Palworld Co-Op: Early Access Preview


With a budget of only $6.7 million, no one can argue that Palworld hasn’t had incredible breakout success. This isn’t surprising for a cheeky, funny, colourful game that unashamedly lifts gameplay mechanics from big franchises e.g. Minecraft, Fortnite and Ark, along with a very in your face nod to Pokemon. Players all over the world are already enjoying catching pocket sized creatures in balls, building bases and crafting weapons, shooting everything in sight and paragliding though a world full of vibrant scenery. Upon hearing of its existence, I have to say I was pretty excited to give it a try.


Co-Op; The Good and the Bad

Personally, I love playing co-op games, having spent many, many hours in Minecraft making bases with friends, adventuring and gathering resources together, so I was always going to enjoy playing Palworld with others. Gathering resources is twice as fast with two, so your base can be built to a better standard early on. You can choose different technology blueprints meaning that one of you can concentrate on weapons and Pal specific items, while the other can focus on base building and structure items. You can take down Pals together, level up at the same time and watch each other’s backs. You’re both working towards the same Palbox at a base so you get things done in better time, leaving more time to explore the vast and colourful world. 

There are however some challenges, in such a shared experience. Your friend can get very annoyed at you if you accidentally (and repeatedly) kill a Pal they were trying to catch. Boss fights can be over very quickly in the final moments when both players and Pals are attacking it so communication is key!

Whilst playing together remotely is fun, I would love to see a local multiplayer option that allows for a split screen. That way my friend can be in the same room as me when they tell me how rubbish I am after accidentally killing a boss we are trying to catch for the third time! 


The game is set in a colourful world with different terrains, from sweeping green hills to volcanic rock and gorgeous shorelines. It’s a game you can definitely get lost in. I would love to see a photo mode added to be able to showcase some of the beautiful sights that you come across. It’s always worth climbing to the peak, not only for the egg that’s casually waiting at the highest point, but some of the views are Breath of the Wild level beautiful.

The building mode takes a bit to get used to, and even longer to get good at. Stair placing is temperamental at best, and it is difficult to design something that doesn’t look flat and boring. Lining things up to be straight can be a challenge, but the build menu is easy to use and the materials are easy to get.  

Palworld definitely does not need the beefiest PC or console to enjoy its graphics. The textures are charmingly basic, but there are tutorials out there for those that want to optimise their graphic settings. 

We didn’t come across too many bugs, which was a nice surprise given it is only in the early access stage. Occasionally we would have a screen freeze, and I would get booted from the world, this only happened a handful of times, but overall it was pretty smooth for how early on it is for this game.

So is it fun to play?

What I love most is you think you have come across what must be the most daft thing in the game, then you realise you can now give your monkey a machine gun. You can turn it on for half an hour and get a few jobs done, or spend hours prancing around on a purple deer, catching blue dinosaurs because they are simply too cute and you must have them all. If you’re feeling hungry, get your monkey to machine gun you a few chickens. Want to escape, jump on your colourful pigeon and get the hell out of there. Feeling a bit evil, condense several of one type of Pal into one at your base and channel your inner Dexter. It’s versatile and full of options on what to be getting on with.

Palworld roadmap

In Conclusion

Overall, Palworld is some good, dumb fun and in my opinion, that fun is better when shared with a friend. I am excited to see what becomes of this game when early access is finished, and the final product is released into the wild.


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