Genshin Impact is a fascinating game, a free to play, gacha-style character collector mixed with an action/exploration RPG. Not only that, but the game borrows heavily from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but with enough of its own stuff going on to make it more of a derivative work than a ripoff. Since Genshin Impact launched this month on multiple platforms, folks are naturally curious about it. It’s also co-op! But actually getting to that point is a little weird.

How to Play Genshin Impact with Friends

There are two main measures of progression in Genshin Impact. There’s the Character Level, and the Adventure Rank. Character Level is merely a measure of an individual character’s strength, which is the metric you’ll be seeing the most of as you try various new additions to your party. Adventure Rank is your progress as a player overall, so that’s the level applied to your whole account. You can get Adventure EXP just through playing the game, completing quests, that sort of thing.

Adventure Rank shows you how far you’ve gone overall, but it’s also the yardstick for new mechanics. Genshin Impact doesn’t roll everything out all at once, because it wants you to be comfortable! And we’re bringing this up because that’s where Genshin Impact multiplayer lives. In order to actually have the option to form a co-op group, you have to reach Adventure Rank 16. This isn’t exactly quick, so you’ll have to spend a few hours as a solo player before your options really expand. But that’s okay, because you need to progress the main story by yourself anyway!

Related: Genshin Impact Is More Than the Sum of Its Parts

Co-op is more of a side attraction than the main event. When you do co-op, you can’t progress through the main story, and your friends who join you can’t pick up items, open chests, and face a few more restrictions. If you form a group with friends you’ll basically be playing side content, presumably to grind some kind of resource or EXP together. Now, as far as how to form a group, this will segue nicely into the cross-platform stuff as well.

Genshin Impact is available on PC, PS4, and mobile right now, with a Switch version coming later. If you’re just trying to form a group, you can easily do so regardless of which platform your friends are on. You just have to make sure cross-play is enabled in the settings (it’s on by default), and you also have to have them added as a friend. This is where the UID comes in. Just like a Nintendo friend code, each player’s account has a unique number. In Genshin Impact, that number is always displayed on the bottom right corner of the screen. If you open up the menu with whatever your “pause” button is, you’ll be able to access the Friends menu, which will automatically show you folks you’re connected to on your native platform (PSN friends for example). 

But if you want to bring friends over from elsewhere, you’ll just need to exchange your UIDs and add each other as a friend, in that same menu. This is also where you can invite other players into your session, although you won’t even be able to see that function until you reach that Adventure Rank of 16.

It’s relatively simple as far as games like this go, but there is one major exception at the moment. If you’re playing on PC or mobile (iOS or Android), you’ll be able to create an account and access your game regardless of the platform. But if you’re playing on the PlayStation 4, your personal progress is locked on the console. So while you can play with players on other platforms via PS4, you can’t migrate at all yourself.

So that’s it for now, until the Nintendo Switch version launches, or the PS4 version is allowed to alter those restrictions. It’s happened with other games, but Sony is still generally pretty guarded. We also don’t know if it’s a more specific technical issue. Either way, if you want to play mobile without making a whole new character, you’ll have to ignore the PS4 version for now.

What do you think of how multiplayer works in Genshin Impact? Do you think the PS4 lock is fair, or a big issue? What about the requirements and restrictions of co-op as a whole? Let us know what you think over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter accounts!