Overwatch 2 on Steam at least does one thing right (OK, maybe two)

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 has finally made it to Steam and it's fair to say the reaction has been mixed. There's nothing different about this version, it's the same game as you could already play on console or PC with Battle.net, it's just on Steam now as well. 

While the game is being review bombed since, finally, disgruntled players have a place to voice their opinions on Blizzard's monetization of the game, in a technical sense at least, Overwatch 2 is perfectly fine. 

However, there's one good thing that has come from all this. Actually, I'm going to say two. Being on Steam is just better. It's better for PC players in general, and it's definitely better for Steam Deck owners.

Say goodbye to Battle.net

Bye bye Battle.net (Image credit: Windows Central)

Here's the deal. Launchers are bad. It's bad enough that Steam itself is a launcher besides just being a store, but it's the one that basically every PC gamer uses. I'm not going to dip a toe into talking about monopolies and all that jazz, just straight facts. We've seen it with Microsoft, even, breaking its own recent titles out of the Microsoft Store and also putting them on Steam. 

Overwatch 2 being on Steam means one less reason to have an extra launcher installed in Battle.net. You don't need it. The game also does a really slick job of linking your Steam and Battle.net accounts together if you already have both. You can either enter a code in a web browser, or you can scan a QR code. Simple, effective, and it'll merge your two accounts together. 

Obviously if you play other Blizzard games, you'll still need Battle.net for now, but if Overwatch 2 is your only jam, get rid of it. Install the game through Steam and have one less headache.

Overwatch 2 is now easier to play on Steam Deck (and it plays well)

Overwatch 2 performs pretty well on Steam Deck.  (Image credit: Windows Central)

Getting Blizzard games like Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 onto the Steam Deck has been possible, and not terribly difficult. But as on a desktop, it involved getting the Battle.net client installed. Techy folks would have no problem with this, but would more casual players even know it was a possibility? 

For everything you can do with the Steam Deck, just being able to install games through the native UI is far superior. And who knows, maybe Blizzard will even see an uptick in players. I've never played Overwatch 2 despite having some hours in the first game, but I've installed it on my Deck this morning just because it's there, and it's easy. 

It plays really well, too. You'll get some jank while the shaders are getting figured out. I've also already hit an interesting issue where I touched the display on the Deck and the game then thought I was using a keyboard and mouse, also refusing then to react to the controller inputs. The fix for this is to switch to Proton Experimental, then all works well. 

Performance on the whole is excellent though. You can happily play Overwatch 2 on the Steam Deck at medium settings, 1280 x 800 resolution and enjoy 60 FPS (or a little below at times) gameplay. A few quirks aside, it's certainly one of the more performant games I've tried on the Deck recently. 

Whether you should play it or not is a different question entirely. I'm not sure I'll be putting much time into it, since it only takes a couple of seconds to understand why people generally hate the monetization structure. But if you're OK with that, getting Overwatch 2 from Steam is definitely the way to do it.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine