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XDefiant release date, trailers, gameplay, and news

Everything you needed to know about the XDefiant release date, all the maps, modes, and factions in Ubisoft’s upcoming free-to-play shooter.

When was the XDefiant release date? If you’re a huge fan of all things Ubisoft, particularly the Tom Clancy games, you may get a kick out of this new free-to-play first-person arena shooter. Its five vs. five matches promised fast-paced objective-based gameplay with Ubisoft characters, complete with unique abilities to turn the tide of battle.

So, how does XDefiant work? It’s an FPS game similar to Call of Duty and Overwatch, but its roster comprises character factions based on some of Ubisoft’s back catalog, each with its own set of abilities to aid them in battle. Ubisoft has invested time in a few free PC games in recent years, and now XDefiant is finally here.

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XDefiant release date

The XDefiant release date was on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 and is available on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.

XDefiant had seen numerous delays in the past. It was originally scheduled for release with a preseason during Summer 2023. However, it was indefinitely delayed as the first submission to Sony and Xbox failed, and the team has been scrambling ever since. On September 11, 2023, XDefiant executive producer Mark Rubin posted a statement online about why the company hasn’t provided a concrete release date yet, citing a failed submission as one of the reasons.

XDefiant was delayed again from an initial window of March 2024, this time without hinting when it will officially launch. This is due to feedback from a Public Test Session where “inconsistencies in the game experience” were found “that we need to address prior to launching our preseason.”

However, there was some encouraging news about when we would find out more. XDefiant executive producer Mark Rubin posted on X (formerly Twitter) a list of findings from the recent server test session. He later summarized that post by saying, “The server test session went really well from a scale and server standpoint. We have some tuning to do. Pretty straightforward stuff that will be done very soon if not done already. And lastly, [the] release date [is] coming very soon!” The XDefiant release date was officially announced a few days later.

XDefiant release date: the preseason for XDefiant in one image.

XDefiant preseason release date

The XDefiant preseason began on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 and lasts until Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

In its first six weeks, players got instant access to four factions, 14 maps, five game modes, and 24 weapons with over 44 attachments to equip. While four of the five factions are available from the get-go, you needed to earn the DedSec activist group through gameplay.

Once the preseason is over, the current plan is to have a new faction in-game once every three months, as well as new maps, weapons, cosmetics, battle passes, and events.

XDefiant prestige system

Mark Rubin put out a poll on Twitter asking what style of prestige system players would like for XDefiant, as the game shares much of the same DNA as Call of Duty multiplayer. The poll results put the classic ten-level prestige per season at 71.5%, while adding new levels every season was less popular at 28.5%.

XDefiant betas

The previous XDefiant stress test took place on Friday, April 19, 2024, and ran until Sunday, April 21, 2024. This was the latest in several betas that players have participated in, with the previous open beta in June 2023, which was announced during the Ubisoft Forward stream a few days beforehand.

Shortly before the open beta finished, the official XDefiant Twitter account posted that whilst it appreciated “the wishes to extend Open Sessions,” it would “not be extending it” to allow the team to rest and process the open beta session “properly”.

In July 2021, Ubisoft said the first XDefiant beta on PC would start the following August. Since then, multiple beta tests have occurred, with the latest closed beta occurring as recently as April 2023. A public test session with limited game access was held between September 28 and September 29. After this PTS, the game was delayed again.

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XDefiant modes and maps

Five modes were confirmed for XDefiant, with several maps allocated to each game type. The maps themselves are a mix of all-new locations and returning locations from previous Ubisoft games.

Game type Game type description Compatible maps
Domination Capture the three zones. Controlling more zones simultaneously scores your team more points per tick. The first team to 750 points wins. Arena
Attica Heights
DUMBO
Echelon HQ
Emporium
Liberty
Mayday
Nudleplex
Pueblito
Showtime
Occupy Capture the zone and retain it as it changes locations. The first team to 250 points wins. Arena
Attica Heights
DUMBO
Echelon HQ
Emporium
Liberty
Mayday
Nudleplex
Pueblito
Showtime
Hotshot A variant of team deathmatch where players drop tokens upon death. If a token is picked up by the enemy team, they score a point. If it’s picked up by an ally, it denies the enemy a point-scoring opportunity. If a player picks up many in one life, they get increased damage and movement until defeated. The team with the most points wins the match. Arena
Attica Heights
DUMBO
Echelon HQ
Emporium
Liberty
Mayday
Nudleplex
Pueblito
Showtime
Escort Escort or repel a robot-controlled package to the delivery zone within the time limit. The escorting team must win all three rounds to deliver the package. Defending team must run down the clock for one of the three rounds. Meltdown
Midway
Times Square
Zoo
Zone The attacking team needs to capture zones over three rounds within the time limit while the defending team protects them by running down the clock. The first round has two zones, the second has one, and the third has two. Meltdown
Midway
Times Square
Zoo

XDefiant factions

Fve factions were in XDefiant at launch, each based on one of Ubisoft’s many shooter games. Represented game series included Far Cry, Ghost Recon, The Division, Splinter Cell, and Watch Dogs, but there was room for more factions later in the game’s lifespan. Each faction had two skills, a passive trait and an ultra ability at their disposal, and they were wholly unique.

Here are those five XDefiant factions in detail:

  • Libertad
  • Phantoms
  • Echelon
  • Cleaners
  • DedSec

The Libertad are one of five playable factions during the XDefiant release date launch. They are Caribbean people from the fictional island of Yara. The woman has a blue neck scarf and dreadlocks, while the man has a tropical shirt.

Libertad

Based on the locals from Far Cry 6, they are revolutionaries from the fictional Caribbean nation of Yara. They use specialized medical kits to keep themselves and their allies healthy in gunfights.

Skills

  • El Remedio – a skill that launches revitalizing gas canisters to heal friendlies until destroyed or canceled.
  • BioVida Boost – a skill that emits a fortifying wave to boost total health and regen abilities for you and your allies.
  • Espíritu de Libertad – a passive that slowly heals you and nearby allies.
  • Médico Supremo – the Libertad’s Ultra ability. The Médico backpack gives large health healing and a healing boost for a limited time.

Both the Phantoms have masks and headgear that completely obscure their faces. They're one of the five playable factions in XDefiant.

Phantoms

They are ex-Ghosts (Ghost Recon), also known as Shadow Team, who offer their services to the highest bidder. Their abilities make them hard to kill as they have skills to increase defensive capabilities and a powerful arsenal that complements their skills.

Skills

  • Mag Barrier – a skill that creates an electromagnetic barrier to block incoming enemy fire and grenades.
  • Blitz Shield – a skill that allows the Phantom to equip a tactical shield to block attacks. They can also shield bash with the melee button while holding the shield.
  • Hardened – a passive that increases maximum health.
  • Aegis – the Phantom’s Ultra ability emits a spherical plasma shield around the Phantom. They also temporarily get an electro-scattergun that was best used in close quarters against those unlucky enough to be inside this plasma bubble.

Both the Echelon, one of the five factions during the XDefiant release date, have night vision goggles on.

Echelon

Sporting spyware similar to that of the Splinter Cell games, these spies use information and deception to get an advantage over their enemies. They also confuse enemies by simply not appearing on the minimap and have ways to hide themselves completely.

Skills

  • Digital Ghillie Suit – a skill that turns the agent temporarily invisible. Moving and aiming will lessen the effectiveness of the Ghillie suit.
  • Intel Suit – a skill that shares the location of nearby enemies with the Echelon player’s team.
  • Low Profile – a passive that ensures the agent doesn’t appear on enemy minimaps.
  • Sonar Goggles – the Echelon’s Ultra ability reveals enemies with specialized goggles. It also gives them the Third Echelon 5.7 pistol to hunt enemies down.

Both of the Cleaners, one of the factions during the XDefiant release date, are wearing hazmat suits.

Cleaners

These New York sanitation experts (The Division) have one surefire way of purging all kinds of problems from existence: fire. These fire-spreaders can quickly engulf the battlefield in flames thanks to their incendiary rounds and drones that spread napalm. They’re not specialists in any way, but the Cleaners are not to be messed with.

Skills

  • Firebomb – a skill that gives the Cleaner a Molotov Cocktail. Upon detonating, it causes explosive damage and ignites the area.
  • Incinerator Drone – a skill that, upon use, will summon a drone to spread napalm in its flight path.
  • Incendiary Rounds – a passive that inflicts burn damage with each shot from the Cleaner’s guns but decreases their effective weapon range.
  • The Purifier – the Cleaner’s Ultra ability gives them a flamethrower with a decent range. Enemies hit by the flames are “thoroughly sterilized”.

One of the DedSec members is holding a rifle, while the other one has multicoloured hair and a beanie. They stand out from the crowd during the XDefiant release date.

DedSec

These hackers are from the Watch Dogs games and can easily disrupt the enemy’s HUD, take control of any deployed items such as drones or shields, and use SpiderBots to stun enemies. These cyber attackers want to control the flow of battle in their favor and have the means to do so.

Skills

  • Hijack – a skill that hacks enemy-deployed abilities, giving the DedSec team member total control.
  • SpiderBot – a skill that deploys a SpiderBot. It will run to and attempt to stun the nearest target with a face hug.
  • Fabricator – a passive that prints a new copy of any deployed device.
  • Lockout – DedSec’s Ultra ability temporarily disables the HUD, minimap, and abilities of any enemies in the affected area.

XDefiant guides

Finally, here are all of our XDefiant guides at a glance, just in case you need gameplay tips:

That’s all there was to know about the XDefiant release date and the free shooter itself. The response to the game’s launch has been promising so far, perhaps it could become one of the best multiplayer games on PC if it continues to be successful.