Overwatch 2 beta crossplay: how it works and opt out of it

Overwatch 2 beta crossplay: heroes Moira Winston, Lucio, Zenyatta, Mercy, Hanzo and Junkerqueen brawl
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

 The Overwatch 2 beta crossplay is a big new feature for this newest round of testing as console players are getting their first taste of Blizzard’s newest title. However, how does it work and can you choose not to take part?

In an FAQ about the current Overwatch 2 beta, Blizzard said specifically that one of the key reasons for this test is to try out the crossplay functionality. It explains: “For the upcoming beta, our main goal is to test our console and crossplay capabilities as we scale up server testing slowly.”

Crossplay has been available in Overwatch 1 for a while now, though console players have always been at a disadvantage as controllers have struggled to keep up with mouse and keyboard functionality. However, as we roll into Overwatch 2, and especially as non-competitive PvE content comes out, that desire to play with other players no matter their platform is likely to grow. 

It's also been confirmed that cross-progression is coming to Overwatch 2, so you will be able to exist on two platforms at once, and continue to earn shared rewards. This should further help support Overwatch 2 crossplay, making sure you have a lot of freedom about where you play and who you play with.

But how does crossplay work in the beta and can you opt out of it if you want to? We’ve got all the answers and everything you need to know. 

Overwatch 2 beta crossplay

How does Overwatch 2 beta crossplay work?

Overwatch 2 beta crossplay with Junker Queen pointing her gun at the camers

(Image credit: Blizzard)

It’s a little tricky to see how Overwatch 2 beta crossplay works, as the details haven’t been shared about the pools or restrictions. However, the broad strokes you’d expect are there. 

No matter if you are on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4 or PS5, you can join your friends. In order to get friends from other platforms, you need to open Options, and then head to Social. Once on this screen, there is an ‘Add A Friend’ option which, if pressed, will prompt you to add your friend’s email address or Battletag. They will then have to accept it, and after, they should appear on your right-hand list. 

The part that's not clear is how exactly crossplay matchmaking works. It’s hard to know if the beta tries to prioritize console players together, if it pools in controller players from PC only, or if it just leaves you at the whims of mouse and keyboard players if you are using a controller. It’s impossible to say at this stage.

If you're playing on a console, it’s worth noting that you're automatically added to the PC Pool of matchmaking. However, if you don’t want to do that, (and don’t mind enormous queues), there is another option.

Can you opt out of the Overwatch 2 beta crossplay?

Overwatch 2 beta crossplay in menus

(Image credit: Future)

If you're on console, you will be opted in to crossplay with PC players by default. Again, this is by design, as one of Blizzard’s main goals this beta is to test out crossplay to the furthest capabilities.

However, this will also mean, that as a console player, you could be at the mercy of mouse and keyboard players. While you can overcome this disadvantage, it’s not very fun to feel you are starting off on the back foot. 

Thankfully, you can opt out of crossplay. To do this, you need to open Options with either the Start or Options button depending on if you are on PlayStation or Xbox consoles. Then within the options menu, confusingly, there is another Options button you can select. Do that, opening up a lot of the granular settings for Overwatch 2. 

Once in here, move over to the Gameplay tab, and you will see a subheading for ‘Cross-Platform Play’, where you can select to turn it on or off (see above picture). Currently, you can't specify further, for example, whether you’re open to playing with all other consoles, or if you want to only play with PlayStation users. 

One thing to keep in mind about this is that the Overwatch 2 beta population is still growing, especially if you are restricting yourself to one platform. If you opt-out of crossplay, expect very long queues, especially if you are trying to play one of the more popular roles like DPS and Tank. Make sure you bring a book if you are determined to only play with console players.

Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.