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Three years after its launch, Epic Games Store still needs an offline option, especially since most other gaming clients already have one.
The Epic Games Store came out in December 2018, and since its release, it has certainly made itself a topic of discussion among the PC gaming community. With a formula that releases free games from the Epic Games storefront every week, the massive success it has experienced with the battle royale Fortnite, and the acquisition of now free-to-play games such as Rocket League, the launcher is at least worth having downloaded for most people if not solely to claim free games.
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Unfortunately, the Epic Games Store has been scrutinized in the past for grabbing exclusive titles before the client was fully optimized, not listing game sizes on the download page, having a slow-loading launcher, and its lack of community, especially when compared to Valve’s more popular Steam client. It seems it will be quite some time before Epic Games can overtake the likes of Steam, Battle.net, Origin, Bethesda Launcher, and other respectable alternatives, but an ‘appear offline’ option would be a good place to start.
Epic Games is Still Missing Essentials
While the developers are beginning to add more games to its library, like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, and Grand Theft Auto 5, the client is still lacking in various areas. Even after recent updates to the Epic Game Store, one of which includes a brand-new rating system that will be available to players after two hours of playtime in a game, it doesn’t feel like the store is maturing quickly enough. For instance, it’s still missing discussion boards, which are said not to be a priority for the company.
The progress of this launcher has been slow, and it was only as of May 2022 that users could even filter through their own Epic libraries by genre, feature, type, or platform. Library filtering isn’t just a nice or convenient addition to the client; it’s an essential element of a game browser. It seems strange that a company of this magnitude maintains a game launcher that lacks so many standard features.
An Offline Option is Still Not Available
A significant variety of changes need to be made that have come to be expected of a game launcher, but hopefully, these updates will be available in the Epic Games Store in the near future. In the same vein, somehow there is no official way to set a user’s profile to “Appear Offline.” Multiplayer games are encouraged in this client, but there isn’t a real way for someone to remain online and stay invisible to their friends if they are simply trying to relax on their own.
The only two current options are to appear “Online” or “Away”, none of which yield the same benefits. Most people don’t want to appear rude if someone asks to play with them, and they simply aren’t feeling it, so an “Appear Offline” function is the perfect solution.
At the moment, the only way to play games while appearing offline is to simply not sign in to one’s profile, enable offline browsing, or disconnect from the internet, but then any online experiences will be unavailable. For some games such as Fortnite, players can find an option under the main menu to set themselves as a way, in a private party, and turn off notifications for friends. The closest thing to being invisible online is the “do not disturb” feature, which is truly not the same.
Other users have created alternate accounts to get around the issue but quickly learned that the primary game library was not available to them anymore. Free games would still be playable, but it certainly seems like a lot of effort to take a break from social interaction. Additionally, none of these methods are very self-explanatory, and Epic Games could easily solve the issue by implementing a real offline option.
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It’s pertinent that Epic Games incorporate this “Appear Offline” function if it wants to hold its own against distribution services such as Steam, which is also beginning to give away free games. Perhaps the Epic Games Store will soon evolve beyond its simplistic roots and begin to yield more variety as more updates come out.
Epic Games Store Users Reporting Issues with Slow-Loading Launcher
Epic Games Store users continue to report that the storefront’s PC application loads extremely slow, regardless of their PC hardware.
The Epic Games Store, now over three and a half years old, continues to be a controversial subject for many PC gamers. While discussions regarding PC storefront exclusivity and public perception of Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney remain hot topics, a much more common discourse surrounds the Epic Games Store PC app itself. Not only do users have frustrations with the slow addition of features to the Epic Games Store app, but the app’s general performance is frustratingly slow for many with no evidence of improvement.
While criticism of the Epic Games Store’s PC app comes and goes in waves, an influx of frustrations has been shared in the storefront’s Reddit community in recent days. The posts all share a consistent issue with the Epic Games Store app, which is that it takes a long time to open. Capturing the situation, one post mentions that every time they open the Epic Games Store Launcher, it takes 20 seconds to load. The comments in the post, however, mockingly joke about how fast this is.
A top comment in the 20-second loading time thread says that every time they open the Epic Games Store launcher, it takes 3-4 minutes to fully load. Another says “20 seconds? That’s not even a big number.” Another comment says several minutes to load into the launcher is only half the problem, as it takes that much or more to then load into the EGS game library section of the app.
Some may believe that Epic Games Store app users are exaggerating the issue, but unfortunately, there’s notable evidence to the contrary. Another Reddit user named DidierNisma shared a video of them opening the Epic Games Store launcher and then going to the app’s game library section. The video shows that it takes 2 minutes and 30 seconds for the shop to fully load. Then there are another 3 minutes of footage showing that the app continues to run slow as they switch between sections of the app.
It should be clear that while there are many vocally frustrated critics of the Epic Games Store, these issues only impact a minority of users. Some users experiencing problems may also be dealing with other issues, too. There’s also an issue tied to a minority of PC gamers who dislike the Epic Games Store enough that they’d spread misinformation about it, though there’s no indication of that issue here.
Few would disagree that Epic Games still has a good amount of work to do on the Epic Games Store Launcher. General performance is one area where a lot of work can be done. If it’s not loading time, it’s the necessary hardware resources required to use the app. That said, Epic is making steadily making improvements. It’s just taking quite a while for the Epic Games Store to reach where users would like it to be.