Overwatch introduces Cross-Play Beta

With cross-platform play, console and PC players can finally join up in certain game modes.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

It’s time to get the whole gang together. Overwatch is soon launching the Cross-Play Beta, a program that will finally allow players on different platforms and different regions to play certain game modes together.

Overwatch fans have been clamoring for cross-platform play over the past few years since the game launched on consoles like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox One. With the Cross-Play Beta, players will be able to connect their individual console accounts to Battle.net. This will allow for cross-platform play with PC players, as well as players from different consoles. 

The new update for Battle.net will also merge friends lists from around the globe, meaning Overwatch players will no longer have to switch regions when trying to play with friends on other global servers. European players, for example, won’t have to manually swap to North American servers to play with friends across the pond. 

While PC players won’t have to do anything to enjoy the Cross-Play Beta, console players will have to create a Battle.net account and link their consoles to the account. To encourage everyone to take those steps, Overwatch will be giving one free Golden Loot Box, which includes a guaranteed Legendary drop, to all players who connect accounts. 

Console players will be able to join PC players in non-competitive game modes, like quick play and arcade. Those console players will be placed into the PC gaming “pool” if they choose to play with friends on PC and console aim assist will be disabled by default to make everything a bit more fair.  

Many hardcore Overwatch players will likely be most concerned about crossplay’s effect on competitive mode. The developers have confirmed that PC and console players won’t be allowed in the same competitive lobbies to ensure fairness for everyone. Players on different brands of consoles, like PlayStation and Xbox, will be allowed in the same competitive lobbies. 

When season 29 of competitive mode begins later this summer, three separate top 500 leaderboards will be available: one for PC players, one for cross-play enabled console players, and one for players who have opted out of cross-play on console.  

Participation in the Cross-Play Beta is enabled by default. Only console players will be able to opt-out of the program, so PC players will have to invite these new players into the fray whether they like it or not. 

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