Play Alongside

APX_icons_color_Play Alongside

Design Problem:

Players cannot manage the challenges presented by the game without assistance from another player.

Design Solution:

Players can play alongside another player so that they can manage at the challenges presented by the game.

Related Patterns:

APX Design Drivers:

The above design problem can occur in the following contexts:

  • Players with physical disabilities may need another player to control some aspects of the game, possibly on a different controller.

  • Players with cognitive disabilities may need another player to help solve problem solving challenges in the game.

  • Players may prefer to play with another person sharing some of the challenges in the game.

Examples of this Pattern in Action.

Play as a sidekick to another player in Mario Odyssey


In Mario Odyssey, another player can join (locally) main playable character, Mario, as a second assistive character called Cappy. When playing in single player, Cappy may be used by the solo player to “capture” or control enemy characters and objects or to perform a “ cap jump” to reach otherwise unreachable areas. When playing with two players, the second player acts as support to the first player by freely floating around with Cappy, who is now invincible, to collect in-game coins and other collectibles, destroy enemies, or control enemies and objects around the first player.

This feature allows a second player to join in on the action while also reducing the gameplay responsibilities of both players involved. With two players, the difficulty of the game is decreased as the first player controlling Mario can focus on traversal and progression, while the second player can help with removing obstacles impeding progression and collecting items that help with the completion of the game without dying.

Co-play with another player through Xbox Co-pilot


Xbox players can share challenges through the built-in Xbox Copilot option.  When this option is turned on two players can control a game using two different controllers.  In this way, players can split the controls needed to control the game between them in situations where one player may not be able to undertake all of the actions needed to play the game, or because the players want a shared experience.

References and Other Citations.