The study of the interplay between different self-replicating molecules constitutes an important new phase in the synthesis of life and in unravelling the origin of life. Here we show how existing replicators can direct the nature of a newly formed replicator. Starting from the same building block, 6-ring replicators formed when the mixture was exposed to pre-existing 6-membered replicators, while pre-formed 8-membered replicators funneled the building block into 8-ring replicators. Not only ring size, but also the mode of assembly of the rings into stacks was inherited from the pre-existing replicators. These results show that the nature of self-replicating molecules can be strongly influenced by the interplay between different self-replicators, overriding preferences innate to the structure of the building block.