Box art - Overwatch

Overwatch cross-play is coming, but it’s not everything fans wanted

Blizzard has announced that Overwatch is finally being updated to allow for cross-platform play. This has been one of the most requested features since the game first released, and many fans were excited to hear it was being implemented. Unfortunately, other fans are left disappointed with the news. That’s because Overwatch cross-play seems to come at the expense of cross-progression. Here’s a look at how the new system works and the tricky rules that may take you by surprise.

How does Overwatch cross-play work?

Overwatch cross-play cross-progression: Do ranks and cosmetics carry over?

Overwatch cross-platform play works mostly the same as cross-play in other games. After updating the game software, players on console and PC will be able to join matches and play against one another.

This is big news, since it’s the first time console players can join matches with their buddies playing on PC. Even better, Overwatch cross-play includes support for cross-platform chat and messaging.

There are a few notable rules to the system, of course. Here are the major highlights as outlined on the official Overwatch website:

  • Cross-play is enabled for all game modes except Competitive
    • Competitive pools are split between PC players and console players
  • PC players cannot join the console matchmaking pool, even if they use a controller
  • Aim assist is enabled in all console-vs-console matches, but disabled in any match with a PC player present
  • Console players can disable cross-play to match only with players on their specific platform
  • PC players cannot disable cross-play

Following the update, Overwatch cross-play will be enabled across all available platforms. That includes PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

Overwatch cross-progression: Do ranks and cosmetics carry over?

Unfortunately, there is no cross-progression mechanic in Overwatch. Though cross-play allows you to jump into matches with players on other platforms, your progress will only count toward the system you’re playing on.

In other words, if you rank up or earn new cosmetics playing on Switch, that progress will not carry over to PC. The two accounts will remain distinct, despite them both being linked to your profile.

It’s nice that Overwatch finally has cross-platform play, but the lack of cross-progression is disappointing. Even if you can play with your friends on other platforms, your ranks and cosmetics will not carry over between devices. Be sure to join matches on your main platform if you intend to climb ranks or unlock new gear.