Overwatch will soon be cross-play across all platforms and regions, Blizzard announced on June 9.
Although players will soon be able to team up and play in the same lobbies across different platforms, console players and PC players will remain separated in competitive games. This is, according to Blizzard, due to balancing reasons.
Players who log in before the end of 2021 will also receive a Golden Loot Box on all platforms that they own Overwatch on. This is even when those platforms are all linked to the same Battle.net account. A specific cross-play launch date was not given, but it will be included in an update to be released soon.
Cross-play in Overwatch; who can play with whom?
Other than competitive matches, any player can play with anyone else. That is, apart from players in China; they will remain in their own separate region. However, there are some finer details. For example, a console player who solo queues will only be put into a game with other console players. But, when they party up with a PC player, they will be matched up against players from all platforms, including PC.
Those who prefer to play Overwatch on their own platform can simply disable cross-play. This lets them play with just their specific platform. PC players don’t have that luxury, as cross-play cannot be disabled on PC. This means that in non-competitive matches, PC players will face console players who are partied up with a PC player in the game. Aim-assist is disabled for console players when they are in a match with PC players.
Progression, leaderboards and socials
Although people can play Overwatch across platforms with the update, and their console will be linked to their Battle.net account, account progression remains locked to their system. Blizzard notes that it is not available on launch but specifies that it is something to be worked on in the future.
As for leaderboards, the top 500 Overwatch players will be separated. This consists of PC players, cross-play enabled console players and cross-play disabled players. The cross-play update will occur before the current competitive season is over, so console players will only play with their own platform until Season 29 begins.
Voice chat is also enabled across platforms, as well as the option to mute, block, avoid and add friends. Players need only make sure to link their console to a Battle.net account.