Is Overwatch Cross-Platform? | Digital Trends

Since the game launched in 2015, Overwatch players have asked for cross-platform assistance. It’s easy to see why too. Overwatch thrives among hugely popular multiplayer shooters like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Paladins: Champions of the Realm, all of which support crossplay. Overwatch still doesn’t support crossplay and it is unlikely that it ever will. However, the next generation of consoles and Overwatch 2 give hope for the future.

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Is Overwatch cross-platform?

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Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: No, Overwatch isn’t cross-platform. The official Blizzard site on the subject states that all players live in “separate ecosystems,” which are Xbox Live, PSN, Nintendo Switch Online and Battle.net. As a result, cross-progression is not supported either. If you have the game on Battle.net and you want to play on Switch, you’ll have to start over.

Will Overwatch support cross-platform gaming?

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The more interesting question isn’t if Overwatch supports cross-platform gaming, but when it supports cross-platform gaming. In a recent interview, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan said the team is very interested in cross-play, especially with regards to Overwatch 2. Kaplan also said Overwatch players will be able to compete with Overwatch 2 players in major ones Play competitive modes.

That idea, that being cross-platform but the team is still working on it, was repeated in countless other interviews. It seems like a potted answer, and to a certain extent it is. However, there is a big reason Overwatch hasn’t implemented cross-platform support yet.

We have a perfect reference for how cross-platform support would work in the form of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone from 2019. Under the umbrella of Modern Warfare, both games support crossplay and cross-progression via an Activision ID. In short, everything is tied to your Activision account. So if you switch platforms, you can transfer your progress by logging into your account.

You may already see the problem. As mentioned earlier, your Overwatch progress is not tied to an external account. It is tied to every online service that the platform you are playing on supports. If you move everything to an external account, e.g. B. the way Modern Warfare deals with things can cause you to lose your progress in the game. For a game that is five years old and very competitive, starting from level one isn’t a good sign.

Overwatch is unlikely to have cross-platform support. However, it is possible that we will see it with Overwatch 2. Given that players from the original game and the sequel can play together in some game modes, this suggests that Blizzard is implementing an external progress tracking system.

The keyboard and mouse problem

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Tech issues aside, there’s one major hurdle to getting Overwatch to support cross-platform: keyboard and mouse. Overwatch supports a controller on consoles and a keyboard and mouse on the PC. Despite keyboard and mouse support, you cannot use this setup on a PS4 or Xbox One. There are ways around this problem by spending a few hundred dollars on an adapter, but we wouldn’t recommend going that route.

in the a forum postKaplan stated that “the Overwatch team disagrees with the use of the mouse and keyboard on the console”. This statement is not an explicit threat of prohibition, but it is close. Understanding the team’s reasons is of course important to alleviate frustrations from a lack of support. For example, suppose one person uses a keyboard and mouse and everyone else uses a controller. The person with a keyboard has an unfair advantage. Sure, you could refer to other games that support crossplay regardless of your input device (Modern Warfare is among them). To the Overwatchbut the The development team decided this was too much of a benefit for this particular game.

The Overwatch League is the biggest explanation for this attitude. An Overwatch gamer may have stronger skills with a controller than with a keyboard and mouse, or vice versa. Unless all factors are constant, matchup results cannot accurately measure skills. Since professional play focuses on measuring skills, consistency is extremely important. Overwatch is known for its longstanding passion for the style of play.

Unfortunately, but true, we can’t expect an immediate solution to this problem with Overwatch 2 or the latest generation of consoles. The Xbox Series X, and most likely the PS5, support keyboard and mouse input. However, this does not mean that developers automatically support them in their games. In fact, the majority of gamers will be limited to using just the controller that came with their console. It is therefore unlikely that this inequality of input devices will disappear in the future.

We know some gamers claim that playing Overwatch on a certain type of platform is annoying. However, the game’s developers created this path for a reason – even if other games are more flexible. Regardless of how much we want it to be different, it doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon. For now, everyone has to be content with using controllers when using a console and a keyboard and mouse when using a PC.

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