Armored Core 6 was a triumph—it gave second wind to FromSoftware’s mecha franchise, brought new fans into the genre (myself included) and it let you gun down tanks as a 20ft-tall Pepsi Man, what more could you want? Co-op, that’s what.
Despite the fact that there’s several missions in the game with AI partners, there’s no online co-op—which is fair enough. Not only is the single-player experience already great, with some of FromSoftware’s best NG+ content yet, Armored Core 6’s mechs are so customizable I have no idea how you’d balance any mission around more than one of them. The Robot-Wars style PvP battles are a better use of the game’s online functionality.
That hasn’t stopped modder LukeYui from trying, though. As spotted by TheGamer, LukeYui posted a fully-functioning prototype of him and a friend tearing through the Attack the Watchpoint mission. Since the mission’s designed for a solitary AC, it turns one of the game’s first major difficulty hurdles into a breezy walk in the park, something LukeYui is very aware of.
“Enemy scaling is not present in this build but it will be on release,” they write in the video’s description, before elaborating in a further comment: “even though the mod is functional and could be used immediately, I’d like to spend as much time as I can fixing issues and adding QoL features so make an acceptable initial release.”
It’s a damn impressive first showing, though—and it’s neat that LukeYui is dedicated to making it a good time, rather than just a novelty. The plan is to allow up to five additional players to join with scaling difficulty modifiers for each. While I can’t fathom the chaos of six missile hornets buzzing around Balteus, I want to see it so bad.
As some commenters point out, Balteus’ AI actually deals pretty well with the added load—attacking both players seamlessly. This isn’t too beyond the pale, since some Armored Core 6 bosses—like the Ice Worm—are taken on with a few AI companions. It’s likely the basic AI architecture is built to support multiplayer out of the box, but that’s still a happy accident.
This also isn’t the first time LukeYui’s cropped up on PC Gamer, either. He’s the creator of Elden Ring’s co-op overhaul, a multiplayer Sekiro mod, and a fan-made security patch that ironed out some issues with Dark Souls 3’s online play. While adding scaling multiplayer to AC6 is a huge task, I’m pretty confident he can pull it off.