How Overwatch cross-play will work for PC and console players

How Overwatch cross-play will work for PC and console players

by Jessica Scharnagle

Overwatch game director Aaron Keller announced Wednesday that the game is getting cross-play between PC players and console players.

Fans are very excited about the announcement as cross-play has been a wishlist item for many players for years now.

Many fans are excited and wonder how it might affect their rankings and gameplay experience. Here is everything you need to know about the addition of cross-play, and how it will affect both PC and console players.

How to link a Battle.net account to consoles

Players will need to link their console accounts to a Battle.net account in order to be able to play with other console and PC players. To do that, head to Battle.net and create an account. Then, head to Account Settings, and under Connections, players can link their console accounts.

In order to link console and Battle.net accounts once cross-play is enabled, follow the steps outlined on the cross-play FAQ.

PC players don’t need to do anything when the feature launches, and they cannot opt out of cross-play. PC players will not be matched with console players unless they are in a cross-play group.

Consoles supported for cross-play are Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Playstation 4, Playstation 5 and the Nintendo Switch. All players on these consoles will automatically have cross-play enabled when the feature launches.

If players desire to disable cross-play, they can do so in the in-game menu, or in their console’s system settings for Xbox.

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Matchmaking and game modes

Cross-play will be enabled for all game modes except for Competitive play. Console players will be able to play Competitive with other console players on different systems, but PC players will not be mixed with console players in Competitive.

For console players, queue times are likely to decrease in all game modes. Disabling cross-play on console will most likely experience higher queue times since the pool of players who also decided to opt out of cross-play will be much smaller.

Cross-play will even be available for custom games, which means tournament organizers will now have the ability to hold cross-play tournaments.

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Competitive mode

PC players will not have any changes made to Competitive mode as a result of the cross-play feature. Console players will also notice no changes until the new season of Competitive, which begins July 1.

After Competitive Season 29 begins, console players who have decided not to opt-out of cross-play will be matched with teammates from other consoles. Competitive players who opt out of cross-play will experience a much smaller pool of players but will only be matched with people who have also opted out of cross-play.

When Season 29 begins, there will be separate leaderboards for PC players and console players who have cross-play enabled, and console players who have opted out.

Read more: Here are all the new details released about Overwatch 2

Aim assist for console and gamertags

Players who create a Battle.net account will now use their Battle tag during cross-play matches. Console handles will be displayed in some instances, such as in friend lists and top 500 lists.

Aim assist will be disabled for console players who choose to leave cross-play enabled and match up with PC players. Console cross-play will still include aim assist, as well as console players who disable cross-play.

Overwatch League tokens

Overwatch League tokens are awarded to players who watch OWL matches, and have connected their YouTube accounts with their Overwatch accounts.

If players purchase tokens, they will be awarded on the platform on which the purchase was made. Tokens awarded by watching OWL matches are awarded to players’ Battle.net accounts and are delivered to all systems associated with the linked account.

This likely means that the tokens will now be shared between each platform a player has Overwatch on and can be used on any of those platforms.

Golden loot box

In celebration of the introduction of cross-play, fans around the world will be rewarded with a golden loot box. The loot boxes will be delivered everywhere they play Overwatch, as long as they log in by the end of 2021.

Lead image credit: Activision Blizzard

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