Skip to main content

How to play Evolve in 2022: install Stage 2 and Legacy

Play Evolve on PC and console

Evolve goliath chases down hunters as they play evolve
(Image: © 2K Games)

You can once again play Evolve, which is seeing an unlikely revival with the game recently being given peer-to-peer-hosted online games. This has seen a minor resurgence for the 2016 asymmetric shooter that is being spearheaded by an enthusiastic community. 

The sci-fi shooter being back from the dead is a fascinating happenstance that no one would have had on their bingo cards this year, but it’s awesome to see regardless. Who knows how high interest can go too, with it maybe one day reaching the mantel of the next Left 4 Dead after all.

If you want to be a part of the resurgence, getting into Evolve is a weird and slightly annoying endeavor (and that’s if you can play it at all). While it’s playable, the title is certainly not in a state of being ‘supported’ right now, and that means that there is certainly some jankiness that comes with getting into it. If you're used to the support of the best PC games, you will be disappointed.

We’ve got you sorted though. There are some hoops to jump through, but if you’re able to play, the process isn’t too difficult. However, how do you know if you can play or not? And how do you play Legacy Evolve? Don’t worry, we have you covered.

How to play Evolve

Can you play Evolve and how to install?

Evolve monster

(Image credit: 2K Games)

To answer 'can you play Evolve?', you have to answer 'did you play Evolve previously?' On Steam, you should be able to check pretty quickly. If you see Evolve Stage 2 in your library, you simply have to install the game. The listing will be available to you if you played Evolve, either in its 2016 version or in the free-to-play Stage 2 iteration of the game.

However, if you missed the game when it was playable, and don’t see the listing, you might be out of luck, at least through traditional means. There are ways around this, but most we wouldn’t endorse. 

One way is to use gray market PC sellers that are selling old keys, however, the interest has spiked making the prices quite high and third-party sellers are notoriously unreliable. If you are going to go this route, make sure to do your research. 

There's also a Steam user who has written a guide about adding the Legacy version of the game to your library, but it is both complicated and involves confusing Steam and the Evolve client in dubious ways. 

The option we do endorse is, simply, patience. If the revival effort continues to do well, 2K Games may relist on Steam so new players can jump in.

Can you play Evolve on console?

Evolve monster

(Image credit: 2K Games)

You can play Evolve on PS4 and Xbox One consoles, and that’s not changed. The game has actually been playable all these years with peer-to-peer matchmaking, but again, you'll need to either have the game in your library or have a physical disc. 

Finding a second-hand disk shouldn’t be too difficult online, so have at it. This is likely the most consistent way to get into the game now if you don’t have access to it on a Steam, PlayStation, or Xbox library. 

How to play Evolve Legacy (if you own it)

Older man with cowboy hat and hunting gear on holding his finger to his lips, next to burly bearded man with tattoo on his arm

(Image credit: Turtle Rock Studios)

So there are two versions of Evolve that are currently playable. Stage 2 is the ‘default’, but this has different balancing that was implemented after the game went free-to-play. However, you can play it in its original form, which plays a little less forgiving and has more complicated systems. 

To access to it, go to the Evolve Stage 2 listing on Steam and right-click it. Then scroll down to Properties. Once this menu is open, on the left-hand side will be a list of tabs. Hit Betas and in the drop-down menu underneath ‘Select the beta you would like to opt into’. From here, select ‘legacyevolve - The Orginal Evolve Product’. Then simply install the game. 

Word of warning: Legacy’s servers seem even more unstable than Stage 2, and if you connect to a player with a bad connection, it could be a rough experience. There are also generally fewer players online, so matches take a little bit longer to find matches.

Patrick Dane
Patrick Dane

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.