Last month, Blizzard announced it would introduce a new, high-bandwidth netcode for Overwatch. That update is now live.
For the uninitiated, this update will increase the number of times the server records players’ actions from 21 times per second to 63, vastly improving the game’s responsiveness. Before, shots could take just a fraction of a second too long to register, which then lead to deaths which seemed to have happened unjustly. Now, the game should feel faster and more accurate, meaning players are less likely to be shot around corners.
Custom games in Overwatch (played outside the game’s normal matchmaking) have had the high-bandwidth option for a while. But with the rollout of high-bandwidth netcode to everyone who plays Overwatch, Blizzard has also developed an algorithm which will detect your computer’s connection speed and automatically adjust the netcode to make sure your internet connection can handle the number of updates it’s getting from the server.
You can watch the team at Blizzard more thoroughly explain what the update means using cups with Pharah stickers on them in the video below. As a reminder, though Overwatch is playable for free on consoles this weekend, the high-bandwidth netcode is not yet available on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
As a dedicated Roadhog player, I’m not sure if this will mean more or fewer Chain Hooks now (the video used a Chain Hook in their example of things that might not hit as frequently, but we’ll see!). In general, though, a more accurate response time is more fair to everyone, so this is great to see.