A shipwreck in Last Epoch shown in a loading screen.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

How to fix Last Epoch Online Play Unavailable error

Switching offline comes with a risk.

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Eager players are logging in to test out the latest hack-and-slash roleplaying game, Last Epoch, but an “Online Play Unavailable” error message has spoiled the party for many. 

While day-one bugs and issues are common for major releases in 2024, it’s still frustrating. Here’s what the Online Play Unavailable error means and how to bypass it.

How to avoid Online Play Unavailable error in Last Epoch

Here is a simple step-by-step guide that worked for us when we were hit with the “Online Play Unavailable” message in Last Epoch:

  1. Run the game on Steam.
  2. A Launch Option window will open. Select Play Full Offline.
    • Important: If you create a new character in Offline mode, you can’t play with it online in the future. You also can’t play offline with an online character you’ve already created.
  3. If you’re already logged in online, you can also switch to offline in the top left of the screen.

Online and offline modes in Last Epoch offer the same content, but online mode includes exclusive features like global chat, trading, grouping, leaderboards, and cosmetic items. Think of offline and online modes as two separate game accounts with no overlap. Characters created in offline mode cannot be transferred to online mode to interact with other players; likewise, online characters cannot be switched to offline mode for continued play during server downtimes.

Usually, there’s not much you can do personally to get rid of the “Online Play Unavailable” error. This issue stems from Last Epoch’s servers, indicating that your game is unable to connect to their servers for online play. If your internet connection is working properly for other activities, including playing other Steam games, then your setup is likely not the problem. The most effective course of action is to wait a bit—either a few minutes or hours—until the servers stabilize and online play is back or have an offline character ready to enjoy some action when this issue happens.

What causes the Online Play Unavailable error?

Like other ARPG titles, Last Epoch offers multiplayer for parties of up to four, making it easier to clear out the dungeons filled with hordes of enemies. But the title initially only supported single-player gameplay, and everything doable in a group can also be accomplished while flying solo. However, the rush of new players eager to try the 1.0 patch on Feb. 21 put the servers under some serious strain.

“150k CCU and the initial burst of volume has our matchmaking services experiencing some issues that we’re quickly working to rectify,” developer Eleventh Hour Games announced on the game’s official Steam page. “We’re in the war room with our backend team and service providers turning all the dials and knobs as quickly as we can.”

Online play unavailable
The “Online Play Unavailable” error message is common and a nuisance. Screenshot by Dot Esports

With that being said, the developer did also offer a solution for the fix in the short term. “We’ve just deployed Steam launch arguments that will allow people to boot the game in full offline mode when clicking Play from the Steam library,” it said. “That will require a Steam client restart to access.”


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Author
Ryan Lemay
Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer with the Morning Times newspaper and then Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan. You can contact him at ryanlemay@dotesports.com.