Marvel’s Avengers is either out in a few days, or out right now if you pre-ordered the higher-tier editions of the game. Either way, you’re probably going to want to play online if you’re excited about this release. Crystal Dynamics’ latest combines a 3D brawler style with a contemporary action-RPG loot system, ending up with something that feels like a cross-breed of Destiny and Final Fight. But if you want to hop online and squad up with your friends right away, you might end up somewhat disappointed. Here’s why.

Marvel’s Avengers Multiplayer Guide

When you first boot up Marvel’s Avengers, you’re going to have to jump into the campaign by yourself. After all, the story’s initial hook is Kamala Khan getting the band back together after a catastrophic, world-altering disaster. So it makes sense, in a diegetic sort of way, that you can’t just boot this thing up and choose Captain America when everyone in the game universe thinks he’s dead. So in order to access the multiplayer component of Marvel’s Avengers, you’re going to have to play by yourself for a bit.

Related: Can You Skip Cutscenes in Marvel’s Avengers?

In order to play multiplayer, you have to at least get to the point of the story when you gain access to the War Table. This doesn’t take very long, as we’d ballpark it around three hours depending on individual pace. Once you do unlock the War Table you’ll be able to progress the story online, although not every campaign mission supports multiplayer. And even then, you’ll only have a number of players available equal to the number of heroes you’ve unlocked. Marvel’s Avengers supports up to four players in a group, so you’ll need to progress up to that point if you have three friends ready to roll.

Once you do have multiplayer available, setting up a co-op team is pretty easy. You can matchmake with random players from the UI when you’re going to start the mission. Alternatively, you can pause the game, go to the Social tab, and invite friends to form a “strike team.” You can also invite players through your platform’s native structure as well. It’s a pretty painless process, connection issues and load times notwithstanding.

While Marvel’s Avengers has primarily been advertised as a multiplayer adventure with a long tail (live services!), the campaign is going to be your first stop no matter what. And luckily that’s a good thing; as more players have been able to start the full game, the campaign has slowly been building word of mouth buzz that’s seeing even unimpressed beta players changing their minds. So it’s worth the time, even if you have to play parts of it by yourself.

Have you been playing Marvel’s Avengers since early access started on September 1? Or are you waiting for the standard edition to unlock on September 4? Or, perhaps, you’re waiting to see what the greater community response is like? Let us know what your plan for assembling the Avengers is over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!