Online multiplayer is one of the best things Internet has done for video games. It enabled massive 60 player battles in Battlefield, or makes 100-player battle royales possible, and MMORPGs have thousands of players per server going about their business and interacting. Unfortunately, often said multiplayer lumps players based on the platform they play on, for various reasons.
Luckily, there are many games where this is not the case, because they have the feature known as cross platform play, or cross-play. With it users of Xbox One can play with the PlayStation 4 crowd, or Nintendo Switch fans can matchmake with Windows 10 users
Video games that support cross-platform play
Crossplay often isn’t enabled for all platforms a game has been published on. A first-person shooter might only allow it for console players, because PC-=gamers’ mouse & keyboard combo would be an unfair advantage, for example. On the other hand if a game is more cooperative in nature, it’s possible that all applicable platforms can play together.
Below you’ll find a list of games with cross platform enabled. We split it into groups based on which platforms can play together. There may be more release platforms for all of these games, but if they don’t support crossplay, they won’t be mentioned to avoid muddying the waters. With that said, on to the list. Each cross-play option received three examples, but there are many more out there, this is just the start.
Cross Platform PC and PS4 and XO
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Modern Warfare is a long running subseries of the Call of Duty games, and the 2019 instalment resets the counter from 4, and adds a bunch of interesting features, in addition to the singleplayer campaign and the ever-present CoD multiplayer, the 2019 game also has the Battle Royale in the form of the Warzone mode for up to 150 players on the map playing solo or in teams of 3 or 4.
Between Warzone and the Special Ops (which replaced the traditional Zombies mode in Modern Warfare) there’s enough playtime to share with your friends using other platforms. The Special Ops are a follow-up to the singleplayer campaigns’ storyline and present a set of objectives to complete on an open, large map, and having a well-coordinated team of four is essential to success.
Call of Duty: Warzone is free to play
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky is a game with potentially a nearly infinite number of planets to discover, name, and explore. You will build bases to have a safe haven among the stars, , and fly both in atmosphere and between planets and stars as you make your way towards the centre of the galaxy and secrets within. And you can do it with other people, thanks to improved multiplayer.
Each planet and its wildlife is procedurally generated, resulting in unique geological formations, and often some quite bizarre animals, which you can name if you’re the first person to discover them. If you’re looking for a space-themed game that’s more relaxing that the more intense Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky might be just the you (and your friends from other platforms) need.
Star Wars: Squadrons
Star Wars space combat games are something of a relic from a bygone era, despite The Old Republic and the Battlefront games having segments dedicated to letting your X-Wings and your TIE Fighters soar through the sky. Thanks to Motive Studios, you can do that again. Not only does Star Wars: Squadrons bring back SW flight sims, but also has a few interesting features, including multiplatform crossplay.
One of the features is a singleplayer campaign showing the perspectives of both Rebel and Empire pilots after the Battle of Endor. To maximise your effectiveness, you have to reroute power to different systems, boosting shields, engines, or blasters as necessary. The developers also made sure that the cockpits of every ship look as if taken straight out of the original SW trilogy for extra immersion.
Cross platform PS4 and PC
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realms Reborn
|Developer||Square Enix Business Division 5|
Like No Man’s Sky earlier in the article, Final Fantasy XIV is an example of a game becoming much, much better in time. In FF14’s case it took a complete rerelease, but the “A Realm Reborn” edition, and its several massive expansions is a fantastic MMORPG for anyone who isn’t averse to the aesthetic. Final Fantasy has a very flexible class system depending largely on the equipment you’re using.
As of 2020 there are three expansions: Heavesward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers, each adding a lot of new features, such as new classes, in addition to moving the storyline forward. And it’s a very good and engaging story, dramatic and on a grand scale. And since MMOs are at their best when you play with friends, it’s really nice that FF14 features crossplay, broadening the playerbase.
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
|Developer||Red Storm Entertainment|
If you’ve always liked Star trek and always thought that you could do as good a job as any officer serving on the bridge of Enterprise (or Aegis in this case), Stark Trek: Bridge Crew is a game where you can put these claims to a test, provided you have friends to play with, and, preferably, if everyone has VR headsets. The game can be played without them, but it takes a little from the experience.
The players assume the positions of four bridge roles: tactical officer, helm officer, engineer, and, of course, captain. Each role has its own specific area of expertise, and it falls to the captain to issue relevant orders and ensure the objective is completed. It’s a great experience, and even though you won’t get to leave for ground missions, running a ship together is immersive and satisfying.
Street Fighter V
The Street Fighter franchise is one of the most famous fighting game series, next to Mortal Kombat. Characters such as Guile or Chun-Li enjoy an iconic status, and to date the series is up to five main entries as a bunch of spin-offs and crossovers. Street Fighter V, the to-date most recent mainline instalment is an exemplar of the series, and a great fighting game in its own right.
SFV brought a few new elements to the combat system polished over decades. There are is now a V-gauge, related to three new categories of moves. V-Triggers, for example, provide character-specific abilities, like boosts or upgraded versions of their attacks. There are also several new characters in the roster, which couple with the V-gauge moves gives veterans something new to learn .
Cross platform Xbox One and PC
Deep Rock Galactic
|Developer||Ghost Ship Games|
Deep Rock Galactic is a brilliant game about a bunch of space dwarves exploring caverns full of precious resources and dangerous monsters. It’s a thoroughly cooperative experience, since each class is uniquely qualified to perform a certain role during exploration, excavation, extermination, and, as is often the case, panicked, rapid extraction. It can be played solo, but it’s not the same.
The four available classes are Engineer capable for creating useful platforms, self-explanatory Driller with a satchel charge, minigun-using Gunner with a zipline gun, and Scout with a grappling hook and flares. Each can be further customised with new equipment, and a load of cosmetic options like different styles of beards, headwear, etc, all unlocked through making progress in the game, which is great.
Gears 5 follows Kait Diaz, whom we first met in Gears of Gears 4. She and her friends, Delmont Walker, and JD Fenix are a new generation of human soldiers on planet Sera, now faced with the invading forced of The Swarm, assaulting the surface like the Locust did in decades earlier. But Kait has a different, more personal mission, connected to the central conflict.
Like all main Gears of War games, Gears 5 is a fantastic co-operative game, be it in the campaign, as you follow Kait on her journey, or in the dedicated multiplayer modes like Escape or the classic Horde. Gears 5 cross-platform multiplayer works between all three platforms: Steam, Win10 and Xbox One, but Xbox players can choose not to matchmake with PC if they don’t want to.
Sea of Thieves
Pirate games are a mixed bag, but among them Sea of Thieves certainly shines bright, simply because it’s a fun, colourful game able to capture the swashbuckling adventure expected of pirate fiction. You pick your avatar from a (refreshable) pool of procedurally generated pirates, looking more in line with “Peter Pan” pirates than “Black Sails” pirates, which lends the game an air of levity.
SoT is at its best when you have a crew of up to a total of four people, each fulfilling some duty on the ship. There are three faction, each offering a different type of “voyage”, be it treasure hunting, combat, or transport missions. A successful voyage awards gold and reputation with the given faction, which can then be spent on equipment and making your pirate look as cool as it gets.
Cross Platform PS4 and XO
Hunt: Showdown is an interesting game. It’s a monster-hunting game set in the late 19th century, but it also have strong PvP element, because your small team is not the ONLY small team trying to get the trophy and get the reward. As a result you not only have to track and kill a horrific monster, but also keep an eye out for other humans, making each match very tense.
Of course nothing stops you from trying to grab the prize from successful hunters, nothing but, potentially, their bullets. The maps are of rural areas twisted by the monstrous presence you’re there to dispose of. There might be zombies, or ravenous worms in the water. The game has permadeath, so when your hunter dies you have to start from scratch, with only Bloodline unlocks to help.
Mortal Kombat 11
Mortal Kombat 11 is the third part of the series reboot started in Mortal Kombat 9, and the ongoing mess comes to a head here, with timelines crashing, rivalries resolving, and friendships being tested. It’s all very dramatic in the best B-movie, self-aware kind of way. Of course the gameplay is as good as it’s ever been, with incredibly brutal, creative Fatalities, and some new mechanics to spice matches up.
MK11 also saw the return of some old mechanics, like Friendships, which is much more cheerful and upbeat that Fatalities or Brutalities, and there’s also Mercy, back from Ultimate MK3, which lets you, appropriately, revive the opponent and give them a second chance. There’s even character customisation system similar to that of NetherRealm’s Injustice 2, but without mechanical benefits.
PUBG was a smash hit when it launched, a game fully dedicated to being a Battle Royale, and being really good at it, since it came from a man who worked with that genre a lot before as a modder. You and 99 other people are dropped from a plane onto an island and you get two objectives: find equipment, and be the last one (or ones, if you play with friends) standing .
If you (or your team) can survive to the end, you get the proverbial chicken dinner. The better you played in a round, the more currency you get to spend on cosmetic items, so that you don’t start each game in your underwear. For fairness’ sake, console players can play together, but PC players can only play among themselves. It’s also much more down-to-earth and serious than its competition.
Cross platform Switch-others
Minecraft has released on so many platforms that its arrival on Nintendo Switch was merely a matter of time. There’s no loss of functionality, so you’re going to explore a world procedurally generated out of voxels and mine it for crafting resources in the same way regardless of the platform. Minecraft is great when you’re alone, but the most impressive deeds can only be done with a team.
With a powerful cross-platform functionality you and your friends can play anywhere. PC, Switch, Xbox, mobile version, it doesn’t matter, you can log in to the game and contribute to a cool project you all have going on. Minecraft remains one of the most creativity-enabling games in history, allowing dedicated users and groups to build amazing things, both in vanilla and modded versions.
Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition
|Developer||Beamdog, originally: BioWare|
Neverwinter Nights was the last Dungeons & Dragons game developed by BioWare, after the Baldur’s Gate series. In the years it has somewhat faded into obscurity, overshadowed by its sequel, or the Dragon Age series, but it remains an interesting title, and, thanks to developer Beamdog, in 2019 it received an Enhanced Edition, making it work and look better, and generally improving the game.
A large part of NWN’s experience was the excellent multiplayer mode, enabling player to create their own adventure modules and run them for others, like a Game Master in tabletop RPGs. People have even managed to create servers with persistent worlds, a small-scale MMORPGs devoted to roleplaying. The crossplay-enabling Enhanced Edition brought that feature to new platforms.
Rocket League isn’t one of the kind sports game only because its developer, Psyonix, had made Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-cars which is Rocket League’s direct spiritual predecessor. The idea of RL is simple: what of football, but with jet-powered cars instead of human players. Each car can not only boost its speed, but also perform impressive aerial manoeuvres.
The car can jump a bit, purposefully flip side to side or end-over-end, and even ride up the walls of the stadiums matches take place on, all of which is useful to chase the ball and put in your opponents’ goal. The skill ceiling is very high, and it takes a lot of practice to get the hang of all the tricks and good practices, but when you do, Rocket League matches start to look amazing.
Go forth and play with your friends from other platforms
This concludes our compilation of cross platform games feature. There are more option, both paid and free to play, but the games we listed above are some safe bets if you’re looking for a game to play with friends whose platform of choice isn’t the same as yours.