There is a problem with sounds in Overwatch and it needs to be looked at

Alright, so there’s a pretty serious problem in the game which has to do with the sound mixing/rendering or whatever the correct word for it is. It’s been in the game for a while and I tried to fix it myself having heard about broken windows updates etc. etc. etc. It’s unfixable on the user side and should be looked at by the devs.

Today, following Carter_OW’s reddit post here
I made a simple audio test that anyone can recreate.
here’s a video of it
Nothing special, just standing in stairs trying to hear a training bot’s movement through the walls, the sound weirdly cuts off, which should not be the case.

Then, I heard about the new PTR patch, read the patch notes and decided to download the PTR client just to test out the new changes. So, the PTR was downloaded in my native language (Russian) and weirdly enough, as I loaded the practice range and made the same test as before, the sounds (of the training bot passing by) were there this time around and they weren’t cut off by the walls as they normally SHOULDN’T be.

Then I decided to test the PTR with another language, this time Korean. So I downloaded the new language pack, loaded PTR and entered practice range, now playing in Korean language. I made the same test and the sounds WERE there. Then I closed the practice range and entered it again without closing the PTR client. And boom, the sounds were gone again. Then I closed the PTR client, loaded it again without changing languages (still playing in Korean) and the sounds were gone.
Here’s a video illustrating it

So then, I decided to test the same thing on the live patch, trying to download new languages, but unfortunately it doesn’t work on live. There are no sounds (of the training bot moving) on live patch in any languages.
Here’s a video of a live patch in Korean

TLDR: Sounds in the game are broken. You can’t hear a lot of the sounds that you should be hearing.

You can somewhat “fix” it on PTR by downloading a different language pack but it will only work on an initial launch and an initial loading of a map and will not work any further. You can not fix it on live.

I encourage everyone to run the audio tests of their own, with your friends, on different maps, with different language packs, on PTR, on live and I ask the devs to take a look at this problem. Let’s not make it fly under the devs’ radar because of the new PTR patch and let’s hope it gets fixed soon.


Ugh the struggle with this has been so real. Almost never hearing enemy footsteps when they’re literally on top of you, it’s been driving me crazy. And I’m long past that windows update thing cuz that was months ago, and the issue still persists.

Hi there, thanks to your post we have been able to track down a bug with our occlusion system. This is the system that muffles sounds when they are behind walls. Your example was very easy to reproduce and we found the bug that was introduced while optimizing the system for the Switch release. The calculations were wrong and we were muffling sounds much more than was intended.

This fix is now on our PTR and will come to the live game with the 1.45 patch.


This is quite large indeed

Oh by jove praised it be thy patch.


omg yes thank you finally!!
PRAISE!! :pray:

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Thank you for the quick response and great work, as always!

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would this fix this footstep issue?

no walls!

The replay was identical on a completely clean Windows 10 install (just NVIDIA drivers + Overwatch).
I also tried three different sounds cards and that didn’t affect it either.

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The power of good, clear repro steps, well done!

Has this made it to live yet?

Has this made it to live servers yet?

Hey everyone,

The patch has not been released to Live yet.
We’re currently still on Patch

They mentioned this patch will be brought onto live with the 1.45 Patch, which will most likely be released by next week.

Does anybody know if this is the same “bug” that makes you not able to hear I need healing voice lines nor hit markers?
Thank you!

Uh no, these are completely different. Occlusion is a system that muffles sounds behind walls. Where as communication lines are heard throughout anywhere in the map.

When you cannot hear voicelines such as “I need healing” this could be a instance where the individual is spamming a communication line too much. And the way to combat spamming voicelines in a live match is to quieten the individual who spams for a short period.

Was this fix included in the latest update? Because I’m still having sounds cut out, and there was no mention of this fix in the patch notes either.

This wasn’t clear in the patch notes. And people are still talking about it, they may have had to push it back.

Ugh I just want it fixed, this issue has been driving me nuts for months.

Fix your AI in practice mode…been getting stuck since i started playing the game a year ago. Please just fix this already or delete the practice mode because its a joke for new players when they go in and see this…

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Do not correlate two different topics. Create your own thread, this thread is reserved for occlusion audio bugs, not AI.


Has this bug crept back into the game? I’ve been having silent enemies (no foosteps) almost every game of FFA I’ve played for the last few months at least.