Box art - Overwatch

Ovewatch Role Queue | Release date, how it works, and more

After months of rumors and leaks, the Overwatch Role Queue has finally been officially confirmed by Blizzard. It’s a big change, one that will rock the game to its core. Being such a fundamental upheaval, it’s easy to wonder how it’ll all work along with the Overwatch Role Queue release date for each platform. It’s a little complicated, but it’s not too difficult, given how extensively Blizzard has detailed it.

Ovewatch Role Queue | Release date

The Overwatch Role Queue release date is different for its unique phases. It is currently out right now on the PTR on PC so you can download the patch and start playing right away. It’s also got some pretty heavy balance changes for a few of the heroes, which is necessary given how they can’t stack like they used to

The current competitive season will end earlier than usual and there will be a two-week Role Queue Beta Season from August 13 to September 1. And, according to Jeff Kaplan, this will hit the PS4 and Xbox One as well. For once, console owners will get to test something before it goes fully live. Then it will go live across Quick Play and Competitive on September 1 just in time for Season 18.

It’ll have a different start day for the Overwatch League, too. They’ll have full access for Stage 4 which starts on Thursday, July 25.

Ovewatch Role Queue | How will it work?

overwatch role queue

Instead of queuing like normal, you’ll be tasked with picking one of the three classes. From there, you’ll be dropped into a game where you can only pick heroes from that pool. For example, if you pick Support before the match, you’ll only be able to pick Ana, Mercy, Moira, Baptiste, Zenyatta, and Brigitte.

Queue times will mostly be dependent on how many players are going for a specific role. There will even be an estimated time for each role and less filled roles will incentivize players with rewards like free loot boxes. Players will also be matched on a per-role basis, meaning if you’re a better Tank, you’ll be matched with better players and if you’re a worse Support, you’ll be matched with lower rank players. Basically, it’s not just one rank anymore that determines who you play against.

Ovewatch Role Queue | Can I still play without Role Queue?

Yes, you will be able to play Overwatch without the Role Queue if you’d like. However, you’ll have to dig for it just a bit. There will be an option in the Arcade called “Quick Play Classic.” This will revert the game back to having anyone pick whatever class they’d like (but still no hero doubles as that — No Hero Limits — is a separate mode). This will even count towards the Arcade loot boxes wins. But the Overwatch Role Queue will also not affect Arcade mode either since it is own separate, less competitive beast.

But speaking of, you will not be able to play without Role Queue in competitive play. Given the competitive roots for this change, you’ll have to go 2-2-2.

Ovewatch Role Queue | How does it work for Competitive?

overwatch role queue

There will actually be three different SR rankings between one and 5,000 for Competitive play: one for Tank, one for Support, and one for Damage. The game can more accurately determine your skill level this way since it won’t be this hodge podge of all the classes rolled up into one number. Your matchmaking will be tied to what class you pick before a match like Quick Play.

However, this is after the five placement matches for each class you’ll need to do. This is down from 10 from the old seasons but more if you do your placement matches for each of the three classes. Any one of the placement matches will get you the season-specific spray and player icon.

You can also potentially get more CR points at the end of the season since you’ll get points based on each ranking. These are:

Skill TierBeforeAfterNew Total
Bronze652575
Silver12550150
Gold250100300
Platinum500200600
Diamond750300900
Master12004501350
Grandmaster17506501950

There will also be four leaderboards: one for each class and one combined one. You have to complete 25 games (down from 50) to be eligible for it. Players in the top 500 will get another player icon and animated spray.