One Month On, How’s XDefiant Doing?

xdefiant one month

We’ve now had XDefiant firmly in our hands for one month, but how is Ubisoft’s free-to-play first-person shooter doing on the open market? Following several delays that pushed the game’s launch date back by several months, Ubisoft finally pushed the product live and shooter fans worldwide poured onto the platform, but with some teething issues hampering initial reviews, many were put off.

In an effort to continually optimise the game, Ubisoft has already released a few patches to address key concerns, and the game’s first season is on the way and due to arrive on July 2.

How’s it doing, though?


Big Numbers

Our exclusive report revealed that XDefiant hit one million players worldwide in just 2.5 hours, which made it the most successful Ubisoft launch ever by sheer numbers. In a couple of days, XDefiant had secured three million players and staggering concurrent player numbers across all platforms. It was considered a success at launch even if most players were dabbling in the game ‘just to see what was on offer’.

In terms of what XDefiant now offers, it’s appropriate to describe it as a run-of-the-mill first-person shooter. It has guns, it has abilities, and it has a diverse array of maps and modes that will satisfy the appetite of the average gamer. There are more casual unranked modes that don’t use SBMM mechanics, and there’s a more regimented ranked platform that’s perfect for the more skilled competitor. It’s the kind of content you’d expect from any shooter these days, and the offering aligns it quite nicely with Call of Duty.

Recently, Ubisoft added Team Deathmatch to the game, which was well received, but players are still requesting more ‘tactical’ modes like Search and Destroy – or something similar.

XDefiant’s unique pull is the faction-based model that sees players assume control of a character from one of Ubisoft’s franchises. From Rainbow Six to The Division and from Splinter Cell to Watch Dogs, Ubisoft is leaning on the concepts it has created over the last two decades or so to populate the multiplayer platform. It adds a nice tweak to the expected standard and gives players the ability to find their feet in one of many roles in the game.

With the game’s first official season on the horizon, fans are expecting good things, and as a live service title, it’ll be steadily and regularly updated by Ubisoft as time goes on.

But How Is XDefiant Doing?

XDefiant feels nice enough to play, and a month after launch, Ubisoft has targeted some key areas for improvements without disrupting the overall feel of the game. For instance, the team tweaked movement mechanics that were allowing users to ‘exploit’ bunny-hopping, which ticked a box for many players – but they ticked said box without ruining the relatively fluid movement in the game.

We don’t have updated player numbers, but it’s easy to see how XDefiant’s popularity has dipped considerably since being released on May 21. On Twitch, XDefiant went from a peak concurrent viewer count of 203,586 in May to a (current) peak in June of just 57,000 – and it’s declining. Even with some of the most popular Call of Duty pro players ever being attracted to XDefiant, the audiences just aren’t there, which suggests the game might be more fun to play than it is to watch.

From my experience in XDefiant, there’s a solid skill gap, a low learning curve, and enough variety to keep the average player occupied for hours on end. The maps are well-designed and, for a Ubisoft fan, the theme is quite enjoyable. Combat feels satisfying, and while the modes are nothing special, they’re entertaining enough to play. It’s a bit of a gut punch coming out of the ‘welcome playlist’ and moving into the standard playlists (which don’t have SBMM), but once you’ve warmed up, you’ll be enjoying yourself in no time

Amazingly, in all the time I’ve played, I haven’t come across a single player who I’d class as ‘suspicious’, which is a massive win.

The criticisms are few and far between:

  • There aren’t enough weapon camos to unlock, with users needing to rely on the battle pass or the store to gain skins
  • Loading in and out of a match is clunky and results in blank screens while the lobby refreshes, which disrupts the pacing
  • Some of the spawn locations on maps are poorly thought through, often placing you too far from the action or too close to enemy spawns
  • The kick-off in Escort is irritating, with camping occurring right off the bat (but I get it)

It’s probably not going to win awards, but for a free-to-play first-person shooter with this amount of depth, what is there to really complain about? It’s fun and that’s the most important thing for many users.


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  1. I’m nearly 50 hours in, gave it a chance but it’s a very boring game that has no soul, it’s just a cheap game using parts from other games to save money from a developer with a declining fan base and it plays as such.

    hit boxes are off, weapons are terrible, the TTK is too long, load outs, skills etc are very lame, the game play is too slow and this is brought straight to your attention when you slide, it’s fastest than running and the distance you cover is too long, if you get two back to back kills think yourself Lucky, you will normaly find it takes a full clip to kill but there are times that a full clip at close range will only register as one bullet hitting, even on a stationary player!

    It’s a shame as it has potential but fortnite is more fun, it offers nothing to keep you coming back, the only reason to play this is to improve your aim before jumping on a real game.

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