Cyberpunk Game The Ascent Might Be Blowing Up, But Multiplayer’s Busted

Cyberpunk Game The Ascent Might Be Blowing Up, But Multiplayer’s Busted
The dream: Four players playing the same game at the same time. (Screenshot: Neon Giant)

The Ascent, a cyberpunk-themed twin stick shooter released last week for Xbox and PC, has long been billed as a single- and multiplayer game by developer Neon Giant. Thing is, for some players, the various multiplayer modes aren’t exactly working.

First announced during a May 2020 Xbox showcase, The Ascent was planned as a launch title for last fall’s Xbox Series X/S. It was then delayed indefinitely, before eventually getting a July 29 release date, where it’d launch as part of the Xbox Game Pass library. Initial reception has largely leaned positive so far: By most accounts, The Ascent is a rock-solid twin-stick shooter, offering crunchy shooting, satisfying RPG mechanics, and a deliciously realised techno-chic setting.

Read More: The Ascent Makes Good On Cyberpunk 2077’s Promise

But the promise of multiplayer hasn’t exactly borne out. Since the game launched late last week, players have taken to social media en masse to report issues with hosting new games, joining new games, stalled connections in crossplay, invites that kick players back to the title screen, recognising keyboard inputs for only one party member, and more.

When provided a list of questions regarding the state of cooperative play in The Ascent, representatives for Neon Giant told Kotaku that “the items you’ve mentioned are on our list of known issues and we’re actively working on fixes. We’re not able to provide a timeline at this stage but we are fully committed to fixing and improving all these items and we will aim to let you know once we have more details.”

I can attest to some of this personally. The Ascent has been on my radar since the second it was confirmed as a game that supports local multiplayer. I’m a huge sucker for good couch co-op and am more than willing to overlook a game’s flaws if it’s, y’know, fun. Make no mistake: The Ascent’s local co-op is an absolute blast, but I’ve run into near-nonstop problems getting it to work — a flaw that’s pretty hard to overlook.

First, two of my roommates and I tried to get a local co-op game going on launch dayThursday. We were able to load single-player games individually without issue, buthen we tried to start a local co-op lobby — in various permutations of party makeup — The Ascent would close. After uninstalling and reinstalling the game, we were able to get it working. We played for about two hours, and I can confidently say that it clicked, hard. On a fundamental level, as Alex Walker put it for Kotaku, “it’s staggering how good The Ascent really is.”

So, last night, we tried to get our game going again. Though all three of us could pop into the lobby without issue, only the host’s character appeared to save any progress. And here’s the weird part: When we cycled through who hosted the game and who joined, the host would have their leveled-up, customised character show up. Anyone else had to start a new one from scratch. But when pivoting to have that player host, their primary character would show up. So all of the data was clearly there — it apparently just couldn’t mesh in the same lobby.

We’re by no means the only three-member party that’s struggled to reliably get a session off the ground. As one player detailed on Reddit yesterday, the poster and their friend could get a two-player game up and running without resistance. When trying to add a third player, The Ascent would reportedly stall on the “joining” screen. The group eventually came across that age-old “uninstall and reinstall” trick my friends and I tried. Still: No dice.

One of the most recent posts on The Ascent’s subreddit is indeed about the game’s multiplayer, simply asking if it’s “working yet?” As of this writing, no one has responded.


  • Like many games that seem to come to GamePass, they are half baked.
    It seems like they know they are gonna get paid anyway, so why bother polishing the game further?
    There are side quests that don’t work or can’t be completed until part of the main story is done, even though they are low level quests. Heaps of backtracking is required as taxi’s only take you to areas on your current level (so its multiple taxis and walking to get to your destination). Some skills are next to useless (aim, evasion), same goes for tactical. No randomised stats on loot. No ability to set a waypoint marker on the map. Many of the weapons are subpar, I ended up using machine guns and mini guns for the the majority of the game.
    Having said all that, it is a lot of fun for about 20 hours and it does do a lot of things right as well. No ammo to worry about, treasure is marked on the map, the world is gorgeous and fun to explore, combat and cover is done very well. It’s just not going to be something like Diablo, that you will come back to again and again (unless they majorly patch it).

  • I couldnt get the PC version to connect multiplayer at all, tried multiple times.
    So we ended up playing it on the xbox instead.

  • Have run into many of these issues.. I also had a level 14 character I’d been playing solo on (solo plays great) and my mate started a new co-op story mode. I jumped into his and my character had been reset to level 1, very frustrating.

    It’s a shame cause the core game underneath is quite good, they just need to fix these bugs and work on the terrible map system and backtracking. The guidance is also pretty terrible in that the ‘waypoint’ will always point to the longest route. Coming from Outriders (which had it’s own issues) it’s annoying that it doesn’t point to the nearest fast travel point.

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