The Forest Update Adds Sapling Co-Op Multiplayer

Now you don't need to make friends with the slick, naked cannibals.

The Forest hit early access and impressed first Adam and I and then John. Maybe it can now impress us all simultaneously, as the latest update to the island survival game just added co-op multiplayer.

Here is the best part of this update. In order to make co-op multiplayer a pleasing reality, the first item on the changelog is, “Slowed down tennis ball throw massively so players can play catch together on beach.” This is very important. I have tried so many times in videogames to throw things to a friend for them to catch and netcode and physics are almost never robust enough to make it a reality. What else are you going to do on a jungle island covered in cannibals and an uncanny number of seagulls but toss a ball around?

Also, given that the set-up for The Forest is that you’re a survivor a plane crash and looking for your kidnapped son, I wonder how co-op changes that.

Unlike a lot of other survival games in Early Access, The Forest works because it’s hard and because it’s intent on throwing the limited amount of content it has at you in quick order. It never feels empty or boring because you’ll almost immediately be dealing with tentative cannibals, hunting down swarms of rabbits, or stumbling around dark caves. Then you’ll die, and even if you’ve seen almost everything there is to see by your fourth life, you’ll have never felt comfortable. You’re compelled to keep trying because you’re always struggling to gain some stable foothold in terms of your available shelter and food.


  1. padger says:

    This game scares me.

    That is all.

    • djrodw says:

      I must agree. dark forest, creepy skittish cannibals who always seem to attack when you least expect it… yea, scares me too.

      • Cinek says:

        I was more like… frustrated by this game last time playing it. It’s designed to make you lose, and on every step you think “aaa…. why, WHY I can’t do what I want to do?!”.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Could you elaborate on the term “loose”? Loose as in “footloose” or like loose as in like how your plane just crashed and now you are cut loose in the forest?

  2. says:

    Still this game is too early into development, to be playable more than an hour long.
    But devs are working, which is nice, maybe someday eventually game will be something really good

  3. bosseye says:

    If I was ever in a plane crash on a cannibal island and woke up sans offspring, definitely one of the first things I would do is craft myself a Gazebo. I therefore wouldn’t worry about co-op shattering any illusions of story or overarching goal as currently there isn’t really one and you tend to spend your time doing anything but hunt for missing children.

    Got this back on first release as I was so intrigued and whilst it has been fun, immersive, terrifying etc, after the first few updates I decided to hold off until a lot closer to completion when it will be a more cohesive experience. The updates have been fairly frequent though, which is heartening.

  4. Gravy100 says:

    A funny thought but it’s kind of understandable that the people in this game attack the player, you’re this strange being that’s sailed to earth in a rocket and blown up in their living space making them a tad antsy and aggressive.

    In this game more than others it would be great to try and relate to the people here perhaps through peaceful actions etc, perhaps this is just going to be a horror game and that’s cool but there’s possibilities here that would be great to expand upon.

  5. trout says:

    does anyone know if you can disable the enemies/cannibal hoards yet? (i remember this was somewhere raised as being an option)

    • Biggus_Dikkus says:

      type vegan mode in main menu

      • trout says:

        thank you very much! – as an aside, it’s quite amusing the title screen changes from a mutilated head on a stake to a pretty blue flower :D

  6. PoulWrist says:

    Having watched Robbaz’ videoseries on this on youtube, I can’t say it looks like a game that’s even close to being in a finished or impressive state. More like a buggy, broken mess of ideas that hardly stick together.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      The Forest is 100% playable, but meaningful content is extremely lacking ATM. And personally, I’ve encountered exactly zero bugs.

      The game is certainly in a better state than DayZ or Rust.

      • PoulWrist says:

        Playable sure, but where’s the point? I mean, as far as I can see it’s a world where everything spawns constantly with no rhyme or reason around you, lizards, rabbits and deer constantly wade around you, walking in to fires and igniting, running through walls and doing nothing meaningful. Songbirds fly all over getting stuck on surfaces or sit on your finger, for no real reason. Loads of cannibals spawn and behave extremely eratic and unpredictable… I dunno, it just looks like a right old mess with way too much random stuff happening all the time.

      • scannerbarkly says:

        Multiplayer is completely bugged at the moment, endless crashes with friends last night.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Robbaz has certainly had some fun with the physics engine.

        His houseboat decided it wanted to be in one of his Kerbal Space Program videos instead.

  7. LogicalDash says:

    I really wish they’d used some different character design for the cannibals :(

    • Phasma Felis says:

      If you’re talking about their skin color, I think they’re all actually white folks. It’s just the lighting in this particular screenshot makes them look brownish.