Have you been looking for an exciting co-op game to play with your best friend? Want to break out of prison together and take down some crooked cops? Well, I‘ve got great news for you!
You can play the entire story campaign of A Way Out online with a friend for free thanks to the innovative Friends Pass system. In this guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know to play A Way Out online co-op on PC without having to buy two copies.
What is A Way Out?
Before we dive into the co-op specifics, let me give you a quick overview of what A Way Out is all about.
A Way Out is a story-driven co-op only adventure game developed by Hazelight Studios and published by Electronic Arts. It was released in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC via Origin/EA Desktop App.
The game follows two convicts – Vincent and Leo. They form an unlikely alliance to break out of prison and continue their mission on the outside. Here are some key highlights:
- Cinematic narrative experience focused on co-op
- Play as Leo and Vincent in local or online co-op
- Around 6-8 hours of gameplay
- Special co-op only mechanics and puzzles
- Competitive and collaborative mini-games
- Choices that influence the ending
- No single player mode – must be played with 2 players
A Way Out received critical acclaim for its innovative Friend Pass system that lets you play online co-op even if only one friend purchases the full game.
The Friend Pass system makes A Way Out a lot more accessible. You and your buddy can experience the entire co-op adventure for the price of one game!
How A Way Out‘s Friend Pass System Works
A Way Out is designed as an exclusively co-op experience. Unlike most story games, there is no single player mode. You need 2 players to play as Leo and Vincent.
On consoles, this meant each player needed their own copy of the game to play couch co-op. But on PC, the Friend Pass system allows online co-op even with just one purchase.
Here‘s an overview of how it works:
- One player purchases the full game on Origin/EA Desktop App on PC.
- They can send a Friend Pass invite to a friend.
- The friend redeems this invite to get a free trial of the game.
- Both players can now play the entire story campaign together online.
The Friend Pass trial gives full access to the complete experience. Your friend isn‘t getting a limited trial – they can play the whole game for free with you!
This system makes it so much easier to enjoy A Way Out if you want to play online co-op with a friend. No need to convince them to buy the game too.
Step-by-Step Guide to Playing with Friend Pass
Let‘s go through the steps you need to take to play A Way Out on PC using the Friend Pass system:
For the Player Who Owns the Game
If you‘re the one who owns A Way Out, follow these steps:
- Purchase and download A Way Out on Origin/EA Desktop App on your PC.
- Launch the game and go to the main menu.
- Select "Play Online Co-op" and choose the "Invite Friends" option.
- Your friend will receive an email with the Friends Pass invite.
That‘s it! Once your friend redeems the pass, you can start playing together.
For the Friend Joining with the Free Pass
If your buddy sent you a Friend Pass invite, here‘s what you need to do:
- Check your email for the A Way Out Friend Pass invite and copy the code.
- Open Origin/EA Desktop App and redeem the code.
- The A Way Out trial will download on your PC.
- Launch the game and select "Play Online Co-op".
- You can now join your friend‘s online session!
And you‘re done. You can experience the entire co-op story for free.
Tips for Playing Online Co-Op
Here are some tips to ensure smooth online co-op play:
- Use voice chat on Discord, Skype, etc for better coordination. In-game chat has no voip.
- Only the host player needs to trigger mission cutscenes.
- Quick resume is disabled in online co-op.
- Make sure you both have the latest game version for stability.
- Set the game to Fullscreen for best performance.
With a stable internet connection and voice chat, the online co-op experience should be seamless.
Can You Play Local Co-Op with One Copy on PC?
A common question is whether you can play local split-screen co-op on the same PC with just one purchased copy.
Unfortunately, this is not possible. The Friend Pass only works for online co-op play.
For couch co-op, both players will need to own the game even if playing on the same PC. This restriction is the same as on consoles.
So while the Friend Pass system is great for online play, you will need two licenses for local split-screen co-op on PC.
Why A Way Out is Best Experienced with a Friend
Here are some reasons why A Way Out is a game best enjoyed with a friend:
Unique co-op only mechanics: Many moments require coordination with your partner. You‘ll be passing items back and forth, providing distractions, and using each other as human ladders.
Competitive mini-games: There are fun activities like playing baseball or Connect 4 where you can compete with your partner. Great way to mix up the pace.
Collaborative choices: You‘ll need to make story decisions together that impact how events unfold.
Natural conversations: Thanks to the slower pace, you‘ll have plenty of opportunities for natural banter and chats with your co-op buddy.
No need for second copy: Being able to play online co-op with just one purchase makes it easy to experience with a friend.
According to Hazelight Studios, playing solo with just AI would simply not provide the intended experience. A Way Out is crafted from the ground up for two human players.
Many reviews praised just how well the co-op gameplay and narrative complement each other. If you want to get the full experience the developers intended, play it co-op with a friend!
How Long Does it Take to Beat A Way Out?
For most players following the main critical path, A Way Out takes around 6-8 hours to complete.
Here is a breakdown of approximate playtime for the chapters:
|Chapter 1||1.5 hours|
|Chapter 2||1 hour|
|Chapter 3||1 hour|
|Chapter 4||45 minutes|
|Chapter 5||1.5 hours|
This makes it perfect for completing over a weekend.
There are some optional activities and different approach choices that can extend the playtime. But if you mainly follow the main missions, you‘ll likely finish the story in 6-8 hours.
Some players were able to complete it in just 5 hours by rushing, while completionist runs can take up to 10 hours. But most players seem to clock in around 6-8 hours.
Player Reviews Praise A Way Out‘s Co-Op Focus
A Way Out received generally positive reviews from both critics and gamers for its refreshing focus on co-op:
- Has an 86% approval score on Steam across over 23,000 reviews.
- Won GameSpot‘s Co-Op Game of the Year 2018.
- Praised by IGN for being "best played with a friend".
- PC Gamer called it the "best co-op experience since Portal 2".
Many players found A Way Out to be a highly enjoyable shared experience:
"This game is a masterpiece to play with a friend. The friendship mechanic is super unique, and the different scenarios you go through really require teamwork."
"Don‘t play this alone! Grab a friend to play as that‘s how it‘s meant to be experienced. The story is a fun roller coaster with some really cinematic moments."
"It‘s like playing through an awesome buddy comedy movie. Great narrative adventure to share with a friend on voice chat for a weekend."
Co-op clearly enhances the entertainment value of A Way Out. The game shines when experienced together with a friend.
Is A Way Out Kid Friendly?
A Way Out is rated M for Mature 17+ by the ESRB. It contains the following:
- Strong language
- Violence and blood
- Sexual themes and partial nudity
There are frequent F-bombs and plenty of gunfights. One mission takes place in a strip club.
Overall, the game is best suited for mature teen and adult audiences. The PEGI rating is 18+ as well. Parents should use discretion before allowing kids to play.
Younger gamers will miss out on much of the narrative relevance of the violence and adult themes. A Way Out handles some heavy, mature topics as part of its cinematic crime drama storytelling.
Final Tips for Playing A Way Out with a Friend
If you want to have the ideal co-op experience with A Way Out, here are my final tips:
- Use voice chat to coordinate and react together.
- Explore environments thoroughly and find hidden interactions.
- Take your time to enjoy the conversation opportunities.
- Consider your story choices carefully.
- Play with a friend who enjoys narrative adventures.
- Stick together and don‘t spoil puzzles for your partner.
- Avoid distractions and focus on the co-op experience.
Few games in recent years have so creatively crafted the co-op mechanics with the narrative like A Way Out. Grab a buddy and live out this cinematic adventure together! The Friend Pass system removes the barriers to enjoying it online with a friend.
So don‘t miss out on this gem of modern co-op gaming. Gather a friend, make some snacks, jump on voice chat, and escape prison together in A Way Out today! Let me know when you‘ve finished it – I‘d love to hear your thoughts after the credits roll.