Open world games are almost always more fun with friends by your side. Perhaps the best example of this would be the new one Saints Row, in which mayhem, carnage and mass destruction take center stage. While the multiplayer is certainly a fantastic addition and a great way to enjoy the game with a friend, it never hurts to review exactly how this mode works to make sure you have a smooth experience.

Of course, just having a full co-op mode doesn’t answer all the important questions about said mode. Things like how hosting and joining games work is one thing, but things like settings and how progress will work when jumping between co-op and single player can seriously affect a person’s desire to try that mode at all. Instead of experimenting on your own, we’ve done all the work to teach you how to play multiplayer in Saints Row.

How to play online co-op

Online co-op is the only online mode available Saints Row, with no competitive modes available. Starting this mode is very easy, but it can be done in several ways. Here’s how you can do it.

Stage 1: Choose Cooperative campaign from the game’s main menu.

Step 2: Choose whether you want to host, join a friend, host a new game or use matchmaking.

Game hosting allows you to select any current saved games you have to play by yourself and loads you into it with the ability for friends or players to use matchmaking to join your ongoing session. By default, your session will be open to anyone who can join, regardless of whether you sent them an invitation, but you must accept a request for anyone who tries to join.

Step 3: Joining a friend is exactly what it sounds like. This allows you to join any of your friends who are currently hosting a game by selecting them from your friends list. Once they accept your request to join, you’re in.

Step 4: Hosting a new game is very similar to simply hosting a game, but instead of loading you into a game you’ve already started, it takes you to a new save file where you have to choose the difficulty and either start the game or wait for have a friend join so you can do everything together.

Step 5: Matchmaking is the last option and will connect you to the first open game that is hosted. Once someone accepts your request, you’ll be paired. In this mode you can input your character from any save file you have.

Saints in front of a convenience store.

How to change co-op settings

There aren’t many options you can change, but you can customize some that are worth knowing about, especially if you’re open to anyone joining your game in progress.

Stage 1: While in a co-op game, open the pause menu.

Step 2: Choose Cooperative settings.

Step 3: Here you can change your session privacy, determine how much friendly fire there is, turn off co-op pranks, and most importantly, turn off HQ customization. This last setting, if turned on, allows your co-op partner to customize your HQ as freely as possible. Unless you’re playing with a friend, we recommend leaving this off to avoid unwanted changes.

Does my progress carry over?

yes Any mission you complete in a co-op game that you didn’t beat in your solo campaign will count when you return to play alone. You are not locked out of playing missions that you have already completed in your single player campaign in a co-op game.

The boss is shooting at the police in Saints Row.

Can you play local co-op?

No, Saints Row allows you to play co-op only through an online connection. There is no split screen option whatsoever.

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