Fall Guys is finally free-to-play. In its latest broadcast, publisher Mediatonic confirmed that the game had finally expanded other platforms including Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Epic Games Store). Cross-play and cross-progression have also been enabled, so anyone who already has the Steam or PlayStation 4 version can now log into their accounts on other platforms. So if you were late to the party when Fall Guys exploded in popularity upon its release as a PS Plus freebie back in late 2020, the time is nigh.
To reiterate, Fall Guys is free to own for everybody. Not only does progress carry over between platforms, but you can play with your friends regardless of what console they’re on.
It’s a surprise the game made it this far, considering its humble origins. Mediatonic didn’t expect it to take off as it did, and the game’s servers struggled because of sheer popularity at the start. Thankfully, players were forgiving, and Fall Guys enjoyed high success in its first few months following launch.
Fall Guys was first released on on August 4, 2020, for PC and PlayStation 4. However, its availability on PlayStation as one of the August 2020 free PS Plus games was crucial to its success. According to data from Statista, that means there were more than 45 million PS Plus subscribers that could download the game for absolutely free. From there, Fall Guys quickly went viral thanks to its easy-to-learn gameplay, colorful presentation, and streamer coverage. It even became the most downloaded PS Plus game of all time.
Fall Guys also made the top charts for Steam. However, Creative Director Jeff Tanton attributed more of the success to PlayStation. In an interview with UK gaming website MCV/Develop, Tanton said that it couldn’t have succeeded without PS Plus.
"I know some people have said, 'Are you not frustrated? Those could have been sales!' And ... no,” he told MCV/Develop. “There's literally no way we could have made the impact that we did without PS Plus. The support from Sony has been incredible."
The game also attracted the attention of popular streamers like Ninja, TimTheTatman, and MrBeast. TimTheTatman in particular became a meme because of the Fall Guys social media manager, who endlessly taunted him about his losing streak and “Crownlessness.”
Fall Guys is a “battle royale” mini-game gauntlet. You have 60 players at the start of each game. Each game consists of five rounds, each of which is meant to eliminate players until the special “final round” that can only have one winner. Mini-games for each round are chosen at random with a few set rules like always starting with a “race” round. The last-standing player receives a Crown, which is significant for the street cred but also counts as virtual currency in the in-game shop. Players earn currency for performing well and also unlock rewards through the game’s battle pass.
Oh, and the shop has many funny costumes. You can be Ninja, MrBeast, Ai Kizuna, a hot dog — whatever your heart desires. You might need to shuffle through the costumes in the shop to find exactly what you want, though.
So why did Fall Guys succeed, exactly?
It mostly boils down to its simplicity and availability. The game focuses on three buttons: grab, jump, and dive. Memorizing the input delay between the button press and action is key, along with mastering how to best complete each course without slowing down. There aren’t many mechanics to clutter the experience, so it’s easy to learn and casually play with friends without much investment.
Fall Guys did become a sort of “esport” after its launch, but the skill gap between beginner and mid-tier players is slim. The number of dumb mistakes you can make or accidents that are out of your control makes it possible for a first-timer to overtake a veteran in a match. However, it’s still difficult to beat a “pro” who has adjusted to the inputs at a mechanically impressive level. Inverse even interviewed a few pro Fall Guys players about how they take such a simple game to the next level.
If you want to check out why it became such a hit in the first place, you’ll have to become a bean yourself to enter the competition.
Fall Guys is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Epic Games Store).