It's not cross-play, but Bungie finally does away with a key barrier between Destiny 2 players.
The much-anticipated ability to move your Destiny 2 progress between multiple platforms has finally arrived. Destiny 2 cross-save launched a couple of hours later than originally scheduled, but it's here, and it really does work as promised once you get through the initial setup process.
Doing so wasn't as smooth as intended when the feature went online this past Tuesday. Cross-save's launch coincided with maintenance to Bungie.net. As detailed in Bungie's cross-save guide, you'll have to connect each of your accounts and then authenticate them as truly being yours. This step proved problematic due to some technical issues, but with those ironed out, this seems to have been a temporary hitch that will soon be forgotten.
And that's good news, because cross-save is genuinely great thus far. While it would have been nice to get cross-play (meaning you could play with those on other platforms regardless of you being on PS4, Xbox One, or PC), this is the next best thing. And this is arguably a superior option, setting aside the issue of needing to own content on each platform, because it enables console players to enjoy the benefits of playing on PC. As a longtime console player, moving to the PC version almost feels like playing a completely new game. As gorgeous as the game looks on an Xbox One X, the 60+ FPS framerate on PC is a sight to behold, and load times--particularly the speed with which Pursuits and other menu screens load--is a massive quality-of-life improvement. And luckily, from what I've been able to experience so far, progress does seem to transfer seamlessly. I earned some gear and completed a bounty on PC and was then able to boot up my Xbox One and cash in that bounty and dismantle the gear with no apparent delay. Plus, unlike before, I have a huge pool of new players to play with, making it easier to dive into some of the game's most rewarding content, like Raids.
The one key downside to cross-save is that it requires you to own the game on every platform you want to be able to play on--and it makes things rather complicated. Things will change a bit later this year, as Bungie will be releasing Destiny 2: New Light, a free-to-play version that includes the base game and its early DLC expansion. Additionally, Destiny 2: Shadowkeep will launch as a standalone expansion, so you could in theory just buy that on your secondary platforms and play that new content. But going with New Light or Shadowkeep would preclude you from accessing, say, Forsaken's Raid or Black Armory's Forges--though gear you earned from those activities on your main platform(s) is still usable.
Further complicating matters is that the PC version of Destiny is moving from Blizzard's Battle.net to Steam later this year. If you want to dive into Destiny 2 cross-save without any restrictions right now, your only option is to buy a bundle of all currently available content on Battle.net, and then transition to Steam later. Furthermore, you can only spend Silver--the game's premium currency--on the system you purchased it on.
Confusion over what you can access aside, there are sure to be some quirks that pop up. For instance, a friend of mine found that he was able to claim certain bounties on Xbox One before jumping over to PC, where he doesn't own Forsaken, and also claim replacement bounties. That's hardly going to upend the balance of the game, though it remains to be seen if players discover any more impactful loopholes.
But the bottom line is that cross-save has opened up new possibilities for all Destiny 2 players, allowing those on console to enjoy PC's extra features and for everyone to finally have a more viable path to playing together with all of their friends. For a game so heavily focused on progression (which is to say, showing off your cool items) and group activities, that's a great thing.