Blizzard has changed its mind about console aim assist in Overwatch 2 crossplay lobbies. The game's latest patch has now enabled aim assist for console players across all games except competitive.
In the November 17 patch notes, Blizzard said it found that having the feature disabled was causing problems on both sides of the peripheral pond. "In our data, we found many groups were crossplay groups between PC and console players. This meant if you were playing on console and grouping with players on PC, you were opting into a bad experience for yourself to play with your friends. Also, if you had a group that was primarily console, but one of your friends was a PC player, you had to leave the PC player out to have a good experience."
Blizzard reiterated that the aim assist was for console players only, with the option unavailable for PC players regardless of peripheral. The developer also said it was "monitoring the deployment of this change carefully and making changes quickly if needed."
🧊MEI🧊IS🧊BACK🧊 (AND A BUNCH OF OTHER UPDATES!)Check out the full list of #Overwatch2 Patch Notes. 👀 https://t.co/XPwjZFGLye pic.twitter.com/n6k5TRCI2QNovember 17, 2022
The lack of aim assist in crossplay parties proved to be a point of contention when Overwatch 2 launched in October. Though the feature has been disabled since Blizzard introduced crossplay to the original Overwatch last year, it was brought back to attention with its sorta-sequel's influx of new and returning players. As Morgan Park pointed out when crossplay tensions were simmering, aim assist in modern games isn't as obvious a choice as it used to be. Games like Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone have cracked-out aim assist, with some arguing that it makes using a controller advantageous over keyboard and mouse inputs. It makes implementing it in a crossplay environment more of a grey area, and a balancing act in pleasing both sides.
Equalising two different ways of playing the same game can be tricky, especially when those two methods collide in the same match. It'll be interesting to see how big a difference it makes for both PC and console users, and if Blizzard ends up walking back its decision. For PC players who have previously been shunned by their console pals, let's hope the change will stick around.