Overwatch players can now avoid toxic or uncooperative teammates

Today Blizzard unveiled an update to Overwatch's reporting features that aims to "help players create a better and more positive gameplay experience." 

"If you use the 'Avoid as Teammate' option on a player, that action will be effective in the next match," said Overwatch's Scott Mercer in a forum post. "The matchmaker will no longer place you on a team with the avoided player for one week. Sometimes you don’t want to play with someone as a teammate because you disagree with their playstyle or hero choice. Sometimes your personalities or communication style simply clash. These can happen without either party being toxic."

In addition, the reporting system has been updated to more accurately reflect the behaviors players should be reported for. The Griefing category has been renamed to Gameplay Sabotage, which is meant to be used when a player deliberately disrupts or harasses their teammates via the use of gameplay mechanics. 

"A clear example of this is Symmetra teleporter exits being placed at the side of cliffs so teammates immediately drop to their death," Mercer said. "Another example is players intentionally allowing themselves to be eliminated by the enemy team. This is often referred by the community as 'feeding' or 'inting'."

Mercer made it clear that simply having a bad match or playing a non-meta hero is not an example of Gameplay Sabotage. "For a player to be reported for Gameplay Sabotage, they must intentionally be trying to disrupt and harass their teammates or actively trying to lose," Mercer said. If you simply don't like someone's playstyle, you should instead use the new Avoid as Teammate system.

These new tools are currently being tested on the Overwatch PTR, so we can expect them in the live game sometime in the next few weeks, if not sooner.

Bo Moore

As the former head of PC Gamer's hardware coverage, Bo was in charge of helping readers better understand and use PC hardware. He also headed up the buying guides, picking the best peripherals and components to spend your hard-earned money on. He can usually be found playing Overwatch, Apex Legends, or more likely, with his cats. He is now IGN's resident tech editor and PC hardware expert.