Blizzard has finally confirmed they will be implementing something they promised for Overwatch. Back around the time of Overwatch‘s launch, talk of making high bandwidth servers the default option for PC players. It has been a long time coming but Blizzard is not implementing support for this feature across all modes of play.
Previously, in May there was a lot of discussion regarding what effects Overwatch‘s tickrate could have on the game and its responsiveness. This feature was available in the Custom Game mode only, Blizzard was hesitant to implement it elsewhere without first doing extensive testing.
“When we implemented the ‘High Bandwidth’ option to Custom Games back in beta, we also noted that–if the feature performed well and players responded positively to it–we would investigate adding it to other games modes,” a Blizzard forum post reads. “We’re holding to that promise and are currently in the process of rolling out high bandwidth support globally for PC. This process may take a few weeks for all regions, but once fully deployed all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will be running in high bandwidth mode by default.”
Before this development, the main game would see the server update at 60 Hz and the client at 20.8 Hz. With the high-bandwidth option in effect, the client’s update rate will jump from 21 times per second to 63. Essentially meaning, the time between a player hitting a button and the action resolving will be cut down by two thirds. Blizzards goal is to make Overwatch feel more responsive and solid, while keeping the free flowing feeling the game already has.
Blizzard also hopes to address some potential issues that may emerge due to this new feature. Just in case your internet connection can’t keep up, some new tech Blizzard is throwing into an update will automatically scale down your client’s update rate. Users will also have the option of limiting update rates to help reduce the increased amount of bandwidth usage.
At this time, the high bandwidth option will only be available on PC. Blizzard has already stated they are exploring how to bring it to consoles. In other Overwatch news, Blizzard plans to release the next Overwatch short film later this week.