Game mode completely DISAPPEARS when joining a session

I’ve been developing a multiplayer game, everything was working properly up until I reopened the project recently, and I was generally able to both create and join a session on the same machine without issue.

Randomly this issue has occurred where everything works fine and loads properly for the player that is creating the session, and they are able to jump into the level with the new game mode without problem. When a second player joined that session before, it USED to work just fine and load the same game mode without problem, but now it is straight up deleting the game mode before it even loads the level. It is still JOINING the session successfully but it is ignoring the default game mode for that level, its not maintaining the game mode from the previous map, there’s no pawns or controllers from what i can see and even though it has the time of day sky its either spawning the character controller in a really weird place or not loading the rest of the level at all. This would make sense, i guess, since all of the defaults are tied to the game mode itself. Why is this happening???

I’m thinking this has to be a bug, because I have printed some feedback on begin play for that map just to verify that it doesn’t have a game mode from the moment its loaded before anything else has run. And i’ve scoured the reference editor for any mention of a game mode and I can only find references that GET the game mode, none that set or change it in any way.