Marvel’s Avengers will not allow the players to join games in progress. This is likely due to the game’s matchmaking, which determines difficulty beforehand. Although the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers game is going to focus heavily on the co-op experience, it will not offer drop-in multiplayer, that lets other players jump into games that are currently in progress.
But, considering the emphasis that Marvel’s Avengers places on online play, there may be cause to believe that the feature could be added via a patch in the game’s future. Because the game has some other features designed to optimize the multiplayer experience, this cannot help, but seem like a glaring omission in a time once lots of other co-op games do support join-in-progress mechanics.
One of the reasons the players expected drop-in multiplayer is due to how similar the game looks to other titles that do feature it. For example, in Anthem, joining a game in progress happens regularly that lots of players have asked for ways to avoid entering the games which are close to completion or right before a challenging boss fight. In Marvel’s previous games, the ability to join a game in progress was integrated during console multiplayer’s infancy. It was as simple as picking up a second controller and controlling any of the game’s massive cast of characters once playing locally.
According to Crystal Dynamics, Join in Progress is not available at this time. The blog post announcing the disappointing news sheds light on the possible reasoning behind the feature’s absence in the first place. Marvel’s Avengers’s matchmaking system prioritizes matches between the players close to each other’s Power Level and takes the average Power Level of each player and uses that to determine opponent strength. In other words, levels seem to be populated with opponents once the match begins, and throwing in players of different Power Levels mid-match could result in the matchmaking being abused.
The lack of drop-in co-op in Marvel’s Avengers is the latest of some controversial decisions to appear in the run-up to the game’s release. The potential players began hurling criticism at the game as soon as it was revealed, saying that its in-game Avengers did not look quite as good as the ones they would grow used to from comics and movies. Later, complaints of more substance came, when Crystal Dynamics announced the almost universally hated decision to make Spider-Man exclusive to the PS4 version of Marvel’s Avengers.
Although it may seem disappointing to not have this feature available at launch, it is reflective of Crystal Dynamics dedication to solidifying the basics before branching out. Marvel’s Avengers still features some co-op game modes and an intriguing campaign featuring classic Marvel heroes and villains. Also, the matchmaking system the game uses ensures that regardless of a player’s Power Level, each match is going to be sufficiently challenging for each participant to complete. It would not be surprising if Marvel’s Avengers did implement a Join-in-Progress feature at some point, but for now, the players are going to have to assemble their Avengers beforehand.