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Co-op is the system by which two players can play Fable II and Fable III together, either offline with a second controller, or online over Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live. Through extensive testing of the system, a lot of the information needed for Fable II and Fable III has been put here for your convenience. Please understand that it is not yet complete and relies on the help of other players to become complete. A good example of this is Live co-op gameplay information not being available.
In Fable II, co-op is initialized the moment a second player logs in. When starting up co-op, a screen is brought up from which the two players can customize their co-op experience. It is here where the players decide on how much percentage of gold is shared between players and how much Experience is shared between the players. If the co-op player chooses not to import their own character, it is at this screen that they can select one of several character types and their weapons. If they choose to instead import their own character, they can select a save file from this screen. If both players agree to what is set, hit A and you the screen will disappear back to where you were when it was initialized, the henchman standing near the host.
Players will quickly come to find that the co-op in Fable II is rather limited. For example, the Hero and their co-op partner can only remain a handful of feet away from each other, making combat and travel somewhat difficult for those not used to it. Further restrictive features visited upon the co-op player is their inability to purchase or gift any objects, forcing the henchman to remain in the chosen appearance and use the chosen weapons. This can be circumvented by using a save file, in which the henchman has access to their Will abilities (to the highest level they unlocked), their attained strength, their speed, and flourishes.
In addition to these basic gameplay restrictions, henchmen are forbidden from buying, selling, or renting out property. They are unable to refurnish property or set family upkeeps. They are unable to sleep in beds. They are also not responsible for crimes they commit, with blame and reprecussions always falling upon the host. They are unable to take jobs, purchase any property, or make their own interactions with villagers, making friendships and marriage impossible. Instead, a henchman's expression, when completed in tandem with the host player, merely increases the effectiveness of the host player's expression.
Henchmen are unable to open chests or even basic doors. They are able to utilize dig spots, but when they do so, the host player is unable to move. Every five minutes, the henchman receives a certain amount of gold as a form of wages. This starts at 1 gold and increases to 2, 5, and so on when the host reaches certain points in the story. This wage is not subtracted from the host's funds. It is currently unknown if alignment points carry on to the profile of the henchman however, it is believed to as whenever the game saves, data is saved to both save files.
Henchmen are largely free to engage in combat in the manner of their choosing. Unlike when there is only one player, both players have to fall before it counts as a death. However, the resurrection phial only works on the host player. In addition, because the host controls the safety, henchman cannot start killing innocent people. As the camera has many applications both in and out of combat, it is a must to master. However, while in co-op, the left button is the only thing that moves it and with variating amounts, making it very unreliable. It is unsure why the host can't control the camera as he or she does when playing by themselves.
Co-op gameplay in Fable III has been greatly expanded with a host of new features and functions available to the co-op player. To reflect this change in status, the terminology has been changed to refer to a co-op partner as a 'Hero' instead of the term Henchman. Co-op gameplay begins the moment that the second player logs in, whether they decide to import their own character online or play locally. Guest Heroes have access to their own Sanctuary, which grants them the capability of wearing their own clothing, hairstyles, facial hair, makeup, and tattoos. They also are able to use their own weapons. Unlike in Fable II, guest Heroes get to bring their own dog into another Heroes' world.
Guest Heroes are given greater power and responsibility in Fable III than they ever had in Fable II. Guest Heroes are able to purchase items of their own and are free to gift those items to the host player. They are now able to travel the Road to Rule and purchase upgrades completely independent from those of the host Hero. Guest Heroes even have new interactive options with the host Hero: they can interact with each other, furnish houses together, form business partnerships, get married, and even have children of their own.
There is a markedly greater emphasis placed on guest Hero interactivity with the world of the host. Guest Heroes are able to sleep in beds, take jobs, and interact with villagers, who form a separate opinion of the guest Hero. Guest Heroes are responsible for their own criminality, and will be punished independently of the host Hero. Unfortunately, guest Heroes are unable to hold hands with villagers via the Dynamic Touch system, and are unable to perform all the same interactions with children as the host Hero. However, these restrictions are only imparted onto players who play locally, with internet and Xbox LIVE players circumventing even these limitations. Guest Heroes are now able to open chests and doors, and are still allowed to find dig spots. The alignment and morphing of a guest Hero and their weapon is now independent of the host Heroes'.
Guest Heroes are still able to engage in combat in the manner of their choosing. Unlike in Fable II, however, the guest Hero does not need to wait for the host Hero to fall before they die. A few restrictions are imparted upon guest Heroes in Fable III. Like in its predecessor, the host Hero and the guest Hero can only remain a certain distance apart from each other. In addition, only the host Hero controls the camera. As is the case with world interactivity, Xbox LIVE players and internet players are freed from these restrictions as well. Xbox LIVE and internet players furthermore share the same Sanctuary, with both players free to enter at will.
Co-op gameplay in Fable Heroes has been extended to include the capability of 2 to 4 players at one time. One player acts as the host with from 1 to 3 players joining them. Players may form parties and compete together or a game may be started alone with the ability of random players joining in during play. In between rounds the host chooses what area of the map they have unlocked to visit and can also choose to go to the puppet select area to allow their co-op partners to select a different puppet to play.
- Fable, Fable: The Lost Chapters, Fable: The Journey and Fable Anniversary do not have co-op capability.
- Fable Heroes allows two to four player co ops.