As Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Open Crossplay Beta looms, Activision has decided to explain exactly how crossplay will work when the game launches on Friday 25th October.
Perhaps the most key piece of information is that you can opt in or out of crossplay, which means that playing with players across all three platforms (Xbox One, PS4, PC) is entirely down to player choice rather than through force. If you’re going to be opting out of crossplay, then what the bloody hell are you reading this for? This doesn’t concern you. However, if you’re going to be opting in to crossplay, then you’re going to want to know the following information.
Firstly, you’ll be able to create cross-platform Friends Lists and cross-platform Parties through your COD Account, which you’ll need to set up to play the game in the first place. Creating these cross-platform friends lists and parties will allow you to group and team up with any of your buddies who may be playing the game on a different platform, and Activision says that you’ll be able to play any multiplayer mode together with the exception of Ranked Play or competitive tournaments.
When it comes to matchmaking, Activision says that crossplay has been designed “to factor play balancing across differences in controller type”. That means that the game will make sure you are matched against players who are using the same peripheral, whether that be a controller or a keyboard and mouse. To break that down into even simpler terms, if you’re playing on Xbox One and using a controller then you’ll be able to match with any PS4 or PC players who are also using a controller, if you’re a PC player using a keyboard and mouse then you’ll only be able to match with Xbox One and PS4 players that are also using a keyboard and mouse. If you’re an absolute maniac and you want to go up against keyboard and mouse players with your measly controller then Activision says you will have the option to join a lobby that has no control scheme filters.
Of course, the main advantages of crossplay are the fact that it allows you to play with anybody that you know regardless of platform (no more “what are you playing on? Oh, PS4? I’m on Xbox One, that sucks” conversations) and that matchmaking times should be much quicker, but it does also throw up some questions about exactly how the games post-launch content will work, especially considering one platform has always had timed-exclusivity for new content in recent years. On that subject, Activision says that “the team has worked to ensure that content will be released in a way that enables all players to continue to seamlessly play together”. With that in mind, they say that “most” post-launch content such as multiplayer maps, modes, and special ops missions will release simultaneously across all platforms. That’s a big deal given that timed-exclusivity has been a thing for Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2 (I think?), although they were keen to note that they are still in partnership with PlayStation, and therefore PS4 players will have an “exciting Day 1 advantage”, whatever the hell that means.
Activision says that more information on that Day 1 advantage and how post-launch content will be rolled out will be released ahead of the games launch on Friday 25th October. For now, it’s time to get stuck into the Open Crossplay Beta.