Are you tired of getting kicked into the dusty ground of the unforgiving Exiled Lands? Would you like to invite a friend to suffer with you? Of course, you two could always join the same multiplayer server, but maybe that’s not quite what you’re looking for. Perhaps you want a world of your very own to conquer with your bud. Well, I have some good news.
While the feature was not available on release, for the last couple of years, Exiles have been teaming up to battle through the forests, deserts, jungles, and the big mean volcano together. Crawl caves and climb fortress walls with your buddies by your side. Build massive compounds and raise cuddly crocodiles and playful panthers to roam its streets. Saddle up and race across the Exiled Lands in record time. The sandbox of Conan Exiles deserved a Co-Op PVE experience, and now that it has one, the multiplayer servers can all rot away for all I care.
TL:DR: Misery Loves Company
Without renting your own server, co-op is the only way to play Conan Exiles with a friend and not join an already established multiplayer server. While it’s not terribly expensive to host a 10-slot private server, there are fewer reasons to rent your own now that a Co-Op mode has been added to the game. In addition, up to four players (including the host) can join a Co-Op server!
You may turn on Conan Exiles Co-Op while creating a single-player server or after it’s already been created. The server’s owner will have to be online for the guest to play on the server. It’s important to remember that you won’t have access to the world as a guest unless the admin is online and interested in playing. The guest is also physically tethered to the admin, meaning you must adventure together. The tether is the only massive downside to Co-Op mode in Conan Exiles and limits your ability to accomplish tasks without your partner nearby.
There is also no local Co-Op in Conan Exiles, and there likely never will be. Your buddies will need to join online with their own system and game.
My Experience With Co-Op in Conan Exiles
I counted down the days until Funcom released Co-Op for Conan. I had convinced my best friend to buy the game on release, and no offense Funcom, but the early days were a bit of a disaster. The multiplayer servers were massively overcrowded warzones, and the game was so buggy it was incredibly frustrating to play. We eventually crawled back to our Rust server, disheartened and tired. I certainly did not want to play this particular game alone, particularly in its first year.
When the Co-Op patch was released, I convinced her to adventure back to the Exiled Lands with me one more time. The Co-Op feature meant we didn’t have to deal with warring clans or abandoned bases around every corner. The pristine new world we stepped into was ready for just us to build it out.
There was so much more content! We built and built our grand palace for days. We collected treasures, fought giant monsters, and generally had a wonderful time. I think adding Co-Op was one of the most intelligent things Funcom could have done, and I appreciate the experience it allowed us to have.
How to Set Up a Co-Op Game
There is a small box to check if you want to start a Co-Op world , but there’s no need to worry; any single-player world can be turned into a Co-Op work whenever you like. The owner can then convert it back to single-player offline. The person that owns this game will have no issues with their character or items.
Keep in mind that there is no option for a local Co-Op game. You won’t be able to play Conan Exiles split screen, and Funcom doesn’t have any plans to implement the feature. In fact, other players must accept their Co-Op invitation to your game from their game’s menu.
When Co-Op first came out, it was extremely difficult to launch. Each player’s game setting would have to be exactly the same for them to be able to join. I remember sitting in Discord for hours, examining each check box to ensure we were all identical. Most of these issues have been ironed out, but if you’re experiencing problems, I highly suggest you go back and check this old issue.
The catch for Co-Op games is that the person that joins will have to make a unique character for that server and cannot play unless the owner is online. If the owner plays while the guest is unavailable, the guest’s items will rot at normal speed, and their base is wide-open for a purge attack. If you are the guest in Co-Op mode, just keep in mind that you don’t “own” your progress.
If the world owner isn’t available, you’ll have to play a different game with a new character. If the world owner plays without you, your stuff is at risk without any way to maintain your base outside of their hours.
I’ve touched on some of the limitations for the guest, but there is another huge downside to creating a co-op game instead of renting a server. The players on a co-op server are tethered together, even if there is more than one of them. Unfortunately, the game cannot load the entire map when playing in Co-Op, so you’ll have to explore it together.
This means that whenever you’re ready to go dive into a dungeon or even just gather supplies, you’ll have to take your buddies with you. You’ll know how far the tether stretches because it’s in direct correlation with your visibility. If it’s too far to load in, then it’s likely too far to stray from your other players. In my experience, it’s usually about a football field.
This is a game-breaking mechanic for some players, and those players may be scoffing at my opinion that this was a good decision for Funcom. It is typical for hardcore players; they often think the game should be designed around them.
I would hazard a guess that Funcom is making more money from casual players at this point, and these players are not going to go out and rent their own server. Casual players tend to really enjoy Co-Op, and it’s opened up a world of variety for an impulse Steam buyer. They buy the game because it has integrated Co-Op, and they don’t mind experiencing the world together. In fact, it might take them a very long time before they even realize there is a tether.
First Steps: Co-Op Starter Moves
The tether does limit your ability to run some operations, but it’s certainly something that can be worked around. Keep an open line of communication, and you’ll be able to plan your next moves without wasting anyone’s time. If you’ve played the game before, and you and your buddy have a vision in mind, then your starter moves will look a lot different than a beginner.
The first order of business, whether beginner or advanced, is to create a clan with your Co-Op companions. It may not be crucial now but will allow you some menu and organizational comforts later.
For a beginner, staying in the southern half of the map is best until you get a handle on things. If you die, you’ll drop everything in your inventory, but try not to let this scare you. You’ll both start the game in the long stretch of barren desert that every game starts in. Run north and east to the beginner river and gather branches, rocks, and fiber. You’ll also need to use “feat” points to learn some basics in your character menu.
One of the best things about Co-Op is recipe specialization. Let one person learn all of the building feats while the other learns all of the blacksmithing feats. You’ll have deeper access than you normally would without downing a yellow lotus potion and resetting.
Your in-hand crafting menu is in your inventory tab, and you’ll be able to figure out some beginner tools and weapons to cobble together. Night time is very dark, so putting together a campfire and making gruel or grilling steaks is a project for one of you. The other can be building stations and chests. I personally wouldn’t worry about building a house or base, just some chests and crafting stations.
Your most valuable asset in Conan Exiles is your level. Wearing trash gear and working on your level is more important than building a beginner base. After you’ve made some leather gear, head deeper in the desert in search of iron and more challenging fights. When you find a reasonable collection of iron, throw a base down there, and get to fighting.
There are a million ways to attack the Exiled Lands, but this will give you a solid foothold to grow from. You’ll learn about death, the purge, taking thralls, pets, and more without the frustrating hike to get iron if you’d stayed down by the river.
See also: Conan Exiles Getting Started Guide
Conan Exiles Co-Op Longterm Goals
If you create two separate bases, then you will have two different bases to defend against the purge. Your base’s purge difficulty is determined by where you’ve built your base. The higher level area the base is stationed in, the higher level purge it will experience. I would already suggest living together anyway, but you’ll especially want to consider it if you’re building in a difficult area.
You’ll quickly notice that taking thralls is much easier with two people, though you will often be gathering twice as many. The same can be said for running dungeons, and you may even be able to take off several levels of the suggested difficulty range when you have a friend (and your thrall and their thrall) coming along with you. The downside will be that you have to collect the materials for twice the gear.
It does help if you have two different combat builds (or equipment needs) when treasure hunting, but not as much as you might think. Many of the frustrating-to-stock materials are going to be the same with high-end equipment. Different builds have combat advantages, but Conan Exiles is not as strict in this department as other games.
Unfortunately, Funcom is a little low on PVE endgame content. Once you’ve run the dungeons, you may find you’re out of things to do. At this point, you’ll likely have sunk 100 hours into the game with your buddy by your side, so I like to think it’s worth the adventure. The good news is, now that you know the mechanics, you could either take off to Siptah, join an official PVP server together or host your very own!
Co-Op Combat Builds
In Conan Exiles, your move set is determined by the weapons you equip and the armor you wear. I recommend creating every stone weapon and taking each one for a spin against an easy foe. When you find the one you like, decide which armor works best and move out from there.
You will not be able to make medium and heavy armor in the beginning, but keep in mind as you are able to make them that they are not necessarily a “step up” from the lighter armor. Medium and heavy armor will affect your dodge and encumbrance and are not suited for every play style.
For the most part, Conan Exiles is a very versatile game when it comes to “classes.” There are some stat considerations, like accuracy for ranged users and strength for melee players, but switching between weapons and playstyles is more encouraged than not. That being said, when you have a reliable partner, it is beneficial to delegate some combat responsibilities.
In particular, the tank and damage dealer relationship is a classic to consider. It can be difficult to dodge every attack, especially when space is tight, so having someone ready to take the damage in a fight can be a lifesaver. Fortunately, in Conan Exiles, the tank can easily switch from a shield and one-hander to a two-hander or dual wielding. They will be able to contribute to your damage output any time they feel like it and switch back when things get tight.
The more mobile player can even carry healing arrows to pile on the health regeneration on their tank. Your pets or thralls can also focus on damage when one of the players is focused on taking aggro. Keep in mind, though, that there is no sure-fire way to pull aggro in Conan Exiles. Bleed, cripple, etc. help, but they are not a guaranteed way to get an enemy’s attention. Another player can just back off briefly, but pets and thralls will have to be closely managed if you don’t want them taking any more damage.
There’s no doubt about it; there are some considerable Co-Op limitations. The tether or not having equal access to their world may be game-breaking mechanics for some Conan Exiles players. These players will find the cost of monthly servers worth every penny or the hassle of an official PVP or PVE server a challenge they’re ready to face.
For more casual players, the Co-Op headaches are not a big deal. They prefer the pristine PVE world to explore with their partner and appreciate the plug-and-play experience. Some of these players may never play Conan Exiles in any other capacity than Co-Op and pile hundreds of hours into their private game. Clearly, the market for Co-Op play is thriving, and I appreciate Funcom’s interest in implementing and maintaining an easy-to-navigate Co-Op experience in their otherwise PVP-focused game.
Conan Exiles Co-Op FAQ
Question: Can you play Co-Op in Conan Exiles?
Answer: Yes! Co-Op is run from your single-player game. Up to three of your friends may join your single-player game from the start or whenever you invite them to play Co-Op. They will not have access to the world unless you are online. When they play with you, everyone will be linked by a distance tether.
Question: How do you play multiplayer on Conan Exiles?
Answer: There are a couple of ways to play multiplayer in Conan Exiles. The most classic way is to join an official server. You can join with friends or try and meet friends once you’re there (good luck!). You can also look for a hosted private server, but be cautious; these servers will have their own rules. They can also be shut down whenever the owner sees fit. You can pay to host your own server to avoid these issues, or you can invite your friends to play Co-Op on your game.
Question: Can you play Conan Exiles local Co-Op or split screen?
Answer: No, and there doesn’t appear to be support coming for this feature. Your Co-Op friend will have to have their own system and game.
Question: Does Conan Exiles have a Co-Op tether?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes. Co-Op players will be tethered at around a football field’s distance from other players so that the world only needs to load around one character. This tether means you’ll have to accomplish all your tasks that require travel together. The only way around the tether is to take the jump and rent your own server.
Question: How many people can you play Conan Exiles with?
Answer: This depends on how many players the server owner is willing to host. The official PVE and PVP servers host 40 players. The smallest privately hosted servers usually have a 10-player max. If you are playing Co-Op, you’ll be able to play on your world with four people, including the admin.