Overwatch 2 Details New Ping System For Improved Communication And Accessibility

Communication is the bedrock of victory in team-based games, but not everyone may be comfortable with using voice chat for various reasons. Team dynamics, in such cases, are likely to be affected, and Blizzard is looking to address that with overhauled ping system for Overwatch 2, which will be kicking off its beta launch on 26 April.

The new feature allows players to “activate a contextual ping depending on what you’re aiming at within your line of sight” with the click of a button, and includes character-specific callouts that alert teammates in the voice of player’s selected hero. “For example, if you’re playing Tracer and ping an enemy Reaper, your teammates will hear Tracer call out that Reaper’s location,” explains the official blog post.

For characters with movement abilities, the ping will fall off and highlight their last known location instead. Systems designer Gavin Winter shares, “A ping can be ‘stuck’ to a hero while they are visible, and the ping shows the last known location when they aren’t visible.” The changes are dependent on hero abilities, such as Sombra’s Translocator, Doomfist’s Meteor Strike, Moira’s Fade, Reaper’s Shadow Step, and Tracer’s Recall, and should prove handy in keeping watch for a potential ambush.

The communication wheel has also been expanded to include more options that inform others of one’s actions, and the responses to these pings (“yes, “no,” “ready,” and “go”). A newly-introduced feature will ping a teammate’s location on the mini-map as well, so players should find it easier to look out for and support one another. As for Genji players that keep spamming ‘I need healing’? Healers can now locate, heal, and silence them more quickly…or choose to ignore them entirely by turning off the ping system.

“We are hoping this system will help with toxicity in-game,” says Winter. “If you don’t like a person pinging so much, you have the option to turn the ping system off through block or squelch for that specific person. We do have heavy spam protection right now that we are open to adjusting, but we really want to see what works best for the community.”

The Overwatch community has long requested for an improved ping system, and it’s encouraging to know that the dream is finally taking shape. Apart from enhancing a team’s ability to communicate, the feature also makes it more accessible for players to make callouts without having to participate in voice chat. In Apex Legends, the ping system has proven to be an invaluable tool for communication, so hopefully that’d be the case here too.