How to turn off Overwatch Cross-Play: disable Cross-Play on Overwatch Xbox, PlayStation and PC

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With the news that Overwatch has made a cross-play Beta available to all players, people will be clamouring at the chance to test their mettle against players from other platforms. But for some players, cross-play in games such as Overwatch might not be something that you are remotely interested in. So if you want to opt-out of Overwatch cross-play Beta testing, we'll explain what exactly cross-play is, and how you might disable it, if you wish.

What is Overwatch Cross-Play?

As we've discussed in other articles, cross-play is when you are able to play a game online against players on other platforms. Previously, Overwatch only allowed you to play against other players on the same platform - Xbox vs Xbox, PC vs PC, for example. With cross-play, an Xbox user can now compete against PC, PlayStation or Nintendo users. Essentially, cross-play allows players to transcend platform restrictions, to allow anyone to play against anyone else. As an added bonus, Blizzard is offering players a Golden Loot Box to celebrate the launch of cross-play.

Read More: Is Overwatch on GeForce Now?

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Why would you want to disable Overwatch Cross-Play?

While cross-play will certainly appeal to lots of people, there may be others who don't want to get involved. For some, PC gamers using a mouse and keyboard have an unfair advantage over console gamers. This may put people off entering into a game where they automatically feel at a disadvantage. But this is really only a factor in competitive matches, and there is already an answer.

Blizzard has confirmed that in competitive matches, players will be matched based on the system they are using. So console players will compete against other console players, while PC users will be kept separate, to negate these competitive advantages. In reverse, console aim-assist will also be disabled, if you group up with a PC player during a match.

But even with these measures, you may still prefer to disable cross-play. If that's the case, here's what you need to know.

How to disable Cross-Play on Overwatch

According to Blizzard:

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Cross-Play will be automatically enabled by default for all users. If you decide that you want to opt-out of the cross-play function, you may do so through the Overwatch in-game menu, or within your console’s system settings for Xbox. PC players cannot opt out of cross-play.

In summary, PC gamers don't have the option to disable Cross-Play. For almost everyone else, you just need to find the relevant option in the in-game menu. If you're on Xbox, you can dive into your system settings:

  • Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide, and then go to Profile & system > Settings > Account.
  • Select Privacy & online safety > Xbox privacy > View details and customize > Communication & multiplayer.
  • You can then choose settings for a number of options. The one you need to select is:
    • You can play with people outside of Xbox Live. This allows or prohibits all cross-network play. Choose Allow or Block.
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It's worth highlighting the possibility that disabling cross-play may increase queue times, as you will be limited to the pool of players from your platform who have also opted out.

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