Gotham Knights is destined to be controversial, but the game does deserve quite a bit of credit for featuring an extensive co-op mode that allows you to team up with friends and take on the Gotham underworld together. Like so many other aspects of Gotham Knights, though, the game’s co-op multiplayer mode is hindered by some questionable design decisions that will limit how many people actually get to enjoy that feature.
So while you may be one of those unfortunate players who won’t be able to properly enjoy Gotham Knights‘ multiplayer due to a few key restrictions, here’s what you need to know about how to unlock and use that feature in the first place.
Does Gotham Knights Have Multiplayer?
In Gotham Knights players can control Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Robin (Tim Drake), and Red Hood (Jason Todd) as they try to pick up the pieces following Batman’s death While each of those heroes is a force to be reckoned with, none of them is individually equal to Batman quite yet. They’ll have to team up to get the job done.
So, while gamers can play Gotham Knights solo, the game clearly emphasizes the appeal of its multiplayer options. The main multiplayer mode is a drop-in, drop-out co-op option that lets two players team up, combine their characters’ abilities, and shore up their allies’ weaknesses. While Gotham Knight’s multiplayer is limited to two players at a time, it does offer those players free rein to explore Gotham City however they choose to do so. So even though the game doesn’t currently allow players to team up and control all of the Knights at once, that level of open-world exploratory freedom is a nice tradeoff.
Furthermore, the game’s developer, WB Games Montréal, plans to implement a different kind of multiplayer mode (Heroic Assault) on November 29. Unlike standard Gotham Knights multiplayer, this mode will let up to four players team up to beat down crooks. Players who want to see the entire Bat Family onscreen at once will finally get their wish, but as with the vanilla multiplayer, that standalone content will include some limitations. Specifically, Heroic Assault will restrict players to a set series of arenas with different enemies and objectives. Not being able to freely explore Gotham with all four heroes is obviously disappointing, but players will be able to work through 30 floors of new content when the Heroic Assault mode launches, so it’s not all bad news.
Does Gotham Knights Support Crossplay?
Crossplay is one of gaming’s biggest advancements in multiplayer functionality. Not every gamer owns the same platforms as their friends, but more and more games offer crossplay options that allow those gamers to team up regardless of which platform they’re on. Unfortunately, Gotham Knights isn’t one of those games.
The official Gotham Knights FAQ page states that the game not only doesn’t feature crossplay but that there are currently no plans to add Crossplay to the game. That is not the same as the company putting its foot down and saying it will never support that function, but it does mean that, for the time being, Xbox Series X owners will only be able to team up with other Xbox Series X gamers, and so on.
How To Unlock Gotham Knights Co-Op Multiplayer
In its opening cutscene, Gotham Knights establishes that the playable Bat Family members have worked together in the past. However, just because the protagonists know how to work as a team doesn’t mean that the game assumes players can do the same. First, they’ll need to prove themselves worthy of their digital cape and cowl.
In order to unlock Gotham Knights multiplayer, you first have to progress through the game’s early story missions. Specifically, you’ll need to complete Subcase 1.2 (The Langstrom Drive) and return to the Belfry. As you complete the various story missions up until that point, you’ll gradually unlock additional features such as customizing the Batcycle, picking different characters, and most importantly, the ability to access co-op.
That early portion of the game is basically “on rails,” so it’s impossible to miss unlocking co-op unless you just choose to stop playing the game before then. You’ll even receive an on-screen message that lets you know when co-op multiplayer has been unlocked.
How to Invite Friends to Play Gotham Knights Co-Op Multiplayer
In Gotham Knights, co-op multiplayer comes in two flavors: with friends and with anyone.
If you want to play with a friend, you can do so through the Social menu available via the pause screen. Scroll over to the Friends tab, select the person you want to play with, and you can invite them to your game. If you would rather join your friend in their world, just select them but ask for permission instead.
If you don’t care who you team up with, you can always try the game’s “Quick Match” option. Just select Multiplayer from the menu, and then select Quick Match. Pick your vigilante of choice, and the game will pair you with a random player.
If, however, you don’t want to team up with anyone, you will have to turn multiplayer off. You can do that from the Social menu, available either via the pause menu or in-game (hold left on the D-pad or C on the keyboard). From there, pick your preferred settings at the top of the Privacy menu.
Privacy-wise, Gotham Knights offers Public, Friends Only, Friends of Friends, and Invite Only options. Public lets anyone in, Friends Only only accepts gamers you know, and Friends of Friends extends that invitation to people your friends know. Invite Only restricts the game to only gamers you invite, so if you don’t invite anyone, nobody can join.
Of course, it doesn’t matter who you want to team up with if you don’t have the proper subscription. As with most multiplayer games, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 owners need an active Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription if they want to play Gotham Knights online. While the game isn’t available yet on Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can also utilize Gotham Knights’ multiplayer. As always, PC players win out on multiplayer since they don’t need to pay an extra subscription fee to play online. Whether or not their computer can run Gotham Knights, however, is another matter.
Does Gotham Knights Have Split-Screen Multiplayer?
To make a long story short, Gotham Knights doesn’t offer split-screen co-op. The only way to play the game is online with friends or strangers. This limitation might change when WB Games Montréal patches in Heroic Assault, since that is a standalone mode, but don’t hold your breath.
Since plenty of other game developers have figured out how to implement online and local co-op multiplayer in their titles, it’s hard to not wonder what makes Gotham Knights so different. The answer, unfortunately, probably lies in the gameplay design. At its core Gotham Knights is an open-world, Batman-themed ARPG. While combat and stealth share some of their DNA with the Arkham games, Gotham Knights relies on things like unlockable abilities and equipment that players can use to upgrade characters and customize their roles on a team. Loot and progression are part and parcel of the experience and are tied to players’ accounts, even when teaming up. As such, it’s sadly unlikely that the developers will find a way to offer that functionality to players sharing a screen and an account.