Overwatch April 23 PTR patch notes: Improved communications wheel & more

Michael Gwilliam. Last updated: Apr 23, 2020
Blizzard Entertainment

A new Overwatch patch has hit the PTR with some major improvements to the communications wheel, allowing for some special customizations.

In a developer update, lead designer Jeff Kaplan addressed the new feature and how there are a variety of new voice lines given for all the things heroes in the games can say now.

For instance, players can now say, “On my way!” or “Fall back!” to give their teammates a better idea of what to do without having to use voice communication.

Blizzard Entertainment
The patch included a lot of bug fixes.

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While this isn’t quite the ping system many had hoped for, it’s still a welcome addition. The patch notes state there are a total of 26 different communication options, with keybindings allowing for even more possibilities.

It’s unclear how this will work for controller and console players, but given the lack of text chat on those platforms, the extra voice commands should be well-received.

In the developer update, Kaplan also explained how the team is working hard on dealing with the issue of queue times. In a future update, whenever players are in a Competitive match and it’s canceled because of a leaver, there will now be a priority queuing system that allows users to get back in line quicker.

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The PTR update also brings in quite a few new Workshop features that will make it even easier for creators to update their custom modes.

Finally, the update also included several bug fixes to heroes and maps.

Full patch notes below:


Feature Update: Improved Communications Wheel

We have added many more communication options so you can customize your interactions in Overwatch! To help you pick your favorites, go to Options -> Controls and scroll down to the Communication Wheel section. From here, you can choose from one of 26 different options for each sector of the wheel. You can change out your choices and swap around their positions within the wheel. Now, you can still tell your team “I Need Healing,” but you can also tell them you are “On My Way” so they should “Press the Attack!”

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  • New options are now available to customize the Communications Wheel
  • Shortcuts are now customizable; pick from a set of 26 different communication options
  • Additional keybindings are now available to support more voiceover lines

Feature Update: Patch Notes in Client

Players are now be able to read about the latest changes to Overwatch from within the game. We wanted to players across all platforms to have convenient access to this information, and it’s now easier than ever to stay up-to-date.

  • Selecting the Patch Notes button on the main menu will display the patch notes in the client, and no longer requires a separate web browser
  • Patch Notes will show as “new” whenever a game update is available


Added buttons to Control map dropships to allow players to reset basketballs




  • Reduced the height of Echo’s head hit volume



  • Reduced the height of Reinhardt’s head hit volume, making it harder to hit him in the head from behind


New Features

  • Existing Share Codes can now be re-uploaded with new Custom Game Settings (requires same original owner)
  • Skirmish can now override which Control Points are valid on Control Maps

Developer Comments:

This should make it easier for content creators to update existing modes, even if the codes have already been shared. Note: One may also re-upload settings to a code that has expired (assuming the owner is the same), and the share code will become valid again.


New Features

  • Allow strings to be stored as variables
  • Allow no string reevaluation in Create HUD Text, Create In-World Text, and Set Objective Description
  • Added Player Dealt Knockback and Player Received Knockback Events
  • Conditions and actions are now displayed using C-style syntax. This new syntax is used when copying to text, and both new and old syntaxes are supported when pasting from text
  • Nulls at the end of a String or Custom String value are no longer displayed (or required when pasting from text)
  • Adjusted syntax coloring for conditions and actions to make it more consistent
  • Relaxed type restrictions, allowing boolean values (such as Compare) to be used where numbers are expected, and vice versa
  • Added support for the new communication types to related actions and values

New Actions

  • Break
  • Continue
  • Set Crouch Enabled
  • Set Melee Enabled
  • Set Jump Enabled
  • Declare Round Draw
  • Set Ability Cooldown
  • Cancel Primary Action

New Values

  • Is Meleeing
  • Is Jumping
  • Event Direction
  • Button
  • Event Ability
  • Ability Cooldown
  • Ability Icon String
  • Array
  • If-Then-Else



  • Fixed a bug that could allow voice lines from opposing teams to be heard at Hero Select screens on certain maps
  • Fixed a bug where some arcade game modes were not storing or displaying stats correctly



  • MEKA Base: Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to traslocate to an unintended location near the capture point
  • Downtown: Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to place her translocator in several unintended locations


  • Fixed a bug that prevented Genji and Hanzo from consistently being able to wall climb in several locations near point A

King’s Row

  • Fixed a bug that caused Orisa’s Protective Barrier to fall through the floor when deployed at a specific spot close to Point B



  • Fixed a visual issue with Doomfist’s primary fire animation while in a Graviton Surge


  • Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to not gain full health when spawning into her mech in Total Mayhem


  • Fixed a bug where some effects caused by Duplicated heroes were not always removing themselves after 3 seconds
  • Fixed a bug where an Amplification Matrix wouldn’t boost damage during the 3 second linger window after duplicate ended
  • Fixed a bug that caused a Graviton Surge created by clone Echo to stop displaying visual effects when Duplicate ends


  • When Genji reflects Reinhardt’s firestrike, it will now swap team coloration from Reinhardt’s POV


  • Fixed a bug that caused player nameplates to be invisible, when Mercy’s beam target is afflicted by Ana’s Biotic Grenade and ally colorblind colors is enabled


  • Fixed a bug where Zarya’s bubble doesn’t purge the visual effects of someone hit by a Venom Mine


  • Fixed a bug that could cause a pink object to appear at the top of the screen for Zenyatta while wearing his Zen-nakji skin


  • Fixed a bug where values were often being counted multiple times towards a script’s total element count