Overwatch Finally Making a Change Many Clamored for at Launch

High-bandwidth servers are no longer just an option for Custom Games.


Blizzard is making good on a promise from back around the time of Overwatch's launch, as it's currently in the process of making high-bandwidth servers the default option on PC.

There was a lot of discussion back in May regarding Overwatch's tickrate and what effect it could have on the game's responsiveness. While the main game sees the server update at 60 Hz and the client at 20.8 Hz, Custom Games can be played with a high-bandwidth option enabled that bumps up the client refresh rate. Blizzard said at the time it was hesitant to offer this in other modes without first testing it extensively.

Apparently satisfied with the results, it's now implementing support for it across the board.

"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."

As with the Custom Game option, this will increase the client update rate from 21 times per second to 63. "This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive," the post explains.

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There are some potential issues that could emerge that Blizzard also hopes to address. For those with slower internet connections, it has "added in tech that will automatically and adaptively scale down your update rate if [Blizzard] find[s] your connection can't keep up." There will also be an option to limit your update rate so as to reduce what would otherwise result in increased bandwidth usage.

For now, the increased update rate is only going to be available on PC. It is "already exploring how [it] can bring it to consoles."

Alongside this news, Blizzard plans to release its next Overwatch short film later this week.

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