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5 XDefiant Features That Make It the Perfect Call of Duty Alternative

XDefiant Screengrab of character ADS

5 XDefiant Features That Make It the Perfect Call of Duty Alternative

XDefiant could be a threat to Call of Duty’s FPS dominance.

The XDefiant Beta, despite some issues regarding error codes and server connection, has been a resounding hit with players who have enjoyed its fast-paced FPS action. Many have compared it to Call of Duty and claimed it could threaten the Activision franchise’s dominance. But what about it is pulling on the heartstrings of CoD fans? Here’s five XDefiant features that Call of Duty fans will love, including a few that’ll have you reminiscing about the good ol’ days of Activision’s iconic FPS franchise.

1. No SBMM In Casual Matches

XDefiant Ranked Casual Match Options in the lobby
Image Credit: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Skill-based matchmaking (often abbreviated to SBMM) has been a hugely contentious topic in Call of Duty in recent years, with a significant portion of players adamant it should not be part of standard multiplayer matches. Regardless, it remains a large part of CoD matchmaking and Activision appear inflexible over its addition.

XDefiant, thanks to confirmation from former CoD pro turned Ubisoft game developer Patrick ‘ACHES‘ Price, does not have SBMM in casual matches. The game will have a Ranked mode when it launches in full that will utilize the matchmaking method, but there does not seem to be any plans for it to feature in standard multiplayer environments. That, to disillusioned CoD players, will be music to their ears.

2. Map Voting

XDefiant Lobby Screengrab showing map voting options
Image Credit: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

There are legitimate concerns about map voting in multiplayer matches – that it pushes players to play the same popular maps over and over, for example. However, giving players a say in the environments they play makes early leavers less likely, the game generally more enjoyable and provides the developers with invaluable feedback to plough into future map designs.

While Call of Duty has moved away from map voting – it does not feature in Modern Warfare 2 – XDefiant puts it proudly in the pre-match lobby of all its games. In true democratic fashion, the will of the people determines the map. If that means the less popular (and generally worse) maps are played less, then so be it.

3. Classic Prestige System

XDefiant character ADS and firing
Image Credit: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Another feature CoD has moved away from in recent years, a classic Prestige system which sees players hit a certain level cap (ie. 55 or 70), opt to Prestige and return to Level 1 in exchange for rewards and unlocks. While CoD has instead opted for a seasonal reset model, XDefiant will have a Prestige system akin to old Call of Duty titles like Black Ops 2 or Modern Warfare 2 (2009).

Despite issues with progression tracking in the Beta, this was confirmed by Ubisoft San Francisco developer Mark Rubin, who confirmed it will have “Prestige that you keep and doesn’t reset each season.”

4. No Lobby Disbanding

XDefiant Custom Playlist Option
Image Credit: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Another controversial feature in recent CoDs – not least because of its inherent links to SBMM – has been lobby disbanding. In older titles, Call of Duty would keep the lobby as intact as possible once a match was completed. Those who opted to leave could do so but the rest of the players would stay and drop into another match. That’s been slowly filtered out in recent CoDs and, despite some pre-launch comments from Infinity Ward to tone it down, it still happens frequently in MW2.

XDefiant does not have a comparable system unless players select ‘Custom Playlist.’ Assuming they have opted for one mode (e.g. Domination), Rubin confirmed their lobby will remain the same unless players choose to switch. It means there’s a better chance of creating and settling scores with opponents over the course of multiple matches, which only adds to the competitive edge of matches.

5. Small Maps

XDefiant Map Screengrab
Image Credit: Ubisoft via Twinfinite

Integral to any FPS are maps – as anyone who’s played them will know. With XDefiant’s emphasis openly on fast-paced arena style gameplay, the majority of multiplayer maps featured in the Beta have been small, quick and conducive to organized chaos.

It means that the much slower, turgid environments that hinder CoD multiplayer (like Taraq from MW2) don’t really exist and the games are centered on the rapid respawn action that fans generally love.

We shouldn’t get too carried away with XDefiant, with Ubisoft’s game only in Beta and Call of Duty being a renowned and immensely popular franchise with an incredible track record. These, though, are five promising signs that XDefiant might be bringing the fight to CoD, or at the very least, is on the right tracks. If you like the sound of XDefiant, it’s incredibly simple to gain access to the Beta.

About the author

Joe Craven

Joe is a writer and publisher based in England. He loves history, video games and football. As you read this, he's probably reading about an obscure war, playing a video game or moaning about Leeds United.
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