Ultimate Guide to XDefiant – Gameplay, Factions and Release Date

Ubisoft’s upcoming intense faction-based arena shooter, XDefiant, is inching closer to its official launch. A recent update by Mark Rubin on the state of the game suggests that they’ve not only resolved the net code issues found in early play testing, but they’ve added new features that will ensure a seamless gameplay experience for all players.

Our ultimate guide to XDefiant provides everything you need to know, from story insights and gameplay to faction details and the anticipated release date.

Heart Pumping Squad Based PVP

In the action-packed world of XDefiant, a formidable woman fiercely wields a gun, determined to outgun her opponents.

XDefiant is a free-to-play first-person shooter game developed by Ubisoft San Francisco. The game sees players participating in PVP combat through distinct playable factions gifted unique abilities shaping matchups. Players need to strategize to leverage strengths against rivals in all-out domination across meticulously designed maps supporting up to 100 players.

The story puts players in the role of elite fighters amidst growing unrest between these formidable factions vying for control in a near-future world. These complex alliances, rivalries and characters intensifying the conflict promise gripping narrative depth as you uncover political secrets fueling the nonstop battles.

Accessible Gameplay and Customization

Core gameplay enforces skill emphasis on movement, positioning and weapon handling through features like mantling, grappling hooks and aiming down sights while drawing from special powers and armaments.

Players will be able to tailor builds by tweaking weapons, customizing loadouts and unlocking passive buffs to match playstyles. Adaptability is key across traditional and objective-centric Deathmatch modes against the procedurally intelligent enemy AI system.

XDefiant Maps and Modes

A futuristic building with palm trees in a XDefiant map.

XDefiant will be all about teamwork and coordination. Players will find themselves in the heart of epic 6-versus-6 battles, where communication and strategy are key to victory.

With a range of dynamic maps and game modes, including classic team deathmatch and objective-based modes such as Domination and Occupy, XDefiant should offer the type of replayability popular arena shooters are known for.

Check out Ubisoft’s deep dive on the XDefiant maps and modes that will be available on launch below.

XDefiant Party System

As mentioned in Mark Rubin’s latest update, one of the latest features of XDefiant is the implementation of a brand-new party system. This system has undergone rigorous testing and bug fixing to ensure smooth and enjoyable multiplayer sessions.

Players can look forward to seamlessly teaming up with friends or joining forces with other gamers for a hopefully positive gaming experience.

XDefiant Factions

XDefiant features characters from various Ubisoft franchises split into distinct factions. Currently, 5 factions are present in the game, each representing a different title. These factions have access to unique active abilities, passive traits and ultra abilities that cater to different playstyles.


A screenshot of the XDefiant division cleaners.

Hailing from Tom Clancy’s The Division franchise, the Cleaners wield fire based abilities. Their kit reflects their arsonist nature with access to a firebomb ability that sets enemies ablaze. They also utilize an incinerator drone to roast targets from range. For stronger fire attacks, Cleaners can activate their purifier ultra on tough foes or groups.


Echelon in XDefiant.

Echelon borrows the stealthy operatives of Sam Fisher from the Splinter Cell series. They specialize in rapid intel gathering and covert strikes. Abilities like the digital ghillie suit and intel suit facilitate stealthy ambushes while their sonar goggles ultra grants temporary wallhack vision.


Far cry 5 libertad freedom features with XDefiant elements.

As the medic faction, Libertad from Far Cry 6 provides healing and buffs. Their BioVida boost can overheal while El Remedio cleanses allies of debuffs. Libertad passive traits enhance healing received and their ultra, Rise Up, revives nearby downed teammates.


Phantoms in XDefiant

The defensive specialists from Ghost Recon Phantoms, the Phantoms wield abilities that fortify locations. Their blitz shield projects a wide frontal energy barrier to block incoming damage. It combos with the mag barrier ultra to create safe zones. Phantoms passively enhance armor while sprinting too.


DedSec in XDfiant

Hackers and technomancers from Watch Dogs 2, Dedsec were not featured in XDefiant’s early closed beta tests. But their known abilities include hijacking enemy equipment and deploying spiderbots capable of zapping unaware foes.

More Factions To be Added

Ubisoft has confirmed that more factions will be released with every season, and some of the upcoming factions speculated to be arriving in the future include Division Agents, Rainbow Six, and Assassins.

XDefiant’s Development in Good Hands

A player in a green hoodie is holding a gun while participating in XDefiant.

Industry veterans Mark Rubin (former Call of Duty executive producer) and Richard Tsao lead San Francisco-based Ubisoft studio Greenstorm, consisting of passionate team members behind major FPS franchises. Mark recently gave an update on the game on X, giving hints that the release window is imminent:

“The team is getting back into the office this week and we are ready for a great year! We will have some more specific news in the next couple of weeks as we get ready for launch. But the quick update on our progress is: 1) We have addressed the weird issues that were affecting Netcode (see previous update for more info) and we will continue to improve and test our netcode before and after launch, and 2) we’ve implemented the new Party System and are now just putting it through rigorous testing and bug fixing as we get ready for launch. 

I also want to give a shout out to those team members who worked through the holidays. Much of our team is working on future content but many of those that are working on getting the game ready to ship did put in some hours over the holidays and I want to recognize their dedication. We try very hard to not be a crunch studio as we care about our people and their families. The whole team is very dedicated to XDefiant and we are super excited to launch this game!”

Mark Rubin (@PixelsofMark) 2 January 2024

XDefiant Release Date and Platforms

No set release date has been given at this stage, however it’s looking likely that XDefiant will target an initial cross-platform launch in Quarter 1 of 2024 – January to March – on Playstation 5, Xbox Series XS, Luna and PC. Ubisoft Connect will also allow players to play with friends across platforms for intense co-op and competitive multiplayer. We will keep you updated as soon as we get more information on the exact release date.

With deep customization, continually evolving content and a dedicated studio composed of veteran developers, we think XDefiant is looking set to claim a seat among premier multiplayer franchises in 2024. For more information check out the official XDefiant website, X and Facebook.

XDefiant FAQ

What is XDefiant?

XDefiant is an upcoming free-to-play arena shooter developed by Ubisoft. It will feature characters and factions from various Tom Clancy games and other Ubisoft franchises.

What is the XDefiant gameplay like?

XDefiant focuses on fast-paced team based combat with a strong emphasis on character abilities. Players can customize loadouts and leverage special faction abilities that provide strategic advantages in matches supporting up to 100 players.

What factions will be available at launch?

There are 5 launch factions: Cleaners (The Division), Echelon (Splinter Cell), Libertad (Far Cry 6), Phantoms (Ghost Recon Phantoms) and Dedsec (Watch Dogs 2). Each has unique active abilities, passive traits and ultra abilities.

What abilities does the Cleaners faction have?

The Cleaners specialize in fire attacks like the firebomb, incinerator drone, and their purifier ultra. Their abilities deal burn damage over time.

How do the Phantoms differ from other factions?

As the defensive specialists from Ghost Recon Phantoms, the Phantoms wield fortifying abilities like the blitz shield and mag barrier to provide cover and block damage. They passively enhance armor too.

On what platforms will XDefiant launch?

XDefiant will launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC and cloud gaming platforms like Luna. Cross play allows players to squad up regardless of platform.

Does XDefiant have a release date?

The anticipated release window for XDefiant is January to March 2024.

What post-launch support is planned?

XDefiant will be a live multiplayer title with new seasonal content including maps, modes, cosmetics and gameplay features on the roadmap for the future.

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Harriet Gough
Over 20 years' experience as a writer and games journalist. Avid gamer and enjoy a wide range of game genres including MMOs, FPS and RTS. My favorite games include Warframe, Skyrim, Destiny 2, CoD and Age of Empires.

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