If you've ever been deep into an Overwatch fight completely unaware that half of your team died 15 seconds ago, I implore you to turn on a setting new to Overwatch 2. It's a distinct sound that plays when a teammate dies and having it on has already saved my bacon more than once.
The sound itself is a familiar one for Overwatch veterans: a blaring, brief emergency siren that effectively communicates "oh god, back up, oh god." The alarm has been used in Overwatch for years to signify the death of teammates, but only in limited-time PvE events. Now it can be used in PvP, though it's off by default and easy to miss in the settings menu.
Blizzard has appropriately named this setting "Play Sound When Teammate Eliminated". You'll find it at the very bottom of this first page of audio settings:
Once it's on, you can basically stop worrying about the kill feed forever. It's been revelatory to unshackle from a small text feed that I frequently overlook and let the sound do the talking. I'm amazed at how quickly death alarms have improved my reactivity. It's now possible to stay focused completely on my aim or the person I'm healing and still instantly understand when teammates have died and we should fall back. Word of the handy new warning has slowly spread among friends and peers, and now everyone who's anyone is pro-death alert. Turns out the old way was slow and bad the whole time. This abrasive, unpleasant noise is pretty sweet.
Here's the alarm in action, demonstrated by me repeatedly leaping off a cliff as Soldier 76 (sound on):
You might be wondering about the similar setting above the teammate death alarm, "Play Sound When Enemy Eliminated". That one does what it says on the tin, but honestly, I can barely even hear it. It's a unique sound, but it's either too quiet or my brain decides to drown it out. That's fine by me—I'm more concerned with teammate notifications anyways, and I reckon it's already pretty obvious when we've wiped the floor with the competition and there's nobody left to shoot.
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Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.