Blizzard Entertainment is bringing cross-platform play to Overwatch, a long-requested update that will enable multiplayer between Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Cross-play in Overwatch is powered by the latest update to Battle.net, Blizzard’s online multiplayer infrastructure, the game developer said Wednesday.
Overwatch is also playable via backward compatibility on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, and those players will also be welcomed into the hero shooter’s new cross-play future.
To take part in Overwatch’s cross-play feature, players must have a Battle.net account and link it to their console accounts on PlayStation, Switch, or Xbox. The global update also merges Battle.net friends lists from different territories (with the exception of China) into a unified list, Blizzard said, “so players no longer need to switch regions in Battle.net just to play with buddies on the other side of the planet.”
In fact, Blizzard said in an FAQ, with the addition of cross-play, all Overwatch players will need to set up a Battle.net account or connect to an existing Battle.net account to play the game, regardless of whether or not they want to partake in cross-play.
Blizzard also said that cross-play support for Overwatch will not mean cross-progression. Your level and cosmetics won’t carry over between platforms.
Cross-play will be available in all Overwatch game modes, but Blizzard is limiting how cross-play works in the game’s Competitive mode. Players on console will be matched with each other, while PC players will only be matched with other PC players when playing competitive mode. Overwatch players will be able to opt out of cross-play, but they’ll only be matched with other players who have opted out, decreasing the pool of available matches.
Overwatch’s cross-play beta will launch “soon,” Blizzard said, on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Windows PC, and Xbox. Game director Aaron Keller offered additional details on cross-play in a developer update video Wednesday, which you can watch above.
Blizzard is currently making Overwatch 2. The sequel will feature a larger emphasis on cooperative PvE play, will introduce a new game mode, and will shake up team sizes and compositions. It will also welcome a new hero to the roster, Sojourn.