How to Use Your Xbox’s Co-Pilot Mode

The Xbox Co-Pilot mode is a boon for disabled players. Turn it on today!

Xbox Copilot Featured

The video game industry is absolutely massive. However, despite raking in the cash, there is still a large segment of the population that cannot enjoy gaming. Thankfully, Microsoft has been a leader in making video games more inclusive. One of Microsoft’s most well-known efforts is the Xbox Adaptive Controller, which was designed for people with disabilities, to help make user input for video games more accessible.

However, the Adaptive Controller isn’t the only thing Microsoft has cooked up. In fact, there’s a little known feature built in to the Xbox One and Xbox Series X that can help people get more out of gaming: Co-Pilot Mode. This article looks at how you can use this feature.

What Is Co-Pilot Mode?

Co-Pilot Mode is a feature that allows two separate controllers to function as one. Have you ever seen a car with two steering wheels? They’re most often found in driver’s ed cars so that the instructor can take control of the car if necessary. Co-Pilot mode is kind of like that.

Xbox Copilot Mode
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The primary player is the “pilot.” If the pilot encounters a segment of the game that is too challenging, the “co-pilot” can take control of the player character using a second controller. Co-Pilot mode was originally designed with younger gamers in mind; however, the feature is also implemented for accessibility purposes.

Co-Pilot Mode & Young Gamers

The ability to navigate a game and overcome the challenges and obstacles can be incredibly rewarding. Unfortunately, younger gamers can struggle with certain sections of a game. Whether it’s a quick time event that demands superior hand-eye coordination or a puzzle that too difficult to crack, some games can be too difficult for children. It can be hard to watch a child having a hard time. As such, more experienced gamers may have the urge to help them out. Unfortunately, flat out asking them to hand over the controller may be perceived as condescending, even when it’s done with the best of intentions.

Xbox Copilot Youngkid
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With Co-Pilot mode enabled, more experienced gamers can help out the young ones without asking them to hand over the controller. This can help build the child’s confidence and help to avoid a frustration-fueled meltdown. In addition, younger gamers can learn how to overcome similar obstacles in the future by seeing how it’s done.

Co-Pilot Mode & Disabled Gamers

Co-Pilot mode isn’t just beneficial for younger gamers. As we mentioned, Co-Pilot mode can also be used to assist gamers with disabilities. By using Co-Pilot, gamers who would find certain sections of a game cumbersome can now call on someone else to help them out. This can turn any game into a cooperative experience.

Xbox Copilot Coop
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If you play games, you know how demanding they can be: lightning fast reflexes, complicated button presses, and sequences that have to be done just right. Now imagine trying to complete these tasks using only one hand, a chin or a foot. With Co-Pilot mode, the primary gamer can get assistance from someone else, allowing them to fully enjoy the experience.

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Gamers with disabilities have widely varying needs. While the Adaptive controller is an amazing piece of tech that opens the world of gaming up to virtually everyone, some gamers may not need it. Co-Pilot may provide some gamers with the extra help they need using the controllers they already own.


How to Turn on Co-Pilot Mode

Turning on the Co-Pilot feature of your Xbox console is relatively straightforward. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, the account that is logged in to the Xbox console when turning on Co-Pilot mode will be designated as the primary player, or “pilot.”
  • Secondly, the primary player will get any and all achievements and gamerscore during any session where Co-Pilot mode is turned on.

To turn on Co-Pilot mode, you’ll need to have a second controller connected to the console. The co-pilot can choose to sign in or not. Since achievements and gamerscore are only awarded to the pilot, there’s no actual benefit to signing in as a co-pilot, but you can if you want.

  1. Using the primary/pilot’s controller, press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select “Profile & system -> Settings -> Accessibility -> Controller.”
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  1. Choose “Co-Pilot Settings,” then “Turn on Co-Pilot.”
  2. Doing so will link the two controllers, and each controller will have complete control.
  3. To turn Co-Pilot mode off, simply follow the same path outlined above and select “Turn off co-pilot.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Co-Pilot mode be used with the Xbox Adaptive Controller?

Yes! Connect the Adaptive Controller to your Xbox console and turn on Co-Pilot mode by following the steps detailed in the previous section. Just remember that the controller that turns on co-pilot mode will be designated the primary player or “pilot.”

2. Does Co-Pilot mode work on Windows?

Yes it does. All you need is the Xbox Accessories app installed on your PC. Ensure that both of the controllers you want to use are synced with your Xbox console. Open the Xbox Accessories app and head to “My Games & Apps.” From there, select “Apps,” then “Xbox Accessories.” Here, you’ll see the two controllers synced to your Xbox console. Navigate to the primary controller and select the button with the three dots found underneath “Configure.” On the following menu, select “Turn On Copilot.”

3. Does the Sony PlayStation or the Nintendo Switch have Co-Pilot mode?

Sadly, as of this writing, neither Sony nor Nintendo have a feature resembling Microsoft’s Co-Pilot mode. Back in the Nintendo Wii days some games had the ability to “share” the controls, but this was a feature implemented by the software developers.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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