Following high excitement and hype to play Palworld, the latest patch left me highly disappointed. You see, the update has absolutely broken Palworld squads, leaving me high and dry while my friends plough onwards. Worse yet, crossplay seems even further out of reach as a result. Thanks, Xbox.
Palworld coming to Game Pass was a blessing on January 19. After all, I could play the monster collector at no extra cost than my usual monthly subscription. At first, there were no major issues. Everything ran as it should, as long as you have a good enough computer, that is. The game was a bit demanding, with my RX 7900 XT only reaching 100fps at 1440p. Fortunately, this is understandable for early access.
On the first day, we built a little camp, captured many pals (the Pokemon-like creatures), and put them to work. My favourites are pretty much any fire-breather, which can cook food while you are away. However, as you may expect for early access, the game has some bugs here and there.
The first issue saw a friend get stuck behind walls. This bug happened to him at least two times during the same session. The only solution to get out of this bad situation was to invoke a mountable pal outside of the wall and then ride it, which pops the character out from the wall. Suppose you haven’t made it that far into the game, then tough luck. You’d need to respawn from the menu and potentially lose your gear behind the textures.
Another annoying bug came with using the teleporter. The moment my friend stepped out from the other side, he got slingshot some 3km away toward the sea. And since, like Zelda, you have a stamina bar that limits how much you can swim/climb, he couldn’t make it to shore, losing all the resources he had. There was no solution this time aside from rolling back to an earlier save point to get back the lost items.
Credit to Pocket Pair, the developers are trying to iron everything out with patches. Unfortunately, the fun stopped the next day when an update-related bug locked us from hosting a party. Wanting to continue playing, my friends moved from Game Pass to Steam. Sadly, the two versions are wildly incompatible with no crossplay just yet.
The issue is that the Steam version is far ahead of the Windows/Game Pass one. Palworld is currently at v0.1.3.0 on Steam, against v0.1.1.2 on PC Game Pass. If I’m not mistaken, the current Game Pass version is actually older than the first version that launched on Steam. Funnily enough, during my first playing session, the game didn’t even have a close button in the main menu, so I had to Alt + F4 to leave it.
The reason for this discrepancy seems to be that Microsoft takes more time to approve software or, in this case, game updates. And for an early access title that gets updates often to test new features, it seems that the Game Pass version will never catch Steam until the final release.
While these problematic points may lead you to think the game is bad, it’s pretty fun to play. Just tailor your expectations. Furthermore, the game isn’t properly finished, with the following features still in development:
- Raid Bosses (End-Game Content)
- Pal Arena (PvP for Pals)
- Steam-Xbox Crossplay
- Various Xbox Feature Improvements
- Server Transfers and Migrations
- Improvements to the Building System
- New islands, Pals, Bosses, and Technologies.
Seeing how Palworld is already playable in this state – aside from cross-platform – I am fairly optimistic about the final result.