You won't go pro playing Overwatch with voice commands, but it's a ton of fun

Now that Overwatch has been out for a little while, I wouldn't blame you for getting a little bored of the same old song and dance of capturing points or escorting payloads. You might spice things up once in awhile with the classic 'everyone pick the same character and see if we can win' shtick, but if you're really looking to breathe life back into Overwatch you should download some voice recognition software and talk your way to victory.

There's been no shortage of creative ways to play Overwatch, but—like all the great thinkers of the world—I was struck by a bolt of inspiration and decided to try playing using voice commands to trigger the abilities of my heroes and, in some cases, control their movement altogether. Did I piss off my team and play horribly? Yes. Did I have the most fun I've had in Overwatch in a few weeks? Also yes.

But here's the thing, now that I've tried this out I'm not so sure I'm able to stop. Playing Overwatch using voice commands is just too much fun. Of course, you don't have to go whole hog like I did and use commands for everything, but there's an undeniable satisfaction from yelling "Heroes never die!" to resurrect fallen members of my team as Mercy. If you do insist on using voice commands for movement, playing less mobile heroes like Bastion is probably best—for you and your team.

If you want to try it yourself, all you'll need is a relatively decent microphone and some widely available voice recognition software. I used VoiceBot which worked great and and only took about five minutes to set up and even has multiple profiles so you can switch between heroes and their requisite macros on the fly. The only thing really holding the experience back is that, understandably, there's a small delay between giving a command and having VoiceBot execute it, so don't expect to go pro while playing this way—not that you would, right? 

More weird ways to play 

When it comes to playing Overwatch in weird ways, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Players have already devised some pretty silly approaches including one YouTuber named SSB ATwerkingYoshi who uses a dance pad to play everything from Dark Souls to League of Legends. He has several videos on YouTube of him playing Overwatch as Lucio, and he's actually still a good asset to his team. 

If you have some flight sticks laying around, you could also take a page out of Rudeism's playbook and use them to control D.Va. He's a Twitch streamer who likes to take his Overwatch roleplay to the next level by painting his face to match D.Va's adorable warpaint while piloting her mech with a pair of Saitek ST90s. He has a great tutorial video showing how to get them set up and calibrated properly, and you can watch him in action on one of his previous Twitch streams. It takes a little while to find his groove, but once he does he starts making some solid plays.

With the lull between competitive seasons, now's the time to experiment and get creative with how you play. I definitely recommend giving any of the above options a try if you can, but if you have your own ideas please share them with us for the betterment of mankind. Suddenly I regret throwing away my Guitar Hero controllers all those years ago. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.