Palworld, Pocketpair’s “Pokémon With Guns” survival game, is popping off after entering Early Access today, January 19. Shortly after launch, it boasted 300,000 concurrent players on Steam, but for those playing the game through Xbox Game Pass on PC or console, there are some limitations to its multiplayer features. That’s because the studio has confirmed that the game supports less players if you’re playing anywhere other than Steam due to a lack of dedicated servers on other platforms.
On Steam, Palworld supports dedicated servers that host up to 32 players in one session of the game’s open world. However, Xbox Series X/S and the Windows Store multiplayer options are much more limited, only allowing up to four players to join one session at a time. This is especially irksome for anyone playing through their Game Pass subscription, as even PC players who access the game through the service are sequestered into four-player servers. Though it’s not unheard of, it’s become less common for PC players to play on different servers just because they’re using different launchers. Epic even has it hardcoded into its rules that multiplayer games on PC must support crossplay with other launchers to get on the Epic Game Store. But clearly, there is an issue with compatibility for Palworld.
Speaking on the official Palworld Discord server (thanks, IGN), “Bucky,” a community manager, said the reason for the disparity “isn’t anyone’s ‘fault,’” but the team is in conversations to give non-Steam users dedicated servers to increase their multiplayer numbers. Until then, Palworld supports up to four players outside of Steam.
“We’d like to have dedicated servers on Xbox, but it’s unfortunately not up to us and is quite difficult to negotiate at this time,” the representative said. “But…we are trying!”
It’s unclear what Pocketpair means by negotiations because, as IGN points out in their story, plenty of games have dedicated servers on Xbox platforms. We’ve reached out to Xbox for comment and will update the story if we hear back.
While the internet has taken to calling Palworld “Pokemon With Guns” because of its blatant inspiration in character design and ball-based catching mechanics, the game has a lot of survival elements and, of course, shooting that do help distinguish it. Is it any good, though? We’ve got a few people at Kotaku playing it, so look for more on that in the coming days.