overwatch launched in 2016, but it’s getting a major feature update today. Blizzard Entertainment has launched cross-play in beta, allowing PC and console gamers to compete in matches together. Until now, the communities on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch have been segmented, but this update should make it easier to find online matches to join, be it with your friends or with random players. Some of the most popular online titles offer cross-play support, such as: Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone, and it bodes well for this feature to be supported sooner in the game’s upcoming sequel, Overwatch 2.
Cross-play is a welcome, if it’s too late, feature to have overwatch, but it may not be everything you hope for. The update does not allow cross-progression between multiple copies of the game you may own. So your collection of skins and XP level on for example Nintendo Switch will not transfer to other platforms and vice versa. Although that may not be the case in the future. In a recent Reddit AMA, overwatch Technical Director John Lafleur said, “Given the added complexity of cross-progress, it would probably make the most sense to tackle cross-play first and then explore progression as a potential add-on, if we go this route.”
Blizzard says to jump into the cross-play beta you have to create a Battle.net account, if you haven’t already (it was a requirement for PC players, but it was optional on console). You will then need to link your respective console account to Battle.net in your account settings. Doing so will allow you to play with friends you’ve added on Battle.net instead of friends who are in your console’s friends list.
If you have a Battle.net account and log in to Overwatch at the end of 2021, you will receive a “gold” loot box, which guarantees a legendary in-game item.