Overwatch to Penalize Console Players Using Keyboard and Mouse

Overwatch to Penalize Console Players Using Keyboard and Mouse

19. April 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

Overwatch 2 has made a bold move to crack down on cheaters utilizing unauthorized peripherals, particularly XIM devices, on console platforms. In their latest developer blog, senior game producer Adam Massey and lead gameplay engineer Daniel Razza shed light on the issue and outlined the steps Overwatch 2 is taking to address the problem.

Cracking Down on Mouse and Keyboard Cheaters

In a bid to maintain fair gameplay integrity, Overwatch 2 Season 11 will see stringent penalties imposed on players found using unapproved peripherals like XIM on console. Such offenders will face a one-week ban from Competitive mode while still retaining access to Quick Play.

However, persistent use of unauthorized peripherals will result in being matched with mouse and keyboard players in Quick Play for the entire season, effectively leveling the playing field.

“Additionally, these players will no longer have access to the aim-assist feature,” the blog post added. “They are welcome to continue playing Overwatch 2, but they will be playing against players who use a similar control setup to their own.”

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Understanding XIM and Ximming

XIM devices enable console players to gain an unfair advantage by using a mouse and keyboard setup. The act of utilizing such devices is commonly referred to as “ximming.”

Stringent Bans for Console Cheaters

In a bid to deter future violations, Overwatch 2 will mete out permanent account bans to the most egregious offenders found using unapproved peripherals prior to Season 11. Massey and Razza emphasized that the only way to avoid these bans is to cease the use of unauthorized peripherals immediately.

“Unapproved peripherals” in this context specifically refers to devices that simulate controller inputs while actually being controlled by a mouse and keyboard setup. While some players use alternative peripherals for accessibility reasons, others exploit them to capitalize on the aim assist feature available on consoles.

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Targeting Fair Play at Higher Ranks

Analysis of data from previous seasons revealed a disproportionately high usage of unapproved peripherals in highranked play, particularly at Grand Master or Champion ranks. Consequently, Overwatch 2’s actions are primarily aimed at ensuring fair play in these higher echelons of competitive gameplay.

Balancing Accessibility and Fairness

Acknowledging the legitimate use of unapproved peripherals for accessibility purposes, Blizzard is exploring the possibility of officially integrating mouse-and-keyboard support for consoles. The objective is to strike a delicate balance that provides accessibility without compromising fairness in gameplay.

“So, we have started discussing whether we can add official mouse-and-keyboard support to consoles in a way that doesn’t give these players an unfair advantage over their controller counterparts,” the blog concluded.

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Overwatch 2’s proactive stance against the use of unauthorized peripherals underscores its commitment to fostering fair and competitive gameplay across all platforms. By penalizing cheaters and exploring solutions to balance accessibility and fairness, Blizzard aims to uphold the integrity of the Overwatch 2 experience for all players.

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