Scavengers 'exhausted' its supply of Steam keys on first day of Early Access

(Image credit: Midwinter Entertainment)

Scavengers, the hybrid battle royale from Midwinter Entertainment, arrived in Early Access on Wednesday. Well, sort of.

Claiming a key to the free-to-play team-based shooter required players to watch 30 minutes of the game streaming on Twitch, then claim a key in a Twitch drop. But the process didn't go entirely smoothly.

In a post on Steam, creative director Josh Holmes detailed the first day of Scavengers in Early Access, explaining why some Twitch viewers didn't get a key even though they'd claimed their drop, and why others received a key to the Epic Store version of the game instead of the Steam version.

First off: if you claimed a Twitch drop but didn't receive your key (or received an email with no key attached), Midwinter says it re-sent everyone who claimed a key a second email. If your key was attached to your first email, you don't need to do anything. If you got an email with no key, check your inbox again and hopefully you'll see it now.

As for those wondering why they got an Epic Store key instead of a Steam key:

"We’re burning through Early Access keys at a crazy rate, and some of you may have noticed that we switched at some point from giving away Scavengers Steam keys to Epic Game Store keys," Holmes wrote. "At this moment, we’ve exhausted our cache of Steam keys, but have been able to secure enough Epic Games Store keys to keep up."

Why not just open up the game properly in Early Access and let everyone play without having to secure a key through a Twitch drop? Mostly due to concerns about server stability, said Holmes, which makes sense. We've all seen games get flooded with tens of thousands of players on day one, causing massive server problems that can render them unplayable.

Thing is, even with the Twitch drop scheme acting as a buffer to players jumping into the game en masse, Scavengers still had server issues. As a temporary solution to server crashes, the lobbies were split into "shards" which had the unfortunate side-effect that friends wound up in different shards and sometimes couldn't be invited into each others' parties.

The shard issue sounds like it has now been resolved, as Midwinter rolled out a few server fixes that will allow you to more easily join your friends in a match. If you're still having issues, it's suggested you restart your Steam or Epic client and log back in.

Update: Scavengers is ditching the Twitch key drop thing altogether, and the game will be available to everyone Saturday, May 1, at 9 am PT. No keys needed.

Holmes said Scavengers "may move off keyed access" once all the servers issues have been solved, so players won't have to watch a Twitch stream to get a key and will be able to choose for themselves whether they want to play on Steam or Epic. There's no mention of specifically when that might happen, however, but when we find out, we'll let you know.

In the meantime, if you're just jumping into Scavengers, we've got some beginners' tips and a guide to crafting and research.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.