XDefiant release date window and latest news

Here’s all the information you need on the XDefiant release date as well as a full overview of Ubisoft’s new free-to-play FPS on PS5, Xbox, and PC.

XDefiant Release Date: A soldier can be seen

February 9, 2024 Ubisoft has confirmed a release window for XDefiant in its Q3 2024 earnings report.

When is the XDefiant release date? One of the biggest upcoming releases for first-person shooter fans, XDefiant aims to be a breath of fresh air while also crafting a nostalgic experience that fans of older Call of Duty titles will love.

Following a few closed and open beta tests, XDefiant has impressed us and is shaping up to be one of the best FPS games – at least, it will be when it finally releases. It may also join our list of the best free shooting games on consoles. But, when can you expect to put together your best XDefiant loadout and dominate your opponents?

XDefiant release date window

The XDefiant release date window is Q4 2024, meaning it’ll launch sometime between now and Sunday, March 31, 2024. This was confirmed in Ubisoft’s Q3 2024 earnings report. XDefiant had previously been delayed indefinitely after Ubisoft found gameplay “inconsistencies” during its September 2023 Public Test Session.

XDefiant release date: XDefiant post from Twitter with the indefinite delay following the PTS

As per executive producer Mark Rubin’s last update on January 27, 2024, Ubisoft’s currently conducting private tests to “verify” the work that the studio’s put in since the PTS. According to the dev, the major blockers have been XDefiant’s Party System, netcode, and servers – all of which have now mostly been fixed or upgraded.

According to previous updates, the issues affecting XDefiant’s netcode were “addressed” as of January 2, with the new Party System undergoing “rigorous testing and bug fixing” at Rubins’ time of writing. As for the game’s servers, Rubin states in a December 5 post that everything had been migrated over to Linux. “This will improve some server stability as well as make servers scale up and down to handle load much, much faster,” he says.

These are all positive signs that the game is edging closer to launch. While it’s uncertain how many issues will pop up in further tests, we’re hoping that XDefiant will get a more concrete release date soon, hopefully after the next test.

But when could that date be? Though we’d love to see a February drop for XDefiant, a late March arrival time seems far more likely. That would give the developers time to put the finishing touches on the game, put it through another round of public testing, get platform approval, and hopefully prepare even more content for launch and beyond. It also gives it plenty of breathing space before 2024’s Call of Duty release.

What happened to XDefiant?

Originally set for a Summer 2023 release date, things seemed to be going well with XDefiant at first. After a few closed beta sessions, Mark Rubin confirmed during Ubisoft Forward 2023 that the game would be having an open beta session in June for Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC.

Following the open beta, the developers quietly delayed the last-gen versions of the game only, stating in a tweet that the team is “working on last-gen platforms for later”. However, after a long summer of waiting for the game to launch on current-gen consoles and PC, the game failed a QA test for major platforms, as stated in an Ubisoft blog post from September 11, and a Public Test Session for further testing took place shortly after that in late September.

Unfortunately, on October 9, Ubisoft released a statement saying that it discovered “inconsistencies in the game experience” during this Public Test Session and that it would be indefinitely delaying XDefiant. Despite initially looking on track to meet its Summer 2023 target window, it’s clear that there were some deeper issues with the game that require a lot more development time.

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In a tweet on November 1, 2023, Rubin confirmed that the main culprit for the delay was due to frame spikes caused by some anti-cheat software, and he also confirmed that the team had replaced the social system due to issues it had under heavy load.

Not only that, but Rubin confirmed that the team behind XDefiant is also replacing the “low-level network transport layer”, which he says will reduce latency and occasional de-sync that players may perceive when another player has packet loss issues.

The developers are also switching the servers over to Linux, which Rubin suggests will improve the overall server performance, which will make the launch smoother and allow for servers to spin up faster for handling a larger number of players.

Replying to some fans on the same tweet, Rubin was asked by players whether this meant another beta or test session would be taking place. Rubin confirmed a future test, stating that “Once we get all of this new work integrated, we will most likely run a weekend-long test with PC and current-gen platforms.”

XDefiant gameplay

A 6v6 arena-based shooter at its core, XDefiant is an arcade-like experience that both casual FPS players and competitive fans can enjoy. Leading development on XDefiant is none other than Mark Rubin, who produced the original Modern Warfare series, highly touted as one of the best subseries in Call of Duty history. Bringing his knowledge (and his transparency with fans) to this brand-new IP has certainly helped generate interest around it.

While it sounds great just having an FPS game inspired by old Call of Duty titles, that’s not all. The XDefiant factions – which are inspired by various major Ubisoft IPs like Far Cry, Watch Dogs, and more – all offer different abilities giving XDefiant a much more team-oriented feel over recent COD games.

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Picking a faction and class is only half the battle, as you’ll want to keep an eye on the XDefiant meta to see which of the many XDefiant weapons are currently on top, especially if you’re competitive like us.

Similar to COD, there are a bunch of XDefiant game modes, most of which you’ve likely seen in other FPS games like Domination or Escort. Perhaps the best thing for many MW3 defectors is that XDefiant won’t have skill-based matchmaking in its main modes.

According to Rubin, XDefiant will ship with a “Welcome Playlist” for players below level 25 that utilizes SBMM. Beyond that, it won’t be present. “Ranked will have ranked-based matchmaking,” he specifies. In the same thread, Rubin highlights the possibility for “yearly prestiges,” seeing as XDefiant’s lifecycle will (hopefully) extend far beyond CoD’s annual scope.

From our time playing the game through its open and closed betas, we’ve found XDefiant’s gameplay enjoyable. With the gunplay and the individual faction abilities, it reminds us of games like Call of Duty Black Ops 3 and Black Ops 4.

XDefiant roadmap

Before the unfortunate delays, Ubisoft confirmed a roadmap for the first year of XDefiant, which would come into effect following a six-week ‘pre-season’ at launch. Ubisoft promised that during XDefiant’s first year, the game would receive four new factions, 12 new weapons, and 12 new maps, as well as new modes, competitive options, and extra comfort features for accessibility and learning the game.

XDefiant Factions: A roadmap image displaying the upcoming content for XDefiant year one.

This is in addition to the existing content from the beta tests, which already offered 24 weapons, 14 maps, five game modes, and five factions.

Despite the indefinite delay, we expect that XDefiant’s ambitious Year 1 roadmap and the content that it promised will remain for when the game does eventually launch. However, if anything does change, we’ll update this article to reflect that.

That’s everything we know ahead of the XDefiant release date right now. It may be worth picking up one of the best Xbox controllers and best PS5 controllers ahead of launch so you can quickly make your way through the ranks. If you want to see if there are any other competitive titles on the horizon, our new PS5 games and new Xbox games lists have all of the upcoming games that are arriving soon.