Marvel’s Avengers follows a similar games-as-a-service formula as many others in the genre — allowing you to participate in missions that reward you with new gear upon completion. You can play its campaign and endgame content by yourself, but the game is intended to be enjoyed with friends. Though, getting your squad together to demolish the bad guys isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
In this guide, we’ll run through how multiplayer in Marvel’s Avengers works, and the steps needed to get together with your squad, whether you’re playing the story mode or the post-game, Avengers Initiative. Here’s how to play Marvel’s Avengers online with friends (or strangers).
In order to matchmake with other players in Marvel’s Avengers, you must first link your Square Enix account to Marvel’s Avengers. The game gives you many prompts to do so, but if you skip that process at first, you might have a little trouble beginning the process. We’ll walk you through linking the account, here. When you’re ready, first head to the Square Enix linking site. You’ll want to log in or create your account.
After you’re signed into your Square Enix account, head to Settings within the game either from the pause menu or main menu. Then tab over to Legal and head down to Square Enix Members. You’ll then be given a nine-digit code, which you can take to the Square Enix website to get it linked. Alternatively, you can sign into your Square Enix account from within the game, or by using the QR code. Once you’ve done so, the game will acknowledge that you’re linked, and you’ll be able to play online with friends!
You can’t immediately start playing online with other people in the campaign mode, sadly. Before you do so, you’ll need to progress through the story until you’re able to access missions through the War Table. This is the central hub on the Chimera, which allows you to select missions. At first, you won’t have many to choose from, but as the story progresses, you’ll come across numerous missions, including optional ones, and missions that advance the story. Only some missions are available to play in multiplayer modes, and are labeled as “Multiplayer Mission.” Look out for this when deciding which missions to play with friends.
Pick whichever mission you’d like, and when you do, you’ll come to a screen that allows you to do many things, including the ability to invite your friends and matchmake with others. At this point, you can organize your gear, pick your heroes, and alter your cosmetics and skills. When you’re ready, take a look at the left side of the screen under Strike Team Members.
You’ll see three empty slots, all of which can be occupied by real players. If you want to specifically play with friends, click on one of the empty slots and you’ll be able to invite a player from your friend list on your respective platform. Assuming the person is available, they can join in to help you on your mission. Once a player joins, you can see which hero they’re playing as, their power level, and overall level, along with their username. Keep in mind, you have to play a multiplayer-enabled mission in order to play with other people.
If you don’t fill all slots with real players, the remaining ones will be occupied by computer-controlled heroes, who will take the form of any character that is available. In other words, you cannot have duplicate heroes in a session. If you don’t wish to play with anyone specific and would rather pair up with random players, make sure you enable matchmaking by pressing square on PS4 or X on Xbox One. Any other players matchmaking on this specific mission have the ability to get paired up with you, though the servers seem to be a little wonky around launch.
Avengers Initiative is likely where you’ll spend the bulk of your time with this game. This mode features endgame content and emphasizes online play with others. Keep in mind, Avengers Initiative is intended to be played after you beat the main story and will contain spoilers. Don’t jump into this mode of you’re concerned about story spoilers.
The process of playing online through Avengers Initiative is similar to the way it’s done with the campaign, but you’re actually able to jump into multiplayer right from the start. Again, you’ll want to head over to the War Table, interact with it to select your mission, and when you do, you’ll be presented with the same options as when you’re playing the campaign.
From here, you can invite up to three other players of your choice, or matchmake with random players. From our experience, we haven’t had much luck getting paired with other players through random matchmaking. It’s unclear if this is due to having the game early, or if the servers are having problems. To play it safe, we recommend inviting other players if you’re having trouble finding people. If someone does join in, you can wait for other players to join, or you can simply launch the game as is and the other slots will be filled with computer-controlled players, just like the campaign mode.
Once the mission has started, whether you’re in the campaign or Avengers Initiative mode, you’ll be able to complete it alongside other players. Keep in mind, many of the in-game items like chests, health, and pretty much any type of gear you can pick up are not shared between players, meaning all four members of your party can have access to them. This is great because it means you won’t have to fight over who gets what items. While playing, there is a level scaling system, meaning the difficulty will scale to that of the lowest player. This way, low-level players won’t get bombarded and taken out in seconds.