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OverwatchJan 22, 2018 11:00 am CT

Blizzard doesn’t want Overwatch console players using a mouse and keyboard

If you play Overwatch on consoles, you may or may not know that Blizzard doesn’t want you using a keyboard and mouse to do so. But they don’t. It’s a simple fact that the precision of a mouse combined with being able to map out everything onto a keyboard instead of using a controller grants an advantage to players in team shooter games like Overwatch — Blizzard doesn’t want people to go that route.

A recent forum thread dedicated to the issue reveals that console players are pretty upset about this, because if allowed to run rampant the fear is that you’ll need to get a keyboard, mouse, and input conversion to play competitive Overwatch on your console. That means spending money.

Now, you may ask the question — what does it matter if Blizzard doesn’t want players doing that when they can’t really stop them? And it’s a fair question. Right now it’s almost impossible to determine if a player is using input conversion to hook up a keyboard and mouse to their console. But our friend Jeff from the Overwatch team isn’t content with that.

Originally Posted by Jeff Kaplan (Official Post)

Currently, we cannot do anything about players using input conversion devices to use Mouse and Keyboard on console.

However, we have put serious research and development against this problem and we’re hoping to have a solution to what we consider to be unfair circumstances. This is a priority for us and we’re trying to combat this through technology and policy.

We’ll keep you informed on our progress and any policy changes as soon as they develop.

For now, please avoid reporting this behavior.

You’ll note that Jeff specifically asks players not to report people using a mouse and keyboard for now, and that’s because you simply can’t be sure they are — plus Blizzard doesn’t currently have a means to confirm it even if you’re absolutely sure that’s what they’re doing. But I’m interested in how they’re going to develop tech to allow them to deal with this issue. At present input conversion is something that’s pretty useful for a lot of gamers — the fact that it’s bad for competitive Overwatch doesn’t mean it’s universally bad, so it’s unlikely that consoles developers would want to remove it. What form a specific-to-Overwatch solution to the issue would take is beyond me, but the fact that they are working on something leaves me very curious.

What will the solution be? How will it detect that people are using keyboard and mouse via input conversion? How will it prevent this? We’ll find out when it comes out, but for now we know it’s a priority and they’ve already put research into how to combat it.

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