How to Create An Amazing Co-op Board Game?

custom board game

Board games are meant to be played with others, and usually the more people you have playing, the more fun you have. However, the challenge is that most of these games are competitive, and you don’t always get to work together with other players. Which is why it can be a great chance of pace to play a co-op game. Cooperating with others and trying to reach a mutual goal is very exciting, and it certainly offers you an extraordinary experience. But how can you create a co-op board game? Here are some ideas.

Establish a common goal that every team has to fulfill

As you create your own custom board game, you want to focus on finding the ultimate goal that people need to work towards. It should be hard to reach, which does encourage people to work together instead of trying to compete with one another. Once you have the main goal, you also want to define the core game resources, how people can access these resources, but also lose them. Having a way to counter-balance any upside is ideal in a co-op board game, and it helps deliver a much better experience. It also helps players cooperate in order to minimize the downsides.

Add smaller goals and side objectives

Having ways to acquire more resources or progressing through the game is ideal, and that’s why you always want to add side objectives. Implementing certain smaller goals will also help breathe life into the game, while encouraging people to take more than one route towards winning the game.

Experiment with different types of challenges

You can add simple challenges, but also hard ones that might even punish players. In the case of a co-op board game, you want players to feel a sense of progress, yet at the same time you also want to find a way to stop their progress if possible and give others a chance to surpass them. That’s why some randomization or having custom game pieces that increase/lower the chances of progress is always important. These help add replay value to the game, while also feeling it less predictable.

Encourage cooperation (or restrict it)

Another thing you can do when creating a co-op board game is to encourage players to talk with each other and allow only one of them to play during the turn. Or you can have both players in a team play individually, but not allow them to talk with each other. Having these variations can help encourage cooperation in unique ways.

Offer roles to players

You can have one player as the leader of the co-op group, and the other players can have supportive roles. Games like “Betrayal at House on the Hill” do that by allowing one player to lead the hunt, while others support him in their quest. That’s where variation matters, because you don’t want the game sessions to feel identical. This game in particular has over 50 scenarios, so having lots of different randomized items can breathe life into the game.

Add new layers to the game every turn

You can have turn-specific tasks that players need to fulfill as well. For example, during turn 4 players need to reach a certain location and if they do, they receive extra resources or bonuses. Adding in new ways to play and turn-specific goals can make the game more fun. Plus, it continues to encourage all players to cooperate with one another, which is extremely important. Limiting the number of turns can also be a great idea, since it adds the extra pressure to work together as you complete certain goals.

Playtest as much as possible

Whenever you try to include new mechanics to your co-op board game, it’s a very good idea to playtest and see how they work. If something doesn’t feel right, remove that idea and try to replace it with something else. Not only will it make the experience better, but you also get to eliminate dead times within the game. And on top of that, you can streamline the experience to ensure everyone has something to do.

There are a variety of different ways to create a great, engaging and fun co-op board game. You always want every player to have something to do, yet also add in random elements to ensure replayability. In addition, having a primary goal and side goals that encourage players to work together is essential for a good co-op board game. Remember to also playtest and see what works and what doesn’t. Whenever you create a co-op board game, you always want to experiment with ideas and refine it, until you reach its final form and bring it in front of players!