Dark Light

So Blizzard recently released Overwatch on the Nintendo Switch. Any other year, this would have been the biggest news coming out of Blizzard’s office the entire year. But it’s not any other year. The internet is filled with stories about Diablo 4, Shadowlands expansion to World Of Warcraft and of course Overwatch 2. These are the good ones of course, and they don’t even make half of what people are talking about. In the past few months, a lot of questions have been asked of Blizzard. This piece explores just one. Does Overwatch belong on the Nintendo Switch? Let’s find out.

As long-time readers of this website will know, I am primarily a PS4 gamer. I own a Switch, but I prefer couch gaming more than anything else. So it was fortuitous that I got the Overwatch code around the same time I was preparing for my trip to India. It was a 2-week trip, so the Switch was going to be the only console on my person, and Overwatch the new toy that I was gonna play with. It was perfect.

Not Really Though.

The USP of Nintendo Switch has been portability. You pay the price in terms of performance and graphics if you want to play Witcher 3 and Doom on the move. But Overwatch can’t be played without an online connection. Not even the training modes. This means you won’t be playing Overwatch on the bus, in the park or on the beach. I couldn’t play Overwatch on my 14-hour flight to and from India, and I couldn’t play Overwatch on my 8-hour drive from Delhi to Dehradun. Essentially, having Overwatch on the Switch adds your porch, your favorite coffee shop and maybe airports to the places where you can play Overwatch now. With at least 2 of those places, not offering the best internet connection in the world, it begs the question of why to release Overwatch on the Switch.

And that question gets underlined, when you realize when the best way to play the game is when the Switch is docked and you are using the Pro Controller. Which is exactly what you would have been doing if you were playing the game on any other console. The Joy-cons are terrible at aiming, and playing precision-based heroes is downright difficult when playing the game with them. Tanks based classes like Reinhardt and DVa fare better, but if you insist on using the Joy-Cons then your best bet is playing in the handheld mode, because while you might overall visual quality when moving to a smaller screen, a bit of finetuning with the motion controls and the aiming will let you settle down on a satisfactory balance on aiming and moving.

A word about the motion controls. They are turned on by default, and it’s as sensitive as a rash. So the first thing you will do is turn it off, because of all the dizziness. But after a few matches, you could/should turn the gyroscopic movement back on, because it will provide you with that added level of accuracy that you would otherwise be missing from a Joy-Con.

Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled programming of why Overwatch was released on the Switch.

I have a theory.

It’s for people like me. People like me, who have never played Overwatch, never owned Overwatch, and yet wouldn’t mind trying out Overwatch. Launching Overwatch on a brand new platform means that I am free of any set metas on the PC or console. It also means I will be competing mostly with players who are figuring out the controls as much as me. Launching it on the Switch makes it easier for me to dip my feet into Overwatch, understand its heroes, find out if I like the game, and then maybe carry over that enthusiasm into Overwatch 2.

Because even with all those problems, Overwatch does do one thing well, Balancing. Even though I ended up playing much more with Dva, I tried out McCree, Hanzo, Bastion, Widowmaker, Mercy, and Zenyatta extensively. And once I got that accuracy thing lined up, I felt I could switch heroes in and out depending on the situation. Then there is the in-game voice chat, which allowed me to hear Asian children scream as I rolled over their McCrees with my Dva (ahh good times), which is impressive in all of itself knowing that most other games on the Switch depend on 3rd party apps for it.


Overwatch is in a space, where most 3rd party well-received games find themselves when they finally release for the Switch. They aren’t the best way to experience them, but they are still playable without “much” heartache. You wouldn’t recommend someone to move from their preferred platform onto Switch for Overwatch, and yet it opens the game to a whole new slew of players, who can now experience the game ideally for the first time, and hopefully never find out how good it is on the other side.

1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts