When Fortnite blew the doors open for cross-play between different platforms a few years back, it quickly became one of the highest-requested features in just about any online game with a presence across multiple systems. No longer were game communities willing to sit quietly while being unable to play with their friends who happened to prefer a different platform. Since then, it’s become a more widespread feature, with games like Rocket League, Minecraft, and the recent Knockout City all supporting the ability to play with friends on different devices. After being out for half a decade, it’s finally Overwatch’s turn to join that honorable list of titles that are doing the right thing for their player base!
Announced in a new video on the Overwatch YouTube channel by the game’s director, Aaron Keller, the game will soon support cross-play in beta form across all console platforms and PC! To participate in cross-play – and to continue playing Overwatch online at all – players will need to create a BattleNet account and link their platforms of choice to it, if they haven’t already done so. Once an account has been made, players on consoles will be able to opt-out of cross-play entirely, while PC players will not.
Cross-play hasn’t been confirmed for the game’s upcoming sequel, Overwatch 2, though it would be more surprising if it wasn’t included at this point. This new cross-play system is based on the global updates to Blizzard’s BattleNet service, and players’ ability to participate in cross-play is reliant upon linking their console’s entire account to the BattleNet platform. As such, any players who have opted in to cross-play on the original title should, in theory, be all set to participate in whatever cross-play offerings the sequel may have. Here’s hoping that that indeed turns out to be the case once Overwatch 2 finally releases.
To celebrate the arrival of the feature, all players who log into the game before the end of the year will receive a free golden loot box on each platform they have linked to BattleNet. For all the details on Overwatch’s new cross-play features, including a detailed walkthrough on how to link your console’s account to a BattleNet account, check out the full FAQ on the official Overwatch site.
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