Overwatch

How to test Overwatch's Experimental Mode changes in Practice Range

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch’s Experimental Mode is great for letting players try out some of the potential new balance changes in a match setting, but did you know it’s possible to test out the updates using the Practice Range/Training Room?

Sometimes there will be certain ability changes that are better to evaluate in the Practice Range, just to see how they will interact with certain heroes.

In a post on the official forums, even Overwatch’s Game Director Jeff Kaplan admitted he wasn’t aware that it was possible to load up the Practice Range with the Experimental Mode changes.

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If you want to test out Experimental Changes in Practice Range, there's a way.

“We’ll try to figure something out,” Kaplan said, replying to a post by a user asking for the option to try out changes on bots.

Lo and behold, only ten minutes later, Kaplan confessed that his team was “laughing” at him for not knowing this was already possible.

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Even Jeff Kaplan didn't know it was possible.

“You can already do this in the game browser by creating a custom game, putting up the Practice Range and enabling Experimental,” he wrote.

The way to do this is simple. First, go to the game browser and select “create game.” Next, select your preset - in this case, Practice Range. Next, go to the lobby and click “options.” From there, all you have to do is choose “enable” for “use experimental if available.”

Now, you’ll be able to try out all the new nerfs, buffs and reworks without having to load into a game to do so. This can be handy if you want to see how new damage numbers will apply on certain targets without the use of a calculator.

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Jeff Kaplan says it may be easier to load up the Practice Range with new changes in the future.

For instance, now, you can see for yourself how two headshots from Zenyatta on a discorded target will deal 249.6 damage - almost enough to two-tap a Reaper or Doomfist.

Being able to see if the damage will round up or not is something more practical to test out on bots than attempt to recreate in an actual game.

While the process of creating a custom game may be a bit time-consuming, Kapan did state that the team is looking to make it a bit more streamlined with a future update.