Game modes, Part 2
In the previous article, we discussed the basics of the game as well as a couple of game modes you would encounter upon starting the game. In this article, we will go over the remaining game modes and what to expect as you play them. Overwatch has various game modes to choose from with each appealing to players differently. In the first article, Training and Quickplay were covered but if those game modes did not draw you in then perhaps the game modes discussed in this article will interest you. This article will cover the Arcade game mode and its various games, the Game Browser, and Competitive game play.
The Arcade is a game mode that features a variety of other games with different play styles and objectives. The type of games available differ from day to day, and during special events there will always be a guaranteed game for that event. There is a weekly bonus for completing 9 games and for every 3 wins, you receive a loot box. These boxes include skins, voicelines, sprays, victory poses, high-light intros and emotes. The many choices in the Arcade can make this mode very fun and a great way to get your weekly loot boxes.
One Arcade game type is the 8 man free-for-all where you and 7 other players face off against each other. The first player to reach 20 kills wins the match. If you are just looking for a point for weekly wins, the top 4 players in this game mode will receive credit. The free-for-all game mode has two variations to choose from; one where you can choose your hero and one where it randomly assigns you a hero. In the version where you choose your hero, it can be played until you choose to change it. In mystery free-for-all, you are randomly assigned a hero that will change randomly each time you are defeated. Players earn a point per kill but falling off the map and accidentally killing yourself will remove a point and can even drop a player’s score into the negatives.
Another game mode you might encounter is the deathmatch which can be a 1v1 or a group deathmatch if you want to have others on your team or even have your friends join. In a deathmatch, the last player or team standing wins! There are other variations of this as well, such as the 1v1 elimination where you fight one other player and the first to reach 3 points, wins. There is also the 1v1 lockout elimination where you and another player fight against each other but with an added twist: once you win a round with a hero, it is removed from your choices and you must attempt to win with another.
Mystery Heroes is another game type you can choose that follows the standard Quickplay model but each player is assigned a random hero upon entering the game. You cannot change the hero you get assigned, but you will be re-rolled to another random hero if you die. This is my personal favorite as it helps me understand and learn the playstyles of heroes that I normally wouldn’t have chosen to play.
If you like chaotic and fast paced games, then Total Mayhem is the game mode for you. In this game mode, all of your hero’s skills have little to no cooldown or recharge time, and they also have double their normal HP or hit points. This means that you can learn about and use a hero’s skills more frequently than in a normal match. This can result in players dashing all over the maps and being difficult to kill. This also makes it troublesome to capture objectives as the defending teams are able to survive your team’s advances for longer periods of time.
These and many more game modes are available every day, but during special events there will be an additional game mode which will differ depending on the special event and each successful playthrough will result in a win towards your weekly loot boxes. Some of these games include: Lucio Ball during the Summer Games; Junkenstein’s Revenge during Halloween Terror; Yeti Hunter during Winter Wonderland; and playing through a moment in Overwatch’s history with the Archives.
The Game browser is the place where you can find a variety of game types to play that were made by other players. These games were created in Overwatch’s workshop and are often much more interesting and sometimes, may flout the standard game rules. This is where you would find the rendition of the mobile game Flappy Birds but with Overwatch‘s Hero, Pharah. If you are looking to create your own match where you can choose the map and game type or even join a game made by another player, then this is where you will want to be.
The competitive game mode becomes available to players upon reaching a player level of 25. Competitive also has the Role Queue system that was discussed previously in the Quickplay section and each role requires you to play 5 placement matches. These matches are used to gauge your skill level with heroes that fit into each role and award Skill Rating (SR) points. A player’s SR can be increased by winning a match and will decrease by losing one. Players who leave a match before the end will lose SR as if the match was a loss as well as receive a temporary ban from competitive games. The amount of time a player is banned will increase if they continue to leave matches. Competitive has seasons that last for two months with a few days off-season before the next one starts again.
Competitive tiers are ranked with SR thresholds starting with bronze and ending with grandmaster. As a player advances up the ranks, they will notice a change in skill of not only themselves but also their teammates and the enemy team. The game modes available in competitive play are the same as in other game modes such as Quickplay and some Arcade game modes. The only difference is that there are multiple rounds of each Competitive match. For example, an escort match is where you would need to escort a payload through checkpoints until you reach your final destination. In a competitive match, each team will have their chance to escort the payload and the team that pushed their payload the farthest would be the winner. In the instance where both teams successfully escort their payload to the end, each team would be given an additional chance to complete the mission with their remaining time from their previous round. This will continue until one team beats the other.
Overwatch is an interesting game with many different ways to occupy your time, if you know where to look, be it for a short time or for hours on end. With the many different game modes and heroes to choose from, it can be difficult to find your direction when starting out. Hopefully, these articles have helped you find your place in game or drawn you in to give it a try.
The next article in the Overwatch series will cover the three different roles you can choose from as well as tips on how best to play and benefit your team.
Special thanks to editors Miko, Belph and Star for helping bring this all together.