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Kirby and the Forgotten Land: How to play co-op

Kirby is one of the most friendly characters in video games. After all, who wouldn’t want to be friends with a little round pink ball of joy who is constantly smiling? Through his various adventures in previous games, Kirby has had all kinds of allies join him in various ways, including pets he can ride and other controllable characters. Sometimes they are unique characters, like the burly King Dee Dee Dee, while other times they are just different colored versions of Kirby. Now in his biggest adventure to date with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which plunges the game into 3D for the first time, many people were wondering if co-op would even be possible in this new style of game.

Nintendo didn’t let us wonder for long. It was advertised early that Kirby and the Forgotten Land would indeed allow for a second player to pick up a Joy-con and join in on the fun as a Bandana Waddle Dee to back up Kirby in his quest. However, how exactly you could start playing in co-op, as well as how much of the game would be available to play with a second person, was left a mystery until the game’s release. If you’re ready to team up to rescue all those caged Waddle Dees with a buddy, here’s how to play co-op, and what you can do in co-op, in Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

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How to enable co-op

Kirby and Waddle Dee fight enemies in Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

Right off the bat, when you boot up Kirby and the Forgotten Land you won’t find any options to start playing in co-op. Fret not, because the game only requires that you beat the game’s opening tutorial mission before letting a friend join in on the fun. Beat that first level, grab the Star, and you will get a notification that you can play with two players.

Once you’ve done that simple first step, you can start playing co-op any time you like. While in a stage or Waddle Dee Town, press the + button to open your menu. The second option, below Continue, is Play Co-op. This will prompt each player to press the L and R buttons on their controller to select who is player 1 and who is player 2. Player 1 will obviously be Kirby, and the second player controls Bandana Waddle Dee.

Keep in mind that Kirby and the Forgotten Land only lets you play co-op locally. You can’t join, or have a friend join you, from their own console via online play.

After that, you’re free to start playing as a team!

What you can do in co-op

Kirby fishes with a waddle dee in Kirby and the Forgotten Lands.

There are a lot of stages, challenges, bosses, mini-games, and more in Kirby and the Forgotten Land. So many that you might be curious about what is locked off to you when playing with a friend in co-op. The great news is that almost nothing is locked off from playing in co-op. You can take on any stage, fight any boss, and play most mini-games too. Stages and bosses need to be started while playing co-op, and mini-games that support two players will give you the option to do so when starting them in Waddle Dee Town.

Bandana Waddle Dee isn’t Kirby, though, so that player will have different options compared to player 1. While Kirby has tons of copy abilities and Mouthful mode, Waddle Dees don’t even appear to have mouths, so player 2 will have a completely different set of skills. He has multiple jumps just like Kirby, can do a tackle into a spear attack, thrust his spear that can combo into an AoE attack, charge up his spear to leap into the air and throw a barrage of spears down, target specific enemies by aiming his spear, and will interact with Kirby in cool ways when they use Mouthful Mode.

While playing stages or bosses together, keep in mind that Kirby is still the star of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. The camera will follow Kirby, and if Bandana Waddle Dee gets off-screen, they will be carried back into view inside a safe little bubble. Additionally, if Kirby runs out of HP, both players are sent back to the last checkpoint you reached. If Waddle Dee gets knocked out, Kirby can continue on and eventually bring them back into the action. The two can share food, which restores HP, by using it near each other. The pair will high five and both gain health back.

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