Overwatch

Overwatch players demand fix for broken team chat on console

by Theo Salaun

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For a couple of months, Xbox One and PS4 Overwatch players have been complaining that team chat is bugged—but Blizzard has yet to address an incoming fix.

While Overwatch had practically set the gold standard for in-game voice chat among console’s competitive games, its community has been relegated to dealing with the inability to consistently join team chat. This is unideal, to put it lightly, for a game so dependent on teamwork.

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junkrat overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Junkrat may not be listening, but communicating about ultimates is critical for teams in Overwatch.

Console players are used to prioritizing Xbox or PS4’s party chat services instead of their in-game counterparts since games like Call of Duty and Apex Legends often suffer from chat fuzziness and frequent breaks for loading screens. In CoD for example, the only real reason to use game chat is because you want to hear reactions when you kill people or you’re playing with friends on different systems.

Overwatch’s chat, meanwhile, was perfect. Players weren’t dismayed by the absence of a text chat like their PC counterparts had access to (or a pinging system that Apex and Warzone counterparts have access to) because their voice chat was clear and would only cut out for a few seconds at a time, either when loading a map or switching to and from team chat. Unfortunately, that switch is now a complete gamble.

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It’s a situation that console players have been annoyed by, but come to terms with. When your group switches from group to team chat, either one or multiple players will be stuck in limbo—technically their screen tells them they’re in team chat, but they can’t hear or speak to anybody.

The community has come up with solutions, usually involving some combination of leaving team chat, rejoining it, or doing the same with your console’s microphone settings. Sometimes you just have to wait with team chat selected, only for the game to finally enable communication midway through the match (which is often too late for a formerly muted team to make a comeback).

As of yet, Blizzard has barely responded to this situation and most responses came back in April when the concern was first raised following the Echo patch. In their most comprehensive reply, Technical Forum Agent ‘Drakuroth’ explained that the team was “looking over the problem.”

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console overwatch team chat
Blizzard Forums
Blizzard's official response to the team chat bug across console.

Over two months later, team chat is still bugged. 

The console playerbase has settled on trying an array of tedious Reddit workarounds, but the developers owe it to their community to, at the very least, update how long it will be until this simple aspect of the user experience is fixed.