How to get the player base back?

There has been a precipitous drop in the player base since December. From a player perspective, this is a problem as it makes matchmaking take longer, provides less than-ideal matchups, and often leads to games with 1+ bots the whole time. From a developer standpoint, this is bad because fewer players mean a shorter game lifetime and lower recurring revenue and game sales. So, for the players that love the game (or love what it has the potential to be), and for Fat Shark, what can we do?

1). Fix the big player base complaints (crafting, mission selection, Melk missions / tokens, etc). The discussions about how exactly to do this are myriad and aren’t really my point here. It doesn’t even have to be perfect, just decently workable. This alone, however, won’t bring back the player base.

2). Release a new class. The new shiny will always bring back some of the old players that have dropped off. An Ogryn gunner, the Team Leader sharpshooter, etc. Doesn’t really matter, just a decently fun design and you get a bump in the player base.

3). Make the game free-to-play and add a battle pass. Obviously, this is where it gets controversial. A ton of people already forked over $40 - $60 to play (myself included). To make amends, give EVERY account that paid retail for the game $40 worth of Aquilas - no skimping. Follow the tried and true battle pass formula of $20 battle pass with cosmetic rewards (throw in some really juicy ones for the new class) and the possibility to earn $20 worth of Aquilas over the course of the pass. That way people don’t feel like they HAVE to keep feeding cash in. But, if you make quality cosmetics, people still will. The free-to-play model will get a big influx of people into the game and if #1 has really been done a huge chunk will stay. That means lots of recurring revenues for Fat Shark, a bigger budget for continuing development, and a happier (bigger) player base.

Final thoughts? The gameplay is fun, the other systems killed the player base. Fat Shark needs to fix the issues to a decent standard and then do something big to get the player numbers back. It’s in our best interest and theirs.


Crossplay between Steam and PC Gamepass should have been one of their priorities when they decided they were going to release on those two platforms. Now one is effectively dead and the other is hanging by a thread.


Agreed, the point here is to discuss how they can pull it back from the cliff.

I can’t think of a better way to make the Tide franchise truly vomit inducing than adding a goddamn battle pass.

It’s quite simple. Fix the gear progression (significant improvements are coming soon).

Release some new content. Preferably chuck us a freebie to win back some good will. Class, maps, weapons. These would all be good options. From that point it should just be a matter of pumping out a steady stream of paid optional content (primarily classes and cosmetics, maps and difficulties should be free additions, and this is pretty much what FS said they would do at the beginning).

Trying to ape other “live service” games with battle passes and seasons would be a fatal mistake and a betrayal of the long time Tide veterans that have stuck with them partially for the ways they’ve dodged such practices in the past.


Literally Payday 2 did the exact same arc of releasing and it being a mess.

Fixing progression, adding more content, fixing bugs, and removing the awful rng aspects that people hated.

There was an entire saga around this as well as other games that came out in a terrible state.

If players come back is entirely based on if enough is done and it’s done fast enough.


I agree that my solution isn’t ideal, but the “ideal” ship has sailed. They botched the launch and lost more than half of their player base (almost 75% based on Steam numbers).

Fixing the crafting and new content are all good, sure. They will even bring back some of the old players who moved on. But that will get them back to 50% of peak (maybe). This is a brand new game and it’s got the same player base as VTII which is 5 years old. I’m looking at how to get the game back to decent numbers so it can have a full life like VTII (or hopefully better).

If battle passes are unpopular, then maybe don’t do those, but have free to play for two weeks (or some other arbitrary amount of time) with the release of a new class? Something to get people to check it out again instead of just leaving it written off and in the dustbin.

Maybe those community objectives they sometimes have for V2, or continually rolling ones so that at least you have a veneer of campaign progression and it seems like you’re actually making a difference however small in the fight for Tertium. Similar to how Helldivers frames it.


I wouldn’t mind seasonal content coming out to keep things going like the DRG style of free cosmetics but that is like WAY down the line.

Even as far as DRG goes seasonal content didn’t come out until they hit their 1.0 release and all the major base game stuff was fixed and done.

At the moment Darktide is really equal to an early access game and not only needs a lot of things fixed / refined but i also wouldn’t be shocked if it got a major rebuild of several major systems as well as a ton of content drops.


fatshark has to be one of the slowest studios, in terms of dilivering content, and you think they gotta release, a new career (in working condition?) and f-over all the rest of their players?

there are some games that pulled off a transition to F2P sure, but usually that happend years later.
i cannot fathom what would happen if they said 3 month after "release " they are going to swap to F2P, my guess would be that everyone would claim that this is a pre-established decision, and the release period where only for cashgrab, and i doubt FS would come out alive, ngl they are barely breathing atm.

so what is my plan to get players back? there’s none, they f’d it, and the only way out is to work tirelessly and this game will most likely never reach any number close to 100k ever again ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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I don’t think they could do seasons and battle passes, as they have never been able to make schedules or keep deadlines at all.


literally this lmao

they even missed the dates on their own Xmas event in VT2 in December


I think they can’t.

All they can and have to do is to build anew.

Also thingies to be done:
Fix tech state - i believe they are already on it.
Fix QoL by deligating it to moders. - Cuting budgets, saving time, illusion of trust and changes.
Bring more content. - No clue.

I have a feeling this could happen, sadly.

We all know what kind of people it will be. Trolling, toxicity, cheaters.

DRG batlepass done right - it’s free and no FOMO there.

I also love DRG but that is a rare, rare exception. Also not a FTP game in the first place which was the other half of OP’s suggestion.

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I ain’t coming back until a solid content drop hits the game. And even then, the asinine supporting systems, crafting, grinding, progression, mission select, gear customisation etc. , will drive me off quickly again.

Haven’t played since January 1st, and feel no need to.

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This was the problem in the first place, doing it twice in a row doesn’t sound like a good idea.

I’m definitely re-buying the game, but definitely not until they fix all the systems around the core game that bring it down, and even then, I’ll wait until there’s a sufficient amount of content in the game.
The issue is, that Fatshark has a history of shutting down their unsuccessful games within 2 years, and they also have a history of working extremely slow, so I don’t think they’ll be able to fix all that before they pull the plug.

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Yep, I can’t be bothered to write more of what has been written already.

They just do not care about their player base.
They sold a lot of copies to begin with. That ends there.

Difficult to imagine who would buy the console release, who will not have any of the mods to fix the game for FS, with such reviews on Steam but it seems for a lot of people just having Warhammer on a marketing support is enough. Eh, we will see.

Anyway, “next weekS”, for sure now for the crafting.

This is what they want to address in the next patch…

Planned… however, we’ll have to wait that they port the game to the xbox… I am pretty sure they did not abandon this idea.

I am against this… I prefer the cosmetic shop. Like that, if you want to support the game you can without paying a subscription.
Don’t know for you, but I dislike subscriptions cause it adds to all others subscriptions and at the end of the month… it impact badly my pocket.

THIS. My god! Why did not think the game with the possibility for all PC players to play together?

Without suprise, I would say that the gear progression is addressed with the crafting system they have chosen…
But, about the sentence I quoted, I fully agree. I want also new content. I believe there are few weapons that are hidden in their pockets… maybe they could release them…
But, tbh, I would prefer new maps / missions.

Again… next patch. You can disagree with the system they will give us, but this is what they have chosen. And tbh, they did not hide it from us as the game has been released the november 30th of 2022 and the crafting blog explaining the system they wanted has been published the november 22th… so before the release.

At this point, I don’t think it’s possible to get the players back.
The crafting system update thing will drop and it’ll be broken beyond belief because of Fatshark’s lack of QA. It’ll be the final straw.

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Almost every comment on their „crafting“ post is voicing dislike about the perk and blessing locks.
People complained about it since they first interacted with it (for a good reason).

Same thing with mission selection.

The „new crafting plans“ are literally the same plans from months ago, except they do no longer include the option to upgrade blessings, which was originally planned.
So basically, FatShark’s response to a few months of feedback from the playerbase (including a lot of constructive criticism and many possible solutions), is to do absolutely nothing to fix any of the complaints, and instead making the RNG aspect even worse (because now we can not upgrade to T4 blessings).

FS do not address any of the probems. They double down on them.