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There are several distinct types of multiplayer modes in Video Games. This trope is a Sister Trope of Competitive Multiplayer, Co-Op Multiplayer and Massively Multiplayer.

Meta Multiplayer

Only 1 player is present playing in their own game at a time, but there are other players doing this as well.

Leaderboards

Players compete with other single players for performance in the game.

Examples:

  • Audiosurf
  • Dead Rising
  • In fact, nearly all Xbox 360 and PS3 games have support for this.
  • Nethack has the score list which can be seen by other players on the same system (e.g. a public server), and there are "bones files" which store the contents of a level on which a character died. The program "Hearse" can be used to exchange bones files with other players.
  • Many Web Games and puzzle games (leaderboard for high score/best time).

Succession Game

Players take a turn in a single-player game, then relinquish control to another at a certain point in the game's progress.

Examples:

  • Although not a built-in part of the game, succession games are very common in Dwarf Fortress, such as the infamous Let's Play thread Boatmurdered.
  • Super Mario Brothers 3 for the NES.
  • Link's Crossbow Training for the Wii
  • Almost any game can be played this way even if it isn't part of the game design.

Non-Preemptive Multiplayer

Two individual games that take turns. The two game sessions are kept entirely separate. Both scores may be tracked and directly compared for competition.

Examples:

  • Most arcade games with 1 joystick and a "2 player" mode, such as Pac-Man.

Recorded/Ghost Matches

One player's game is recorded from start to finish, and another player competes directly against the recorded game.

Examples:

  • Tetris Friends uses this method for most of its multiplayer games.
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