Skip to main content

A quick look at Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader's six player co-op

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only teamwork

A battle in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, set in a green-lit metallic interior.
Image credit: Owlcat

Owlcat Games have whisked the wrappers off Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader's co-op functionality, explaining how you and up to five other players can team up to navigate the Games Workshop RPG's 100-plus hours of grid-based combat, violent religious differences and unrepentant planetary colonisation.

Here's a quick rundown on how the multiplayer works, gleaned from the latest developer livestream, with some additional thoughts from Polygon. You can have friends join you at any point in the campaign by sharing a code and loading a save. The other players can continue on with that save in single player, rather than being dumped back in their worlds - a nice change from the classic hangover-movie co-op experience of waking up back in your solo campaign world with all your kit gone and no idea what you're doing.

When you start a co-op session, one player is designated as the Lord Captain, the rogue trader of the title, responsible for major story decisions in dialogue, while the others fill in as their retinue, able to highlight responses but not select them. As Lord Captain, you can assign specific story characters to the other players, together with control of the void ship that shuttles you about the game's cosmos. You can also hand control of several characters to one player and essentially field two smaller RPG parties side by side.

You'll want to mind each other's backs in turn-based combat, as friendly fire is very much a possibility. Indeed, as we know from the single player, there might be times when you have no option but to fire indiscriminately. What's a little AOE damage here and there amongst loyal subjects of the Emperor?

Probably the most appetising prospect in co-op is space combat, in which each player gets charge of a different aspect of the void ship, including the weapon systems and engines - surely, the basis for Sea of Thieves-esque mishaps. The void ship has an inventory that all players have access to, but you can manage your own gear and levelling-up separately.

The game's six-player co-op is a first for an Owlcat CRPG, and looks like a fun addition to an imperial escapade of overwhelming scale. You can read more about the campaign in my recent Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader preview.

Read this next