Is ESO Crossplay Never Happening in 2024? (What You Need to Know)

In the ever-evolving world of online gaming, the concept of cross-platform play has gained significant traction, allowing players to seamlessly connect and collaborate across various gaming platforms. As we progress into 2024, one of the most frequently asked questions by fans of The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) is whether the game supports cross-platform play. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of ESO’s cross-platform capabilities, explore the challenges, and provide insights into the potential future of crossplay within the game

Key Takeaways

  • The Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) does not currently support cross-platform play between different console types or between consoles and PC, limiting player interactions within platform-specific realms.
  • ESO provides cross-generation play, allowing gamers from different console generations within the same family, such as PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, to play together, and offers shared servers for PC and Mac players.
  • Zenimax Online Studios has not officially committed to implementing cross-platform play in ESO and is currently focusing on other development priorities such as server re-architecture and content expansions.

The State of Cross-Platform Play in ESO

One aspect of The Elder Scrolls Online that has sparked ongoing discussions among its player base is the absence of cross-platform play. The game versions are platform-specific, meaning that interactions are limited to players on the same platform. While this lack of cross-platform play may seem like a barrier, the introduction of ESO crossplay could potentially bridge this gap and enhance the gaming experience for players across various platforms.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom for ESO enthusiasts. Despite the absence of cross-platform play, ESO facilitates cross-generation play, allowing gamers on different generations of the same console family, such as the Xbox series and PlayStation consoles, to join forces and battle together.

Cross-Generation Play: Bridging Console Generations

The concept of cross-generation play in ESO has its advantages and drawbacks. This feature signifies the opportunity for players to participate in the game across multiple console generations. Whether you’re playing on PlayStation 4 or the latest PlayStation 5, you can join the same adventure, fight the same monsters, and share the same victories.

By implementing backward compatibility mode on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5, ESO ensures compatibility across diverse console generations. This feature enables players from both the current and previous generations to engage in gameplay together on their own servers. However, this cross-generation play is exclusive to the same console family, meaning that transferring accounts between different console families, such as between Xbox and PlayStation, is not possible.

While cross-generation play is a welcome feature, it may also hold back The Elder Scrolls Online from reaching its full potential. Games that cater to both last-generation and current-gen consoles must make sacrifices to ensure compatibility. As the last generation of consoles ages, the possibility of ESO moving away from cross-generational play becomes increasingly likely.

Limitations and Challenges

Although cross-platform play is an enticing proposition, it doesn’t come without its hurdles. The integration of cross-platform play in ESO presents several challenges, including:

  • Balancing gameplay elements across different platforms
  • Addressing technical differences between platforms
  • Managing network connectivity issues such as latency
  • Disrupting the in-game economies and communities
  • Handling mod support, as mods are available on PC but not on consoles

Additionally, ESO’s server architecture adds another layer of complexity to the roll-out of cross-platform play. The existing server structure was not designed to provide a shared environment across multiple platforms. Furthermore, console players could be at a disadvantage when matched against PC players due to the absence of addons on consoles.

The following table summarizes the key challenges and limitations associated with implementing cross-platform play in ESO:

Server InfrastructureESO’s current server infrastructure, based on the Megaserver technology, was not designed to accommodate multiple platforms in a shared environment. Ensuring compatibility and optimizing game performance across platforms poses significant technological limitations.
Server CapacityExpanding server capacity to support cross-platform play is a difficult task, as the servers were not originally designed to handle multiple platforms simultaneously.
Gameplay BalanceBalancing gameplay across different platforms is a significant challenge, as each platform offers a unique gameplay experience (e.g., PC’s flexibility in graphics, mods, and control options vs. consoles’ consistent performance). Ensuring a fair and enjoyable experience for all players is crucial.
Economic and Social ImpactIntroducing cross-platform play could potentially disrupt the existing in-game economies and social structures, leading to potential imbalances and player dissatisfaction.

Despite these challenges, the possibility of cross-platform play in ESO remains an intriguing prospect, with the potential to bring the community together and enhance the overall gaming experience.

Zenimax Online Studios’ Stance on ESO Crossplay

Regarding the official stance on cross-platform play in ESO, Zenimax Online Studios has neither affirmed nor denied any concrete plans. They have not issued an official statement regarding cross-platform play in ESO and have not actively explored the possibility of integrating this feature into the game. In a recent meeting with Rich Lambert, ESO Creative Director, it was made clear that while nothing is impossible, implementing cross-play would be an extremely difficult undertaking.

Current Priorities and Roadmap

Despite the lack of an official stance on cross-platform play, Zenimax Online Studios’ current priorities provide insights into the future direction of the game. This focus suggests that the company is more geared towards expanding the game’s content and improving the server infrastructure rather than introducing new features like cross-platform play. However, it’s essential to note that player feedback indicates a notable interest in features like housing, suggesting that while cross-platform play may not be a top priority, Zenimax Online Studios may need to consider other features that the community deems important.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Crossplay

Looking ahead, the future of cross-platform play in ESO remains uncertain. Zenimax Online Studios has not indicated any concrete plans to consider cross-platform play for ESO, leaving the community to speculate on the potential effects of such a feature. Potential challenges include ensuring a seamless login experience with a cross-platform user identifier, while potential benefits include the ability to unify communities and provide access to all players regardless of their geographic location or platform.

While the prospect of ESO supporting cross-platform play remains a topic of heated debate, it’s important to remember that Zenimax Online Studios’ decisions are based on a multitude of factors, including maintaining the balance and integrity of the game, providing a consistent and enjoyable experience for players across all platforms, and abiding by platform-specific policies and restrictions.

The Impact on the ESO Community

The lack of cross-platform play in ESO has a significant impact on the game’s community. It prevents players on different platforms from engaging in gameplay together, leading to fragmentation of players who would otherwise collaborate in various activities. From creating guilds to participating in multiplayer events, the absence of cross-play imposes limitations on social interactions and the overall gaming experience.

Platform-Specific Friendships and Connections

In the absence of cross-play, ESO players resort to their individual platforms to establish friendships and cultivate player relationships. The platform restriction in ESO influences the social experience by constraining the options and interactions available to players. Despite these constraints, the game provides various ways for players to build friendships within their platform, such as through questing, storylines, and joining groups through the Group Finder.

However, nurturing platform-specific relationships in ESO is not without its drawbacks. Console versions of the game do not support addons, potentially restricting customization options for certain players. Nonetheless, the opportunity to collaborate in exploring dungeons and obtaining rewards enriches the overall gaming experience for those on the same platform.

The Desire for Unified Servers

While cross-play remains elusive, the desire for unified servers is strong among ESO players. A unified server in online gaming refers to a server that enables players from various platforms to participate in the same game environment. The desire for unified servers in ESO is mainly driven by the wish for cross-platform play, aiming to mitigate latency issues and facilitate seamless gameplay among players from different platforms.

However, the current server structure of ESO, comprised of megaservers dedicated to a specific platform, limits player interactions to those on the same platform. This setup hinders cross-platform play and leads to the fragmentation of the player base. Yet, the desire for unified servers persists, reflecting the community’s longing for a more connected and inclusive gaming environment.

Alternative Ways to Connect with ESO Players

Despite the absence of cross-platform play, ESO players have discovered alternative methods to interact with others. Online platforms such as the official ESO forums and the Reddit community r/elderscrollsonline serve as popular hubs for players to engage in discussions and share information.

These platforms foster an environment where players can discuss in-game activities, exchange tips, and even organize collective activities like dungeons, trials, and PvP encounters. These online communities extend beyond the limitations of the game, allowing players to connect with others across different platforms, serving as a testament to the adaptability of ESO players and their desire to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences, irrespective of platform constraints.

Online Forums and Communities

Online forums and groups serve as essential platforms for ESO players to connect, discuss, and share insights. Participation in these platforms can enrich a player’s ESO experience, offering the opportunity to pose inquiries, exchange insights, and interact with other players. Some of the most active platforms include:

  • Elder Scrolls Forums
  • Emma’s Elder Scrolls Forum
  • The Reddit community r/elderscrollsonline

These platforms represent all ESO players, regardless of their chosen platform, allowing for a diverse and inclusive community. Participating in these platforms can unlock a wealth of resources and insights, as well as provide opportunities for camaraderie and friendship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I play ESO on PS4 if I have it on PC?

No, characters and progress are not shared between platforms, and you will need a separate copy of the game for each platform you wish to play on.

Does Elder Scrolls Online have cross-save?

No, Elder Scrolls Online does not offer cross-save functionality, so progress will not carry over across different platforms. Starting over on each platform may be necessary.

Is Elder Scrolls Online cross-play?

No, Elder Scrolls Online does not currently have a cross-platform feature that allows players on different platforms (e.g., PC, PlayStation, Xbox) to play together.

What are the challenges of integrating cross-platform play in Elder Scrolls Online?

Integrating cross-platform play in Elder Scrolls Online poses challenges such as balancing gameplay elements, addressing technical differences between platforms, managing network connectivity issues, and handling server infrastructure and capacity limitations, as well as potential disruptions to the in-game economies and social structures.

While the absence of cross-platform play in ESO is an ongoing topic of discussion, the game continues to provide an immersive and engaging experience for its dedicated player community. As the gaming industry evolves and technology advances, the possibility of cross-platform play remains an exciting prospect, and the ESO community remains resilient, adapting and finding ways to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences.