Update: 11/17/2022, 3:20 p.m. ET: In today’s Overwatch 2 patch notes, Blizzard announced crossplay games will now have aim assist enabled for console players in all matches except for competitive matches with PC players. “In our data, we found many groups were crossplay groups between PC and console players,” Craig Simpson, an Overwatch 2 community manager, wrote in the game’s official forums. “This meant if you were playing on console and grouping with players on PC, you were opting into a bad experience for yourself to play with your friends. Also, if you had a group that was primarily console, but one of your friends was a PC player, you had to leave the PC player out to have a good experience.” Simpson reiterated that aim assist is only available for console players. The original article continues below:
While Blizzard was preoccupied with effectively turning Overwatch 2 “off and back on again” last night and accidentally made a third of its heroes temporarily unplayable in an effort to deal with issues impacting just two, players have taken umbrage with another part of the troubled hero shooter: the disabling of aim assists for console players in crossplay matches with others on PC.
Back in June of 2021, Blizzard announced that Overwatch was getting crossplay, allowing players on PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox to play together. While its implementation did some good by letting players push the payload together across platforms, one Redditor has noted that there’s a key drawback in the crossplay experience for console players. Yesterday, Redditor KellySweetHeart made a post on the r/Overwatch subreddit highlighting how crossplay disables aim assists for console players during matches with PC players, leading to a “significant dip in their aim consistency” and ruining the fun for all involved.
“For some, it’s just an obstacle, but others just find less enjoyment out of the game being disadvantaged this way,” KellySweetHeart said in the post. “It’s a total bummer because PC players already perform better on average, so it hits like a double whammy.”
KellySweatheart told Kotaku that this has been an issue for players since crossplay was implemented in 2021, but that it’s now causing renewed frustration as interest in the game has surged again following the release of OW2.
“People don’t understand that disabling aim assist for some players makes them utterly useless in the PC Pool and it’s directly reflected in their game stats when they play,” he told Kotaku.
While the reasoning behind auto-aim being disabled could be hand-waved away as a means to make competitive play fair between console and PC players, other Redditors chimed in, saying it shouldn’t matter because competitive modes can’t be played in crossplay anyway. This gave credence to many of the Redditors replying to KellySweetHeart’s post to champion the argument that aim assists should be enabled during OW2’s quickplay games, since the folks there are only playing for fun in the first place.
“If they aren’t going to do that then at the very least let console players plug a M&K into their consoles and just matchmake via input device. (Other games do this just fine),” one Redditor wrote.
“Imagine playing any shooter, but instead of a mouse, you are given a flight simulator joystick to use to try and aim. That’s how it feels to play on controller without any aim assist,” another said.
“I had no idea this was a thing going into PC lobbies and now it explains why the characters I play always feel ‘off’ when I play with my PC friends,” wrote another Redditor.
Some folks on Twitter also voiced their displeasure at auto-aim being disabled for console players in crossplay.
“Overwatch 2 having cross play enabled by default but controller players getting no aim assist of any kind is fucked up lol,” one Twitter user said.
“I just realized with Overwatch 2, if you play cross platform it punishes console players by disabling aim assist for them in pc lobbies. Usually it’s the other way around lmao,” wrote another Twitter user.
“The biggest issue I have with #Overwatch2 is the lack of aim assist when playing in PC lobbies. I am done playing with my friends on PC after today. Really love cross play in this game, soooooo fun,” another Twitter user said, capping off their tweet with this emoji →🤦♂️.
It would be economically out-of-touch, to put it mildly, to suggest that players encountering this issue simply buy a PC. Nonetheless, KellySweetHeart, seemingly anticipating that some readers might suggest this, nipped the retort in the bud in an edit to his post, saying the reason why he and his friends don’t up and buy PCs is that they can’t afford to.
“The hundreds or thousands of USD they would need to invest in a rig that can run OW2 compared to the PS5 valued at MSRP would be the difference of several months of bills,” KellySweetHeart said.
He added that being unable to purchase a PC doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to enjoy playing OW2 with friends, and that players shouldn’t be “segregated based on how expensive their hardware is.”
And to those who might think that aim assist would be some overpowered advantage for console players if it were implemented in crossplay matches, KellySweetHeart thinks otherwise. “As far as aim assist goes mechanically speaking, it operates very well [in Overwatch 2] and is way more subtle compared to other games with crossplay enabled and I think that gives the game more competitive grit,” he told Kotaku.
Kotaku reached out to Blizzard for comment.