We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode test “successful” after big turnout

The Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus alpha test has concluded, and with 24,000 players checking in Fatshark talks about feedback and balance.

Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode test "successful" - A bald-headed warrior priest holding open a glowing book.

The new Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode is proving hugely popular, with a big turnout for its first open alpha test on Steam, which ran across the sixth anniversary event for the beloved co-op Warhammer game. The new mode brings in that classic asymmetrical multiplayer of the likes of Left 4 Dead 2 and Dead Space 2, allowing players to step into the roles of both the Heroes and the Skaven. Following on from an earlier closed alpha, the Fatshark team says it’s very happy with the feedback from players, which ranged across a much broader playerbase, with DLC characters and a new map included this time around.

“All in all the test was successful,” Warhammer Vermintide 2 design director Joakim Setterberg writes, “but unfortunately it was quite unstable in the first days of play, requiring five hotfixes to resolve the stability issues.” The turnout was impressive, with just short of 24,000 players jumping into one of the best Warhammer games to try out its new alpha mode; no mean feat for a game that’s now six years old.

“After six years, Vermintide 2 consists of a lot of moving parts, and as the previous test had been on a separate beta app the integration of the game mode into Vermintide simply proved trickier than anticipated,” Setterberg explains. “Hopefully this should have been one of the biggest production hurdles, and we expect things to roll out smoother now for any future binging in Helmgart.”

As for how the test went balance-wise, Fatshark’s attempts to cut back on draws appear to have worked – just 0.4% of matches finished without a victor, as opposed to 7% in the closed alpha. Match times ended up at an average of around 30 minutes, a touch longer than in the closed alpha, which Setterberg says the community was positive about.

YouTube Thumbnail

Grenades and longer-ranged weapons such as crossbows, longbows, handguns, and the bolt staff came out as the big winners for the heroes, and both the Warrior Priest and life staff get a special shout-out as strong choices in particular. Setterberg remarks that 84% of players rated the new game mode as a 7-10 for ‘fun,’ and says that players who typically play at the top-end Cataclysm difficulty were the most positive about both the mode overall and also playing as the Pactsworn.

The most common requests from players are centered on balancing – the gas-lobbing Skaven Globadier “still outperforms as a safely hidden damage dealer” and Setterberg says the team is aware of player feedback that too many of them can show up at the same time. He also acknowledges “frustrations with getting a random hero when joining into the game.”

The team says it’s planning another round of versus mode testing, although Setterberg notes that after the CAT (Closed Alpha Test) and GOAT (Great Open Alpha Test), “tradition now mandates that we can’t have a next test before we decide on a good animal acronym.” Might I suggest STOAT (Second Term Open Alpha Test)?

Warhammer Vermintide 2 versus mode - A Skaven fires green gunk out of a large cannon.

There’s more to come, also – Setterberg says the team at Fatshark is currently working on adding a playable boss for the mode, while independently of versus mode it is also “finally working on a loadout system and hopes to have that out together with the next test.” As for the core campaign, he teases (and I stress this is written verbatim), “Whale, we can’t reveal anything about the future just yet, so you’ll just have to wait and sea what it holds for oar heroes. But not for too long, we expect.”

While we await more news on that, there are plenty more of the best multiplayer games to keep you occupied, or you can sniff out the best rat games you need to play in 2024.

You can also follow us on Google News for daily PC games news, reviews, and guides, or grab our PCGN deals tracker to net yourself some bargains.