Anthem FAQ: Is Anthem single player, is Anthem open world, and more questions answered

 With the latest round of the Anthem game demo starting this weekend, there's probably a fair few Anthem FAQ you want answered about what’s in store for you when you give it a go. The VIP demo last weekend was...well, a mixed bunch, but hopefully BioWare will have ironed out the kinks this time around now that everyone is getting the chance to give their sci-fi shooter a try. During the Anthem demo you’ll be able to take on a handful of story missions - unrelated to the main plot, so no massive spoilers - as well as freeplay where you can explore the world at your own pace and Strongholds. Then there’s Fort Tarsis to explore, Grabbits to pet (or shoot if you’re a fundamentally heartless person), and world events to indulge in. 

Below you’ll find all the top Anthem FAQ topics with their corresponding answers, so you can jump (or fly) into the demo with all the information you’ll ever need. So whether you’re wondering whether you can play Anthem single player, or if it’s open world, just glance below to get the details you need. 

Is Anthem single player?

If you want to play Anthem single player, you’ll have to tweak the settings a bit - but it is possible. Every activity in Anthem has matchmaking on by default, meaning that unless you alter this in settings, no matter what you do you’ll be grouped up with other people soaring through Anthem’s world. Ben Irving, Anthem’s Lead Producer, clarified how matchmaking worked in a tweet:

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So as long as you opt out, yes, Anthem can be played solo. Irving does say that they think it’s more fun in a group, but there’s no shame in wanting to be a lone wolf. You might find it tricky to take on some of the more difficult enemies that occupy the world, complete the challenging Stronghold objectives, and do certain missions in the story on your own but, hey, you do you.

Is Anthem open world?

Yes, Anthem is open world. At an EA Play event Mike Gamble explained that “once you're in the open world, you just run around the open world. There are no load [screens]. Everything's contiguous. You have access to the whole thing.” There is one small clarification to add here, however: you’ll pick up almost all of your missions in Fort Tarsis, a hub area with quest givers and merchants. To access the open world you’ll have to exit the Fort Tarsis area, which requires a loading screens. 

Is Anthem online only?

Yes, Anthem is online only. Like Destiny 2, you need to be online to play. That comes straight from Mark Darrah, Executive Producer of Anthem:

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So that means you need an active PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription to play Anthem. Consider yourself warned. 

What is Anthem about?

Once upon a time a group of gods called the Shapers got halfway through creating a world, using source of power called the Anthem of Creation, before wandering off for some mysterious reason leaving it unfinished. As the Anthem of Creation is an unpredictable source of...well, creation, it still influences the planet, corrupting and reshaping the wilderness at random. This means that the planet’s creatures, vegetation, and even the weather are incredibly volatile, making the outer worlds dangerous for any non-Freelancers. 

Luckily for you, you’re a Freelancer with your very own Javelin which you pilot around the world completing tasks for the civilians safe inside Fort Tarsis. To them you’re a hero, and you know what? They’re right. Being a Freelancer isn’t an easy job: you’ll be collecting resources and investigating enigmatic Shaper relics, as well as fighting the Dominion, an militaristic enemy faction who seek to rule over the people of Fort Tarsis. They’re also hunting for the Anthem of Creation, which will definitely be Bad News if they get their hands on it, so you’re going to be in conflict with them a lot

How big is Anthem?

There are three possible answers to that question, so here goes. First up, how big is its map? Brenon Holmes, Anthem’s Technical Design Director, confirmed on Reddit that the image you see below - apart from a few areas they haven’t shown off yet - is the entire Anthem map. We don’t know how big the map is in comparison to other games quite yet, but there’s definitely plenty to explore nonetheless. And don’t worry: Anthem does have fast travel so you’ll be able to save some time getting from A to B if (or when) the delight of soaring through the air wears off.

In terms of install size, EA recommended that players leave 50GB of hard drive space on PC free, at least 40GB on PS4, and we’d assume about 40GB on Xbox One, though looking at its page in the Microsoft store that hasn’t been confirmed yet. 

As for how big it is in playtime, the level cap is set at 30, so to me that sounds like at least 40 hours of purely story-based gameplay. But as this is a living online game there’s really no firm ‘end’ to your time with it, so take that estimate with a pinch of salt. 

Will my demo progress carry on to the full game?

No, it won’t. Sorry. However, the progress from the VIP demo will carry on to the public demo, so you’ll be able to keep your progress while you’re trying to decide whether Anthem is for you or not during the demo period. 

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What’s the difference between the four Javelins?

Named Ranger, Colossus, Storm, and Interceptor, each one has its own skills and supports its own distinct playstyle. You begin with your own Ranger Javelin with the other three types locked, but don’t worry - you don’t have to jump through tons of hoops to get them. As you complete story missions and level up the other four types will unlock - so for example, your second Javelin becomes available at level 10. 

Anyway, to start off with there’s the Ranger, which is a versatile all-rounder. Best against single targets with limited defensive capabilities, playing a Ranger is a good way to get to grips with Anthem. Its Ultimate Ability is a Multi-Target Missile Battery, which launches lock-on missiles that can target groups of moving enemies, making short, explosive work of them. The Ranger is the only Javelin class that can use grenades. 

Next up is the Colossus, which is basically a tank. As the sole Javelin that can use heavy weapons, the Colossus is great for defence so if you like getting up close and personal with your enemies then this is the Javelin for you. Its weapons, like the flame thrower and missile launcher, focus on dealing massive damage to multiple targets. Plus its support abilities buff allies’ shields or draw enemy attention away from your comrades, making the Colossus ideal for distracting enemies while the other three Javelins get in and out of the fight quickly. Its Ultimate Ability is the Siege Cannon, which fires explosive mortars that deal area-of-effect damage, ideal for when you need to clear out groups of enemies. 

The Interceptor is the most agile Javelin around, hands-down. Built for speed, the Interceptor is best when it’s used to harm enemies with powerful but quick attacks and then dash away before they have a chance to retaliate. It’s also the only Javelin that can triple-jump, a skill that’s incredibly useful when you need to get away from ground-based enemies in the blink of an eye. Unlike other Javelins its melee attacks have no cooldown, and its Ultimate Ability is Assassin Blades. Unleash that ability near enemies and you’ll erupt into a flurry of slashing, high-damage melee attacks that deal damage for 10 seconds. RIP to anyone in your way.  

Lastly there’s the Storm, the closest you’re going to get to a mage class in Anthem. Although it’s very vulnerable to attacks, the amount of damage it can dish out - including its elemental abilities - is unmatched. You’ll need to stay far away from the fight if you want to last in a Storm, however, as it performs best at range and won’t last long in the middle of the fray, although its teleportation ability means it can evade enemies without hesitation when things do get dicey. From afar the Storm can use its Ultimate Ability, named Elemental Storm. Pity anyone caught in its blast: the Elemental Storm calls down blasts of frost, electricity, and fire damage in the same area, then ends it all with a meteor shower. Ouch. 

Can I customise my Javelin with cosmetics?

Hell yes you can. There’s a dizzying array of options that extend far beyond the colour of your Javelin: you can change the pattern, texture, and fabric for six different sections of your suit, as well as independently alter the appearance of your helmet, arms, paint, wear state, vinyls, legs, and animations. Texture effects range from cotton-effect to hammered metal, and there are dozens of choices. If you’re anything like the scores of RPG players out there, customising your character is going to take a very long time indeed... Listing them all would take far too long, so just look at the video below to see all the options at your disposal. 

How does my gear work?

Gear is the armor that your Javelin wears, but it doesn’t level with you, so you’ll always be on the lookout for better or rarer stuff. Just to clarify: it’s your Pilot, not your Javelin, that levels up, meaning that you’ll remain the same level no matter which exosuit you pilot. Helpfully gear will drop for every single Javelin regardless of the exosuit you’re currently wearing, and it isn’t Javelin-specific. So thankfully there’s none of that frustration of finding a mouthwateringly good piece and then seeing it can only be used by the Colossus. That comes direct from Jonathan Warner, Anthem’s Game Director. 

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Is there a social hub?

Yes! After players expressed disappointment that there wasn’t a place they could see other Javelins running around doing their errands, BioWare implemented a social space that can hold up to 16 people at once. Huzzah!

Are there Guilds/Clans/PvP?

So the answer to this is a bit vague, but yes, there are. When PCGamer asked Mark Darrah (Anthem’s Executive Producer) about it, he said “Yes, but I feel that requires a longer explanation with more supporting materials than I have to provide”. So you’ll have to wait to hear about specifics, I’m afraid. 

As for PvP, currently it won’t be available at launch but BioWare haven’t ruled out it being included in future updates to the game. 

Want to find out more about Anthem? We’ve got all the information you need to know right here about the Anthem demo, trailers, and story!

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.