P2P Multiplayer for Consoles and Passing Certification

Hi there!

To my knowledge, Unreal’s Online Subsystem is meant to “provide a common way to access the functionality of online services such as Steam, Xbox Live, Facebook, and so on”, which sounds great. I’ve never made a multiplayer game for consoles before, only steam, but having a universal API for multiplayer games sounds awesome.

I’d like to utilize this functionality for my next game that I’m looking to put on consoles (Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox). However, being an indie dev and all, I plan to use peer to peer connections to avoid the cost of dedicated servers. This would be the typical model where the host of the game acts as a listen-server for the rest of the players. To give context about the game, it will be a cooperative adventure game with no form of competitive multiplayer, thus why I’m thinking peer to peer connections should work just fine.

With all this, would anyone happen to have any information on if this type of model will pass console certifications? I’ve tried getting in contact with Nintendo, for example, but haven’t had any luck finding an answer. I’ve heard both sides from peers saying that with this style of game it’s fine to use peer to peer, but then also heard that in order for the game to pass certification, dedicated servers are a must.

Any information (or recommendations too!) would be greatly appreciated. Also, as a final note, does Unreal’s online subsystem really act as a full networking wrapper for the main gaming platforms? There wouldn’t be a need to say use Xbox’s multiplayer SDK to network a game on that device? Just seems too good to be true! I have also seen the new roadmap for cross-platform, which sounds even more awesome.

Cheers,

Matt

Hi Matt, did you got any approach on how to solve P2P on a game like that? I need to implement something pretty similar and your advice could be very useful!

Thanks.

Hi Matt,

as part of your submission, you will need to detail how your multiplayer infrastructure works – this is true for either Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. Whereas there are no “veto” per se’ in using a peer to peer architecture, that’s usually discouraged and need to be discussed on a case by case basis. On Microsoft docs that’s stated explicitly: Using direct peer-to-peer connections - PlayFab | Microsoft Docs

I imagine if you’re building for one or all of the big three you’re a certified dev, best way is to ask directly to your point of contact at each manufacturer.

Cheers,

f