Uplay was notorious for often messing up downloads and forcing you to re-download gigabytes worth of data for fixing even the simplest of bugs. It didn’t even include the basic abilities of a modern game client such as detecting existing game installs, changing install locations, managing multiple downloads and verifying installs for corrupt files, despite its existence since almost 5 years. With the latest 5.0 update, we can say Uplay has finally come of age. The update adds a lot of quality of life changes to better organize your downloads, detect previously installed/downloaded games and more.
Introducing a Download Manager
The biggest change is the inclusion of a new download manager. This new avatar of Uplay’s downloading ability allows you to queue up and arrange multiple downloads simultaneously, allowing multiple games to be updated in one go. The download manager also includes a prioritize option for the game you just can’t wait to play over the others. The download manager is accessed by clicking on the “Downloads” button in the top right corner of the client.
Move existing games to new location
If you upgraded your PC with a new hard drive or reinstalled Windows, or maybe copied your already downloaded games from another PC, Uplay would punch you in the gut with an error, in the previous versions . Now it won’t thanks to the addition of a feature to support all these actions. As a bonus, the feature to move files over to a new directory or folder puts it one up over Steam which is still lacking this feature and the workaround with its backup and restore feature is rather time intensive.
You can now simply move an installed game’s folder on your computer without uninstalling the game. Then under Uplay hit the “Play” button and the client should prompt you to find the re-located folder. Once it verifies the game files, you can jump straight back into the game.
We tried out the feature ourselves trying to move games over to our new PC with a fresh installation of Windows. The feature did not run smoothly at all with it demanding us to download additional GBs worth of files in games like Valiant Hearts: The Great War which ran fine on the original PC and refusing to verify games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist at all. Out of the ten games we tried to move only three loaded successfully and 2 partially.
Or if you want to move files from another PC to your current one or rescan a game after reinstalling Windows, just copy your files to your desired location and then hit download. Select the folder where the game is located during the regular download process and Uplay will automatically detect and verify your existing game files.
Shiny New FPS Counter Overlay
For those who want to check out the game’s frame rate, there is new FPS counter which can be enabled/disabled under the “Settings” tab in the in-game Uplay Overlay. Couple that with the built in screenshot feature and the list seems very competent. It’s currently white with a darkened square underneath to aid visibility and small enough to not interfere with the in-game UI elements. Now the only thing missing is support for video recording though broadcasting to Twitch was supported since an earlier update.
VoIP Visual Notification
A new visual notification in Uplay lets you know when a party member speaks or presses the push-to-talk key. Surprisingly, this is a feature that many games, even the multiplayer focused ones leave out. So no longer will you be left wondering if you heard whispers in the back of your room or whether it was the co-op player crunching on potato chips with the mic left on.
Game Version Selector
For the developers to test updated game versions in a live environment before releasing them to the public, a new option to select a specific version of a game has been added to the client. While this is not available to the general community at the moment, it hopefully should allow developers to better stress test the online environment before game launches and should allow easier management of game betas over Uplay.
This Uplay update should come as a welcome relief to many Indian Gamers since most of the Ubisoft games sold in India are Uplay only. While the Uplay client has come a long way and this update features many quality of life changes, it still has a long way to go before even coming close to catching up with the competition. The client is still missing many features, in fact even clicking on the “Buy” button for most games takes one to an external Steam page instead of Uplay’s own storefront. Origin, with its games on the house and free game time is lucrative with India specific prices. Steam still remains the king and the veil is yet to be lifted off GOG galaxy client that is looking to be a game changer. However, we can finally stop hating Uplay as an unnecessary DRM and say that it has finally come of age.