Splitgate, a free-to-play arena shooter that bills itself as a mix between Halo and Portal, is having a moment. You might even be able to play it now.
Currently in beta, developer 1047 Games pushed back the game’s full release because too many people were trying to play. It remains staggeringly popular, regularly boasting five- and, at times, six-figure concurrent player counts (if you tally across platforms). For a few days, it was nearly impossible to get into a match.
Earlier this week, Splitgate’s servers experienced a crushing wave, with players reporting waiting times of an hour and a half or more. Late last month, 1047 Games created a Twitter account solely dedicated to providing updates about server status. There’s also a Discord that offers more regular updates.
As one of 1047 Games’ staffers explained, the team can’t just purchase more servers. Any solution would take a while to crystalize.
Two nights ago, despite knowing the odds, I foolishly tried to play. I remained in the queue until my Xbox Series X automatically turned off from its power-save settings. That felt as good a sign as any to call it for the night.
Yesterday, things started shaping up. 1047 Games took the servers offline for about an hour the next morning to perform standard maintenance, ban line-cutters, and beef up capacity. It seems to have worked…somewhat. The developer now says waits are below half an hour, with an average of five minutes. Now, there is apparently no queue at the time of this writing, though that’s likely to change.
I queued up late last night and was able to watch an entire episode of Netflix’s Castlevania before getting into a match. I’ll say: very convenient timing!
Fundamentally, Splitgate feels like Halo 3, a game I’ve poured so, so many hours into. There’s even a carbon copy of that game’s battle rifle, and some of the modes, like Oddball and Swat, are more or less identical to their Halo counterparts. And yes, Splitgate nails the signature portals of Portal and Portal 2, two other games I’ve played a whole lot of. These are things I would not have to travel far to find. You’d think a retread of decade-old concepts would be a turnoff.
That said, playing them together is still a jaw-droppingly cool concept. Put simply, Splitgate is delicious. I’m just not sure it’s worth a several-hour wait. Vanishingly few things in life are. But five minutes isn’t so bad.