In quasi-static tests for structures with multi-DOF, the forces exerted to the structures commonly follow a prescribed force profile, for example, triangular pattern and/or uniform pattern. Therefore, force control is the natural choice. However, force control is no longer applicable when the specimens sustain significant stiffness and strength degradation, particularly in collapse tests. To solve this problem, a force–displacement mixed control algorithm is proposed, which is able to achieve stable control in quasi-static tests following prescribed force profiles. On the basis of the FlexTest IIm platform of the MTS Systems Corporation (14000 Technology Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 United States), a test program named Tsinghua University mixed control test program, which uses a mixed control algorithm, was developed. The algorithm was initially applied to an elastic test of a cantilever column to verify its accuracy and stability and then to a collapse test of a multistory RC frame to investigate its effectiveness. In the collapse test, the effects of major control parameters, that is, the number of iterative rounds and the loading time of each round on the control accuracy, were also studied. The test results show that the test program applying the mixed control algorithm can achieve stable control of the collapse tests maintaining the expected force profile. Increasing the number of iterative rounds and the loading time of each round can improve the control accuracy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.