Is There Any RNG in Overwatch?

Note: I’m talking about gameplay within actual matches and not anything else.

After you queue into a game and everyone has chosen their heroes, what RNG are you actually facing? Obviously, you don’t know who you will be teamed up with or who your enemies are, but those are still technically chosen under an algorithm. The randomness is determined by the players choosing to queue and not by the game.

When it comes to hero weapons, abilites, and ultimates, there is little RNG involved. The one that immediately comes to mind is weapon spread. If I remember correctly, the only weapon with spread that is not random is Orisa who has the same spread no matter what.

Other than that, I can’t think of any true RNG in the game. Bugs, like Sombra’s hack breaking or unknown factors like where Moira’s orb is going to bounce are NOT RNG.

Bugs are not intended features, and therefore don’t trigger through RNG as there is not any deliberate code in place for it to happen.

Moira’s Orbs have set paths on where they will go. If anyone has played Peggle™, you know about the Super Guide ability that allows you to see where your next few balls will travel. Imagine if Moira’s Orb had this invisible line that travelled from Moira and ricocheted off the walls, ceiling, and floor. It would be constantly changing as you moved your crosshair, constantly telling the orb where it was going until you released the ability, in which it will follow its set path.

I know people joke about it, but I thought I would mention Pharah’s Ultimate. Getting killed while using her ultimate, or any ultimate for that matter, is NOT RNG.

It is under the discretion of Pharah and the enemies on how they want to react to the situation at hand. Player choice is NOT RNG.

I can not think of a single gameplay mechanic that runs off RNG except weapon spread.

•Pinpoint hitscan is all player aim

•Projectiles, whether shot or are abilites, follow set paths, even when bouncing off surfaces

•Player choice in regards to situations are not randomly generated by the game

•Any bugs are not intended and thus do not have any programmed RNG

• Wrecking Ball’s mines, I believe, always follow the same layout. (?)

As far as I can tell, no weapons, abilites or ultimates run off randomness aside from any weapon spread.

Your friendly neighborhood Support Otter



The only RNG is the teammates you get paired with and put against.

And shotgun pellet spread


this was actually addressed, at least on Reaper

not sure on Roadhog or… maybe Ashe’s Coachgun?

Reaper’s spread is MUCH more consistent after an update, not sure if it actually is RNG at all anymore, actually, maybe very minute but not enough to make it noteworthy

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I already mentioned this as not RNG as it actually comes down to when players decide to queue, in which the game puts them into the first game within range of their skill level.

I also already mentioned Weapon spread as RNG.

and im agreeing in case people think otherwise.

just to put it out there even the algorithm that gives you a random number doesn’t generate an actual random number it takes a number (seed) and runs it through the formula and returns the result so if you use the same seed multiple times you alway get the same number (if you don’t specify a seed usually it uses the current unix timestamp as the seed)
so if you don’t count the people you get matched up with as random you can’t count anything in the game as random because everything is created through formulas that always give the same results (given the circumstances ofc)

Well, human players are random in their behavior, your teammates, your enemies and yourself.

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yes, but that isnt what OP is referring to. OP was referring to RNG specifically. the players are not generated numbers so they are disqualified from the original question.

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Yes, the people you get matched with are random; however, if I count them as random, then everything in every match is random and that isn’t what I was trying to talk about in the post.

EDIT: And even then, I’m talking strictly “in-game” mechanics pertaining to the heroes and the objective.

I already mentioned not counting player behavior as that is not Overwatch creating the randomness.

People often use RNG and ‘random’ interchangeably, so I just assume that OP talks about randomness in general. He even touches on this matter in his first paragraph, but doesn’t go further than the mere choice of players.

Well, the interesting thing is that the random factor of human agency interacts variably with different aspects of the game. For example, the random aspect caused by human behavior on a basic hitscan weapon is much smaller than on an ability with rather complex mechanics (from a programming viewpoint) like Moira’s orb (or Hanzo’s scatter arrow back in the day)

maybe Winston’s tesla cannon? im not sure how it works with multiple targets and how its decided where the arc’s go.

I might be wrong, but isn’t actually just an AOE attack in a cone, but with a visual cue that shows as if it latches on to people?

Any under the hood secure data transfer of your password etc, makes use of a random number generator. A very good one too

none of that causes any of the weapons or abilities to behave randomly. perhaps unpredictably, but not random.

Well, randomness is defined as ‘the lack of pattern or predictability in events’. :man_shrugging:

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We could go back and forth about the randomness of humans and their interactions with the different stimuli within each different match, but that was already assumed from the start.

Every player will react differently given different stimuli, so obviously the fickleness of humans becomes a factor; however, the point of this post was to talk strictly on programmed RNG within the game to see if there was anything that was truly out of control by either team and any player.

Winston’s Tesla Cannon is a cone-shaped AoE attack. The arc to other enemies is determined by the position of the player(s) in reference to the player being electrocuted already.

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ok, then ignore what I said :stuck_out_tongue:

yes but RNG (random number generation) has a very different definition that does not apply to human behavior. thats what OP is asking for, if anyone knows of actual RNG utilized by weapons or abilities in game

Wait. Is this sarcasm?

alright then that exhaust’s the only ability i can think of that might. other than maybe shotguns.