One of the most notable complaints about Overwatch from seasoned FPS players is the lack of a high tick rate servers to keep up with such fast-paced gameplay. Since this title has transitioned from beta to launch, Blizzard had implemented servers utilizing a 21 tick method which means that 21 updates will be transitioned from the server to the client per second.
This is a problem as competing titles like CS: GO and Battlefield 4 are readily utilizing tick rates of 60 and up, bringing a notable increase in responsiveness to user actions. Fortunately, it seems this has all changed (at least for PC players) as of last night as Blizzard began rolling out new 63 tick servers:
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. 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.
So what does that mean? In Overwatch, our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. 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.
Since we know that not all internet connections are equal, we’ve also added in tech that will automatically and adaptively scale down your update rate if we find your connection can’t keep up. Similarly, because high bandwidth servers (as the name suggests) will increase your bandwidth consumption, we’re also looking to add an option to self-limit your update rate in a future patch. We’re very excited to be able to roll out this support on PC, and are already exploring how we can bring it to consoles. We hope your experience in Overwatch will be improved as a result, and look forward to hearing your feedback!
While this is great news for PC players, it seems there are still some hurdles to jump through for those participating via consoles. Either way, it’s a step in the right direction to making Overwatch an even more appealing FPS in the competitive scene.