Why is the quiet enemy footsteps still a thing?


Why can a reaper who is supposed to have the loudest footsteps in the game get within 5 meter distance and 2shot people before anybody can even hear him? Why can this happen multiple times simply because you’re unable to hear the footsteps sounds so he gets a free flank? Why does the same happen to deadly enemies like mccree?

How come I can still hear enemies above me on a platform having a rave party with zero difficulty, but enemies right next to me are soundless assassins that can get within breathing distance and then you are dead?

The lack of footstep sounds has been apparent since summer patch 2017 but nothing has been done to it. Maybe the sfx just gets covered by other sounds of battle, but the sfx should be really apparent. Please fix this blizzard, I’d like to be aware of my surroundings and not get surprised every time a reaper suddenly shoots at the back of my head. It gets very apparent when you’re used to track footsteps till 2017 and then suddenly they’re all quiet like a mouse.

Or is this an intentional buff to dps that won’t ever be fixed? Because supports and tanks certainly don’t benefit from soundless footsteps, theirs are just as loud as ever.

Maybe the volley sound effect drowned out mei footsteps, we don’t ever know but fact is Reaper is just as quiet. If volley sound effects somehow keeps drowning out all footsteps sounds with the loud sfx, then that seems like bad design as Zen is supposed to be aware of flanks so he can counter them and not being able to charge volley when you anticipate flanks is counterproductive. Enemies should have to sneak to be this quiet and not walk normally in order to not be heard at all.

MAJOR Game-Breaking Audio Issues! :loud_sound:
[MEGATHREAD] Can You Hear the Audio Issues? I Bet You Can! :mute:
More weird audio volume and footsteps issues
[MEGATHREAD] Can You Hear the Audio Issues? I Bet You Can! :mute:

I and others have been posting about this issue, there really seems to be some kind of strange audio issue happening in the game recently that’s causing the audio prioritization to act weird. Here’s my post:


Als pharah can fly over you head and you cant hear her


That too. You may hear the booster sounds but you won’t hear the jets at all.

Suddenly surprise flank barrage from behind. Always.


Oh wow, I swear I thought it was just me. Even uninstalled and reinstalled the game recently because it just seemed so impossible that I kept being killed by Reaper when he was RIGHT NEXT TO ME. I should’ve heard him coming long before he got to where he was. Swore it had to be something wrong with my game.


You might want to post about this in the Bug forums too, just to be sure. I really don’t think anyone at Blizzard is aware of this issue, even though multiple people have been posting about it intermittently throughout the last 2 weeks.


Huh, I’ve never had a problem hearing enemies, especially Pharah, Reaper, or Mei.


Why can’t my team turn around and kill Reaper after I tell them repeatedly he is behind them… on every single push. And they just keep aiming forward as he walks up to each one of them in turn, and gives them the Lincoln lobotomy?


This has always been my hugest gripe with the game and I’ve mentioned it quite a few times. There might as well be no footstep audio in the game. The game has to be dead silent to even get the faintest hint of your team mates running. The only character who should be silent is Zenyatta (but you can hear is orbs) and Sombra cause… well, that’s Sombra’s thing.


I can hear them just fine. Try turning off voice comms so you don’t have people screaming the whole match.


I don’t have a problem hearing footsteps when I use a headset, but I do have a problem hearing some enemy heros’ footsteps when I use speakers.


I’ve noticed this problem for a couple months. It’s most notable with Reaper and Pharah. Reaper silently walking up, or Pharah getting behind your team and ulting. I use a headset and always keep an ear out for flankers/enemies. I have over 1,500 hours in Team Fortress 2 and the paranoia ingrained in me from dealing with Spies will probably never leave. I used to be able to hear Pharah and Reaper just fine before so something definitely happened.


It seems to depend on who you’re playing that will determine which enemies you can/can’t hear well. When I play Widow I can’t hear Mei (which means surprise freeze death), when I’m Hanzo I can’t hear McCree (which means surprise flashbang death).

But in general it seems audio prioritization has gone buggy. Check out this video, I trip a venom mine but there’s no sound effect at all… Then a Hanzo runs along next to me and you can barely hear his footsteps, but the Widow a few meters ahead shooting her machine gun is loud as all get out.


I don’t use voice as I just play on quickplay anyway, so it’s not that voice comms drown out the sound effects.

It’s either other sound effects such as zenyatta charging volley sfx drowning out even more important sounds like footsteps due to garbage sound prioritisation or the enemy footstep are just too quiet. Such as in the video that I linked where Mei has no footsteps at all that could be heard. I only have sound effects at max, other volumes are a lot lower so I could hear the sounds but no dice. I hear and instantly react to multiple sounds, like yesterday morning I heard a charge sound from outside my field of vision and fortified it as orisa and sure enough, it was a rein trying to flank and charge at me, trying to be sneakier about it than before.

Reaper and mccree? Might as well be quieter than genji. But you can actually hear genji and hanzo’s tiptaps and tracer blinks and every single high heeled char. Not pharah jets, not mccree’s nor reaper’s heavy footsteps even if they are loud to yourself. And I use HyperX Cloud II Headset too.

I’ve played since xmas 2016 and it didn’t use to be a thing, since sometime in the summer or something that changed it for the worse. And I haven’t messed with my computer sound settings either.


Exactly, this issue is new and started happening sometime within the past few months, I never noticed it as a problem before. I’m thinking a bug must have been introduced in a recent patch that’s causing the audio priority to get all messed up, causing some footsteps to be inaudible and others to be super loud and easy to hear.

It’s interesting that this is happening to you on PC, this is happening to me on PS4 and I’ve checked the sound on different devices (Sennheiser headphones, laptop, TV 5.1 soundbar, smartphone, etc.) and the issue is the same. That this is happening across platforms suggests that the problem is platform/device agnostic, so I’m thinking there definitely is some issue with the game programming itself.


I’m pretty certain I’ve had this thing happening since summer 2017, because I can recall complaining about this issue way back then. It’s not a recent issue, it’s an old issue they haven’t bothered to fix. I’m not the only one either who has noticed this since then.


Really? Geez that’s a pretty serious problem to have going on for that long. Maybe I only started noticing because of the characters I started playing recently and the specific situations I was in? I only started playing the game last year and mostly played Tracer/Symmetra/Widow for the longest time and they don’t get flanked often, so maybe that’s why I didn’t notice until recently.


Yep, and Hanzo is still super stealthy, although he is now the most “dangerous” hero.


I play zenyatta a lot and he’s important to be aware of enemy flankers and I usually notice someone like tracer or genji or in the video I posted, Mei. But reaper continues to be the bane of my existence, it’s impossible to hear him and then im suddenly 2shot from behind. Nobody else hears him too, me and my team’s mercy at the back are blissfully oblivious to Reapers existence on the kill cam every single time and I see he’s not crouching either, he’s just plain walking within breathing distance and shooting me. Reaper is not all that common on quickplay and basically every single match with a good reaper, I can’t hear him approach and I’m shot from behind without failure.

Pharah is another who’s somehow silent aside from boosters and it’s always a flanking barrage, every single time and it’s annoying to not hear such an important sound because she certainly won’t be within my normal line of sight.

I’m not sure if zen’s volley sfx drowns out every other sound effect, but it seems to be that way because I also use it a lot. It definitely should not be a detriment to myself if I shoot things.


If you can’t her Reaper you either have to up your volume or check your ears.