These features are set to be introduced via major updates for each game in January next year; cross-play allows users to play with or against each other regardless of platform, and cross-progression allows you to pick up where you left off on a different system.
The studio has released a full FAQ to answer any and all questions you might have about the updates, but we've included some highlights for you below:
- Cross-play and cross-progression will go live with the 2.01 update for Paladins, and the 6.1 update for SMITE. Both of these updates are currently scheduled to release in mid-to-late January 2019.
- For cross-play platforms, there will be a global, cross-platform leaderboard. As players will be able to move freely from across platforms and input methods on a single account, all players will be tracked on the same leaderboard regardless of their main platform or control scheme.
- Cross-play will be supported across PC launcher, PC and Mac Steam, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. We are technically ready to support cross-play on other platforms as the opportunity arises.
- By default, casual matchmaking will find the best matches for players regardless of platform or input method.
- SMITE and Paladins players can choose to play only against players with the same input method (either keyboard and mouse, or controller) in casual matches. However, players will find higher quality matches, more quickly, by leaving cross-input matchmaking enabled.
- By linking your separate platform accounts to a Hi-Rez Account, you will effectively have one account across PC launcher, PC and Mac Steam, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The talk of being "ready to support cross-play on other platforms as the opportunity arises" is an interesting statement, seemingly suggesting that PS4 cross-play is ready to go but has once again been blocked by Sony. If you'll be playing these titles on Switch, though, at least you'll be able to connect with friends on the other devices listed.
Do you like to see games and systems support cross-play? Will you be trying it out for yourself when the updates go live in January? Let us know below.