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After many delays, Ubisoft has finally released XDefiant, a free-to-play, fast-paced arcade shooter. XDefiant features factions inspired by various Ubisoft franchises.

Unfortunately for Steam Deck users, XDefiant is only available on Ubisoft Connect. And even worse, the game uses Battleye Anti-Cheat which seemingly hasn't been configured to work with Linux. At least in my initial tests, the game runs terribly laggy during the opening cinematics before consistently crashing to the desktop before it's able to connect to Ubisoft's servers. I booted it on my main gaming PC afterwards which started and connected fine, so it unfortunately seems to be a Linux or Steam Deck-specific issue.

Regardless, here's the launch trailer in case you have a non-Linux device to play the game on:

After going through a series of betas and open tests over the past few months, everyone can now enjoy XDefiant in its Season 0 form, which has the following content available:  

  • 14 maps inspired by other Ubisoft titles 
  • Five Ubisoft franchise-inspired factions (one faction to be earned or purchased)  
  • 24 weapons 
  • 44 attachments 
  • Five devices

The factions include The Cleaners (The Division), Libertad (Far Cry 6), Echelon (Splinter Cell), DedSec (Watch Dogs 2), and Phantoms (Ghost Recon Phantoms). Each faction includes three characters, but only one will be unlocked from each faction. The others are unlockable through completing in-game missions.   

Players can battle it out in matches from two game modes: Arena and Linear.  

As for the objectives in the Arena mode, these are:

  • Domination, teams fight to control three fixed zones. 
  • Occupy, teams fight to control one zone that periodically moves around the map. 
  • HotShot, players fight to get the most KOs (in HotShot, points are only granted or denied when players collect tags from fallen foes or allies. Furthermore, the player currently holding the most tags before the HotShot and is granted a host of speed buffs, but is marked on the map for all to see).  

As for the Linear mode, there are 2 objectives available:

  • Zone Control, the attacking team works to secure five zones in a progression across the map, while defenders must fight to stop them.  
  • Escort, the attacking team must bring a package to its final destination across the map, while the defenders attempt to stymie their progress, and even push the package back. 

After Season 0, XDefiant will begin to have seasonal content, featuring one new faction, three new maps, three new weapons, and more each season.

It's a shame that XDefiant fails to run on the Steam Deck, it's likely an issue with Battleye Anti-Cheat, and hopefully, Ubisoft will enable it on Linux, to bring in extra players if nothing else.

We'll keep an eye on the game and let you know if anything changes with regards to Steam Deck compatibility.

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Oliver Stogden
Oliver began playing video games at an early age, starting with the SNES console and Commodore Amiga computer. Nowadays, his interest is in the future of portable technology, such as handheld gaming systems, portable power stations/banks, and portable monitors. And seeing just how far we can push these devices.
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