Skip to main content

Overwatch’s hit sound effect is apparently powered by beer

I understand why so many people not typically interested in competitive first-person shooters are interested in Overwatch—the diverse set of characters, their cosplay-ready outfits, the lighthearted Pixar-hued presentation, and so on. But now I finally know where my interest begins: a pavlovian response to beer.

According to this post on the Overwatch subreddit, the Overwatch visual source book (it comes with the collector's edition) digs into how the hit-confirmation sound was made. Over the course of several weeks of hoppy fermentation, it turns out. That’s the sound of a beer bottle opening, chopped and screwed a bit.

Here’s the full quote:

“Another extremely challenging sound is the ‘hit-pip.’ When you hit someone, you need to know you made contact. The sound needs to cut through the mix but not feel like it comes from any hero. It went through tons of iteration. Finally, one night I thought, ‘It should be satisfying to hit an enemy.’ Just think about what's satisfying: beer. So I literally opened a beer bottle. Pssht. The sound is reversed and tweaked a little, but that sound is our hit-pip.”

I was skeptical at first (we are taking this redditor's word), but the hit-pip sounds exactly as described, even if it isn’t always high in the chaotic sound mix. Take a gander at this clip from early on in the beta—skip to 2:40. 

This version of the tutorial is pretty dated, and there’s no new sound for headshots yet, but the crisp sound of imminent alcohol is much easier to make out. Blizzard is known for their chunky, delicious aural and visual feedback, so it’s a bit surprising to learn such a slight feedback response has such a high ABV.

James Davenport
James is PC Gamer’s bad boy, staying up late to cover Fortnite while cooking up radical ideas for the weekly livestream. He can still kickflip and swears a lot. You’ll find him somewhere in the west growing mushrooms and playing Dark Souls.