Overwatch‘s server browser is imminent, but may not work the way you expect

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has released a new Developer Update video this morning, introducing a feature the game’s PC fanbase has been howling for since launch — a server browser. The thing is, it may not work in quite the way fans were expecting.

Rather than affecting the Quick Play or Competitive modes, the server browser will allow players to quickly and easily find Custom Games that fit a ruleset that they are looking for. It’s understandable why this is the way it is, however. Introducing a server browser to the Quick Play mode (as an example) would potentially mean Skirmish lobbies that never filled because people would be umm’ing and aah’ing in the server browser and nobody wants that. Better to let the matchmaking handle it.

So while it may not be as all encompassing as those who came from the Team Fortress 2 school of team-based shooters were hoping for, for those who prefer to tweak the game to their own particular tastes and rulesets, it is undoubtedly a welcome addition.

The browser will allow users to filter search results by typing in game modes like Payload or Escort, specific maps like Ilios and any other parameters you may have, and find exactly what you’re looking for. It will also display results from your region so that you can be assured of decent ping when you find a game to join.

Pursuant to this, the Custom Game options will be expanding dramatically to help players craft the precise version of Overwatch they’ve been looking for, should Quick Play and Competitive not be sufficient.

The other big announcement from this update is that the Capture the Rooster mode, Blizzard’s attempt at bringing a Capture the Flag mode to the current Year of the Rooster Event, will be sticking around once the event concludes. This is great news for those who are looking for expanded game modes beyond the typical Attack/Defence, King of the Hill, Payload and Hybrid game modes already available. Capture the Rooster will also be a part of the new Custom Game mode, so players can tweak the experience in a variety of different ways until they feel it has been balanced in a way they’re happy with — and Blizzard, we’re sure, will be watching with great interest.

Kaplan gave no word on when the update will go live, but a safe bet would be once the Year of the Rooster event winds up later this week. There was also no word on whether the server browser would be coming to consoles or be exclusive to the PC version of the game.


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David Smith

David Smith is the former games and technology editor at The AU Review. He has previously written for PC World Australia. You can find him on Twitter at @RhunWords.

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