Overwatch crossplay beta has arrived so you can play with your console pals
A cool new Ashe skin is up for grabs as well
Assemble your friends across PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox, because you can all group up and play together in Overwatch now. Last night, Blizzard added cross-platform multiplayer to the hero shooter, so PC players will now be able to jump in with their console pals to muck about in Quick Play and Arcade game modes. On top of that, there's a new challenge that lets players earn a stylish biker skin for Ashe.
Crossplay is great, and I'm glad Overwatch finally has it. It's a little too late for me to actually use it, unfortunately. I used to play Overwatch on PS4 and switched over to PC three years ago so I could actually play with my pals. If only the crossplay revolution had started earlier.
If you play Overwatch on PC, you don't really need to do anything. Your console buddies will need to make Battle.net accounts if they want to join you. Console players will automatically be chucked into your matches in Quick Play and Arcade modes too, though Competitive games will continue to stay separate to keep things fair. Log into Overwatch by the end of the year, and you'll be gifted a golden lootbox to celebrate as well (those ones guarantee a legendary cosmetic).
Do bear in mind the game only has crossplay, not cross-platform progression, so you won't be able to log into an account on console and carry over progress from PC. It's also worth noting that Overwatch crossplay is in beta right now. The devs plan on monitoring how things go, and are looking at making improvements further down the line. Find out more about it all in their crossplay FAQ.
Between now and July 5th, players also have a chance to earn a new skin for Ashe. It's her Deadlock outfit - which was the outlaw (biker?) gang she was in with McCree - and it looks well cool. You'll need to play 27 games to get it though, which is a little grindy. You don't need to win the games, however, which makes things slightly easier.
And if I've caught your interest with talk of biker gangs, Blizzard have also released a new short story about how Ashe and McCree met. Overwatch may just be a daft team shooter, but it has some nice lore.
It seems like crossplay will be one of the last big features the game gets before Overwatch 2 releases. We still don't know when that will be, but we do know that the sequel's matches will be 5v5 rather than 6v6, dropping a tank from each team.