When it comes to things you should never say to a gamer, we’ve covered the console wars extensively, offering you sayings to avoid in the presence of PS5 dudes and PC elitists to prevent any confrontation. Now, however, we want to give you some tips to ensure things remain copacetic between you and any Overwatch player.
Overwatch has had a rough and interesting 12 months. Overwatch 2 (the sequel no one asked for) debuted in October 2022, and was initially plagued with issues like server problems and bugged characters. Then, players started noticing the cost of certain cosmetics, while others pointed out that it had been a while since Blizzard said anything about the promised PvE mode. Recently, that mode was scrapped outright in favour of something smaller and punchier that costs $US15 ($21), with the added downer that more of it won’t come until 2024.
It’s a tough time to be an Overwatch player, so it’s more important now than ever to know what you shouldn’t say to us. We’re sensitive, we’re frustrated, and we keep getting hacked by that fucking Sombra on the backline. Be gentle.
If someone drops an “EZ” in the gold-coloured game chat (meaning it’s visible to both your team and the enemy squad), it’s a universal sign of war. Those two letters can send even the most mild-mannered Overwatch player into a tailspin, because it states outright that your game is trash — so trash, in fact, that the other team didn’t even really have to try to beat you. It only takes a second to type those words out, but the after-effects could linger for days. No one wants to lose a game and see those letters.
“[Insert Character/Role Here] diff”
Like many insults hurled in Overwatch 2’s in-game text or voice chat, this one can be quite the compliment, as well. “Diff” just means “difference” or “differential” and it speaks to a clear chasm between roles or characters. If each team has a Mercy, but one is significantly out-healing the other, then there’s a Mercy diff. If one tank is putting out low damage, little mitigation, and has a fair amount of deaths, then there’s a tank diff. So, if you’re playing tank and doing well and someone says “tank diff” then you know your team is proud of you, but if you’re struggling and someone on your team says it, you know they’re not mad, they’re just disappointed.
Mercy can no longer do that (despite still having a spray for it) and that’s just a mean thing to say to a Mercy main. — Staff writer, Isaiah Colbert
This is a common refrain that rings through Overwatch voice and text chat — begging you to change up your character because you’re either not doing well enough or they want to play them. DPS players are the least likely to swap, especially ones who instalock snipers like Widowmaker or Hanzo. Do you know how long it takes to get into an Overwatch 2 game in the attack queue? The answer is forever. If your teammate picked either of these snipers there’s no chance in hell you’re gonna convince them to switch.
“I need healing”
Nothing bothers a hard-working support main more than the “I need healing” spam. Since the request for heals is on the emote wheel, it’s easy for any player to repeatedly remind you that they need healing — but if you’re a good healer, they don’t actually need healing, they just need attention. Often, those who repeatedly request heals are also the kinds of players who don’t understand that running around a corner and into the enemy’s backline makes them impossible to heal. You don’t need healing, you need game sense, bestie.
“The change to 5v5 was good”
“Calm down, this isn’t Overwatch League”
As a comp-only Overwatch player, if you’re looking to play the game casually there are lobbies for that. You can queue up for open or role-locked Quick Play games, dick around in Mystery Heroes, or find some custom games like the one that mimics the 6v6 layout of the original Overwatch. Just don’t come into my competitive matches refusing to swap off a character you’re learning, or standing AFK for long periods at a time because you’re in the middle of dinner. Do that in the silly, fun lobbies, NOT HERE. And if I bring up to you that you’re messing with my already dwindling rank, do not tell me, a woman, to calm down.
“Can I play [character?]”
Nothing more irritating than waiting in a DPS queue just to select a character and immediately hear the rustling of someone (probably a kid) hurriedly turning their mic on so they can ask you “please can I play [character]?” If you refuse to swap, you run the risk of them purposely throwing the match, but if you give them their character, they might be bad. It’s a tough choice to make, but if you don’t want to hear the whines of a pre-pubescent teen with a microphone who sounds like they’re parked next to a window AC unit, you might just wanna swap.
“And they say…”
If you know, you know. “And the say” is the beginning of a Doomfist voiceline that players realised could be especially irritating if repeatedly spammed. Doomfist players are already on thin ice (they are notoriously aggressive, and usually leave the rest of their team hanging out to dry), but if you get a Doomfist player who spams this ult line, good luck. Anyone who spams ult lines should get hour-long bans, for the sake of my ear drums.
This is the ultimate insult, the lowest you can go to really hit an Overwatch player where it hurts. Telling someone to uninstall the game is akin to telling them to quit their job, or delete their half-finished romantic fiction novel, or shred all of their artwork. It’s something you’ll say to either an enemy Genji who hovered around your head like a gnat all match, or a teammate who purposefully fed the other squad kills. I know I’m toxic because I say this at least once a session. I’m sorry.