Grounded is Obsidian's latest release. The game is an online survival title, but how does Grounded multiplayer work? Here's the simple version:
- Add each other as friends
- Choose who will host the game
- Have the host start hosting
- Join the game
We understand that you might need a bit more guidance than just this little list though.
This is a survival game in which you play as a child who has been shrunk down smaller than a spider and carelessly dropped into a garden. Here we're going to take you through all the ways in which you can play with friends or play with others online in the game. We'll even throw in some of the bonuses you'll reap from doing so. But first, the main question.
How Does Grounded Multiplayer Work? - Setting up a Game
Grounded is part of Steam Early Access and Game Preview on Xbox One; it's also part of Game Pass. It's a terrific game and bears man of the same hallmarks as a mainstream MMO. Right now, however, multiplayer is far from easy.
The most intuitive thing to do in Grounded is to jump in and play by yourself. This is fine, but it's going to take you a long time to complete all of your objectives, and it won't be as fun as playing with friends, or even randoms.
The first thing to bear in mind is that this game doesn't have servers that you can set up like other online survival titles. It's all about one player hosting the entire session for a group of four. This means that the host has to be online for the whole session. This is worth bearing in mind before you start planning a Grounded online night with friends.
To start a multiplayer game, you, or a friend, need to create one:
- This is done by heading to the Main Menu
- and selecting Multiplayer.
- From there, you need to choose Host Online Game.
New World, or an Old One?
At this point, you'll be given the option to start a brand new world for this game or continue in one that's already been started.
If you start a new world, this will be a clean save. It's basically a reset, and you and whoever else joins you will start the game from scratch with no progress. Any bases you've built also won't appear in this world.
Choosing to continue with a world will put you into a world that the host has previously been working on. This could be a save file that the host keeps just for multiplayer purposes, or one that they've been playing in for many hours.
Joining the Game
Once the host player has decided if you're all playing in a new world, or are continuing in one, then it's time to join them. Everyone else apart from the host will need to select the Join Online Game Button from the Menu, and then the Search for Friends option.
This option limits you to those who are on your friends' list. If you don't have the host on that list, you won't be able to join the game. Since this is the case, it's prudent to make sure that you're friends with whoever will host the game before they start hosting it. Otherwise, you'll be holding everyone up.
After all players have joined, the game will start. This will plonk you and your friends into the desired world, where you can play Grounded together.
Let Randoms Join you
This isn't something that you have to do, but it's worth bearing in mind since it can go both ways. You might decide that you want to play a game of Grounded with random people (randoms), but you don't know how to do that.
All you have to do is put up a post on the GroundedGame Subreddit. The community is very friendly, and most people just want others to play with. You may even see someone else on there looking for people to play with them.
If you want to host the game, then put up a post explaining that you'd like to host a game for three other players, and get them to comment with their usernames. This way, you can quickly add them and get into a game. If, however, you fancy joining someone else's game, then look for a similar post. Then you can follow the instructions of whoever has posted and jump into a game that someone else is hosting.
This is a great way to make new friends within the Grounded community. You might also find yourself becoming part of a clan before too long.
Why Play With Others?
Now we've got over the faff of how multiplayer works, let's get into why should play with others.
The bottom line is that when you play Grounded with friends, it's just much easier. Just like when you cooperate on tasks in Among Us, normal tasks such as collecting food, water, or building structures, are far quicker when you're working as a team. It's also easier to take down enemies such as spiders and explore the darker areas of the map, where beasties lurk that will eat you in one gulp.
Grounded is one of the growing numbers of online games that you can play with friends on both Xbox and PC. The fact that this sort of crossplay functionality built-in from this early in development shows the developer's dedication to it. It's also one of the strongest new survival MMO-style games you can play out there. Unlike Rust, the servers aren't reset on a regular basis. So your structures will stay in place until you decide to purge the world.
This game is set to receive regular updates for a long time yet. Obsidian Entertainment is dedicated to expanding the world they've created, and they've already started. The game recently saw a Bird added to it, which has provided a new resource, and potential scary boss in the future. As more updates come, the game will have so much more for players to enjoy. That's why it's worth playing with others because that experience of learning how all of this content works together is something that's hard to come by in most games today.
By far, the best thing about Grounded multiplayer is scaring your friends silly. If you know someone who hasn't played the game before, then get them into your next multiplayer session. In that session, make sure you take them into a Spider Den. These are areas where Spiders lurk, one of the toughest enemies in the game. Tell your inexperienced friend to lead the way, and soon enough, they'll come face to face with the biggest arachnid they've ever seen in a game. These enemies are huge, and the reaction from new players is always so funny. This can also act as a bonding moment, forming a fond memory for what could become a group of pro Grounded players.
No Couch Co-op
The easiest answer to 'how does Grounded multiplayer work?' should be 'local co-op.' Unfortunately, it's not. There is no way to play this game with a friend in the same room unless one of you is on a separate Xbox or PC. If you have two devices, say a laptop and an Xbox, then you can technically play together while sitting side by side. However, this is a much more awkward way of doing things. The easiest, and only way, to play Grounded in multiplayer is by following the steps at the start of this guide.
So how does Grounded multiplayer work? Well, since the game is still in early access, it's rather complicated. With that said, all you need to do is make sure that you're friends with the people you want to play with, and the rest is just pressing the right buttons. Once you've set up a few games, you should understand how the system works. If not, come back to use our guide!
If there's anything you think that we missed out from this guide, please do let us know what in the comments.