With more than 25 million players, Overwatch is already one of the most popular games you can play right now. But in the time since its launch last year, the game has been lacking a feature that was once standard in first-person shooters: a server browser. Thankfully, Blizzard recently announced that a server browser and expanded custom game options would be coming to the game.
Now that the server browser is playable on the Overwatch PTR, players have the chance to play around with crazy rulesets and goofy mechanics. The standard quickplay and competitive ladder do a good job at matching up players who want to just play the game normally, so the custom game browser has become more of a place for silly experiments and scheming up new gametypes.
We're still in the early days of the custom game browser, but already some great game modes are emerging. Here's some of the best ones we've found.
Created (or at least popularized) by redditor , this mode throws a pile of Lucios onto a map with their movement speed cranked up to the max. It's not a proper game mode, in that winning or losing is self-determined rather than by the mechanics of the game, but it's a whole lot of fun wallriding from one end of the map to the other in a matter of seconds. Numbani is the ideal map—its long corridors make for some great wallrides, and of course it's home to our favorite speedster DJ.
With the new custom game options giving players control of ability damage and health pools, it's easy to put together instagib matches with various heroes one-hit-killing each other. The best one we've found so far is Ana Paintball, which puts her rifle damage to maximum while minimizing her health pool. Ana's small frame makes her tough to hit (especially if you bump up movement speed a tad) and her hitscan Biotic Rifle works well with insta-kills, both scoped and unscoped. You can vary the rules a bit by disabling (or not) her Biotic Grenade, or making it so rifle shots are instagib but it take two melee hits to kill. Matches are balanced and surprisingly tense. Best of all, once the rules are set, the game runs smoothly within the elimination game mode.
Mercy the Necromancer
A common thread among Overwatch custom games is to create a sort of "boss fight" that pits six normal (or weakened) players against a single or two overpowered tanks. Reinhardt, Roadhog, and Winston all make for excellent bosses with 500 percent health pools, but the best one of all? Mercy.
Created by Redditor , Mercy the Necromancer is an attempt at a more balanced boss fight. There's a long explaining the rules (which are still being iterated on), but the basic gist is this: One team consists of a single beefed-up Mercy accompanied by a horde of AI bots, defending a capture point map against a team of human raiders. The bots are easy to take down by skilled players, but Mercy's Resurrect ultimate charges quickly to bring them back often. Essentially, it plays out a bit like a combination between a normal Overwatch match and the Halloween Brawl Junkenstein's Revenge. If you're interested in playing, Kydrox has set up a to find players and test settings.
The hacker hero Sombra hasn't gotten much love in the competitive Overwatch scene, but there's one place where her powers shine. Just think about it: invisibility, super-speed, the ability to see through walls and track wounded enemies—sound familiar? Sounds like the Predator.
The Predator custom game mode pits three weakened Soldier: 76s against a single buffed-up Sombra. Unlike other "bossfight" custom games, Predator mode is all about survival. The balance of the game should be tuned so that the Soldiers don't really stand a chance against the Predator—err, Sombra. If they can avoid and survive long enough, the Predator will be revealed, finally giving the Soldiers a fighting chance.