Cross-Platform Meaning Explained: How Do Cross-Platform Games Work?


The gaming industry is developing in leaps and bounds. Starting from ancient arcade machines, it has advanced to high-tech platforms in several decades.

Alongside with the development of technologies, games have been improving too. Projects that help to kill time number in the tens of thousands of IP of different levels, forms and genres: RPG, fighting, shooters, races and anything you soul wishes for.

Playing the games is available on personal computers and various consoles whether it is PlayStation, Xbox or any other. These may include Switch and SteamDeck and even more exotic options.

The selection is countless including not only what to play but also where to play. Sometimes it puzzles and makes us frustrated: the focus of attention is blurry.

This is when cross-platform features come into play.

What is cross-platform?

If we turn to terminology, cross-platform means an ability to play a game on different devices. These tend to be multi-user projects with competitive features.

Simply put, these are games that enable gathering users of different platforms in one place:: PC and Xbox, PlayStation and PC and so on. It helps game developers reach a wider audience and users to have gaming experience in the format that appeals to them: at the keyboard and a mouse, or holding a gamepad in front of big screens or in a more fanciful format.

Cross-platform always comes along with cross-platform gameplay. The second comes up from the first as the games made for different devices have an identical core for all platforms with little setting variations.

Another cross-platform feature is a single game progress, You just have to change the device without remembering numerous logins and passwords.

How do cross-platform games work?

The principle of creation and work of cross-platform games is its own cornerstone – availability. Ideally, it must occur everywhere: from rules of the game equal for all their users to optimization of system requirements.


The latter is essential. The difference in manufacturability is visible to an unaided eye. Consoles of the newest generation PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series will not be compatible to personal computers of the newest powerful hardware. Anyway, it is offset by the price and game developers equalize the chances.

Playing together on different platforms is possible. There are lots of examples: these are games of the Call of Duty series starting from the newest versions from 2018 and also it is the multi-million Fortnite and a bit less epic IP that we will tell about later.

Summarizing, cross-platform games are regular games with a few technical tweaks for devices that run these games. Rest of them are not anyhow different on other kinds of hardware. Almost anyhow.

Problems of cross-platform games

Availability of usage and storing everything in one place for users of different platforms is a great advantage of cross-platform games but it is also its main scourge. It involves balance and cheating problems. But everything in order.

Aim assist and other game simplifiers

Cross-platform families have had a standard function of aim assist. As it comes from the name, it is easy to understand that the function is present in games where this aim is necessary, which is shooters. Another key detail of aim assist is an advantage for gamers on consoles.

The principle of the work of the legal cheat is simple as one, two, three: the controller fixes the opponent simplifying the shooting. Another interesting feature of aim assist is an ability to set their capacity.This function was available in Call of Duty: Warzone, for example.

Summarizing, the problem of aim assist in cross-platform games can be far-fetched: its main function is to help newbies and casual players. Pain in the lumbar region often happens with players on high elo and professionals. And meanwhile cheaters will never leave you cold.

Cheaters is a tumor of cross-platforms and pain of the gaming industry

The worst aspect of cross-platform games as of any other multiplayers projects will be and has always been cheaters. This is something that any fan of competitive multi-user projects has come across at least once.

When we were speaking about aim assist as a legal cheat for console users, illegal cheats are sins of PC players. This platform often acts as the main breeding ground for evil. It is not surprising that years of existence of personal computers and rapid development of software were fruitful so kinds of malware are innumerable. Cheats are one of them.

They can be of different scale and size, affect gaming experience negatively, it is disgusting. Developers of cross-platform gaming understand it perfectly well and suppress dishonest players.

Almost in any project where one screen becomes a venue for a meeting of PC players with console users there is an opportunity to report an offender for using third-party programmes. Besides, some studios always build in defense systems like Ricochet in CoD or Easy Anti Cheat in Fortnite and other popular cross-platform.

What is the takeaway?

Cross-platform games is a chance to unite different gamers in one place and to erase the order between differences of various devices. It is a chance to make gaming more available but not without pitfalls.

Problems of balance and honest game remain and are not going anywhere from the evolution pathway of computer games and cross-platform, in particular. Anyway, it will not stop such games from getting more and more popular and bring the creators a massive income which is also important.


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