Overwatch 2 Queue Times Are Getting Worse in 2024

Overwatch 2 always begins a brand new season with brand-new characters, maps, and features being included to keep things... Stalingrad | 24. April 2024

Overwatch 2 always begins a brand new season with brand-new characters, maps, and features being included to keep things fresh. But season 10 has started off badly, with many players claiming queue times to be ridiculously long – especially in competitive ranked mode. Queue times from thirty minutes to over an hour in several instances.

Complaints from players queuing up in queues for a ranked match have flooded Reddit and the official Blizzard forums. “I’m currently 45 minutes into a queue for a regular competitive game, this is absolutely absurd,” one user posted. Another lamented “I’ve been in the queue for over an hour and still no match found.”

The major culprit appears to be the new “Wide Group” feature in competitive mode, which allows players to group up regardless of their skill rating or rank. This is causing major matchmaking headaches and queue time delays.

Why Are Queue Times Long?

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During previous Overwatch 2 seasons, you could only group up ranked with players within a certain skill range of each other. This “Narrow Group” system helped ensure relatively balanced matches by preventing low-ranked players from grouping with much higher-ranked teammates.

However, the new Wide Group system implemented in season 10 throws that restriction out the window. Players can now invite anyone to their ranked group regardless of their skill discrepancy. While this sounds good in theory for playing with friends, it’s causing major matchmaking problems behind the scenes.

Blizzard’s matchmaking system is having an incredibly difficult time finding fair matches with the hugely disparate skill levels in these Wide Groups. As a result, queue times are skyrocketing as it searches for appropriate matches that may simply not exist.

The issues are exacerbated at the highest tiers of competitive play like Grandmaster and Champion, where the pool of players is already limited. Essentially, season 10 has broken Overwatch 2’s ranked experience for both highly skilled and casual players alike.

Blizzard’s Response to Long Queue Times

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Blizzard is aware of the queue time issues and commented on it in the season 10 patch notes:

“We are currently investigating an issue with long queue times at certain ranks who queue in a group of 2 or more players. Narrow groups are seeing shorter queue times but we’re making a change to help players who are at a very high rank, like Grandmaster or Champion.”

Their proposed short-term solution? Loosen the matchmaking restrictions even further by allowing for “a wider average skill difference between teams.” In other words, you’ll find matches faster but they’ll be even more lopsided and unfair.

For higher-ranked players earning ranks like Grandmaster is a grind, so having that effort undone by lopsided matchmaking is understandably frustrating. But casual players are also getting impacted too.

Will Queue Times Improve?

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Unless Blizzard reverts or significantly adjusts the Wide Group system, queue times in Overwatch 2 don’t look to improve anytime soon. The player base may continue to bleed out, making queue times even worse in the long run.

Some suggest re-implementing firmer rank restrictions for grouping, which could provide a middle-ground solution. But that may not be enough to fix season 10’s matchmaking woes. Blizzard will likely need to re-evaluate and adjust the ranking system as a whole to provide appropriate matches.

For now, Overwatch 2 players have the choice of either waiting over an hour for a ranked match or dealing with the likelihood of increasingly unbalanced and unfair lobbies due to the wide skill disparity. Neither is an ideal solution this deep into Overwatch 2’s lifespan. Only time will tell if Blizzard can correct course in future seasons.