Overwatch has been going through quite a lot of changes recently. From the recent revealed Hammond (a.k.a. Wrecking Ball) to the reworked Symmetra, there’s a lot to catch up on if you haven’t been keeping up. But the characters aren’t the only ones bringing something new to the table. In an effort to combat toxicity and increase positive player behavior, Blizzard rolled out “endorsements” in one of the game’s latest patches. While we’re all familiar with the mechanics of reporting problematic behavior, endorsements call out those players who have been particularly nice.
What are endorsements?
There are three categories of endorsements:
- Sportsmanship: Positive, respectful. This can be awarded to both teammates and opposing players (hey, they didn’t teabag your corpse!) for good behavior.
- Good Teammate: Helpful, effective communication. Was this person an all-around good teammate? Did they excel at their roles? Switched off their main for a better team composition? This is for them.
- Shot Caller: Leader/strategist. While having the mic on isn’t always a requirement, this person takes charge in either suggesting new strategies or simply communicating broad, important information to the rest of the team. Or maybe they just spearheaded the charge on the payload. All of those apply.
Every time you endorse someone, you get 50 XP.
How do I endorse someone?
At the end of a match, an option to endorse a player will appear at the bottom of the screen during Play of the Game. You can endorse up to three players per match, but only once per player every 24 hours. This can include your own teammates as well as the opposing team; for the latter, you are only given the “Sportsmanship” option to use.
You can still receive endorsements even if you’ve left the game, provided that you didn’t leave before the match was officially over. Even if you quit and immediately queue for something else, as long as the end-screen rolls in your old match, you can still receive one.
Endorsements are not available in arcade modes. You also can’t endorse someone you’re in a group with — the point is that you’re not favoring friends over anyone else.
How are endorsements different than voting on cards during the end-game screens?
The cards shown on the end-game screens are more of hard statistics, highlighting something special about that player: a 20-player kill streak, massive amounts of healing, gold medals, etc. These have to do more with mechanical performance, and like the Sportsmanship endorsements, you can cast a vote for enemy players as well. The difference is that not everyone will get a card at the end of the match, and those usually applaud technical skill. Endorsements still factor in technical skill to an extent — as you can give them to anyone — but they’re based on a more holistic, social view of the team rather than what’s displayed on the cards.
How do you level up your endorsement?
There’s no XP or progress meter for your endorsement level. Simply put, if you want to level up, get more endorsements. Blizzard hasn’t released any details as to how many you need to go up, but it seems to be quite a lot.
The max endorsement level is capped to five, but your rank isn’t permanent. It degrades over time, and can go down faster if you’re reported for bad behavior.
What are the rewards for receiving an endorsement?
Rewards include better queues in the recently released “Looking For Group” option; it allows players to customize parameters for what kind of match they want (competitive, quick play, arcade) with specific roles. Occasionally, you’ll receive some other rewards, but Blizzard hasn’t provided any exact detail as to what those are yet.
What if people are just being “fake nice?”
Well, listen. The endorsement system is new; it’s not perfect. It could be that others are only endorsing you because they want the extra XP. That’s always a possibility. But making the effort to reward players for being positive — for being nice — in a hugely popular multiplayer game? That we can all benefit from.