Just a couple of weeks after Blizzard announced cross-play was coming to Overwatch, the popular first-person hero shooter got the feature in beta.
Now, players across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch can group up and play together instead of being limited to playing with just people on the same platform. However, Overwatch’s cross-play feature only works in some modes, including ‘Quick Play,’ ‘Arcade’ and custom games. Ranked games keep some platform restrictions, meaning PC players can’t play ranked with console, but all the console platforms can play ranked together.
While that may seem like an odd restriction, it’s worth keeping in mind that, at least with first-person shooter titles, PC players often have an advantage thanks to using a mouse and keyboard. That’s presumably why Blizzard kept the ranked player pools split between PC and console.
As of June 22, Overwatch players on PC gained access to cross-play automatically. Console players also gained access, but need to link their Blizzard Battle.net account to their console to use cross-play. Once that’s connected, console players should be able to play with friends on PC.
For help with this process, players should check out Blizzard’s FAQ page here.
Cross-Play has arrived.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) June 22, 2021
While it’s great to see Overwatch gain cross-play, it’s also worth noting that the game doesn’t support cross-progression. In other words, players who switch platforms won’t have access to any skins or other cosmetics they’ve unlocked on the new platform.
That’s not to save Overwatch will never get cross-progression — in a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), Overwatch technical direction John Lafleur indicated the team was focused on making cross-play work first and then might explore cross-progression.
Hopefully, Overwatch eventually does get cross-progression. As someone who’s made the switch from console to PC, one of my biggest issues was that I couldn’t bring the progression from some of my favourite games with me.