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How to play multiplayer in Saints Row

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

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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 are one thing, but things like settings and how progress will work when jumping between co-op and single-player can seriously impact a person's desire to try this mode at all. Rather than experiment on your own, we've done all the legwork to fill you in on how to play multiplayer in Saints Row.

The main character of Saints Row glides in a wingsuit.

How to play online co-op

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

Step 1: Select Co-op 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.

Hosting a game lets you pick any current saved games you have from playing alone and loads you into it with the ability for friends or players to use matchmaking to join your session in progress. By default, your session will be open to anyone to join, regardless of you sending them an invite, but you do have to accept a request for whoever tries to join.

Step 3: Joining a friend is exactly what it sounds like. This lets you join any of your friends 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 rather than loading you into a game you've already started, this brings you into a new save file where you need to select the difficulty and either start up the game or wait for a friend to join so you can do the whole thing together.

Step 5: Matchmaking is the final option and will connect you with the first open game being hosted. Once someone accepts your request, you'll be paired up. In this mode, you can bring in your character from any save file you have.

The Saints outside of a convenience store.

How to change co-op settings

There aren't a ton of options available to you to tweak, but you can customize some that are worth knowing about, especially if you're open to anyone joining your game in progress.

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

Step 2: Select Co-op Settings.

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

Does my progress carry over?

Yes! Any mission you complete in co-op that you haven't beaten in your solo campaign will count when you go back to playing by yourself. You aren't locked out of playing missions you've already completed in your single-player campaign in co-op.

The Boss shooting at police in Saints Row.

Can you play local co-op?

No, Saints Row only lets you play co-op via an online connection. There's no split-screen option whatsoever.

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