Anyone playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, which got released today, on Xbox or PC is finding themselves in the shallow video game trenches, but not the kind they had hoped for. Infinity Ward’s first-person shooter seems to have a console preference, with Xbox players unable to switch off crossplay, a function that allows people on different platforms to play together, through the actual game. Meanwhile, PlayStation users can toggle the function with cheerful abandon thanks to a built-in option.
Disgruntled Xbox players want to avoid PC cheaters and precise mice and keyboards, while PC users would rather avoid consoles’ smooth aim assist. PlayStation users, meanwhile, are dealing with audio dropouts and being required to delete their files if they tried stealthily starting a game in a different region for early access.
But they aren’t, at least, worried about crossplay. And Sony sweetened their deal further—shortly ahead of release, the Call of Duty website listed a few PS4 and PS5-specific benefits, including monthly double XP events, +25% weapon XP when playing with other PS users in a party, and two extra loadout slots after reaching Level 4.
Console wars are an expectation for Call of Duty games at this point. While Microsoft is slowly working on buying billion-dollar-baby Activision, on October 26, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said he was more interested in mobile and planning on “[treating] CoD like Minecraft,” The Verge editor Tom Warren reported.
Activision’s current partner Sony is, instead, treating the franchise like a precious child prodigy. And, perhaps to Xbox players dismay, even after Microsoft’s deal goes through, Sony will commandeer Call of Duty for “several more years” after its contract with Activision expires.
So Call of Duty’s background console wars aren’t ending soon. In the meantime, Xbox players can go into their settings and block crossplay from within the “Online safety & family” tab. From there, you select Communication & multiplayer, and then you block people from outside Xbox Live. Doing this to play Modern Warfare II, however, will probably increase your queue times, since you’ll only be able to match a more limited group of players with the same safety settings. You just can’t win.
Update 11:33 a.m: We’ve updated the headline to reflect the workaround mentioned in the article.