Warframe crossplay is officially in the works just as developer Digital Extremes doubled down on cross save “across all platforms” at its TennoCon 2021 digital event. That’s a big change from what we last heard in 2019, when Creative Director Steve Sinclair said the feature wasn’t being investigated at all. At least not at the time. Plans change, of course, and this time it sounds undoubtedly for the better.
Warframe is currently available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox consoles, Switch, and PC — with a newly announced mobile version also in the works. Which is a whole lotta crossplay to weave together. The unsurprising, but still pleasant, added detail is that this means updates will be synced together on all platforms going forward. So whenever a new Warframe expansion drops, everyone gets it at the same time.
This is great news for me — a PC player who increasingly enjoys playing games from the couch. Though my preferred controls will likely always involve a mouse and keyboard.
Progression aside, it’ll be nice to finally play with a lot of my friends that picked up the game on various consoles already. The mostly cooperative game locks many features and items behind being in a multiplayer clan. Players can then spend resources to construct an in-game “dojo,” with labs and facilities that grant access to new stuff. It’s a long, somewhat grindy process for new players. Crossplay will theoretically allow veterans (myself included) to open those floodgates to new players — letting them skip the process and get to more of the good stuff early.
The downside is that we have no idea when to expect the crossplay or cross save. Digital Extremes is uncommonly candid with its development progress and ideas for future features. Though it very rarely announces hard release dates for anything until the very same week said thing is out. Having spoken to the developers, this appears to simply be the nature of the beast. The ever-evolving game is a constant work-in-progress.
Digital Extremes isn’t immune to outright delays, either. TennoCon 2021 also showed off “The New War” expansion: a story update originally announced for 2019. The show ended with a cheeky reference to that fact. A release date of 2019 first appeared on the screen before flickering and transforming into a 2021. With a goof like that, I’d be surprised if the team wasn’t very confident the update will land on time… this time. The New War looks flashy as all hell, too, so I’m excited to finally check it out.
Back to the newly announced feature, this is still the most solid announcement we’ve had for proper cross save yet — and the first, true statement of intent for crossplay period. The team showed the connectivity in action just before The New War. And it looked in pretty good shape (at least in a developer environment).
As I’m sure Digital Extremes is aware, higher player counts can complicate things. This year’s TennoCon drew the game’s largest number of concurrent players yet. While that’s a good sign, it also crashed the game’s public spaces, making it impossible for PC players to participate in the in-game live event running concurrent to the show. I personally loaded into an empty Relay and promptly fell through the floor into an infinite void until exiting the session. Hopefully Warframe crossplay will be better able to handle the high player loads.