‘Overwatch 2’ will punish players who regularly team up with cheaters

Blizzard is also adding a system to automatically take down inappropriate custom game modes.

Blizzard Entertainment

With the third season of Overwatch 2 slated to start on February 7th, Blizzard is stepping up its efforts to combat cheating. In a blog post published Wednesday, the studio said it would begin identifying players who regularly play with known cheaters. Blizzard says the owners of those accounts will face repercussions, even if they’re not cheating themselves. It warns of “severe suspensions” and, in some cases, outright bans.

Next season, Blizzard will also introduce a system for moderating custom game modes. The company says the new technology will automatically remove games with inappropriate titles or content and sanction the accounts that create and post those modes. The system comes after the original Overwatch’ssexual harassment simulator” custom mode made a brief reappearance last month. The mode tasked players with impregnating the game’s female heroes while playing as Cole Cassidy, the hero Blizzard renamed after allegations about its “frat boy” workplace culture came to light in 2021. After the mode appeared in Overwatch 2’s most popular list, Blizzard took action but didn’t say how it would prevent a similar incident from happening again.

Lastly, Blizzard says it’s taking action against a practice known as stream sniping. If you’ve ever watched a popular streamer play a multiplayer game like Overwatch 2 or Valorant, you know how frustrating it is for content creators when someone tries to queue into the same match and uses a stream to give themselves a competitive edge. Starting with season three, players will have the option to prevent their BattleTag, and the tags of anyone else in their match, from appearing in their game client. Blizzard will also allow players to hide or delay their queue time. The studio says those measures should prevent someone watching a stream from figuring out if they’re in the same lobby as a streamer. You’ll find the toggles to enable those features within Overwatch 2’s social settings.