Crackdown 3 won't allow you to play with friends in Wrecking Zone multiplayer (update)

Microsoft's next in-house Xbox exclusive, Crackdown 3, is soon headed to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. With its slated February 15 release fast approaching, its debut marks the end of a lengthy development, tied to its ambitious cloud-backed action-adventure gameplay.

The highlight of Crackdown 3 is its "Wrecking Zone," hosting five-versus-five multiplayer battles, with physics backed by Microsoft's cloud technologies. However, new details have surfaced via the game's official Discord, now a cause of concern among its community.

As spotted on the Crackdown 3 Discord channel (via Reddit), Microsoft's official "MSFT Crackdown" account has provided further insight into its multiplayer mode. With players unable to play with friends during its pre-release tests, it has confirmed Crackdown 3 will also not support friend parties at launch.

No. Wrecking Zone does not support parties and will not at launch.

MSFT Crackdown later stated it has no information on if or when parties will be implemented.

Parties are not supported in Wrecking Zone. I don't have any info on if/when they might be implemented.

For a title heavily dependent on its multiplayer ambitions, a lack of multiplayer parties proves controversial in 2019. It's a common multiplayer feature for Xbox One titles, bound to cause confusion and frustration on launch day. In the meantime, players will have to seemingly rely on the game's randomized matchmaking or two-player campaign.

Updated February 11, 2019: Microsoft Studios Senior Creative Director, Joe Staten, has confirmed a lack of friend support at launch, recommending players "stay tuned" for post-launch plans. Thanks for the tip, @woelfel.

Updated February 12, 2019: Crackdown 3's official Twitter account confirmed that party lobbies will arrive in a "post launch" title update, although no time frame was offered.

It's unclear why Microsoft overlooked multiplayer parties in Crackdown 3 when already struggling to gain traction ahead of release. Speculatively, latency issues may sprout with cloud-backed physics over distance, limiting players geographically as a result. Alternatively, this could be a simple oversight amid numerous delays since 2014.

For more thoughts on Crackdown 3, don't miss our hands-on preview from early February. Crackdown 3 is now available for preorder ahead of its February 15, 2019 release. While priced at $60, Xbox Game Pass members can play on launch day for $10 per month.

Crackdown 3 preview: Early impressions of Microsoft's next Xbox exclusive

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Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.