Fix the “Incompatible Version” Error in Palworld

Palworld, the quirky monster-raising and life sim game developed by Pocket Pair, can throw the error “The match you are trying to join is running an incompatible version of the game” when trying to play multiplayer. This frustrating error locks you from playing with friends or joining public multiplayer matches.

Fortunately, with a few simple checks and updates, you can regain Palworld’s functionality for seamless online play. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what causes the “incompatible version” error in Palworld and the various methods you can use to fix it.

What Causes the “Incompatible Version” Error in Palworld?

The “incompatible version” error occurs when there is a mismatch between the game version installed on your machine and the version running on the multiplayer server or match you are trying to join.

This mismatch usually happens because:

  • Your game client is outdated and hasn’t been updated to the latest patch.
  • The host of the multiplayer match is running an older version of the game.
  • You and the host have different game variants – for example, one owns the Steam version while the other has the Game Pass version.

Palworld requires all clients connecting to a multiplayer match or server to be on the same game version. If not, the above error is thrown as the game clients fail to sync correctly.

Incompatible Version Error

How to Check Your Palworld Version

The first step is always to check whether your game is up to date. Palworld is still in early access on Steam, so new patches with bug fixes and content drops are constantly rolling out. It’s easy to miss an update, so verify you’re running the latest version.

Here are two easy ways to check your Palworld version on PC:

1. Check the Version Number In-Game

When in Palworld, look at the bottom right corner of your screen. You should see two numbers separated by a period, such as “0.5.2”. This denotes your current game version.

Please note the version number and compare it to the latest number that should be displayed on the Steam updates page or the patch notes.

2. Check the Version Number in Settings

You can also find the current game version from the Settings menu.

Go to Settings -> System -> Versions to see the exact version and build branch you have installed. Again, cross-check this against the official Palworld pages for the most recent version number.

Following these instructions will verify if your game is up to date or needs a patch. If your version is behind, proceed to update Palworld and then try joining the multiplayer match again.

How to Update Your Palworld Client

If you’ve identified that your game is out of date, updating it is straightforward enough:

On Steam (PC):

  • Open the Steam client and go to your Library
  • Right-click on Palworld and select Properties
  • Go to the Updates tab
  • If an update is available, it will show here. Click Download to get the latest patch.

On Xbox/Microsoft Store (PC):

  • Open the Xbox app on your Windows 10/11 PC
  • Go to the Game Pass section and click on Palworld
  • If an update is pending, you’ll see the option to download it

On Consoles:

  • Palworld will automatically check for and prompt you to download any available updates.

Be sure to let the update fully install before relaunching the game. Also, restart Steam or the Xbox app for good measure.

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Ensure the Host is Up to Date

Even if your client is updated, you could still get the “incompatible version” error in Palworld if the host of the multiplayer match is running an older version of the game.

If updating your end doesn’t fix it, politely ask the host to check their game version from the abovementioned steps. Share your version number with them so they can compare.

Ideally, the host should always install the latest Palworld patch to avoid version mismatch issues for everyone attempting to join.

If you plan to host, keep the game updated to welcome players into your farm or village seamlessly!

Confirm both Versions are the Same Variant

Besides outright version differences, the error can also pop up when the game variants don’t match – such as if one person is on the Steam release while the other uses the Xbox PC Game Pass version.

Due to differences in how updates roll out across platforms, the Steam and Game Pass versions can sometimes be on diverging update tracks.

So, beyond just checking the version numbers, also verify you and the host have the same underlying variant of Palworld installed.

Ask your friend which platform they have the game on if not already known. You may have to wait until your respective platforms sync up with updates for full compatibility.

Waiting for Updates from the Developer

If the “incompatible version” error persists after all the above steps, it might simply be a case of waiting for Pocket Pair to patch things up.

Early access games are prone to occasional multiplayer connectivity bugs, and Palworld is no exception. The error may occur due to problems even between two fully updated clients.

In such cases, stay engaged with Palworld’s updates on the Steam forum or the dev’s official Twitter to see if a fix is being worked on.

The developers are usually quick to issue patches addressing versioning problems that lock players out of multiplayer. So try joining again after each minor update.

Temporary Workarounds and Player Reporting

While waiting for an official fix, some users have reported the following steps can temporarily circumvent the error:

  • Restarting the game, Steam, and even your PC before trying to connect again
  • Ensure all multiplayer settings like region match between clients
  • Try switching between multiplayer modes like Local and Online
  • Verify game file integrity via Steam
  • Change the game version properties in Steam to an older branch
  • Uninstall and fresh install the latest Palworld update

However, these are not guaranteed solutions. If no official patch is available, it’s best to report the problem directly to Pocket Pair through the Steam forums or their Discord.

Thorough bug reporting by players is crucial for the devs to promptly identify and resolve version compatibility issues.

Stay Updated for Smooth Multiplayer

The “incompatible version” error essentially comes down to a mismatch between game versions and variants when trying to play Palworld online. While frustrating, a few simple checks and staying updated with patches will prevent and fix the problem promptly.

Both you and the host should remain diligent in keeping the game client up to date to maintain version parity. Report any persistent issues directly to the developers, and be patient as early access games iron out bugs.

With some care taken to run the latest builds, you’ll raise monsters and build villages with friends in no time.

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