Unfortunately, the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) does not offer cross-platform play between consoles and PC at this time. However, cross-generation play does exist. Keep reading to uncover how these features work within ESO, understand the limitations, and learn more about the social dynamics and future prospects of crossplay within the ESO community.
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.
Cross Platform Play in The Elder Scrolls Online
One aspect of The Elder Scrolls Online, celebrated for its rich lore and immersive gameplay, which provokes frequent discussion among its players, is the absence of cross-platform play. The game versions are platform-specific, meaning that the interactions are limited to players on the same platform. This lack of cross-platform play may seem like a steep barrier to overcome, especially with the growing trend of cross-platform gaming in the industry. However, the introduction of Elder Scrolls Online crossplay could potentially bridge this gap and enhance the gaming experience for players across different platforms soon.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for ESO players. Despite the absence of cross-platform play, ESO does facilitate cross-generation play. This feature allows gamers on different generations of the same console family, such as the Xbox series and PlayStation consoles, to join forces and battle together.
The Cross-Generational Bridge
The concept of cross-generation play in ESO has its positives and negatives. This feature signifies the opportunity for players to participate in the game across multiple console generations. In other words, 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.
Is it possible that cross-generation is holding back The Elder Scrolls Online from its fullest potential? Definitely! Any game that must simultaneously cater to last-generation and current-gen consoles must make some sacrifices. In fact, many newer games simply do not support the last generation of consoles. Will ESO eventually move away from cross-generational play? No one knows for sure, but as the last generation gets older that possibility becomes even more certain.
The Challenges of Integrating Cross Platform Features in ESO
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 problems, including:
Balancing gameplay elements
Addressing technical differences between platforms
Managing network connectivity issues such as latency
Disrupting the in-game economies and communities
The server architecture of ESO 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.
Server Infrastructure and Capacity Concerns
The current server infrastructure of ESO is based on a technology known as Megaserver. This technology allows all players to be accommodated on a single server but within different worlds. However, integrating cross-platform features into the current ESO server infrastructure involves ensuring compatibility and optimizing game performance, which presents significant technological limitations.
Moreover, server capacity is a key concern when considering cross-platform play. In online games where the player’s computer or console serves as the server, the hardware capabilities can impose restrictions on the number of players that the server can accommodate, thereby hindering cross-platform play. Expanding server capacity for cross-platform play is a difficult task, given that the servers were not designed to support multiple platforms in a shared space.
Balancing Gameplay Across Platforms
Balancing gameplay across different platforms is another significant challenge when considering cross-platform play in ESO. Several difficulties arise from this, including:
Ensuring player satisfaction through game balance
Each platform offers a different gameplay experience. For instance, the PC platform offers greater flexibility in balancing visuals and performance and modding, while console platforms, such as the Xbox Series X, may have more consistent performance for more players, including smoother loading and running of the game. Additionally, the control options for ESO on PC include the use of keyboard+mouse and/or a gamepad, along with the ability to use addons. However, consoles do not support addons, potentially impacting gameplay balance.
Zenimax Online Studios’ Stance on ESO Cross Platform
Regarding the official position on cross-platform play in ESO, Zenimax Online Studios has neither affirmed nor denied any plans. They have not issued an official statement regarding cross-platform play in ESO and have not explored the possibility of integrating cross-platform play in the game. In a recent meeting with Rich Lamber, ESO Creative Director, it was made clear that nothing is impossible, but that cross-play was extremely difficult.
Despite the lack of an official stance on cross-platform play, Zenimax Online Studios’ current priorities give us some insight into the future of the game. The focus of development for ESO is currently on the re-architecture of servers and major content expansions such as Gold Road. However, Zenimax Online Studios has no current plans to incorporate cross-platform functionality into ESO.
Current Priorities for Elder Scrolls Online
Zenimax Online Studios’ current priorities for ESO include major expansions and server re-architecture. The significant expansion in the pipeline for ESO is Gold Road, which is part of the Shadow Over Morrowind story arc and is scheduled to be released in June 2024. This focus suggests that the company is more geared towards expanding the content and improving the server infrastructure of the game rather than introducing new features like cross-platform play.
Interestingly, player feedback indicates that Zenimax’s emphasis on PvP gameplay and major content expansions may not completely align with player desires. There is also a notable player interest in features like housing, suggesting that while the company’s priorities may not include cross-platform play, they may need to consider other features that the community deems important.
Looking Ahead: What the Future Holds
Looking ahead, the future of cross-platform play in ESO remains uncertain. Zenimax Online Studios has not indicated any 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. These include:
Maintaining the balance and integrity of the game
Providing a consistent and enjoyable experience for players across all platforms
Abiding by platform-specific policies and restrictions.
The Impact of No Cross Play on the ESO Community
Undoubtedly, the lack of cross-play in ESO has a significant effect 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 the game. From creating guilds to participating in multiplayer activities, the lack of cross-play imposes limitations on social interactions and the overall gaming experience.
Despite these limitations, the ESO community thrives, with players finding ways to connect within their respective platforms. However, the sentiment among ESO players regarding the absence of cross-play is mostly of apprehension. Many players believe that cross-play is important in maintaining a robust player base and preventing fragmentation of the community.
Building Friendships on One Platform
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.
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
In spite of the absence of cross-play, ESO players have discovered other 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. They serve as a testament to the adaptability of ESO players and their desire to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences, irrespective of platform constraints.
Joining Online Forums and Groups
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, and the Reddit community dedicated to Elder Scrolls Online.
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.
While the absence of cross-platform play in ESO is a topic of ongoing discussion, the game offers alternative means of connectivity such as cross-generation play and shared servers for PC and Stadia players. Despite the challenges and limitations, ESO continues to provide an immersive and engaging gaming experience for its player community. As the gaming industry evolves, the possibility of cross-platform play remains a topic of heated debate and anticipation. Nonetheless, the ESO community thrives, adapting and finding ways to connect, collaborate, and share their experiences, reflecting the resilience and passion of ESO players.
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 have a cross platform feature.
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, managing network connectivity, and handling server infrastructure and capacity.