Overwatch Server Browser and Custom Games

Image Copyright | ©2017 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Image Copyright | ©2017 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

About a week ago, Blizzard® added some significant features to the Overwatch PTR in preparation for an official patch that will take the game to new heights. The biggest feature being added to the game is a server browser, similar to what you might find in a game like TF2. This will allow you to see all of the custom servers created in your region. However, Blizzard is taking it several steps beyond the ability to just browse servers; they’re giving players the tools to completely customize the game as they see fit.

When the patch hits, players will be able to create servers with tweaks to just about any aspect of Overwatch that you can think of. Perhaps you’d like to remove the cooldown or increase the duration of Genji’s Deflect, or increase the speed of Hanzo’s arrows, or Pharah’s rockets. You’ll be able to adjust everything from health to ultimate charge rate, to individual hero abilities (including being able to disable specific hero abilities or specific heroes entirely). You can determine which maps your server will run, what the time limits will be for things like payload, and adjust all of the parameters for how different maps work. For example, in Capture The Flag (which they have decided to keep as a game mode), you can determine if your team must have possession of their own flag in order to take the other team’s flag, or how long someone needs to stand near the flag in order to pick it up. You can even make adjustments on a per-team basis, giving you the flexibility to create custom asymmetrical game modes. Just about any way you can imagine adjusting the game, you’ll have the option to do so with these new Custom Game features. As a bonus to all of this, you’ll now even gain experience when playing in custom games.

Overwatch was already a fantastic game, but this patch is going to take it to an entirely new level. The ability to find or create the exact experience that you’re looking for is simply astonishing, and the increased replayability that is going to come from this is huge. I’m sure that we’ll see entirely new styles of game emerge from the community, and that this will take on a life of its own over the next several months and years. Blizzard is going to be keeping an eye on the data from these custom games, so if they see a particular rule being used by most custom servers, they’ll consider implementing that into the official game modes.

In the spirit of things, I’ve come up with a few Custom Game ideas that I wanted to share.

Nap Time

Map type: Escort

Attacking team consists of two Ana’s with the cooldown on her sleep dart removed. The defending team consists of all Roadhogs with Hook disabled. Can the duo keep the Hogs asleep long enough for the payload to reach the end?


Map type: Any

The idea here would be to recreate an old-school Quake feel in Overwatch. Choose from Soldier, Widow, or Pharah. Increase movement speed for everyone, increase rocket speed for Pharah. Remove the cooldown on Widow’s grappling hook. Disable Soldier’s heal, but decrease the cooldown on his rockets.

I’m sure that you’ll come up with plenty of your own ideas, and loads of people have already been sharing their custom games on the PTR. People are creating new games like Lucio Racing, Hide and Seek, Zombie Mode, and a lot more. I absolutely cannot wait for this patch to go live, it is going to be a historic moment in Overwatch’s history.

For more information about the patch, check out the Developer Update on YouTube.