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Palworld update fixes blackscreen and controller bugs, but multiplayer issues persist on Game Pass

Only Steam players can create and join dedicated 32-player servers right now

A female character stands in front of a forest scene in Palworld
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Pocketpair

A new update for the PC Game Pass and Xbox versions of Palworld has fixed some of its many, many known issues today, but those hoping for some fixes to its online multiplayer options will sadly have to wait a little longer. Currently, those playing on Game Pass still don't have the ability to join or create dedicated servers for up to 32-player multiplayer like their mates on Steam can. Instead, they remain limited to just 2-4-player co-op via the use of friend codes, meaning that Game Pass players aren't having quite the same experience as their Steam counterparts.

Today's update for the PC Game Pass and Xbox version of Palworld has fixed the following problems:

PC Game Pass version:

  • When starting the game app, it goes black and cannot proceed further.
  • Controller is not recognized
  • Key guide display is not displayed correctly
  • Exit game button is not implemented

Xbox version:

  • When starting the game app, it goes black and cannot proceed further.

As for the lacklustre multiplayer options on Game Pass at the moment, though, developers Pocketpair have yet to provide an update on when this might arrive.

Ahead of the game's launch, Pocketpair wrote in the Palworld Discord that "dedicated servers and official servers are not available for Xbox or Xbox PC," adding that "larger server support for Xbox is something the team wishes to do but unfortunately won’t be available immediately at the early access launch (January 19th)".

It's currently unclear what's behind the delay on the Xbox server side. After all, plenty of Xbox and PC Game Pass games have dedicated servers available at launch, and their continued absence is proving to be a growing point of contention within its community. In another Discord post, Pocketpair suggested the problem might lie with Microsoft: "We'd like to have dedicated servers on Xbox but it's unfortunately not up to us and is quite difficult to negotiate at this time! But... we are trying!"

The situation has led some players to believe that the Game Pass build of Palworld is an older version of the game, but Pocketpair have since attempted to addressed this "common misconception".

"There seems to be some confusion that Steam and Xbox are 'missing features'," they said. "That isn't entirely true. Some features may be slightly different or have different value but other issues like the missing exit game button etc are not a result of an 'older build', these are separate issues."

Pocketpair continued: "In fact, Steam and Xbox will likely never have identical version numbers until the games are brought to be crossplay compatible because at that point they will be the same game internally.

"Again, that doesn't mean Xbox is necessarily 'behind' or anything, they are just just fundamentally two different versions of the game because of the architecture on Xbox is different. Xbox's version of 1.2 may not be the same as Steam's 1.2 and vice-versa. Of course, the goal is to bring them to the exact same place but this won't be achievable until crossplay is fully compatible."

Crossplay between Steam and Xbox (consoles and Game Pass) is another thing Pocketpair are trying to introduce "as soon as possible", but it's currently unknown when this will arrive either. For now, the only people PC Game Pass folks can play with are other Xbox players.

Of course, Palworld is still only in early access, so it's perhaps to be expected that it won't be fully feature complete mere days after launch. But given its phenomenal (and somewhat depressing) success since launch, with the latest sales milestone now sitting at six million copies in just four days, it would seem that Game Pass players have certainly got the short end of stick compared to those playing on Steam.

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