Cooperative Multiplayer

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This is a proposed entry.
This entry is currently being proposed as a permanent part of the ontology. It should be considered a draft and not really part of the "official" ontology.

In a cooperative game there are two or more players whose interests are “neither completely opposed nor completely coincident” (Nash, 2002). In cooperative games, opportunities exist for players to work together to achieve a win-win condition. A cooperative game does not always guarantee that cooperating players will benefit equally or even benefit at all. This is different from a Collaborative Multiplayer game where player interests are completely coincident.


Strong Examples


The video game Gauntlet allows players to play the game in a cooperative multiplayer mode where both players are on screen fighting enemies but they do not harm each other nor directly help each other. The only help one player can give to another is to kill the monsters that might damage the player so they are in a sense moving through the level together but stay separate in contact. Players can pick up food and items, but they are not shared in any way.

Weak Example

Dance Dance Revolution Series

In the two player option of the DDR series, both players "dance" to a song together, but neither player benefits from the other player's efficiency (or inefficiency) with the song. Even if one player cannot do the correct dance steps to a song and fails, it does not technically affect the other player's gameplay. In situations such as these, a player can pull a failed player through to the end of a song by not failing themselves; therefore achieving a win-win condition. Due to the lack of interaction between the players, this is considered a weak example.

Super Smash Bros

In both Super Smash Bros and Super Smash Bros Melee, it is possible to set up team battles where a team of characters sharing similar color pallettes battle against a team of opponents sharing a different color scheme. Similar colored characters are unable to harm each other. This is a weak example because the Super Smash Bros series is centered around player vs player conflicts. Furthermore it is possible to turn off immunity to team attacks, making it more difficult for teams to work together effectively.




Nash, J. (2002). Two-person cooperative games. In H.W. Kuhn& S. Nasar (Eds.), The essential John Nash (pp. 99-114). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.