Wasteland 3 multiplayer details revealed in new Fig update

One of the big new features in inXile's recently-announced RPG Wasteland 3 is cooperative multiplayer, which the studio said will give two players the ability to work together, or separately, to bring the Ranger experience to Colorado (and perhaps put the screws to one another when their backs are turned). How that system will work is detailed in the latest Fig update, in which game director Christ Keenan says multiplayer is designed to be "a natural extension of the single-player campaign." 

Multiplayer-specific campaigns will be tied to you and whichever of your friends you talk into joining up, and once begun, you won't be able to swap them out with someone else. Each player will run an independent squad assembled from a shared pool of Rangers who can be transferred between squads but not used by both simultaneously. The squads can travel and fight together, or they can split up and work independently, which inXile said could have "important consequences" for all involved.

"For example: You made a deal with a criminal gang of smugglers, turning a blind eye and helping keep their trade routes clear from danger for a cut of their profits. In single-player, this would mean that you receive a payment from time to time at your Ranger Base for keeping the deal going," Keenan explained. "[In multiplayer], because both you and your friend are playing independently, it would be possible for one player's party to make the deal with the smugglers, not tell the other player, and thus that player would receive compensation in return. Meanwhile, the second player might independently choose to attack the smugglers for the good of the people of Colorado, not knowing of the prior deal, and that would lead to a similar consequence where the smugglers end up at Ranger HQ asking hard questions." 

How that situation is ultimately resolved will also have consequences for both players, even if only one of them is involved in handling it. Players will sometimes be required to be together for "key narrative moments and missions," which Keenan said will happen "infrequently, [and] only at core moments in the game." And if either of you can't (or maybe just doesn't want to) continue playing for some reason—say, because your fellow Ranger boss can't go five minutes without making an enemy or getting somebody killed—it will be possible to convert the game to a single-player campaign.   

The update also notes that the first Fig stretch goal (37 Pieces of Flair) has been unlocked, more Ranger Team Missions have been added, and the free copies of Stasis and Underrail that were offered during the first 48 hours of crowdfunding are now available on GOG as well as Steam. The Wasteland 3 Fig campaign has so far raised a little over $2.9 million, and will continue to run until November 3. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.