The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is normally a single player, open world experience. However, Fooni from the REGN8 Discord server announced that his team is working on a CEMU mod for Breath of the Wild that would allow for local multiplayer co-op. They estimated that the mod should be finished or in a playable state in about a year. Since it is a mod, the co-op mode will only be available on PC.
Previously, the only way to play a Zelda game with a friend was to pass the controller back and forth. This new mod will create a true, two player experience; assuming Nintendo doesn’t issue a DMCA takedown.
This Breath of the Wild mod will allow two players to play side by side. It isn’t a split screen multiplayer, so two PCs are necessary. In order to achieve the co-op mode, the modders changed the location of an NPC and swapped in the Link model. From there, they programmed the games to send the inputs to both games.
CEMU is Wii U emulator for the PC. Thankfully, the only different between the Wii U and Switch versions of Breath of the Wild is the graphics. Otherwise, the two games are exactly the same. Since it is a mod, there is the chance for the modders to upgrade the graphics if they can. Unfortunately, as exciting as this is, Nintendo can easily stop the modders in their tracks. Nintendo is notorious for issuing DMCA takedowns and are quick to protect their IPs. Although, they tend to only issue the DMCA takedowns once the mods are available to the public. So, if you’re quick, you may be able to get your hands on the co-op mod before it is removed for good.
The prospect of co-op in Breath of the Wild is an exciting one. Breath of the Wild is easily the best game on the Switch so far and one of the best Zelda titles period. Although the game had some trouble early on because of its similarities to Horizon: Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild managed to pull ahead. The first DLC pack helped to rekindle excitement for the game. A second DLC pack is scheduled for the end of the year.