Co-Optimus - Editorial - Hacking Co-Op: How to Play Co-Op When You Can't Play Co-Op

Squad 51 vs. the Flying Saucers

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

Hacking Co-Op: How to Play Co-Op When You Can't Play Co-Op - Page 2

Two Hands, One Controller

Staff member Jason Love contributed this idea for sharing a controller in Dr. Mario:

“A few years back we were over at a friend's parents' house and 7 of us all wanted to play a game together. He had brought his Wii with him so we hooked it up and looked through the games list. I'm not quite sure how it came up, but Dr. Mario piqued everyone's interest. One problem: it's just 1 v 1. That's when the idea hit me: why not co-op the controller? One person would control the movement of the pill on one half of the controller, while the other person controlled the rotation of the pill. The result? Marriages that are still together, (fortunately) and a lot of laughs.”

Dr. Mario is a great title for controller-sharing, but give it a shot with other games and I think you’ll have a good time. Imagine two people playing a racing game with one controller.

Hacking Co-Op: How to Play Co-Op When You Can't Play Co-Op

It's possible

Sometimes Watching Can Be a Co-Op Experience

Story driven games like Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy that rely heavily on player choice can be just as exciting for the viewer as it is for the player. In games like these, there aren’t parts of the gameplay that are unengaging. There are no 20-minute duck and cover shootouts with no dialog, there’s not farming materials or grinding kills, it’s all involved and crucial to the plot. The game becomes an interactive movie that you can watch with other people, and to increase activity you can have other people tell you what paths to take.

A Little White Lie

Kids are smart, but sometimes they’re not ready to pilot a game. If you do happen to have a second controller lying around, turn it off and hand it to your son, daughter, niece, nephew, sister, brother – you get the picture. Tell them they are helping you win, - controlling your friend or someone else on the screen. Not only will they have some fun, but also it will be a great bonding experience. Be careful, eventually they’ll reach an age and see beyond your tricks, and then you’ll have some explaining to do.


Yes, we’re sure you’d probably prefer traditional co-op, but when the occasion calls for it, it might be worth thinking outside the box to play together. Have you ever hacked a game to make it a co-op experience? Share your stories in the comments!