If you have entered the world of Ashen you’ve no doubt encountered numerous foes, both large and extra-large, as you traverse this mysterious world to save the light from darkness. Part of what makes Ashen such a compelling and exciting game is its unique, passive multiplayer experience, where companions – either AI or human — are never too far away to help lend a hand against a powerful enemy or to save you from certain death. But how can you get your friends to join in on the fun? How can you best be prepared for what lies ahead? We’re here to help. Read on, adventurer…
Finding a Connection
After completing the opening quests and have founded your town Vagrant’s Rest, you will have the ability to connect with other players outside of the town boundaries (when you can engage in combat). When outside of the boundaries, Ashen will look to find other players who are within your proximity so that you may encounter one another. Not only do you have to be at the same place in the world, you may also need to be at roughly the same level (e.g. the same number of bosses defeated).
Communicating with your online companion is tied to pressing Up on the controller’s d-pad. This will light a bright sigil above your head that essentially means, “Follow me.” Use this to coordinate with each other so you’re never too far away from each other in the game world.
Playing with Friends
This requires a few extra steps, in addition to what’s outlined above, so start by partying up with your friend over Xbox Live so you can coordinate via voice chat. Then, both of you should open the Multiplayer section in Ashen’s in-game pause menu under System.
You’ll want to set a Multiplayer Filter Code to share with your friend, so come up with a six-digit number and pass that along to your buddy who will then need to input the same code on their game. Make sure you both have Use Multiplayer Filter and Disable AI Companion checked. Then be near each other at the same point in the game world, tap Up on the d-pad and Ashen will (after 30 seconds or so) pair you up to embark on your adventure together.
This won’t work inside Vagrant’s Rest, so we’d recommend being just outside the hub’s gates where enemies are not as powerful as in other regions. You’ll need to repeat this every time you enter and exit Vagrant’s Rest, but the ability to collaborate with a friend is worth the effort.
Tips for Survival
Ashen is a progressively challenging experience that can be punishing for newcomers to the Souls-like genre of games. A solid general tip is to be mindful of your Stamina, which is responsible for nearly all combat moves in the game — attack, roll, block, sprint – and can deplete quickly if you are not careful. With that in mind, here’s some more tips to help you on your journey:
- Every enemy has a pattern to their attacks and the sooner you’re able to figure them out, the easier your counterattacks will be. Be patient and wait for those openings and then strike.
- Once you get the hang of battle in Ashen, and you’re feeling bold, you can be the one to instigate battles to get the upper hand. Timed right, a sprint + strong attack is a great opening move that instantly puts the battle in your favor. Just be mindful of your Stamina…
- As you continue deeper into the story of Ashen, you’ll encounter many allies who will reside at Vagrant’s Rest (which will also begin to grow larger). It’s a good idea to check back in with the progress of your town as these allies will allow you to upgrade your weapons, purchase reagents, and more. You’ll also unlock a storage chest for you to house those extra items and weapons.
- As you journey farther away from Vagrant’s Rest, make sure you’re interacting with and unlocking the Travel Stones. Later in the game the ability to Fast Travel will unlock and you’ll be grateful for taking the extra time for finding these checkpoints.
- I know we covered this a bit earlier, but if you can manage it, find a friend to pair up with in battle. It will greatly help your chances of survival against some of the more powerful foes. If you can’t find a friend, keep your invites open for multiplayer when other players have the chance to join your game; again, helping your odds of survival
We hope this multiplayer guide and handful of tips help you on your quest in the world of Ashen. For all the latest news and features on Xbox One, keep it tuned here to Xbox Wire. And if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out the Inside Xbox One X Enhanced: Ashen feature to learn more about the work involved in enhancing this game for Xbox One X.
Ashen is available now on Xbox One via the Microsoft Store. It is also available for Xbox Game Pass members with an active subscription and is part of the ID@Xbox Winter of Arcade event.