From the horse’s mouth
An issue I raised in a previous posting regarding computer and video games, especially console games, is that it can be difficult for some people to learn how to play a video game.
One of the situations I was thinking of was where a younger game player was showing an older person who is interested in cricket how to play a cricket video game on his console. He then offered the older person a try at the game but the older person found it difficult to work out what effect the different buttons on the control had on the gameplay.
Here it may be about dealing with which buttons to use on a particular controller to achieve a particular result, especially has today’s game-console controllers have many different controls on them and it may be difficult to work out which button, joystick or trigger does what if you are now to these devices.
As part of Microsoft releasing the XBox Adaptive Controller, they also added to the XBox One and to Windows a “co-pilot” mode. This isn’t just part of running two controllers with two different operation methods together. But it could be to allow an advanced game player to give a helping hand to a novice game player. It is similar to the practice followed by most driving schools where the driving school’s fleet of cars are equipped with dual-controls. This allows the driving instructor to control the clutch and brake in order to override what the learner driver is doing in case of an emergency, thus being a safety net for novice drivers.
Here, you have to have at least two controllers connected to the XBox or Windows computer to have Copilot Mode active. The rule with the Copilot Mode is that the first controller you turn on ends up as the primary controller for setting up this mode. As well, it is a good idea to do the initial setup routine with your typical XBox controller, now seen as the primary controller if you are using something like the XBox Adaptive Controller as your complementary controller.
XBox One games console
- Connect the secondary controller to your XBox for copilot use. The copilot doesn’t need to sign in with their XBox account for this to happen. As well, the primary player is able to record their achievements on the XBox leaderboard.
- Using the primary controller, press the large X button to open the Guide, then select the Profile & System menu. Select Settings, then Ease Of Access, then Controller in that menu.
- Choose Copilot Settings and select the “Turn on Copilot” option to enable this mode.
- You will see the secondary controller listed. Here, select that controller to work in Copilot mode.
- At this point, your XBox controllers are linked as if they are dual controls.
When you are done with Copilot mode, go back to the Copilot settings menu and select “Turn off Copilot”. Both controllers then work as if they are for separate players.
You need to follow this method if you want to maintain access to and control of any advanced features that your secondary controller may have. This may be to support custom button mappings or enable vibration to provide haptic feedback during gameplay.
- Connect the secondary controller to your XBox for copilot use
- Go to the My Games And Apps menu then select XBox Accessories. You may have pinned the XBox Accessories app to your home screen perhaps to have more control over game-controller customisations.
- Using the XBox Accessories app, assign the secondary controller to your current login
- Go to the top menu on your XBox Accessories app, then select the three-dot option on your primary controller.
- In this menu, you select the Turn on Copilot option to enable this function on your controller.
- At this point, your XBox controllers are linked as if they are dual controls. You also maintain customisations for each of the controllers like vibration feedback or custom button mappings.
- When you are done with Copilot mode, go back to the Copilot settings menu in the three-dot option for your primary controller. Then click “Turn off Copilot” to return the controllers to normal dual-player operation.
Windows 10 computers
- Here, you need to download and install the XBox Accessories App from the Microsoft Store. This will provide increased control over any XBox controllers you have connected to your computer.
- Connect both controllers to your Windows 10 computer as mentioned in the prior article. This can be done via USB or wirelessly and you may find that the latest controllers will support Bluetooth connectivity.
- Run the XBox Accessories App whereupon you will see both controllers represented on the screen.
- Click the three-dot option under your primary controller. Then click the Turn on Copilot option in that menu to enable this function. This will only apply to the two controllers.
- When you are done with Copilot mode, run the XBox Accessories App and select the three-dot option under your primary controller. Then select the Turn off Copilot option in that menu to return to normal two-player operation.
If you are helping someone handle that game, it may be better to take a similar approach to how driving instructors help and teach novice drivers even when using dual-control vehicles. That is to allow the novice to do the controlling themselves but take the reins when things become difficult.
As well, it may be about allowing the novice to familiarise themselves with the button layout on the controller and allow them to work the game at their own speed.
If the game does have any online play abilities, you may find that playing the game in a manner where the computer is the only effective opponent may be what you need to do when you are helping a novice game player. This means that you aren’t playing against real people at remote locations who may not be understanding about novice or occasional game players.