The Partner Action Button is a context sensitive feature introduced in Resident Evil 5 and that is present of Resident Evil 6. Mostly of the gameplay revolves around this feature, as Chris and Sheva must act together in order to progress through the game. It's featured on both single player and multiplayer modes, including The Mercenaries mini-game, Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape.
The player uses a single button (B on the XBOX360 and Circle on the PlayStation 3) combined with the directional pad to issue orders to the partner (whether it's the A.I. or another player). It can also be used to ask for help, to express gratitude or even to make a compliment, depending on the context and given situation. In the multiplayer mode this feature is further expanded, allowing the players to minor-communicate with each other in-game without requiring any real voice communication.
The player and partner need to work together in some parts, and the Partner Action Button is required for those combined efforts, such as kicking down a heavy metal door, pulling switches, or freeing the partner from the enemy's grasp before they are killed. It's also used to give items in possession to the other character.
Commands and Voice Emotes
The most common actions, such as giving the player an item, entering another zone or rescue/save the partner will be displayed on-screen. Others are more subtelty and will only happen in specific contexts.
- Cover Mode (Partner always stay close to the player): Partner Action Button
- Attack Mode (Partner is more aggressive and pick up items more often): Partner Action Button + Up
- Call (Multiplayer only): Partner Action Button
- Send Out (Multiplayer only): Partner Action Button + Up
- Wait (Multiplayer only): Partner Action Button + Down
- Thank (Multiplayer only): Partner Action Button + Left
- Give: Holding non-weapon item (partner must have free inventory slots)
- Help/Assist Partner: Partner being held by an enemy
- Rescue/Heal Partner: Partner in DYING state ("Heal Partner" requires Herb/First Aid Spray in possession
- Open/Pull/Push/Turn/Operate/Kick Door/Assist Jump: When using objects that requires both characters to operate (such as heavy doors and pulling switches) or when Chris helps Sheva to climb or jump through obstacles
- Ask for Help: Being held by an enemy
- Dying: Being in DYING state
- Impatient: Waiting for the partner in a context that requires both characters (refer to Open/Pull/Push Action)
- Worried: Partner is in DYING State
- Thank: After being freed from an enemy or receiving item from the Partner
- Confirm: After being issued any Order
- Compliment: After a performing Chain Melee Reaction Command or witnessing partner scoring a Perfect/Critical Headshot
Resident Evil 6
In addition to the above, Resident Evil 6 added a few new commands related to the parter action button:
- Fall back (called "Follow" in-game): Partner Action Button + Right
- Tagging enemies: When aiming at an enemy and pressing the partner action button, a red icon will appear above their heads, in single-player the AI will prioritize the tagged enemy, and in multiplayer the red icon can be seen by both players.
- When holding the partner action button while waiting for either the AI or an ally player to come to you to open a door or interact with an object, the camera will change to that of the other player, showing you exactly what they are doing and where they are. However their camera perspective is only updated when their character sprints.
- Additionally, sharing items can now only be done via split-screen play.
- The reactions are totally optional, and can be used at anytime (shooting, climbing, using Melee Reaction Commands) without triggering animations (unlike the others).
- The use of Reactions in the Multiplayer Modes is somewhat considered part of the player etiquette, as the misuse of this button (such as spamming the "Call" Button) is often considered trolling or disrespect.
- The A.I. will always use the "Thank" reaction and the "Compliment" reaction in their respective contexts. He/she also have a unique Reaction of denial, mostly used when the A.I. is requested during another action. For example, in the Ship Deck section, where the Partner gets stuck in the cage, if the player either use the "Cover" or "Attack", the Partner will reply with "Out of question!" (if Chris) or "No way!" (if Sheva). This kind of Reaction is exclusive to the A.I. and cannot be used by players in none of the Multiplayer Modes or Story Mode.
- In The Mercenaries and The Mercenaries Reunion, characters like Wesker and Excella have various voice emotes for the Partner Action Button that express somewhat disdain and sarcasm, such as saying "I suppose I should thank you." when using the "Thank" Reaction.