In 2022, From Software released Elden Ring, which many consider to be the legendary Japanese studio’s masterpiece.
Combining From’s signature Soulslike combat and exploration with a new open-world approach that emphasised player discovery, Elden Ring went on to become a massive critical and commercial success.
Being a Soulslike developed by From Software, Elden Ring also has a pretty significant multiplayer component in which players can team up to battle bosses.
Alternatively, if players are feeling particularly devilish, they can invade one another’s realms and do battle. Will you face your opponent in honourable combat, or backstab them while they’re bowing to you?
With all the excitement surrounding Elden Ring, you might be wondering if it’s possible to play the game with your friends on different platforms.
Unfortunately, the answer probably isn’t what you want to hear. Let’s take a look at whether Elden Ring supports cross-platform play or not.
Elden Ring is not cross-platform
Here’s the bad news: Elden Ring doesn’t support cross-platform play.
This means that if you’re playing on PC, you won’t be able to play with gamers on Xbox consoles or PlayStation, and if you’re playing on a PS5, for instance, you won’t be able to team up with (or fight against) Xbox players.
If you’ve been trying to find your friends to take down a particularly troublesome boss and you haven’t seen their summon signs near the boss arena, then this could well be why.
There is a silver lining
Although Elden Ring doesn’t technically support cross-platform play, that doesn’t mean you can’t play with anyone on a different console.
If you’re on PS5, for example, you will be able to play with PS4 gamers, and if you’re on Xbox Series X/S, then you should be able to see and play with Xbox One players.
PC gamers are, of course, restricted to PC, but it shouldn’t matter where you purchased the game; if you’re playing on PC, regardless of which storefront, you should be able to enjoy Elden Ring with other PC gamers.
Why doesn’t Elden Ring support cross-platform play?
It’s up to each individual developer whether or not they want their game to support cross-platform play.
There could be a number of reasons why From Software hasn’t implemented this feature in Elden Ring. The developer has never spoken publicly about why it doesn’t want to include cross-platform play in Elden Ring, so we don’t have any firsthand explanations.
One reason could simply be that the developer doesn’t have the technical framework in place to support cross-platform play.
It could well be very difficult indeed to ensure the long-term stability of servers that are accommodating players from different platforms, and From Software’s online ecosystems have, in the past, been somewhat unstable, so it would make sense if the developer wanted to keep its online scope small to make sure functionality persists.
There’s also the possibility that cross-platform play isn’t supported due to the terms imposed on the developer by console manufacturers.
Allegedly, Sony has, or has had in the past, fairly restrictive guidelines in place when it comes to cross-platform play for PlayStation consoles, so it’s possible that From Software, or its publisher Bandai Namco, doesn’t want to pay fees or play by Sony’s rules (or, perhaps, Microsoft’s rules).
Does Elden Ring have cross-progression?
Another feature that many games have in common is cross-progression, whereby you can save a game on one platform and continue progressing in that game on another.
Sadly, this is another feature that Elden Ring simply does not support.
If you play Elden Ring on PlayStation, you won’t be able to play the same save file on your Xbox, and if you play it on PC, you can’t transfer that file to either of the console ecosystems either.
This is actually par for the course when it comes to single-player games. Most single-player experiences don’t tend to support cross-progression; this is a feature that’s usually reserved for live service-focused multiplayer games like Fortnite or Call of Duty.
Again, though, there is something of a silver lining here.
Although Elden Ring doesn’t technically feature cross-progression, it does support cloud saving, which means you can save your game on one PlayStation 5 and then play the same save on a different machine (assuming, of course, you are signed up to PlayStation Plus in this instance).
Similarly, you can pick up your save on Steam or on the Xbox if you have cloud saving enabled, so you shouldn’t need to worry about physically transferring your save between machines if you’ve managed to upload a file to the cloud.
Will Elden Ring cross-platform play be added in the future?
Given that From Software is currently hard at work on the upcoming Shadow of the Erdtree expansion for Elden Ring, it’s unlikely that cross-platform play is a priority for the developer at the moment.
To put it simply, crossplay is just not a feature that many Elden Ring players are requesting.
While it would certainly be nice to play Elden Ring with our friends on different console ecosystems, we also understand that the game is, for many, primarily a single-player experience, and implementing cross-platform play would likely be far too much effort for From Software, considering the diminishing rewards.
As such, you shouldn’t expect Elden Ring to get crossplay any time soon. You’ll just have to settle for swapping tips on Malenia with your friends rather than recruiting them to help you fight her!