XDefiant vs CoD: Key differences explained

Max Candelarezi
XDefiant and Call of Duty key arts

XDefiant is an FPS that shares a ton of similarities with Call of Duty, which also makes the classic franchise its bigger competitor. Check out the key differences that set XDefiant apart from CoD.

Competing with Call of Duty in the FPS market is undeniably challenging, as players tend to rush to compare every new game to the classic franchise. XDefiant has been the victim of this Call of Duty comparison, but there are several key differences between the two.

FPS fans playing XDefiant for the first time may be wondering what differentiates it from Call of Duty. So, here are some key differences between CoD and XDefiant.

XDefiant is free-to-play

Let’s kick things off with the elephant in the room. Unlike Call of Duty, XDefiant is free to all players on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. To enjoy Ubisoft’s FPS no payment is required, allowing greater accessibility to new players or those looking for an alternative FPS game.

XDefiant allows players to spend money on optional store content, including the Founder’s Pack and other non-pay-to-win cosmetics, which do not have an impact on the gameplay experience.

XDefiant download menu PlayStation 5
You can find XDefiant in your preferred system’s store and download it for free.

No SBMM in XDefiant (skill-based matchmaking)

Another of the most important aspects that sets XDefiant apart from Call of Duty is the fact that it does not have skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in public matches.

The controversial topic has led the CoD community down a never-ending discussion, and Ubisoft have completely avoided SBMM. The devs made it clear since the beginning that the skill-based matchmaking system will only be incorporated within XDefiant’s Ranked Play mode, expected to arrive in Season 1.

XDefiant doesn’t feature Killstreaks

In large part due to Call of Duty, Killstreaks have been a staple in many modern FPS games, each one with its own approach. However, the XDefiant devs decided not to have Killstreaks in their game. The focus is placed on weapons different strategies across its various maps.

After April 2023’s XDefiant beta, Executive Producer Mark Rubin shared that the team has “no intention to add Killstreaks,” and in the case of adding something similar, they “don’t want to just put typical CoD Killstreaks,” in the game.

XDefiant’s Faction-based gameplay

Factions are XDefiant’s gameplay feature that really sets the game apart from Call of Duty. Factions offer players an excellent variety of Ubisoft-themed characters and abilities designed for the game’s objective-based modes.

Since it’s one of the main customization tools along with weapon loadouts, accurately choosing the right Faction for you in XDefiant, depending on the mode, objective, and map size, can significantly impact gameplay.

XDefiant Factions characters
XDefiant has five different Ubisoft-themed Factions to pick from.

Arcade-style thrives in XDefiant

Contrary to Call of Duty’s pursuit of realism in its latest installments like MW2 and MW3, XDefiant offers a distinctive arcade-style gameplay experience. It features fluid movement and vibrant maps, creating a consistently engaging atmosphere for players.

Although Black Ops titles somewhat resemble the style XDefiant embraces, Ubisoft’s game has developed a distinctive feel to its movement and unique roster of Faction abilities that set it apart from CoD’s.

There you have it, those were the key differences between XDefiant and Call of Duty. Many will continue to draw comparisons between both FPS games. XDefiant already managed to surpass Ubisoft’s unique and concurrent player count records, by offering a game packed with content to dive into and unlock.

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