Budding intergalactic conquerers now have a little more of a challenge on their hands in Paradox Interactive's sci-fi strategy game Stellaris on consoles, courtesy of the game's free new online multiplayer mode.

Multiplayer has, of course, long been available in Stellaris for PC, but with Paradox slowly bringing the console version inline with its older sibling through free updates and paid DLC, it seemed only a matter of time before the mode would hit PS4 and Xbox One. And here we are now, with console players finally able to take on fellow fleshbags alongside AI opponents.

On consoles, multiplayers sessions of exploration, resource acquisition, and expansion (with occasional intergalactic fisticuffs) will support up to to four human opponents, and up to 14 empires. There's also the option to hotjoin a currently ongoing session, with those granted access to a match by the host able to play as any empire already active in-game.

Paradox also notes that save and load is available for multiplayer sessions. This means matches can be resumed at a later date, either in multiplayer or as a single-player game, if required. Furthermore, previously single-player games can be loaded into multiplayer. A few additional details on the new mode can be found over on the Paradox forums.

Stellaris' next paid expansion on consoles will be Utopia, introducing the likes of Megastructures, Habitat Stations, and Ascension Perks when it arrives this "summer".

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Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.