Just last month, Blizzard mentioned they’d be rolling out some major new feature for Overwatch in the near future. They’ve just announced that their big hero shooter is getting cross-platform multiplayer between all of its platforms. There are caveats about competitive play and input types and attempting to keep the playing field level, of course. The bottom line though is that you’ll be able to group up with your console pals sometime soon.
For PC folks, cross-play sounds like it’s going to be a pretty hassle-free change. If you play Overwatch on PC you’ve already got a Battle.net account. Console players will have to create one, or link their existing one to their console account. Once done though, that’ll allow you to invite them to group up together for matchmaking. Game director Aaron Keller goes into a couple examples here in Blizzard’s announcement.
Basically it boils down to only allowing PC players to matchmake with console players when console folks explicitly choose to do so. By default, conosle folks will only match with other console players. They’ll also have the option to disable cross-play but PC players don’t. PC folks will get matched with a mixture of console and PC players by default. As another important note, console players will have their aim-assist disabled when matchmaking with PC players.
That doesn’t apply to competitive matchmaking pools, which will keep PC and console folks separate, even PC players using a gamepad. Blizzard break down all the rest of the how’s and what if’s and all in their cross-play FAQ post.
Cross-progression, on the other hand, isn’t part of this update. “We understand that this feature is important for some of you, and it’s something that the Overwatch team is excited to work on in the future,” Keller says in the announcement.
This also ties in to Blizzard’s announcement today about their newest update to Battle.net. The service is going global, Blizz say, meaning you won’t need to switch regions in order to connect with pals who live on the other side of the planet.
Blizzard say that cross-play is going to start in a beta phase and that “the Overwatch development team will be monitoring feedback and will look to make improvements on the feature moving forward.” Cross-play will be available between on PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and the Xbox Series X/S.
In case you hadn’t heard, Overwatch 2 is going to change up the formula with 5v5 matches and one less tank when it launches.