Blizzard are rolling out upgraded netcode for Overwatch [official site] across the world, and you’ll likely find it’s live for you now. The update has most Overwatch servers now running in the “high bandwidth” mode, which previously was limited to an option in custom games. This increases the frequency with which players tell the server what they’re doing and receive updates on what other players are doing, in theory meaning less frustration with things like being shot after escaping round corners.
The update is switching the client update rate to 63Hz (63 times per second, up from 21), which should broadly make everything feel better and less frustrating. Blizzard started rolling this out last month, but now it’s live in enough regions for Blizzard to properly announce it.
If you want to get technical, Overwatch lead engineer Tim Ford and senior engineer Philip Orwig explain the change with paper cups in a new video, but the takeaway is:
“The net result of that is you will be shot around corners less, you’ll be able to predict escape moves better and the server will hear about it sooner – so if you got that blink off, the server’s going to process that quicker – [and it will] make you less likely to get hit by hooks.”
They explain that Overwatch launched with a 21Hz client update rate because they wanted to be sure everything would be stable at launch, with 63Hz mode reserved for custom games if people really wanted it. But 63Hz takes a beefier connection, so before rolling it out they made tech to detect if a player’s connection can’t handle it and downgrade their rate.
The realities of online gaming mean you still might be frustrated by getting hit when you feel you shouldn’t, but that should be a lot rarer.
Here’s the full scoop: