Play Alongside


Design Problem:

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

Design Solution:

Players can play alongside another player so that they can progress through 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.

Handoff control of the game to another player on PlayStation 4


On PlayStation 4, players with a PlayStation Plus subscription may use the Share Play feature to virtually hand their controller to another player with a PS4 and their own PS Plus subscription. While this feature may be accessed by navigating the PS4 user interface, players may more quickly access Share Play using the Share-button on a PS4 controller to begin the process. Initiating Share Play will begin with the creation of a “Party” that the hosting player can invite another player into. The hosting player can then opt to give control of the game they are currently playing to the visiting player. The visiting player will be able to control the game on their screen while the hosting player will be able to view all of the gameplay on their screen. At any point, the hosting player may retake control of the game from the visiting player by using the “Take Back Controller” option in the “Party” session menu. If this is done, the visiting player may still watch the hosting player’s gameplay for the duration of Share Play.

This feature allows players to permit another player to assist them with a game they are currently playing. In this way, the player hosting the Share Play session may progress through a difficult section or learn new strategies for a game with the assistance of another player.

Each Share Play session lasts for one hour, at which point the visiting player will automatically lose access to the game and controls will be returned to the hosting player. After the expiration of a Share Play session, players may reinitiate as many additional Share Play sessions as they wish.