New 'ultimate incarnation' of Tetris Effect adds co-op and multiplayer, but only on the Microsoft Store

(Image credit: Enhance Games)

Tetris Effect is already the best version of Tetris, somehow making the experience of combining blocks powerfully emotional with its art and its music and thousands of dancing particles. Later this year, with the launch of Microsoft's new console, it's going to get even better with Tetris Effect: Connected, an updated version that adds online support for 1-3 players. The unfortunate catch here is that this version of Tetris Effect is exclusive to "Microsoft platforms," meaning the Xbox consoles and, in our case, the Microsoft Store.

It's an awkward deal considering Microsoft, itself, is now releasing many of its big games like Flight Simulator and Halo's Master Chief Collection on Steam. I want to play more Tetris Effect, but I don't particularly want to deal with the Microsoft Store to do it. This is actually the third "exclusive" version of Tetris Effect, after its release on the PS4 in 2018 and the Epic Store in 2019.

Those versions of the game will be getting the new multiplayer modes as a free update, but not until Summer 2021. Tetris Effect still isn't available on Steam, despite supporting Steam VR.

Here's the full breakdown of what Tetris Effect: Connected contains:

  • Online or Local co-op and competitive play for 1-3 players (1-2 competitive, 1-3 co-op, with CPU players available)
  • Ranked and unranked play, matchmaking, and player progression for unlockable avatars
  • Cross-play between all Xbox Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows 10 (PC)
  • The entire Tetris Effect single-player game also included
  • Smart Delivery means Xbox One owners can upgrade to Xbox Series X any time for free
  • Available for sale or via Xbox Game Pass at launch

I confirmed with Enhance Games' PR that Tetris Effect: Connected will be available in the PC version of Game Pass, which at least offers a nicer interface (via the new Xbox beta app) than the Microsoft Store and currently costs a hard-to-beat $5 per month. No word on pricing yet to buy the game outright, but Tetris Effect currently costs $40 on the Epic Store and PSN.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).