The Sons of the Forest early access release is right around the corner, and the developers behind the game have promised much of the same cannibal-slaughtering, mutant-destroying action players grew so fond of in the game’s predecessor, The Forest. However, if there’s one thing players learned, it’s that it’s much more fun to slay and slaughter if you can end the day relaxing next to a virtual campfire with friends in Sons of the Forest multiplayer.
If you’re hoping to join your best buddies as you build your dream home on an island of unspeakable horrors, here’s everything you need to know to enjoy Sons of the Forest co-op gameplay with your pals.
Sons of the Forest multiplayer explained
If you’re too scared to explore the horrors on your own, you’ll be happy to know you can squad up with up to seven of your friends and some friendly NPCs that can help you along the way with Sone of the Forest multiplayer.
Sons of the Forest is the long-awaited sequel to The Forest, which many survival game enthusiasts agree is among the best survival horror games in the genre. In The Forest, players endure a plane crash and emerge on a remote island before embarking on a journey to find their missing son. This mission eventually leads them to an elaborate cave system that hides the island’s most terrifying secrets.
Sons of the Forest kicks off with loosely the same premise, though the details are slightly different. Instead of hunting for your child, you’re hunting for a missing billionaire. Though added six months after The Forest’s initial 2014 release, multiplayer quickly became the game’s most popular mode. Features like base-building, exploration, and all-around survival reward collaboration, so it seems only natural players would want to team up with friends to play.
How to play Sons of the Forest multiplayer co-op?
The Sons of the Forest Steam page offers only a hint at the upcoming game’s multiplayer experience.”Survive alone, or with friends. Share items and work together to build defences. Bring back-up to explore above and below ground,” the description says.
Though developer Endnight has confirmed multiplayer co-op, the development studio has yet to offer much information on the technical aspects of how the game’s servers will work. In The Forest, some players were frustrated that the person who creates and leads a server must be playing for others to join and play on the server. Many fans hope the developers have addressed this issue in the forthcoming release.
Though there are few details on multiplayer, the Endnight team recently released a trailer with some game footage showing multiplayer aspects of the game, such as base building and team-based combat.
The trailer grants some insight into how players can support one another as they explore the island, such as by offering light sources for each other when looking at mysterious cave drawings. It also shows players working together to chop wood and build an elaborate base.
The building customisation system represents a massive change in the overall build mechanics relative to what players saw in The Forest. Previously, players had to use pre-built structure guides. The Sons of the Forest approach allows players to be more collaborative and creative and build on one another’s structures for a more fun base-building experience.
Does Sons of the Forest have local multiplayer?
Sons of the Forest supports only online co-op, as opposed to local or LAN co-op. Sons of the Forest will launch exclusively on PC, which means no support for consoles and, therefore, no support for cross-play.
Sons of the Forest multiplayer AI
One relatively unique aspect of Sons of the Forest is that players can draw on AI companions to assist them in various ways. The developers suggested these AI characters help players gain multiplayer gameplay benefits even when solo. However, friendly AI characters are also part of the multiplayer experience.
Game trailers and other promotional content heavily feature a male AI character named Kelvin. Kelvin cannot talk due to a traumatic brain injury, but he can communicate via written notes and is eager to help you as you build your base. His communications manifest as quick-select options on a notepad. Kelvin helps players by handling tedious activities such as chopping down trees and collecting wood, two tasks that can quickly become repetitive in base-building games.
Kelvin can also do things that make your personal experience more engaging, such as holding a radio to play music for you while you’re building. However, Kelvin isn’t simply a full-time worker bee. He will rest when tired and find water when thirsty. If you no longer wish for Kelvin to be part of your group, you can simply get rid of him in a Sons of the Forest-appropriate goodbye gesture that involves shooting him in the head.
While Kelvin will be available in multiplayer, there’s only one Kelvin allotted for every multiplayer crew. The developers also specifically designed him not to be overpowered, so while he’s helpful, a human-player companion will likely still be preferable to Kelvin. Promotional materials also showcase a three-legged and three-armed mutant nicknamed Virginia, who appears to be a friendly NPC that the player can recruit to fight alongside them. While Kelvin is puppy-like, friendly and loyal, Virginia is more catlike, skittish and independent. In Sons of the Forest promotional materials, she duel-wields a shotgun and a pistol.
Sons of the Forest trailers also appear to show off a third AI companion, though it’s unclear who it is or how it will work within the game. The entity is a hulking human donning a gold mask who will work with you to protect you from threats, though this is unconfirmed.
There will also be other companions, developer Endnight revealed via IGN, but the team has yet to reveal these characters and what roles they play in the game. A developer also suggested these AI companions could help you by giving you more information about the story or offering insights that will help guide you through the world.
That’s everything we know about Sons of the Forest multiplayer co-op. For more Sons of the Forest news and updates, check out our Sons of the Forest early access guide and our Sons of the Forest map size guide to learn more about what to expect from the game.