Over the years, many developers have added crossplay functionality to various games. Many popular games like PUBG, Fortnite and Rocket League have combined their Xbox and PlayStation servers to facilitate faster matchmaking times. Overwatch launched in 2016, and ever since, players have been asking for cross-platform support, and for a reason, too. Most popular multiplayer shooters like Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Paladins support crossplay.
This is the question that most Overwatch fans are looking for and want a ‘Yes’ answer. While Overwatch beats all the stops to become crossover, it still isn’t. You can even find the game on the Nintendo Switch, but it has been kept separate.
According to the statement posted by Blizzard’s support page, here’s what you need to know:
“The PC and console versions of Blizzard Games are separate and do not share progress or allow play on other platforms. Players on PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation play in separate ecosystems.
On PC, your friends list will be populated with friends from your Blizzard account. On Xbox, you will be part of the Xbox Live network, on Nintendo your friends will be derived from the Nintendo Network, and on Playstation your friends list will be derived from the Playstation Network.
If you want to play on multiple platforms, the games must be purchased on each platform separately.”
Now, this is the next question that arises in the minds of most gamers: will they ever be able to enjoy Overwatch as a cross-platform game? If sources are to be believed, Overwatch game director jeff kaplan While talking about Overwatch 2, he said that the team is very interested in crossplay and that players will also be able to play basic competitive modes.
So the idea is pretty exciting to the Overwatch team, but they’re still looking into it. However, there’s a reason they haven’t implemented it yet. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Warzone from 2019 is a clear example of how cross-platform support for Overwatch would work. Both games support cross play and cross progression with the help of an Activision ID so all your activities are linked to your Activision account. This will help when you switch platforms, your progress will be maintained by simply logging into your account.
In the case of Overwatch, progress is not tied to any external account and is rather tied to the online service that your platform supports. And if you want to move it to an external account, this could cause you to lose all the progress you’ve made in the game. And I don’t think anyone wants to lose their progress and start over from level one.
So there’s little chance Overwatch will ever support crossplay, however you can expect it with Overwatch 2. As Blizzard already mentioned, players will be able to play together in competitive mode after the implementation of an external progression tracking system.
All technical issues aside; The biggest setback Overwatch faces in going cross-platform is the keyboard and mouse. Overwatch supports a controller on Consoles and on PC, you can use keyboard and mouse, but still, you can’t use it on a PS4 or Xbox One.
Another statement was given by the game director, “The Overwatch team opposes the use of mouse and keyboard on console.”
Now the explanation for this is that they are not banning keyboard and mouse usage on console, but if one person uses a keyboard and mouse on console and everyone else uses a controller, this will give the person using the keyboard an unfair advantage.
There are other games that support crossplay regardless of what input device you’re using, but for the Overwatch team, it’s a major advantage in the case of this game.
Take the example of the Overwatch league, where an Overwatch player will be more skilled with a controller compared to a player with a keyboard and mouse. Overwatch has always been particular about play style and therefore puts more emphasis on skills.
Also, you shouldn’t expect a quick fix to this with the release of Overwatch 2. Even if Xbox Series X and PS5 support keyboard and mouse, that doesn’t give you the assurance that the developers will support it. So for now, you’ll have to be happy with what you have and can use.