Online Play was introduced in Tony Hawk's series in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. Host player can setup a game for 8 players. Observer slots appeared later on. The first time player enters the multiplayer mode, he ends up in global lobby showing the list of all players and rooms. After hosts launches the game everyone enter the free skate mode. Host can start any available game mode. Cliet can join the room any time, but if there is game running, he will join as an observer.
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
Online play out the box is not available anymore. THPS game servers and lobbies were hosted by GameSpy and it was closed in 2014. MOTD files are currently hosted by OpenSpy. Every THPS game for PC requires modded files to play online.
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. THPS3 and THAW for Xbox 360 remained the only games which could be played online without mods.
In 2014 GameSpy was closed hence the support for the most games was dropped. At this point the only game survived was THPS3, since it was coded the use the core GS servers, which were only shut down in october 2014. Today none of the Neversoft games can be played online out of the box.
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.