In the weeks following Overwatch’s release, Blizzard made a few modifications to the game. According to Gamespot, players complained about deaths that didn’t seem fair. When players noted that it looked as if they were being shot through walls, Overwatch’s director, Jeff Kaplan, explained that the problem was with performance. The servers were “ticking” at 60Hz, but the clients were not updating as frequently. Blizzard decided to respond to this problem with a little experiment. It would involve adding an option to up the tick rate to 60Hz on the client side to match the server performance. Kaplin explained how player feedback would influence further updates:
Tickrate is a very important topic for the team. We added a 60 Hz refresh rate feature in Custom Game late in beta. We continue to diligently watch the feature and would love to get more feedback from our players. We encourage players to test the feature themselves so we can collect more data and help improve it.
Kaplin stated that if the experiment was successful, then Blizzard would contemplate implementing the feature for all game types.
According to Game Informer, starting today, Blizzard will be featuring high bandwidth for all modes and regions. This means that the refresh rate will be increased from 21 updates per second to 63. According to the Overwatch community manager, Lylirra, “this reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive.” Lylirra also states that the process will take a few weeks for all regions, but eventually, all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will run in high bandwidth mode by default.
While the bandwidth update is confirmed for PC, Blizzard is contemplating on whether or not to bring the feature to consoles. Lylirra claims that Blizzard is looking for feedback before they make the final decision to bring high bandwidth to Overwatch’s console players.