Blizzard explain how High Bandwidth works in the latest Overwatch developer update

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Tracer High Bandwidth Overwatch

Around a month ago, Blizzard announced that Overwatch would be getting high bandwidth servers. Here’s what that means for the shooter:

Our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive.

By all means, high bandwidth is great, and something Overwatch could certainly benefit from. I mean, who wouldn’t want a more responsive shooting experience?

I do have my reservations though. How will this update affect us in South Africa? We’re sending data back and forth to Europe after all, meaning there’s a slight delay from the get go. Will our opponents have an advantage over us? Well, more of an advantage than what they already have?

It doesn’t seem like it, does it? In fact, I don’t think many people will notice much of a difference to be honest – at least not on a casual level. There’s still a lot of predictive technology and calculations in play despite these high bandwidth servers.

According to Blizzard, high bandwidth servers haven’t been rolled out across the entire globe just yet. If they have been in Europe, I can’t honestly say I’ve felt a difference. This weekend for example, I played a couple of placement matches, and won most of them (#humblebrag). This was with some of my local friends, so I wasn’t (or we weren’t) exactly carried or anything.

For the most part, I think our experience here in South Africa will be identical to what it’s been over the past few months. I’m ok with that to be honest. Overwatch genuinely does have some magical netcode!

That being said, I would never say no to local servers. As unnoticeable as the lag is, it would be nice to experience none of it one day.

Last Updated: September 12, 2016

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