Blizzard’s competitive multiplayer shooter Overwatch is one of the biggest games to release on both consoles and PC in ages. However, despite the huge player base for this game the PC and console iterations of Overwatch have had some distinct differences in terms of support. The most notable is a lack of a report function for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, meaning that users have no real way of informing the developers of possible player issues like boosting, throwing, or toxicity.
Due to this, a rather booming industry has formed around boosting, allowing players to pay others to rank them up and thus mess with Overwatch’s competitive system. There have also been a lot of throwers or people “trolling” games on Overwatch console side that have gone largely unpunished. To throw a game basically means someone intentionally doesn’t try in order to de-rank themselves so they can play against lesser skilled players. While trolling is when users pick heroes or perform actions that do not help the team, but are meant to get a rise out of their teammates.
Some notable examples of this include placing Symmetra’s teleporter entrance by a cliff, not healing anyone as Mercy, or not picking a tank or healer if your team is lacking one. A lot of this is done through smurfs (alternative accounts), which are created for the sole intention of messing other’s games up. Despite having a report function on PC, the console side has no real way to stop this. Thankfully Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained that:
Penalties for boosting and throwing are about to increase dramatically. Please report the behavior (reporting is being worked on for Console but is not ready yet).
There is no word on when this function is coming to console or in what capacity the punishments will be. Since Blizzard cannot simply ban an account like they can via Battle.net, this creates a tricky scenario in how to handle toxic players. It’s possible that this function could release next week with the Horizon Lunar Colony map, but this is simply being hopeful. One thing for sure is if this isn’t sorted soon the problem of poor and rude players is only going to spread in Overwatch.