How many games can you play Nier: Automata's 2B in?

Nier's 2B in FF14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

To the detriment of 23 other strangers in Final Fantasy 14's first Nier: Automata raid, I spent nearly a week of 2019 in a 2B-fueled, boss-rushing rampage. I was on a mission to take my beloved catgirl—who roamed the MMO as an unfortunate Yorha knockoff—and dress her in authentic Nier garb. The RNG was not kind. The task made me miserable, running the same handful of fights through a fog of fatigue-induced mistakes until luck blessed me with a chic new 2B outfit. Finally, hallelujah, become as gods, etc., I could strut my stuff as Automata's most famous android.

Unless bribed or coerced, I refuse to go back into that raid ever again. 

Dedicating countless hours to look like 2B is one of those shameful obsessions I should probably feel some shame in sharing, but I don't. Back then I was hardly alone in my FF14 cosplay conquest, and the further we move from Automata's 2017 launch, the more I realize there's a ton of y'all eager to see—or be—2B in everything. And I do mean everything. I've found myself down an Automata dress-up rabbit hole, compelling me to try quantifying just how many games have some playable version of dressed-to-kill Yorha No.2 Type B. 

The Science

Establishing some ground rules: I'm counting 2B appearances in official and non-official capacities. Solving for the Square Enix-approved variable is a far easier endeavor than hunting down every 2B mod in existence, but I'll deliver a final sum of Total 2Bs based on a few criteria. Does the mod change some sort of player-controlled unit? Can you wear 2B's iconic black and white dress? Is there a vaguely similar tribute to her white hair or eye cover? 

In other words, my attempt to find every game with a playable 2B is based on the highly scientific process of vibes. Games only featuring her castmates, like 9S or A2, don't count. Games with multiple versions, like Skyrim, count each time. I'm also including things you could play—defunct games or mods that exist through video evidence only. Perhaps "could play" undermines "can play," but she's already a Fall Guys bean. I'm not interested in bringing reason into this. 

2B is Agent 47

2B Hitman 2 mod

(Image credit: B3LY)

Perhaps my endeavor to turn every character I control into a 2B clone proves some greater point that Nier: Automata strives to make on love and lust. Or maybe this stems from my underlying frustrations with playing the same mediocre-looking guy in every game. Maybe it's none of the above—I just think the dress is cute. Regardless, one of my favorite threads in this all-encompassing search led to a Hitman 2 Nexus Mods upload that turns Agent 47 into 2B. 

Another mod does the same thing for Hitman 3. Reactions to both seem torn between demanding more and calling it "cursed." When one commenter asked creator unalteredepic if there's any game with modding support left that hasn't gotten the 2B treatment, they responded, "if there is, make sure there won't be." Weirdly ominous, but I dig it. 

2B belongs here 

(Image credit: tifabro)
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For those keeping a tally, the list is at four games with a playable(ish) 2B. While making my observations, I realized there's a recurring theme among the more popular mods, a genre we'll call "games that feel like they should have 2B but don't have 2B." The unofficial meeting of beloved Square Enix hero with other beloved Square Enix heroes, like this mod from monkeygigabuster that replaces Dissidia Final Fantasy NT's Ultimecia with 2B. File that one under Free Good Idea.

Sure, 2B's inclusion in most Square RPGs makes zero sense, but dropping fan-favorite character skins into unrelated worlds solely for aesthetics is a treasured RPG staple. I don't need the lore on why; turning Aqua from Kingdom Hearts 3 into 2B is just neat. There's also a Final Fantasy XV mod on Steam swapping Noctis for her. 

More importantly, I can forgo all of Tifa's other outfit options in this Final Fantasy 7 Remake mod and give her something better. FF7R stands out as one of those where the fanbase overlap with Automata is a circle; scads of other Nier-related tweaks are everywhere. We're counting games, though, and that brings us to eight. 

From Spider-Man to Guitar Hero

While some fan creations seem fitting, most quickly loop back to impressive and ridiculous. They answer why with "because I can," and games like Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered are a little better for it. You can be Peter Parker, or shoot webs from your wrists as 2B instead. The choice seems obvious. 

In games where avatars hold little canonical relevance, less defined personalities serving more as player inserts, 2B is in high demand. She makes her musical debut in a Guitar Hero World Tour mod, lives life as a viking in Valheim, and joins the limitless possibilities of Garry's Mod. Some bring welcome changes to boring character models, but other trips into the comments evoke a soft oh no. That's 12 games names so far; I'm confident three-fourths of those include a comment section too horny to read in public.

Anyway, continuing with the theme of gaming no-nos, 2B has flagrantly been added to in plenty of games with "no mods allowed" policies, like Dead by Daylight and Genshin Impact.  Automata enthusiasts seem at peace with risking their accounts for Yorha-related sins. The same goes for slotting her into various iterations of Hyrule, with modders eager to change The Legend of Zelda's Link into their favorite android regardless of looming Nintendo ire. 

There's a layer of detail to creations like the Breath of the Wild 2B mod from Lady Lunanova that's strikingly thoughtful. It's focused on presenting 2B as a believable addition to the world, and I found similar charm in a retro Ocarina of Time costume. 

Somewhere between realizing 2B's modded into at least six Resident Evils and every damn fighting game, the daunting scope of quantifying her influence became clear. Whether thanks to emotional ties compelling modders to take 2B everywhere or just an obsession with the oversexualized, 2B's appeal has become too vast to truly measure. 

But ending prematurely isn't fair to her admirers or the hours I've spent trying to replace Elden Ring's Malenia. In another ridiculous figure, here's a list of 59 more games making 2B (kind of) playable:  

The Square Enix-approved

(Image credit: Square Enix)
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With the hard part done, it's time to count the remaining 2B appearances that are officially cleared. There's the obvious Sinoalice, Nier Reincarnation, and Nier Replicant mentions; anything that's not Automata counts. Babylon's Fall—god rest its soul—had a 2B-infused crossover, too. 

Square Enix isn't shy about the android's ability to draw a crowd. She's popped up in others from the publisher, like Brave Exvius, Star Ocean: Anamnesis, Lord of Vermilion, Valkyrie Anatomia, Servant of Thrones, and Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent. Some of these are long gone, like Spelunker World, a game I didn't know existed until just now. 

Other crossovers in PUBG, New State Mobile, Last Cloudia, Gravity Rush 2, Shadowverse, Soul Calibur 6, Monster Hunter Frontier Z, and Phantasy Star Online 2 deliver 2B in varying degrees of quality, but no one's here to judge. With every appearance, even half-assed, her prestige grows. That said, whatever is happening in this Punishing Gray Raven trailer rules. Weight of the World deserves its own exhaustive listicle.

Solving for (2)B

(Image credit: Square Enix)
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Ultimately I've saddled myself with an impossible task. There are 2B mods tucked away in Discords, Patreons, and questionable Google Drive uploads. She's in games I've never heard of with single-digit Steam reviews, and mislabeled as A2 or Kainé in god knows how many more. 

Based on my scientific expedition, you can play as 2B in at least 96 games—give or take a lot. Some of those appearances are nightmare fuel, but others are fitting, thoughtful tributes to a character clearly endeared to millions. 2B is just as much a cultural phenomenon as Nier in its entirety—and I'm never going to make it through Resident Evil 2 as Claire again. That's just Leon and his absolutely-canon-friend, YoRHa No.2 Type B. 

Freelance writer