The Overwatch team has revealed that a cross-play beta between consoles and PC is on the way in their latest developer update.
A welcome surprise to be sure, the first-person team-oriented shooter that dominated in 2016 and maintains a strong fan base to this day will be joining the increasing number of cross-play titles like Rocket League, Fortnite and Apex Legends.
With both the upcoming release of Overwatch 2 and the departure of long-time game director and face of Overwatch, Jeff Kaplan, the fate of the original game seemed up in the air so this news is sure to go down well with all players. It is already looking like the new game director, Aaron Keller, is living up to his promise of some “really big features and systems” from an interview with Gamespot.
In order to participate in cross-play, you will need to create a Battle.net account and link it to your console of choice. If you are a PC player you won’t need to do this as you already have one of these accounts but for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch you will need to make one and then link it to your console account.
While you are able to link your accounts, any progress made on one will not pass over to the other. This means that any level progression, achievements and cosmetic items you have for one console will not transfer to another console or PC. However, during the Developer Update, this is something Keller said they would look into.
The cross-play system works in much the same way as other games where if you, as a console player, are just queuing with other console players (or alone), matchmaking will only put you with other console players. But if you play with a PC player, matchmaking will put you with other PC players, and any console players they may be with. The only exception to this will be the Competitive game modes where you will not be able to cross-play between PCs and consoles and two separate skill pools are used.
In celebration of cross-play coming to Overwatch, all players will receive a free golden loot box. These are guaranteed to contain at least one legendary item and are given across each platform, regardless of if you have linked your accounts. All you need to do is log in by the end of 2021.
You can find out more in the FAQ.
Overwatch is available currently on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and the Nintendo Switch.
Words by George Bell
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