Blizzard has finally come around and has now brought high bandwidth Overwatch servers into play.
One of the complaints from Overwatch players was the low tick rate which was set at 21 updates per second. That has now been brought in-line with what FPS gamers would expect and has been boosted to a more respectable 63.
What this means is that the frequency in which the server updates the game state has been increased to the player’s client and this applies for Quick Play and Competitive Play by default.
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!