As many of my fellow Xbox fans are fully aware of, Gears of War 3 came out this last week. Many would tout it as fact, but my opinion is that this game is amazing. However, in playing Gears this weekend, I found the behavior in some of the co-op games I joined to be disturbing at best and I wanted to get some general guidelines for co-op out to the public.

*Keep in mind; these guidelines of co-op etiquette mostly apply only to public co-op games and less to the games with a group of close-knit friends.*

Is This Thing On?
Co-op is about teamwork, and the first rule of teamwork is communication, so bring your headset. I have played in some public co-op matches where the host will kick anybody who comes in without a headset. After all, it is impossible for me to know you needed an ammo crate if I can’t hear you. Frequently, we will run into a co-op player with no microphone who is seemingly shooting at nothing or tea-bagging thin air in a vain attempt to get us to pay attention or notice something. Five minutes later, you get a text message telling you there was a collectible or cool gun somewhere. I can’t stand this kind of behavior in co-op games, it is just downright annoying.

Along the same lines are people who play co-op, have a headset, but are in party chat with their friends who are playing a different game. It is like working on a group homework project with a group member on the phone with their girlfriend or chatting with their friends. Either play co-op as a team or go play single-player.

Wait, I Got Kicked?! WTF?!
As a party leader, you are given the great power of being judge, jury and executioner. If you are sick of someone in the party, you can kick them. This is a great tool for getting rid of that one player who keeps screaming into his/her headset or [insert annoying habit here]. Regardless, with great power comes great responsibility. If you are going to kick me from the party, at least tell me why. Or, if nothing else, tell me to stop doing whatever it is I am doing.

Along the same lines, as the party leader when you leave, we all have to leave. So, if mom is calling you to dinner or you need to go do your homework, please say something before you hit the quit button.

Work as a Team
It has happened to everyone (except the one who does it): you enter an area and your team decides to hold back and thin the enemies’ numbers from a distance. Fire teams are assigned, fields of fire are defined, and a strategy prepared. Everyone waits for the count to open fire: 3…2… then “that guy” runs down the field screaming into his mic and is turned into a digital pile of red goo.

When asked why he violated the plan, the response is usually something along the lines of “I didn’t feel like it.” Look, it is simple, if you don’t want to function as a team, play single-player. Then, you can die as many times as you want, however you want.

The Thief of Kills
It happens to us all. We get going on a rampage of shooting everything in sight, we are invincible and ripping the world a new crap-hole. In our bloodlust, we accidentally steal a teammate’s kill that was clearly theirs. It happens. On the other hand, you have the tool running around and stealing teammate kills over and over again. It’s just not cool.

These general guidelines above are just a few ways to ensure everyone has a good time playing co-op.

These are just a few of my thoughts. What is the most annoying habit you have come across playing in public co-op matches?