Overwatch 2 Ping System Detailed Ahead of Beta

Overwatch 2's beta is just about a month away now with the first public test scheduled to take place on April 26th, and ahead of that release, Blizzard's offered a better look at the game's new ping system. It's been a "highly requested" feature, Blizzard says, and will be one that'll allow players to have an easier time communicating with each other about threats and strategies during matches without having to rely on voice comms or the original Overwatch's wheel of phrases. It looks as though it'll evolve the old communication system in Overwatch while also incorporating some ideas seen in other games released between then and now.

In a preview of the ping system shared over on the Overwatch 2 site, some of the options within the ping wheel will look familiar to returning Overwatch players. Different inputs show that players are attacking or defending, that they need help, or inform teammates of enemies' locations. These callouts issued from the various commands will correspond with the hero you're playing as so that your teammates will hopefully have a better idea of the proximity of an enemy or other relevant info based on where the rest of the team is.

"It's a more accurate, clear, and understandable way of communicating rather than hearing someone yell, 'Reaper behind,' or, 'Reaper, Reaper, Reaper!'" principal designer Adam Puhl said as an example.

In the example of Reaper specifically, the blog post said that pinging that hero would mark the enemy's location, and when he disappears, it'll change to show where he last was. The same applies to other heroes and abilities like Sombra's Translocator, Doomfist's Meteor Strike, Moira's Fade, and Tracer's Recall, the post said, with pings falling off after one of these moves is moved so that heroes aren't totally undone by a simple ping tracking their location.

Aside from promoting communications, another goal for this system is to reduce toxicity with Blizzard saying it'll iterate on the ping feature more as time goes on.

"We are hoping this system will help with toxicity in-game," systems designer Gavin Winter said. "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."

Overwatch 2's beta starts up next month, so expect to see more previews of new content like this one ahead of that release.