Online Play is a multiplayer mode in THPS games, allowing to connect up to 8 players in a single room. Online multiplayer was first introduced in THPS3. Ability to play online keeps THPS games popular and built communities around these games.
There are lot of multiplayer game types available for online play throughout different Tony Hawk's titles:
- Free Skate
- Trick Attack
- Combo Mambo
- Capture The Flag
- Control Zone
- Keep Away
- King of the Hill
- Goal Attack
- Scavenger Hunt
THPS game servers and lobbies are hosted by GameSpy. MOTD files are hosted by OpenSpy. THPS4,THUG1, THUG2 and THAW requires modded files to play online. THPS3 and THAW for Xbox 360 are still available online without any modifications.
Online play was first introduced in THPS3. It became the first Playstation 2 game ever to have online. The online mode for THPS3 was actually exclusive for the PS2 version at first until the PC version was released a half year later which also had online. The Xbox versions didn't have online until American Wasteland which came out in 2005. It had online on both Xbox and Xbox 360. The GameCube versions never had online because there wasn't a single way to get the GameCube online at the release date of THPS3. The PC versions has had online since THPS3.
The THP8 online mode was exclusive for the Xbox 360 version but THPG which came out a year later had online for both Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Both of the games are still avaible online for both consoles.
In 2007 after a player by the name of biohacker hacked Neversoft's FTP server, owners decided to remove the MOTD file for THPS4, THUG1 and THUG2. THAW wasn't in touch with it and THPS3 didn't require this file, so they were the most active games for the next 5 years.
In 2012 GameSpy dropped PS2 support of Activision games, which hooked PC games as well. This was a point of no return for THPS games since now Online play is only available via OpenSpy. Now THPS3 and THAW for Xbox 360 remain the only games which can be played online without mods.
A special case, while console version support 4 player online mode, PC version completely lacks it. One of the major elements of THPS gaming was cut out. However, even console multiplayer wasn't meet great since it is different, missing lot of features that became a "must have", slapping toggle for example.
- THMODS.COM - some of the mods here will allow to play online.
- THPS-MODS.COM - another modding site.
- THPS.US - A website to get back online on PlayStation 2 Consoles
- THPS.INFO - Shows online players on THPS servers.
- PHUNONLINE.COM - Popular Playstation 2 Clan website
- NG-THPS.COM - Popular PC clan site
- CHAPTER-3.NET - THPS3PC Community.