can get more G'hi.
  • Most MMORPGs, if not all, require players to work with others to complete the most challenging dungeons. World of Warcraft and most MMORPGs with a crafting system make socialization necessary to access most crafted equipment by limiting the number of crafting skills a single character can take.
  • In the earlier days of Final Fantasy XI, if you wanted nearly anything done, you needed a party. A major reason people left FFXI was simply because there were times where you could do nothing but wait for a group. Missions? Party. EXP (that didn't take forever)? Party. Quests? Party. Get unsellable gear from a Superboss? Party. The things you could do on your own were very limited, and most of them only possible at the cap of level 75. Nowadays, there's a lot more solo content, but most things still require more than one person to do.
    • It is apparently also still a problem if you chose to become an undesirable class. Are you a Red Mage? People will practically pay you to join their group. A Puppeteer? You might as well give SE another dollar so you can start over.
  • Final Fantasy XIV was made to counter all the socialization problems Final Fantasy XI created; by creating the majority of the content to be done solo and balancing classes, players could progress faster and no one would be rejected in party formations for not having the "right" class. That being said, some of the end game content requires you to find other people to complete the content and certain seasonal events also required another player to help you.
    • The game also has several perks and benefits you can reap if you become a part of a free company; buffs that last for 24 hours, a chest to store items, gardens to grow plants and obtain certain items, a chocobo stable to raise your chocobo's rank and color, and lastly, if your free company has a house, you get the ability to gather highly valued items through the free company workshop expeditions. While you can play the game just fine without joining a free company, it's usually beneficial for a player to be in one.
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee has Mewtwo, who is unlocked by playing Vs. mode for 20 hours. However, each vs. match counts for every human player involved, meaning that having more players unlocks Mewtwo faster.
    • However, the 20 hour requirement can easily be bypassed by having the game being played in a timed match with the clock set to infinite. Leave the game running until the 20 hours have passed.
      • Or combine it with the above, plug in 4 controllers, leave it on for 5 hours.
      • And the fast mode in Special Melee also counts vs time twice as quickly. Combined with all of the above, the system only has to be left on 2.5 hours.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl also has content that's either easier with extra players or only possible with such. Like the whole separate set of events you can only play in co-op mode. There are also levels and modes which are much easier (and arguably only possible for many people) in co-op, like the lengthier Multi Man Brawl modes (15 Minute Brawl is a good example of something that's much more doable in a team) or much of the Subspace Emissary on harder difficulty levels.
  • In Temtem, Azuroc evolves into Zenoreth when traded with another player. Also, the mythical Temtem can only be obtained by completing lairs in a group of 2 to 5 players.
  • Clan dungeons in Kingdom of Loathing. Hobopolis, the Slimetube, and Dreadsylvania require you to be in a Clan in order to play in them, and while it is possible to get the best rewards in Slimetube by yourself, you'll want a team of 6 people in order to find the best items in Hobopolis, and some parts of Dreadsylvania (such as the items needed to unlock the hardmode versions of the bosses) require co-operation between clan mates.
    • And the mall, as well as trading in general. Honestly, despite the label of an MMORPG, Kingdom Of Loathing is a single player game with a few socialization bonuses.
    • At one point the best foods in the game were hi meins, which could only be crafted using elemental powders (generated exclusively by Muscle classes) at the Wok of Ages (accessible only to Mysticality classes). If you weren't currently a Chef-Mage, you'd have to obtain them from someone who was. The Wok of Ages and hi meins have both since been removed from the game.
  • In Boktai, the Azure Tower contain the strongest of each type of Gun Frame, but you can only get ones that you have the proper seal for, with there being seven total (for each of the elements in the game). With one cartridge you're only given the Dark seal in the New Game Plus, the Sol seal after growing the Solar Tree (which takes a couple of hours in direct sunlight), and one random one (out of four) when you enter the tower for the first time. The rest you need to get by linking to someone else. What's worse, only the random one is transferable through this method - even if the other person has all seven, you'll only get one - and if it's the same type, well...
  • Played straight and averted in LittleBigPlanet. "Acing" a level (clearing it without dying once) is virtually impossible in multiplayer, so certain rewards are essentially locked to solo play. Meanwhile, many segments have multiplayer areas whose rewards require multiple people to solve a puzzle. Up until the Wilderness, this is usually two players - after that, many of them require a team of four. (Thankfully, that always-handy "Play Online" button and good luck with headsets makes this much easier here than in some examples...)
  • Some of the sidequests and Multiple Endings in Resident Evil: Outbreak would only work on Multiplayer because of triggered events. Too bad, because there's no multiplayer for those games any more.
  • You could play the original Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles by yourself, with a Moogle carrying the myrrh bucket for you, but it was far more satisfying to play alongside friends so you could argue over who had to carry the bucket through the level. However, doing this required as many Game Boy Advances and GameCube-GBA link cables as there were players.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has Mission Mode, which lets you replay completed missions from Story Mode in order to gain Mission Crowns, which can be redeemed for bonuses from the Moogle. While the mode is designed to be played with friends, it can be played solo (The English versions are more clear on this) though the enemy stats are boosted regardless, making it Nintendo Hard. Still, you do get EXP even if you fail, so you can keep trying until you're strong enough to win. Playing Mission Mode is the only way to obtain the maximum number of inventory slots available, and it is the only feasible way to reach Lv. 100, as the gaps between levels are so wide at the end of the game that playing without level multipliers (some of which are only available in Mission Mode) would qualify as a Low-Level Run.
  • The Camraderie stat in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
  • RuneScape has (at last count) two quests in which you must team up with other players. The first of these quests assigns you to a gang, so you have to find someone else who is in the opposite gang. You only really need the other player for a few minutes though.
    • Slight Subversion here as the quest required you to trade items, with one player only able to obtain one part of the pair. The subversion is that at one point, both of these items were sellable to the General Store, so a very lucky player could get the spare part without even talking to anyone else. Later events rectified this by having the items unsellable and only being able to trade for an equivalent item.
  • Left 4 Dead's AI bots don't have the necessary perception to leave a partner untreated when temporary health is a better option, they can't use any kind of grenades, and they frequently interrupt your shooting by giving you pills or adrenaline at the most inopportune times, and in the second game, they don't collect special ammo or use melee weapons either. They aren't completely incompetent, being able to shoot very accurately and very rarely getting lost, but they're vastly inferior even to somewhat inexperienced human players. Some custom maps aren't even designed to be bot friendly, meaning you need to have a friend or two to have a shot at completing them.
  • In both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, if all but one player die, they can be resurrected by the one still standing. Makes beating some levels MUCH easier, and maybe even necessary, and the feature was so appreciated it carried over to later games in both series.
  • With the SpotPass and StreetPass features of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo has integrated this trope into a system itself rather than a game.
    • StreetPass Mii Plaza is a whole series of minigames driven by StreetPassing with other players to make progress, such as recruiting them into your army or receiving helpful items from them.
    • Mario Kart 7 uses the StreetPass feature to unlock the Gold Glider part. The more people you connect with the feature, the fewer coins you need to unlock the part. Don't live in a place where lots of people own a copy of the game and use the StreetPass feature? Have fun grinding for 10,000 coins to get that Gold Gilder.
    • Animal Crossing: New Leaf has the Happy Home Academy Showcase, where StreetPassing other New Leaf players allows you to access a model of their home, where you can buy their furniture (albeit at a pretty large markup). While some items (DLC, seasonal items, fortune cookie rewards, etc.) can't be bought from the HHA Showcase, if you StreetPass someone who has rare furniture, you can buy it from them much more quickly/more easily than you can obtain it normally. Assuming you have the Bells to pay for it.
    • Mario Party: Island Tour has StreetPass Minigames where, as the name implies, you play minigames against other players of the game by StreetPassing them. It must be done 50 times for 100% completion. Additonally, playing the minigame Soundalike Star/Utter Nonsense and playing the board Shy Guy's Shuffle City, both of which require playing with another 3DS user (the latter even requiring a third user), are also required for 100% completion.
  • Many Xbox 360 games from the first two years had achievements that required local co-op (before Xbox Live play became basically universal), notably Guitar Hero II, in which 1/5th of the game's achievements were based on local co-op.
  • Guitar Hero III had the same co-op of Guitar Hero II (second player plays bass/rhythm guitar). That, alone, isn't bad at all. What makes it bad is that it introduces co-op career mode that must be played with two players, and said mode includes six songs that aren't unlocked in the course of single-player mode or the unlock shop (though, mercifully, a cheat code is available that unlocks everything).
  • Pac-Man vs., originally bundled with Pac-Man World 2, is only playable in multiplayer and requires one GBA and the special cable.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption includes a feature wherein you can use "credit" icons obtained in the game to buy extra stuff. The green credits, however, can't be obtained on your own... you have to have someone on your Wii's friend list send you "Friend Vouchers" that they got on their game (the vouchers are totally useless on your own game.) Players also have to make sure their friend has the same version of the game, otherwise the feature won't work. The entire concept has collapsed due to Nintendo shutting down their Nintendo WFC service, meaning that any unlockables related to the friend vouchers are now lost permanently.
  • The PSP remake of Final Fantasy Tactics requires you to link up with another player to do the multiplayer battles that give out some of the uber equipment that could only be gotten via theft in the US version (not the Japanese version) of original.
  • Trauma Center: New Blood can be completed entirely in singleplayer, but having a competent partner in co-op makes some operations much easier: not only do you have a second pair of hands, but you can use both Healing Touches in the same operation.
  • Test Drive Unlimited 2, you level up your social level by challenging players, participating in chases or co-driving and many other things. Playing Poker and Roulette with other players in the casino levels up a seperate social level on Casino Island.
  • In Marvel: Avengers Alliance, the most reliable way to acquire most resources is to get them from other people who play the game.
  • Animal Crossing starts each town with only one out of five kinds of fruit on the trees; the easiest way to get other kinds of fruit is to visit another player's town. You can also only find certain items in a furniture set at a store in another player's town. Furthermore, the first two AC games required someone from another town to buy or sell something in your town's Nookway store in order to get Nookington's. Thankfully, AC: City Folk did away with this, probably because of the game-imposed limitation of one town per console (unlike the first AC) and the practical limitation of one console per family.
  • Two less-well-known games for the GBA, Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy and Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage (otherwise known as Spyro Fusion and Crash Fusion), require you to trade or play multiplayer games with a player with the other cartridge if you want all the cards.
  • The options available for the Last-Second Ending Choice in Mass Effect 3 depend on your Effective Military Strength score, which is calculated by multiplying the total of your War Assets (collected in single-player) by your Readiness Rating. Said rating is set to 50% by default and can only be increased by completing multiplayer missions or playing tie-in games for other consoles. Before the Extended Cut came out, this effectively meant that unless you played the multiplayer, you could never unlock the best (that is, least destructive) endings. With the Extended Cut installed, however, the EMS requirements for the best endings are lowered, allowing a player to unlock them entirely through single-player (though playing multiplayer makes it much easier to do so).
  • While you can complete any class storyline in Star Wars: The Old Republic on your own, with just the AI companions, you get "Social Points" for beating quests (and particularly picking matching dialogue responses) with other players, which, in turn, unlocks unique equipment. Not to mention that playing in a party increases the likelihood of rare loot.
  • It is possible to complete Journey (2012) on your own but the entire game is obviously designed to be played with an anonymous Companion over the net. Sticking together also makes some stages easier, since you can endlessly replenish each other's energy--but not your own.
  • Achievements that require another player to help you usually become That One Achievement when the game's popularity dies down or the game servers are shut off.
  • Many Facebook games are downright impossible to play alone, because the game refuses to give you items which are required for certain quests. Instead, you must beg for them from your friends, which requires either alienating your real-life friends with endless "Send me 20 Bear Asses!" requests or making "friends" with perfect strangers who happen to already play the game (and hope that they do not quit playing or run amok on your wall).
  • Sin and Punishment: Star Successor with a second player is significantly easier. Player 2 only shows up as a cursor rather than a second character, which means they're in no danger of taking harm (though this does mean Player 1's defeat means a game over for both players). The game averts Multiplayer Difficulty Spike, so it's perfectly possible for Player 2 to take breaks and still complete the game or for Player 1 to complete 2P mode without the second controller being touched at all (though that's missing the whole point of the mode).
  • Ingress requires players to collaborate if they want to do anything meaningful.
    • A Portal can only be powered to Level 5 at most by one player, as players have limits on how many resonators of each level they can put on one portal; at Level 8, a player can finally put down level 8 Resonators but can only put down one per portal, so eight Level 8 players are needed to bring a portal up to level 8.
    • A Portal can only accept two mods from each player. To fill all four mod slots, at least two players are required.
    • Links and Control Fields can be done by a single player, given the proper keys. But it's much easier and faster if multiple players work to assemble the links and fields, as the drop rate for a key drops dramatically if the player already has one or more of that key, and as fields and links get longer, more players are needed to reduce the travel time and distance for each player.
  • One Way Heroics features online functionality, allowing you to "see" the progress of other players in the same seeded world, warn others of dangers in that world should you succumb to a particularly nasty fight, share random seeds to get other players into interesting worlds you discover, check leaderboards to compete for skill and bragging rights, and even share your exploits and advice on Twitter! Meeting Ghosts of players who fell in these worlds will also give your extra experience and some helpful items.
  • Spelunky HD rewards you with an achievement if you complete the game with at least two alive players.
  • Minecraft has an achievement gained by tossing a diamond towards another player. Thankfully, this can be done in single-player mode as well, since tossing a diamond at any mob that can hold items also counts.
  • Monster Hunter quests are easier to do with multiple players, ideally the full four-player party. There is absolutely no penalty for completing that Urgent Quest you need to raise you HR with a full party, and on top of that, monster carves are localized, thereby averting Loot Drama. In fact, since multiplayer quest monsters have their health scaled up compared to their single-player counterparts, not bringing a party for multiplayer quests will turn many monsters into Those Many Bosses.
  • jubeat:
    • You can unlock songs simply by matching against a player who has the songs already unlocked, which is much faster than the songs' primary unlock methods.
    • In past games, some unlocks required a multiplayer session. jubeat copious was fiendish in this regard; one unlock required a full set of four players to full-combo a song, and another unlock required all of them to get a perfect score. This is why jubeat games from jubeat saucer onwards mostly use grinding-based unlocks instead.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and PAYDAY 2 has level grinding which you must do in order to unlock new skills and equipment. Completing heists with friends gives you a "Crew Alive Bonus'', which gives you extra money and experience points for having friends alive at the end of the heist. If you want to ease the pain of level grinding, bring a buddy or two.
  • PlanetSide 2 has support actions (healing, repairing, etc) providing bonus XP when done on players in your squad, and players in squads can respawn at the base closest to the leader and respawn in squad Sunderers, Galaxy transport aircraft, and Valkryies. Squad Leaders get XP rewards for XP earned by their squad/platoon, and can eventually earn a free nice hat through leadership. In PlanetSide 1, the only way to gain Command Rank was to lead squads; rewards included visual customization (shin guards and a radio backpack) and special abilities like the Orbital Strike
  • According to Word of God, this is the reason for the disparity in power levels in melee and magic in Tales of Destiny 2, as the battle system was designed for "co-operative play". Presumably, one person would control a fighter to keep the enemies occupied while another player spammed magic.
  • In an inversion of Multiplayer Difficulty Spike, Sanctum 2 gives each player a fixed amount of resources depending on the level and current wave, irrespective of the number of players actually present. The number of enemies isn't scaled either, and the game is balanced on the assumption that you will always have four players. Playing solo leaves you with a quarter the resources you're supposed to have, making the game incredibly difficult.
  • Miitomo is much better with a bunch of friends, as much of the currency is obtained by listening to friends' answers and commenting on them, and some of the My Nintendo missions require other people to heart and comment on your answers.
  • Final Fantasy Brave Exvius allows a copy of someone else's character to join the player on a quest or exploration. Both parties get bonus points towards summoning more units when this happens. If that someone else is on your friend list, though, the bonus points are doubled for both parties, and the guest unit is allowed to use their Limit Break and Summon Magic while visiting.
  • Resident Evil 6 has several moments where four of the player characters meet up and have to work together take down a huge monster. Since the game is co-op, you could have a group of two players meet another group of two for a temporary four player co-op mission. Since the player count for the game has all but died off, finding other players for the four player scenarios is downright impossible. Luckily, recruiting more players is optional and you can do the events by yourself or with your own friend instead of waiting on a few strangers.
  • Godville has some of its features bound to multiplayer, which is unusual of a game that essentially plays itself and requires little player supervision. Players can command their heroes to spar with another hero on their friend list, which gives a small bonus to Experience Points to the winner, and dungeon runs and boss battles require team play between players to succeed.
  • Granblue Fantasy completely recharges AP and EP (which are spent doing quests and joining raids, respectively) if the player's account is bound to Twitter and they post something about the game there, but only once a day. During raid gameplay, the game also rewards communicating in any way with other players by giving the player a Blue Potion upon doing so, which restores a good portion of their party's health.
  • Fate/Grand Order and Honkai Impact 3rd turns another player's character into Crutch Character for the player.
  • The Challenge Train in Rhythm Heaven Megamix costs 5 coins for each attempt, unless you are playing in multiplayer, in which case it's free. And it's also easier, since only one player has to pass. And the game supports download play, so only one player needs to own the game for others to play.
  • Skate 3 awards extra skateboard sales (the closest thing the game has to a progression system) to players who complete the game's goals in co-op.
  • Arknights:
    • You can borrow other players' support operators for as long as those operators aren't already present in your current squad.
    • Adding other players as Friends allows you (and vice-versa) to visit each other's Base and gift excess Clues for extra Credits.
  • In Digimon World DS, the popular Digimon Veemon was locked behind this. The game required the player to go on Wi-Fi, find someone with the game, and match Digimon to make an egg that may turn into a Veemon. Also, several Digivolutions were visible, but had the pre-requisite of previously owning said evlution. As such, even after hatching the egg you'd still have to be traded that Digimon or complete long quests in order to unlock it.
    • Digimon World Dawn And Dusk were slightly better - while they increased the number of digimon that were exclusive to eggs (which could still only be made by matching with people), and many of them required specific parents verging on Gudie Dang It, the matching system itself was made much easier and many players could get said eggs fairly easily if they knew the requirements.
  • Nibblers: Inviting Facebook friends has Bouncer arrive more often and add Nibblers to the start of a boss battle.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • A great many websites lock certain privileges until you contribute in some way, such as post a certain amount of times, 'like' a post to download a file in it, or some other things specific to the site.
    • Konghack gives you points for every kind of action possible with greater contributions giving more points. You can spend them, but gaining points at all is actually required: You lose five points every day, and it your points fall into the negatives, you WILL get banned. This is one website that doesn't enjoy lurkers!
  • Destroy the Godmodder: You get charges maxed out far faster if you can convince the other players to help you, especially if they're frequent posters.
  • The Pokémon examples put a strain on family relations in this story from Not Always Right: father and son are both near to completing the Pokédex, but instead of asking to trade or using his dad's existing save file, the son erased and overwrote his father's game to trade himself a Chimchar and Psyduck from a new game. Dad is understandably angry when he figures it out.

Alternative Title(s): Socialisation Bonus