While primarily designed for online play, until recently it was possible for Raft offline play to occur. In the recent Final Chapter update though that option was removed even for solo players. A small Raft update today though restored the Raft offline play following complaints from players. This was done despite the devs having concerns over the functionality of the offline play of Raft.
Playing Raft Offline
Since the game started on Early Access in 2018, Raft has been in a constant state of development. It quickly grew over time and finally left Early Access on June 20th of this year as Raft 1.0. However, it applied an unusual restriction that prevented people from playing in any way unless they had an internet connection. Two days after the launch, Redbeet Interactive responded to player discontent with Hotfix 1.03 which reinstates offline accessibility. They explained their reasoning in the 1.03 update as follows:
In version 1.0, we blocked players who were not connected to an internet connection from playing. This was due to certain technical issues that appeared when people were playing offline. However, as we have gotten feedback from the 1.0 release, we have decided to allow players to play offline if they really want to. Now, if you are offline, a warning message will appear, letting you know that some features might not work as expected, and bugs may occur, but it gives you the option to keep playing, instead of blocking you completely.
Raft has been focused more on co-op play during its lifespan, and it seems that they didn't expect many players wanted to play offline solo. Whatever the reason is, the design for Raft clearly wasn't for it to be an offline experience as the developers express that it has technical issues that don't pop up otherwise. What precisely is causing these problems is unknown, but the restoration of Raft offline play should allow those who prefer survival game play in peace, or who have poor internet to play as they previously were, or are interested in doing. Its possible even tehy may tweak whatever systems are causing these problems in the future as they have already moved from it being offline only as it was at the 1.0 release.