Palworld is already obscenely popular—knocking out 4 million sales in about three days. It's also a far better experience on Steam, thanks to some certification process nonsense.
The game's developer Pocketpair has been wrangling with some thorny systems architecture that's been impacting the game on both Xbox, Microsoft Store and—by extension—Game Pass. That's according to several statements made on the Palworld Discord server (thanks, Windows Central). The game's community manager Bucky writes:
"The versions of the game are not the same between Steam and Xbox. That is to say, Steam v1.2 and Xbox v1.2 are not the same thing. There seems to be some confusion that Steam and Xbox are 'missing features'. That isn't entirely true."
According to Bucky, there are two different problems going on. Firstly, Microsoft has "different architecture"—at least on the Xbox, though it looks like those structural issues are impacting the Microsoft Store/Game Pass version to a certain extent. However, "other issues like the missing exit game button are not a result of an 'older build', these are separate issues."
Bucky replied to one player: "we're really at the mercy of the certification here. We're desperately trying to speed this up," responding to a later call for a hotfix with the sentence: "On Steam [the hotfix was] applied 2 days ago. On Xbox, [it's] sitting in the MS certification queue."
As players on this Reddit thread note, Xbox and PC Game Pass have cross-platform saves, so they're likely running on the same version of the game. Our features producer Mollie Taylor tells me she's seen her Palworld-playing friends migrate from Game Pass to Steam to avoid problems like a max smaller server size and different menus.
Regardless—if you want to play the best version of Palworld, you should head on over to Steam for the time being. As for when you can expect platform parity, Bucky says "the goal is to bring them to the exact same place," though "this won't be achievable until crossplay is fully compatible." So it's anyone's guess. Though, given the game's enormous success it's likely Microsoft will push Palworld through as a priority.