Just in case you missed it, Blizzard has finally added cross-platform play to Overwatch, a little over 5 years after the team-based shooter was first released in 2016.
The feature was first announced two weeks ago. Now that it's up, it's possible for players across the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the PC, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X (via backward compatibility), to play with and against each other.
Setting up crossplay for Overwatch is pretty simple, as we'll explain below in our Overwatch crossplay guide.
Overwatch Crossplay Guide
In a nod to the multiple platforms uniting together, the Overwatch cross-play BETA trailer sees Sigma, Mei, and Wrecking Ball, in each console platform's respective colorways (Blue, Green, and Red). Blizzard is also giving anyone who logs into Overwatch a free golden loot box until 2021 ends.
In addition to teasing Overwatch cross-play on all platforms, the trailer also goes on to explain briefly how players can set up cross-play.
Speaking of, setting up cross-play for Overwatch simply consists of creating your own Battle.net account. Regardless of your platform, once you have a Battle.net account, you'll receive a message (after launching Overwatch) to link your account on Battle.net to the console account that you are using to play the game. This means that Overwatch players on the PC don't have to do anything anymore.
While cross-play is now enabled for Overwatch, cross-progression isn't. Also, players can choose to disable cross-play. The option to switch off cross-play is available in the in-game menu. For some reason, Blizzard did not give PC players the option to disable cross-play on the platform.
In their announcement, Blizzard also discussed aim-assist. This feature is common in many shooters, especially on consoles. In recent years, it has also become available on the PC for players who opt to use controllers. Basically, what aim-assist does is make it easier for players on controllers, regardless of platform, against others who are using a mouse and/or keyboard.
Many believe that aim-assist is an unfair feature to have in competitive shooters, which is why Blizzard is disabling it if PC players are grouped up with and against console players.
Last, but not least, cross-play will be available for all platforms in Quick Play, Arcade, and Custom game modes. However, in Competitive, Blizzard has limited PC players to only playing against other PC players. Meanwhile, console players will only be matched against each other, regardless of which specific console they are playing on.
At the moment, Blizzard is deep into the development of Overwatch 2. Despite this, the developers have reaffirmed in recent months that they are still committed to supporting Overwatch. Its sequel, Overwatch 2, is expected to release in 2022 or later with changes to team size, among others.