Co-Op Multiplayer

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There are several distinct types of Multiplayer modes in Video Games:

All players are on the same team, playing against the computer; this only counts if it's the “main game” and not 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.
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.
Secondary characters help with some other indirect force as a part of the user interface.
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.

Sister Trope of Competitive Multiplayer, Meta Multiplayer and Massively Multiplayer.

Examples of Co-Op Multiplayer include:


Beat Em Ups

First-Person Shooters

Maze Game

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

Platform Games

Real Time Strategy

Rhythm Games

Shoot Em Ups

  • Most 1942 games
  • Aero Fighters
  • Radiant Silvergun
  • Raiden
  • R-Type
  • Smash TV
  • Twinbee
  • Thwaite: In a single-player game, the player can fire from either of two missile silos with the two buttons on a controller or mouse. In 2-player, each player has his own cursor and can fire from one of the silos.




  • Jet Force Gemini lets a second player take control of Floyd 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.
  • The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker
  • Mechwarrior 3050 features 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 Galaxy
    • The sequel expands on this by adding an orange Luma that can further assist Mario on top of the actions the second player did in the first game.
  • 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.