Gears of War 4 launched back in October with support for cooperatively cross-platform play, but thus far, its multiplayer matches have limited Xbox One and PC players from playing competitively with the other system. That is about to change, at least for a brief period — starting this Friday, Xbox One and PC players will be able to blast each other in public competitive matches.
Running from Friday through the remainder of the weekend, a special “Cross-play Test Weekend” will let users choose to pair up with Xbox One and PC players in a special multiplayer playlist that includes the modes Team Deathmatch, Dodgeball, and King of the Hill. Previously, Xbox One and PC players were limited to cross-play in private matches, the cooperative campaign, and the wave-based Horde mode. Playing during the weekend will also give you an XP boost for winning and completing matches, and will support up to five players in the same squad, up from the usual limit of two.
“Cross-play is divisive in any ‘versus’ experience, and Gears of War 4 is now different,” said The Coalition in the official announcement. “From the beginning, we stated out intention to keep both platforms separate in noncooperative game modes in order to preserve competitive balance. Conserving a fair, competitive environment remains a top priority for us.”
The future for competitive cross-play is still, if you will, at a crossroads. Should player feedback to the test weekend be positive, The Coalition could move forward by implementing it as a permanent feature in the game. Should players reject it, the two ecosystems will remain separate.
Gears of War 4 is one of the most underrated competitive multiplayer games of the year. Regardless of whether you’re gaming on PC or Xbox One, be sure to give it a chance after you’re done blasting pilots in Titanfall 2 and yelling “die die die” in Overwatch.