The Overwatch cross-play beta started and you’ll need a linked Battle.net account
[Update: Blizzard now supports cross-play in Overwatch — in beta form, at least!
Using a linked Battle.net account, players on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch can play Overwatch together in Quick Play, Arcade, and Custom games, though there are caveats and restrictions for Ranked matches (for example, PC-on-PC only).
Overwatch also has a limited-time Ashe’s Deadlock Challenge running right now with a legendary look up for grabs. You’ve only gotta play 27 games. “Only.” That said, each win counts as double, so you might be able to just power through it.]
The dream of Overwatch cross-play support is becoming a reality — but have you already moved on from the game? Or are you holding out for cross-progression?
Under the new setup, which will be publicly beta-tested and will also ask players to link up a Battle.net account with their Overwatch-playing console of choice, everyone will be able to play together. That means PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch players can go head-to-head or team up. This is a very long time coming.
There are a few steps to run through, even if you aren’t interested in cross-play.
If you’re an Overwatch PC player, you don’t need to do anything extra since, well, you already have a Battle.net account. If you’re on a console, you will need to create a Battle.net account if you don’t already have one, and then link it.
You can see the full linking steps here, but basically: you’ll be able to launch Overwatch, use a text code or a QR code in conjunction with this pairing page, log into Battle.net to “finalize the connection,” and then relaunch the game. If you do these steps by December 31, 2021, you’ll get one Golden Loot Box on every linked platform.
There’s a fair amount of minutia with Overwatch cross-play — your Blizzard Battletag will show up in matches, voice chat is supported across platforms, Competitive will not match console and PC players, and “console aim-assist will be disabled by default if you group up with a PC player to equalize play during the match.” There are also considerations for things like account bans on one platform versus another, the Top 500 leaderboards, and the remainder of ranked Season 28, which you can read about in that linked blog’s FAQ.
It’s also worth noting that you can opt-out of using cross-play on consoles (it will be toggled on by default), and it’ll “likely” impact queue times. That said, “PC players cannot opt-out of cross-play,” according to Blizzard.
As for the million-dollar “cross-progression when?” question, Blizzard recognizes that players want it, and they’re “excited to work on [it] in the future.”