No one would have imagined desperately looking up ‘Is Gang Beasts cross-platform?’ a few years ago. The ridiculous beat ‘em up game from developers Boneloaf is not new on the scene, but you’d be forgiven if you don’t know what it is.
Originally released in 2014, Gang Beasts is goofy multiplayer fun at its heart. It might just be the pastime you never thought you were looking for.
But in 2022, is it possible to play Gang Beasts with any of your friends, across different platforms? Let’s find out.
Gang Beasts – An Unlikely Hit
At first glance, the game might not appear as a solid contender for one of the most talked-about online multiplayer games in the world. After all, the familiar elements are all but missing from the title — large sandbox environments, elaborate skill trees, convoluted plots, and loot boxes (ouch!). Why then is Gang Beasts so popular at the moment?
The secret might lie in its simplicity — gelatinous, colorful characters beating the shit out of each other in melee combat, attempting to eliminate each other from the many hazardous environments. Set in the fictional Beef City, it relies on the players enjoying absurd fight sequences in the absence of any needless backstory, competition against each other or on the same team.
Gang Beasts developer Boneloaf set out to create a silly, multiplayer where you could customize your character to an extent and simply fight your friends for hours.
What Are Beat ‘Em Up Party Games?
What is the Beat ‘em up party genre all about? As the name states, the focus is on beating up your opponents in melee combat, usually needing a party of two or more players in order to win. The objectives are typically to eliminate other players either by beating them unconscious or throwing them off the map while completing secondary objectives along the way.
Think of the Capcom titles of yore such as Double Dragon, Streets of Rage and Final Fight. All were great beat ‘em up games that rocked the arcades in the 90s. Gang Beasts gameplay takes this up a notch with a focus on offering campy, basic fun to the player and a huge list of supported controllers to choose from.
What Are The Advantages Of Cross-platform?
‘Cross-Platform’ or cross-platform play refers to the feature allowing a game to be playable across multiple platforms like PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and more. Games that offer cross-platform functionality enable users to join others who’re playing on other platforms.
For example, cross-play functionality can allow you, a PC player, to compete with your friends who’re playing on, say, an Xbox One or a PS4.
Cross-platform is still a rare feature in the gaming industry even in 2022. Only a handful of major publishers offer crossplay functionality for their flagship games. Titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Rocket League are some examples of cross-platformers.
Cross-play offers gamers a vast pool of players to compete with since they get exposed to to the communities on other platforms too. Furthermore, it saves your friends the hassle of purchasing an extra device just so you can have fun together.
Also Read: Is GTA 5 Cross-Platform?
Is Gang Beasts Cross-Platform In 2022?
Gang Beasts is currently available on Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Apple Mac OS and Linux operating systems. It’s also currently in Early Access for the Oculus Rift. But the cross-platform feature is yet to fully arrive in the game.
The developers announced recently that work is underway to make the game compatible with cross-play in the coming months. But that doesn’t mean it will allow cross-play for all different platforms.
Bringing this functionality to games today involves a lot of business gymnastics on the part of the publishers, especially with reference to Microsoft and Sony. But there might be good news in store for fans who’re waiting to play the game with their friends on a different platform.
PC and Xbox One
Gang Beasts finally showed the first positive signs regarding cross-play in June 2021, when the game was announced to receive crossplay functionality between Xbox and Microsoft Store starting July 1, 2021. It’s worth noting here that only the Microsoft store version of the game received this feature, not the Steam version.
Hence, as a PC player, the Microsoft Store is your only option for cross-play with your Xbox friends.
Related: Is Battlefront 2 Crossplay
Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One
Even though the game was not cross-compatible between Xbox One and the Series X/S earlier, with the June 2021 announcement, things changed for the better. Players on the two generations of Xbox devices can now play Gang Beasts with each other.
Being the same version of the game running on two consoles on the same platform, it might feel obvious that cross-play should be available for these two. But such is the state of things today that even enabling this functionality took its sweet time.
PS4 and Xbox One
Sadly, there is no cross-play available between these two devices right now. Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation are some of the most ideal systems for a game like Gang Beasts, allowing for comfortable couch gaming with controller support.
But as of now, PlayStation and Xbox users have to make do with playing among their own community of gamers. With time, there might be positive developments from the publishers that offer cross-play functionality between the two different brands of devices.
PC and PS4
The PC version and the PS4 version of the game are currently not cross-play compatible either. Cross-platform support between PC and consoles is a tough nut to crack for developers and publishers, not just due to the different architectures of the systems.
PS often demands a significant fee from game developers and publishers to allow cross-play on their platforms. This added cost can be huge for an indie studio like Boneloaf. Hence, cross-play between PC and PS4 hasn’t materialized to date.
Related: Is Ark Cross Platform Enabled?
PS4 and PS5
There is no separate PS5 version of the game. The PS4 version can be played without any issues on the next-gen Sony console. But as far as cross-platform play is concerned, players on the PS4 cannot play the game with those on the PS5.
It’s frustrating for the player base when even consoles on the very same platform do not offer cross-play functionality. It pushes some fans to abandon the game and the player base reduces, as a result.
Will Gang Beasts Ever Be Cross Platform On All Devices?
As of today, there has been no official announcement on universal cross-functionality for Gang Beasts. And with the inherent differences in the architectures of the different platforms coupled with the financial obstacles preventing the adoption of cross-play, there is little hope of any change anytime soon.
To be fair, a game like Gang Beasts may not benefit much from the introduction of universal cross-play. Fans can still enjoy the silly, multiplayer gameplay with players on the same platform.
What Is The Difference Between Cross-Platform And Multiplatform?
There’s often some confusion between these two terms. While cross-platform refers to the feature allowing a game to be played across different devices, multiplatform simply means the availability of a game on different platforms.
A large majority of the games available today have both a PC and a console edition, irrespective of whether they’re cross-play compatible or not.
There are some exceptions to this, famously the console-exclusive games either on the PlayStation or the Xbox side. Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us series, Uncharted series are some console-defining exclusives on the PlayStation platform. Xbox, on the other hand, has offerings like the Forza Motorsport series, Forza Horizon series, Halo series, and other titles.
It’s worth noting that the Xbox titles are also available to PC players. And gradually, PlayStation titles, like Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, and Death Stranding have started to make their way to PC players as well.
Gang Beasts is currently available at local and online retailers for around $9. The game shot up in popularity due to fans of Twitch content, owing to no limitations from the developers on publishing monetized or non-monetized gameplay content based on the game.
The way forward looks bright for the game due to its unique blend of fresh combat gameplay and limitless potential for hilarious situations.