The fact that Diablo 4 has co-op multiplayer is nothing new, but the way it handles things like cross-save, cross-play and cross-platform progression might actually be one of its best innovations.
Most Blizzard games are usually more fun with friends, and this one is no exception. Beyond the promise of more frequent updates and expansions for the game, the live service aspirations of the latest Diablo game make it easier to play with your friends regardless of what platform they game on.
Assuming you've already tracked down a copy of Diablo 4 on either the Playstation 5 or Xbox, the first thing you'll want to do if you plan to play with friends on other platforms is to connect either your Microsoft account or Playstation Network account to a Battle.net account.
If you've not heard of it before, Battle.net is basically Blizzard's answer to online storefronts like Steam. With a few exceptions, it's the only place you're able to play Blizzard Entertainment titles like World of Warcraft and Overwatch 2 if you plan to play on PC.
Opted to pick up Blizzard's latest demon-slaying bonanza on PS5 or Xbox? Fret not. When you boot up your copy of Diablo 4 for the first time, you'll need to either connect or create a Battle.net account to play at all.
Once you've done that, you'll need to make sure that your friends have done the same. Assuming you've added one another as friends on Blizzard's gaming service, you should now be able to see when one another is online and easily jump into each other's games via the social tab of the in-game menu. It shouldn't matter what platform they're playing on, so long as they've linked their accounts correctly they should appear in the Battle.net column.
If there are any problems, be sure to open up the Diablo 4 options menu and make sure the box marked cross-platform play is ticked.
What's more, if you're visiting a friend or sharing a console with a partner, you can just as easily load up any of your Diablo 4 characters using the same Battle.net connectivity. When you activate a second controller for couch co-op, you'll be given the same prompt as you would if you were booting up the game for the first time. Connect or create a Battle.net account and any character progress you make here will carry over into your home game and vice versa.
Whether you want to bring in your high-level necromancer or roll a Barbarian and start over, every experience point, loot and achievement you earn will carry over into wherever you decide to play next.
Even as more and more games have embraced cross-platform multiplayer and character progression, it's genuinely rare to find it as well implemented as it is here. Bringing your progress from one platform to another is rarely this easy and intuitive, nor was it something supported by previous Diablo games. Diablo 2: Resurrected didn't even couch co-op!
While having to keep track of one extra login is never ideal, features like the crossplay support in Diablo 4 make it much easier to live with since they provide tangible benefits that make the experience of sinking hour after hour into one of 2023's best games something that you can tackle on your own terms.