Overwatch‘s first Competitive Season is about to end, but that doesn’t mean that the game’s development team is resting on their laurels. One of the community’s major criticisms about the game was that it uses low tick rate servers (20 tick servers, as opposed to games like Battlefield 4 that use 60 tick servers, for instance) and a recent update to the game’s servers seems to have fixed that issue, as reported on Reddit.
I’ve tested it myself on three separate competitive matches, and the results were the same as those reported in the Reddit thread that I linked above. Blizzard hasn’t said anything about the change yet, but I would expect an official announcement soon.
A single update of a game simulation is known as a tick. The rate at which the simulation is run on a server is referred often to as the server’s tickrate; this is essentially the server equivalent of a client’s frame rate, absent any rendering system. Tickrate is limited by the length of time it takes to run the simulation, and is often intentionally limited further to reduce instability introduced by a fluctuating tickrate, and to reduce CPU and data transmission costs. A lower tickrate increases latency in the synchronization of the game simulation between the server and clients.
Among other benefits, the increase in tick rate means that players will see less Roadhog hooks catching them through the wall.