The cooperative formation of autonomous surface vehicles (ASVs) is an important research direction in the field of cooperation. In this paper, we summarize the topic and development of ASV cooperative formation research. First, we describe and discuss the research status of the multiple ASV cooperation formation, including the definition of cooperative formation and its challenges. Next, we analyze the main strategies and related research progress of multiple ASV cooperative formation, including the cooperative following and leader-follower strategies. Third, we discuss developments in disturbance constraints and solutions for the cooperative formation network, including ocean disturbance and communication constraints. Fourth, we summarize and analyze the path planning problem in the formation process, with a focus on optimization. Fifth, with respect to security, we summarize the problem of collision avoidance in the process of formation control. Lastly, we describe key problems and future research directions in multi-ASV cooperative formation.