How to Join the same Instance
As the game stands today, star citizen's persistent universe alpha test runs on server instances via Amazon Web Services (AWS). Each instance is hard limited to 50 players. Instances fill up pretty quickly and if all instances are full, then a new instance is created. There is currently no way to choose a specific instance unless a friend is playing in an instance and then you can choose their instance. This is obviously problematic.
Best Practice – Party Launch
This is considered the best practice and is the only guarantee you'll be able to join the same instance. It is considered the only option for large groups as most instances are full or very close to full.
- All players in the group sit at the menu.
- Form a party – one player adds all the other players to his/her contact list and then right clicks on their name and clicks “Invite to Party”.
- Once the party is completely formed and ready to go, the party leader enters the universe. This will cause everyone else to enter the universe automatically and all players will be on the same instance.
Note: It is highly recommended that every player in the party has already created their character and entered the universe once. If someone has a fresh account after an account reset or a major patch or deleted their USER folder this can cause problems for that player.
Alternative – Not recommended and not guaranteed
If there is already a group on an instance or your just want to join one of your friends the only method is to add whoever it is you want to join to your contact list (they have to accept the invite, too) and then try to enter the universe and you will get a “Join Friends” button. You can try to join but if the server is full the only options you have are wait or have your friend(s) back out to menu and perform a party launch above.
The way forward
It's not a great set of options but that's what we have for now. Eventually we may get server queuing so you can choose to wait in line for a slot to open on your friend's instance.
Beyond that we will eventually get server meshing which will see instances be able to interact with each other and there will no longer be a true limit.Banner goes here