Don’t Starve Together But Apart: The Struggle for Crossplay

Don’t Starve Together (DST) is a multiplayer expansion of the popular survival game Don’t Starve. Developed by Klei Entertainment, DST allows groups of players to team up and brave the wilderness together.

A key aspect of any multiplayer game is cross-play – the ability to play together across different gaming platforms. For DST, this could mean playing between PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Cross-play opens up the multiplayer pool so more friends can join in together regardless of their platform.

This article examines Is Don’t Starve Together Cross Platform. Can players on PC join up with their friends on Xbox? Is cross-progression supported to transfer items between devices? We’ll take a close look at the platforms DST is available on and see which support connecting. Understanding the cross-play situation is helpful for both current and prospective DST players who want to survive the wilderness with their friends no matter their platform.

Is Don’t Starve Together Cross Platform Between PC and Consoles

There is currently no cross-platform play enabled between the PC and console versions of Don’t Starve Together. Players on PC are restricted to only playing with other PC players, and cannot connect with those on Xbox One or PlayStation 4.

This lack of crossplay between PCs and consoles exists due to the challenges of synchronizing different platforms, control schemes, and maintaining fairness across the user bases. The PC version has access to console commands and mods that can alter gameplay, while the console releases do not.

There is hope that with the new generation of consoles, crossplay may become more feasible. The Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 provide more powerful hardware that potentially could sync up better with PC. However, the Don’t Starve Together developers Klei Entertainment have not indicated if there are any plans to enable crossplay between PC and the next-gen consoles. Fans eagerly await any news, as crossplay would significantly expand the pool of players and availability of multiplayer for all platforms.

For now, though, those on PC will continue to be limited to playing with others on PC only. Consoles can only play together with the same device, such as Xbox with Xbox. Cross-platform multiplayer remains elusive between PC and all console versions of Don’t Starve Together in the current state of the game.

Is Don’t Starve Together Cross Platform Between PlayStation and Xbox

Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One platforms have crossplay functionality in Don’t Starve Together allowing players on those respective devices to play together. This provides an important connection between the two dominant console platforms.

However, information on crossplay capabilities between the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S consoles remains unknown. As these new platforms have only recently launched, compatibility for Don’t Starve Together crossplay specifically has not yet been announced or confirmed by the developers.

With PlayStation and Xbox tending to alternate their console launch cycles, there is often a period when crossplay is restricted between the latest and last-generation platforms. It remains to be seen if Don’t Starve Together will allow PS5 players to join sessions with PS4 friends, and Xbox Series X|S with Xbox One. Full cross-generation support would maximize the player base, but developers may wait to leverage the newer consoles’ capabilities.

The community hopes the latest PlayStation and Xbox devices will include cross-play support for Don’t Starve Together once the install base grows. But concrete details from the developers are still forthcoming. Gamers eager to play together across console brands and console generations may have to continue waiting for official updates.

Nintendo Switch Version

The Nintendo Switch version of Don’t Starve Together launched in June 2020 without any cross-platform play capabilities. This means Switch players are restricted to only playing with other Switch players.

The developers, Klei Entertainment, have not provided much detail on whether crossplay could come to the Switch version in the future. When asked about Switch crossplay on the Don’t Starve Together forums, a developer responded saying “We don’t have any info to share about other platforms at this time.”

The Switch port was handled by Shiro Games, known for Northgard and Wargroove. The port has no known technical limitations that would prevent crossplay being added, but it seems to be more of a design choice by the developers.

Without crossplay enabled, the Switch version has a much smaller playerbase than PC/Xbox/PlayStation. This can make matchmaking difficult at times, as there are fewer active players online. Fans have expressed hopes that crossplay could eventually come to the Switch version to unite the playerbase and provide more multiplayer accessibility.

Cross-Progression

The developers of Don’t Starve Together have announced plans to implement a shared unlocks system in a future update. This cross-progression system will allow players to link their Klei accounts across platforms to share certain in-game progression between devices.

Specifically, the shared unlocks will synchronize unlocked character skins, pet skins, and other aesthetic items that are tied to player progression. For example, if you unlock the Robot Skin for Wilson on PC, linking your Klei account will allow that skin to also be usable when playing DST on PlayStation or Xbox with the same account.

This cross-progression system is a major step towards improving the experience for DST players who own the game on multiple platforms. However, it appears that progression like unlocked recipes or advancement through the game’s chapters will remain separate per device. The shared unlocks are focused specifically on cosmetic skins and account-level content.

While full cross-progression would be ideal, the planned shared unlocks system is a good compromise to improve multi-platform accessibility. Players can look forward to being able to show off their unlocked skins and items across any device where they own DST. Linking Klei accounts will finally provide some consistency for players jumping between platforms.

Developer Challenges

Implementing full cross-platform play presents numerous challenges for the developers of Don’t Starve Together. As a smaller indie studio, Klei Entertainment has limited resources compared to major AAA game publishers.

One of the biggest hurdles is that the various console platforms do not make crossplay easy to implement from a technical perspective. Each platform has its own infrastructure, protocols, and restrictions around crossplay support. Significant engineering work is required to find solutions to bridge these divides.

Additionally, Klei has focused their efforts on continuing to expand and refine the core Don’t Starve Together experience, rather than prioritizing crossplay. New characters, biomes, creatures, and other content have taken precedence over tackling the complex crossplay problem.

The Don’t Starve community has repeatedly expressed a strong desire for expanded crossplay capabilities. Players want to be able to adventure together regardless of whether their friends play on PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Switch. Crossplay would significantly improve the multiplayer experience.

While cross-progression synchronization is a good first step, fans eagerly await the day when full crossplay is enabled. Klei will need to prioritize crossplay integration higher amongst their roadmap if the community’s hopes are to be fulfilled any time soon. For now, crossplay still appears to be a distant prospect for Don’t Starve Together.

Workaround Options

Since full crossplay between all platforms is not yet available in Don’t Starve Together, players have come up with some creative workaround options to play with friends on different devices in the meantime.

One option is for players to use the Steam version on PC, while friends play the Xbox version. Through Steam’s Remote Play Together feature, the PC player can then stream and share control of the game to the Xbox players. This allows them to play together online, though only the PC player will actually be controlling the game.

Players have also found success using Parsec to connect devices. By installing Parsec on PC and linking to friends on Xbox, you can synchronize controls and video to play DST as if on the same platform. This does require a strong, stable internet connection for both parties.

Using remote access tools like Parsec or Rainway is another potential workaround. By giving a friend remote access to your gaming PC, they can control your game instance as if playing locally. This allows combined PC-console gameplay. Just be sure to trust whoever you are granting remote access!

While not ideal solutions, these user-created methods allow a form of crossplay while fans await official support. With some creativity and third-party tools, you can bring together different platforms for Don’t Starve Together. But ultimately the best experience will come once developers fully deliver on true cross-progression and gameplay between all versions.

The Future of Don’t Starve Together Crossplay

While Klei has begun taking steps towards cross-platform capabilities with the shared unlocks system, full crossplay between all devices still seems a distant prospect for Don’t Starve Together.

The developers have not provided any timeline or commitment to implementing true crossplay. This is likely due to the technical challenges and significant work required to sync up the different console and PC versions. Crossplay for multiplayer games also often depends on agreement and cooperation between the platform holders like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Given the continued popularity of DST and desire for crossplay from its community, Klei faces pressure to prioritize expanded platform access. However, as an independent studio, they must balance those requests with limited resources.

It’s possible enabling crossplay is simply not feasible currently, either due to technical limitations or the costs outweighing the potential benefits. Unfortunately, that means players shouldn’t expect to see full crossplay added anytime soon.

For now, coordinated workarounds like setting up individual servers for each platform remain the best option. But hopefully in the future, with next-gen consoles and continued DST support, Klei can find a way to fully unite the Don’t Starve Together community across all platforms.

Importance of Don’t Starve Together Crossplay

Crossplay has become an increasingly important feature for multiplayer games to attract and retain players across platforms. For co-op survival games like Don’t Starve Together that rely on multiplayer, crossplay support can make or break the experience.

Without crossplay capabilities, the DST player base is segmented across platforms. Friends on PC can’t adventure together with those on PlayStation or Xbox. Server populations are restricted to single platforms, limiting the multiplayer pool. This can make it hard to find people to play with or find active servers, especially as the game ages.

Crossplay opens up multiplayer access across platforms. Friends can squad up regardless of their gaming device. Servers are populated from a combined platform player base. Matchmaking is quicker with a larger pool of players available. The overall health of multiplayer thrives with a united community.

For multiplayer indie games like Don’t Starve Together, crossplay is almost essential to foster a thriving community after launch. Segmenting the player base risks making multiplayer unviable in the long run. DST relies on cooperative play at its core, so crossplay would provide huge benefits.

Hopefully crossplay comes sooner than later for Don’t Starve Together. Uniting the community and player base across PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Switch would take the co-op survival experience to the next level. For now, cross-progression unlocks are a step in the right direction. But full crossplay support should be a high priority for DST moving forward.

Conclusion

Don’t Starve Together currently lacks cross-platform compatibility and multiplayer functionality is restricted as a result. Players are segregated based on the platform they play on, with no ability to play together across PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch.

Cross-platform play has become an increasingly important feature in multiplayer games, allowing friends to play together regardless of their device. Don’t Starve Together should make crossplay a priority in order to unite its player base and provide the connectivity that fans desire. The developers have started down the path with planned shared unlocks across accounts, but true crossplay between all platforms is still needed.

The community hopes to one day be able to play DST with each other across PC, consoles, and even mobile. For now, the lack of cross-platform compatibility fragments the player base and limits multiplayer accessibility. Don’t Starve Together has great cooperative potential, if only players weren’t restricted by their platform. The developers should heed the calls from fans and work to enable full crossplay between at least the major systems. Until then, Don’t Starve Together won’t truly deliver the unified multiplayer experience players long for.

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