The State of Console-Overwatch

Warning: The entirety of this post is very long. But this is because I want to make sure that I cover every point to a reasonable extent. I’ll do my best to have things organized for the sake of readability for you guys. If you’re only looking to read or respond to a specific point in this, click the corresponding details part(s) in this post.

I understand that I can’t speak for everybody that plays on Console regarding this; I know some of you who play on Console may disagree with me on this, or at least on some of these points. And that’s fine! I’m more than happy to discuss with you as long as counter points are made clear and in a constructive manner. But after reading through this, I think this post will resonate with a good amount of you guys.

Introduction, and my thoughts:

I’m of the belief that OW-Console is in a very sub-optimal state. Sure, it’s not dead; but it certainly has been in a very declining state for a long time. Sure, it’s likely been the case for those of you guys who play on PC as well; even if to a lesser extent. But some of the issues which also apply to PC, are even worse on the Consoles.

I won’t try to beat around the bush here; but, to put simply, there are a plentiful amount of issues regarding OW-Console. To make things worse, none of them have been addressed. Each following block quote is in here for the sake of organization, so each point separation is more clear.

1. There's no Console PTR.

This means our feedback regarding upcoming hero changes can only be looked at from the PC Perspective. That in of itself already creates flaws in a Console Player’s arguments on such changes. Obviously this is because some characters are stronger on Console than PC and vice versa, due to the different control scheme. Like it or not, the game plays vastly differently on the Consoles than it does on PC.

  • I am aware of Jeff’s statement in a thread asking about this in November of this year, in how it’s the PTR that allows for the patches on all versions to stay in sync. I can’t (and won’t try to) speak for everybody on this. But I honestly wouldn’t mind the Consoles being 1 patch behind PC if it meant that the Overwatch Team took the time to:
    • actually think about the consequences of their balance choices on the Consoles before implementing such, (see point 2)
    • and improve the quality of life for players on OW-Console (see point 7)

2. There's next to no Console-specific balancing.

Even despite Blizzard’s promise of such at launch. Now, I would agree that the game isn’t too out of balance on Console, and would also likewise agree that this point could see mixed reception. However, there are definitely some changes that Blizzard can make specifically for the Console platforms to accommodate such. As was stated before, the game plays vastly differently on Consoles; platform-specific changes should be made to accommodate that.

3. The Report System doesn't catch people fast enough.

I’m not saying that it doesn’t work at all, just to prevent confusions; I have personally gotten a couple in-game notifications that my reports resulted in action. What I am saying is that it doesn’t punish the rule breakers fast enough. As a result, people such as throwers can pretty easily run rampant without getting punished at all. In fact, there’s a good chunk of people who play on Console that consistently report people like throwers and griefers; and said throwers/griefers pretty much never get punished for it. Like, really; are our reports even looked at at all? Because it feels like this is pretty much never the case. And don’t even get me started with Console Players having to deal with no Report System of ANY KIND for the first 15 months of this game. At least on the Consoles, the Reporting System needs to be made much more strict so said offenders get punished faster.

4. On the flip side of that, there's no means for Console Players to appeal in-game suspensions.

If we contact Blizzard trying to appeal a suspension, they direct us to MS/Sony. However, MS/Sony don’t handle in-game suspensions; only Console-wide bans. And I’m not referring to either ranked suspensions, or Console-wide bans here. I’m referring specifically to suspensions in-game for things such as Abusive Chat or Inactivity; NOT something like getting disconnected from a ranked game.

  • I’m not sure if I can even think of one instance off-hand where CS actually helped completely resolve an issue regarding OW on Console. Sure, CS may be limited; and I wouldn’t argue with that. But with each IP that gets added to Blizzard’s repertoire, surely Blizzard CS can expand reasonably enough to accommodate for that new IP on every platform that it’s on. Especially with Blizzard having a revenue of $7 Billion as of 2017.

5. Smurfs galore.

And I mean true smurfs; the ones who will throw endlessly just to stomp the lower tiers; not a player that tries on alternate accounts while wanting to learn other heroes. Smurfs can throw near endlessly, and pretty much never get punished for it. This is especially because the Report System doesn’t catch such people (throwers, glitchers, etc.) fast enough (see point 3). Sure, some of the smurfs issue is because of the designs of the Consoles themselves. However, even the enforcement of Suspension Evasion can deter people from doing such. Especially if the Reporting System is made much stricter.

  • Just to explain what suspension evasion is, it’s using an alternate account to bypass a current temporary suspension from the game. It does not apply to permanent bans.

6. M&K users.

And before anyone states it, I will admit that it’s not nearly as rampant as people make it out to be. After all, there are people out there who are absolute monsters with a controller. That isn’t where this issue comes in though. Where this issue comes in, is that a updated, definitive, and decisive answer needs to be made on Blizzard’s end regarding this. Especially with API’s around that can detect, prevent, and/or filter the users of, M&K. Either make it ban-worthy, or support M&K natively and use said API’s to filter them accordingly. Blizzard’s last statement on this Console matter, which was made on January 18th, 2018, is kind of hypocritical, to put it bluntly. Don’t use it, but don’t report it either? This case is NOT something that can possibly go both ways; it’s either one way, or the other in this case.

7. Lack of Quality of Life improvements for OW-Console and for the Console Players.

Sure, some of the bigger items are also true regarding PC. But even some of the smaller QOL items, which are already on PC might I add, are not present with OW-Console. To name some of these, among others:

  • FOV Slider
  • Showing what mode friends are playing in the friends list
    • Are they playing ranked, are they currently queuing, etc.
  • Group Privacy Settings
    • Why is this not on Console? And this has been implemented even in PS3/XB360 games that were released over 3 years before Overwatch was.
  • The ability to hide the chat
    • The commands from the communication wheel, i.e. ult charge/acknowledge, do appear in the chat; this is the chat I’m referring to (it’s the same chat window on PC). It is its own control on PC, but it doesn’t even need to be a Control; it can be a thing just by making it a toggle option in say, the Social sub-menu in Options.
  • Text Chat
    • They can make it so that it opens the Keyboard Interface of the Console. The same thing happens when you are trying to explain why you are reporting someone. And while the Console Keyboard Interface is open, USB Keyboards that are plugged in to a Console DO work; I’ve tested this very thing myself. Apply this same concept for text chat, and you’re good to go. Likewise with separate balancing, I can understand opinions being mixed on this. At least make an available option for such is what I’m trying to say on this.
  • The removal of the region block for languages on OW-Console.
    • If we want to play the game in German, Polish, Korean, Italian, Russian, or either type of Chinese, we would need to purchase the game from those corresponding regions. For those who might not be aware of this, the aforementioned languages, in addition to English, both types of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Japanese are the 13 languages that Overwatch supports overall.
      • And no, this is not on the Console Manufacturers either. This has been asked to them before, and it was answered with the following: "language support is down to the game developers. We have no influence on this."

8. No official E-Sports Representation from Blizzard for the Competitive Console Community.

This speaks for itself, but I’ll explain anyways. No chances for the Competitive Console Community to prove themselves to Blizzard on their own platform means, what is the point of the Competitive Mode on Console to begin with? There’s no end-goal to reach for, so what’s the point of having the competitive mode on the Consoles at all?

  • Seriously, even OWL TEAMS have done a better job than Blizzard when it comes to giving the Competitive Console Community chances to prove themselves on their own platforms; even if that’s still not saying much (case and point, NYXL; in October 2018). And when something like that can be said, there’s obviously something wrong there.
  • It’s also worth to note that I did not mention anything about a Console-specific Overwatch League on purpose. Even I’m aware that something like that is kind of unrealistic. However, just the simplicity for Blizzard to host just a couple of tournaments for the Consoles shows that they do at least care about said Competitive Console Community.

9. And what do I believe is the largest issue regarding OW-Console and its current state?

Well, you’d be surprised to find out that it’s actually not specific to OW-Console in-game. This actually comes down to the Overwatch Development team themselves. NOT in their work habit; but in their own lack of transparency to the Console player-bases.

  • Take a look at all the responses from the Overwatch Development Team that occurred over the course of 2018. How many of those responses occurred regarding something pertaining specifically to Console? The answer to that question is 3. The first was on January 18th; the second was on September 11th (that’s right, almost 8 months later); and the third was on November 1st. I don’t think I really need to state how abysmal that kind of detachment is; especially since OW-team responses regarding other things outnumber their Console issue responses by some 50 to 1.
    • And that’s just in reference to unique topics that they’ve responded to here on the forums; if you want to count overall posts that they have here on the current forums, then it actually outnumbers their Console issue responses here by some 80 to 1 (at the time of this post).
      • The reference to this is the Dev Tracker, used within General Discussion. Each time the Dev Tracker needs to load more posts, it will load 20 more posts. Starting with the first 20, it will load 20 more posts 11 times as you scroll down (220 more posts), and then just a few more at the very bottom, which represents the beginning of the new forums on February 20th, 2018.

I guess as kind of as a tl;dr for this post: #HelpConsoleOverwatch


I’ll be the first to say thank you for summing up the problems that Console-OW has. There really seems to be very little consideration given towards us as a console players, especially when it comes to balancing. I have problems with certain heroes on console because they’re just not balanced correctly on the platform, despite what PC players may say. I’m not attacking PC-OW by any means, I just feel there’s an entire other half to the community that is being slightly ignored and needs a little more love from the developers.


No problem!

As someone who’s been on the forum for 2 years now, I’ve seen first-hand just how much the detachment between the Overwatch Team and the Console communities has grown to be. Even I’m not one who would ask for a daily response; but some form of consistent communication, such as weekly community updates, can go a very long way to keep people further engaged in the game.

And I haven’t exactly been one to show fear when it comes to expressing criticisms.


I really want to see language packs on console version. Buy another version is not option cuz PC players can change it for free.


If the OW-Team doesn’t want to help, then stop updating the game on the Consoles. Period, end of story.

Until that happens though, you should probably be more constructive than that. Posts like that don’t contribute anything to this discussion, and only serve to give other PC Players a bad name that said other PC Players don’t deserve. If you want to disagree with my points provided, that’s fine; I won’t argue that. Maybe justify why you disagree with them (outside of ‘BeCaUsE wE pLaY oN cOnSoLe 4Head’) and maybe we can have a reasonable and friendly discussion. :thinking:

Exactly. Like, even making it an option in-game would work just fine. It’s not like it can’t be done; after all, I’ve seen it implemented even in PS3 games (even though it’s to a smaller extent).


Jesus, I was gonna break this down, but I agree with this almost entirely


I created a thread sometime ago, you can check it if you want :grinning:


blizz doesn’t care about their own game so is it surprising they don’t care about console? if they cared about console they would balance around console. separate changes from PC. Tracer is a problem, genji is a problem, pharah was a problem for the longest for most ppl. Smurfs is a huge problem since ppl can create endless account for free. I have one smurf where I was going to flex, and whenever I switched to tracer the other team couldn’t do much but watch me blink all over their team. it’s really unfair but I don’t think much can be done.

Not all of us have $1000+ to spend on a pc/laptop for gaming. I love how people constantly degrade console players for their choice in platform when oftentimes the only reason people play on console is because they just don’t have the money for better options.


PS4 has most of the best games from the last 2 years.

As exclusives, and they are amazing.

Persona 5 alone was worth getting a PS4.


Lmao, as if pc feedback mattered. Ptr is just a heads up, that’s all it is.

This reminded me how great P5 was. I can’t wait for Joker to be in Smash

Heck yeah! I fell of the face of the planet for 130 hours after it’s launch. (on 1 play through haha)

Yup, overwatch as a whole has been going downhill, but console overwatch, like wow😭

(Jelly is on Xbox).

Nice work on the thread, very nice❤️


I play on both the PC and Xbox. Look at my profile, I have almost exactly the same amount of levels on both. I’d like to weigh in on this.

I absolutely detest the idea of console specific balancing. You say a few times that console gameplay is vastly different, but in my experience this is untrue. I really like how the heroes play mostly the same no matter where I’m playing. The only console specific balance I could get behind is nerfs to the turret lock-on times, and even then only slight ones.

As far as m+k on consoles, I really wish Blizzard would just add native support for them as well. It would eliminate the desire for console specific balancing anyway. “But what if I still want to use a controller?” Nobody is stopping you from doing that, but you’ll have to live with the consequences of that decision. Your bad decisions are not a valid reason for Blizzard to continue to (poorly) enforce an arbitrary restriction like that.

Most everything else I can agree with, especially the lack of any support for the competitive system on consoles. I wasn’t aware OWL teams were doing things with this, do you have more information about that?

Yeah, the first bit regarding no Console-specific balancing I could understand that there’d be mixed opinions on it (which is fine, of course!). I omitted possibilities for that on purpose just to prevent this thread from being deterred into a “Console-specific balance” topic.

Regarding this, there’s only 1 instance that I can think of off hand (of course, that case was NYXL’s). The only things I know regarding it can be found here. It was unfortunately only for PS4 users (sorry XB1 players!), but was an FFA Tournament with a customized NYXL PS4 setup as the top prize. The tournament started in August, and ended in October.

  1. Call console modes beta.
    It will allow for faster, and more frequent, updates.
    (See Fortnite.)
    But PTR isn’t for finding flaws. It’s just letting people play the updates before they come out.

  2. Exactly what characters are different in console vs PC.
    One of the big things I see many people say is that Pharmercy is big in low-level console comp.
    I am in low-level console comp.
    I rarely see Pharmercy.

  3. I report people twice - once through Blizzard and once through Xbox. People might not like it, but it’s more likely that the person who did the bad thing will get some sort of punishment that way.

  4. I haven’t had that happen, so I can’t quite talk about it. But is unfair that it seems that people keep pushing blame. I do know that just because a company might have a high revenue, that doesn’t mean that they can spend all that money or that they even have it.

  5. I think part of the reason is that console players can just keep making free accounts, as where PC users have to pay. I think OW would need to make it so only a certain number of accounts can sign up with each game before having to buy a new copy. (IE - Each game supports 5 home base accounts, as in it was the game you first started playing on. But once you’ve created an account, you can play on other games.)

  6. It is silly that they would say ‘this is bad, but don’t do anything about it’ :confused:

  7. A. I don’t know about PSP, but on Xbox (as long as they haven’t hidden their status), you can tell what they are doing - if they are in an arcade mode, queing, comp…
    B. I don’t think needing to hide chat is a big of an issue as it in PC, because there is no text chat.
    C. If you’re going to make it so you can use a keboard to have text chat, then I think KB+M support would have to go hand in hand with that. Personally, I think there should be an option to have speech-to-text, so what you say in the mic can also be said in the chat, so people without mics can see it too. (Because it’s really annoying to start shot calling, only to realize that nobody else is on voice chat :/)
    D. That would be nice. Don’t know why it’s not an option.

  8. I don’t know if it’s the right option right now. There are many who don’t like OWL as it is, and I don’t know how many console users there even are. I do think a little more recognition would be nice, though. Because being told that my opinions are less simply because I play on console isn’t cool.

  9. Compared to PC? How many of the responses to PC members are actually quality, and not ‘Torb does like pjs’? I also don’t see as many boards about console issues.

1 => That’s an option worth considering too.

2 => I think Ana and Hammond could be made just a little stronger on Console. Obviously these are only my opinion and is to be taken with a grain of salt. As I posted earlier, I had omitted possibilities for such on purpose simply to prevent this from becoming deterred specifically into a “Console-specific balance” topic.

3 => On the PS4 side, Sony doesn’t handle anything that happens in-game to my knowledge. So there’s only one means in this case. Granted, I likewise rarely report people. But that’s likely because I avoid competitive myself.

4 => Even if there’s just 1 or 2 people in each region that specializes in certain IP’s on all platforms, that honestly would go a long way. I obviously don’t know how many CSA’s Blizzard has. But even having just a couple can make a difference.

5 => Hence my proposal of enforcing suspension evasion. An alternate account shouldn’t be ban-worthy just because it was made. There’s no mal-intent with such by itself. But if it’s being used to evade a current temporary suspension that that player has, then it should be enforced accordingly (such as via permanently suspending that player’s alt that they used to evade). If the report system was made much stricter alongside that, it would certainly deter some people from doing it. It may not solve the smurf problem entirely (but let’s face it, nothing realistic will do that), but it is a more fair way to handle it.

6 => Yeah. It is simply just something that can’t be going both ways anymore.

7 =>
A. On PS4, it will only tell you that [account username] is playing Overwatch. It doesn’t say what mode, if they’re queuing, etc. It’s worth noting that this is not the case for other Multiplayer games on the platform, such as Black Ops 4 and Warframe. Those games show which mode a user is in as well, so it’s only Overwatch doing that.
B. Since we can already hear the comm wheel voicelines (under normal circumstances), I wouldn’t see an issue with being able to hide the chat. It also would allow us to avoid seeing comm wheel spam (such as people spamming ‘thanks!’ after they die when the game is close to done…). Those comm wheel lines use the same chat as text chat, after all.
C. Right, so it doesn’t have to be mandatory (I should’ve probably mentioned that). Speech to text would certainly be great as well.

8 => Said possible tournaments for Console would’ve been perfect to do while in the off-season. If anything, at least to acknowledge them and give them a chance. Especially since lack of time is not a valid answer for Blizz to give in this regard.

9 => Compared to overall. If counting only quality posts, I counted 48 to 1 for the exact ratio (144 to 3). Of course, that does depend on your definition of ‘quality’, since it varies from person to person. To answer your other bit though, it’s likely because not a lot of Console players have a account linked to their PSN/XBL account. Or it could also be because they don’t want to make any posts on the forums either. There’s a good amount of conclusions that can be drawn for that.

1 Like
  1. Forum members treat nonPC players like dirt

the only problem with console is that there’s less dedication to the game and the gameplay is so underwhelming it frustrating just to play most characters to a high skill ceiling