As long as competitive gaming has existed, there have always been players with poor sportsmanship. From trash-talking to griefing and even disgusting behavior, most players have unfortunately encountered these toxic individuals. In the early days, there wasn’t much that could be done about them besides muting and reporting. However, as games grew in popularity, the number of these disruptive players increased. Thankfully, game developers have introduced tools to discourage such behavior.
Overwatch, Blizzard’s immensely popular and ever-evolving game, had a particularly troublesome history with toxic players in its community. Despite numerous attempts to address this issue, the latest attempted solution takes a slightly different approach. Instead of focusing on punishing bad behavior (which still exists), Overwatch now employs an endorsement system as a means of encouraging good behavior. If you’re curious about what endorsements are, how they function, and why you should aim to acquire them, this article will provide you with all the essential information.
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What exactly are Overwatch endorsements?
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The most obvious question to ask is: What are endorsements? In simple terms, they are a social feature integrated into the game to reward players who exhibit positive behavior, act as good teammates, and contribute to the game’s community in a constructive manner. There are three types of endorsements that can be earned:
1. Sportsmanship: This endorsement is granted to players who demonstrate good sportsmanship. It entails maintaining a positive attitude, refraining from blaming or arguing with teammates, treating everyone in the game with respect, and displaying overall good behavior throughout the entire match. Additionally, being a good sport to opponents, regardless of the outcome, is also crucial. To earn this endorsement, maintaining a positive attitude, encouraging teammates through voice chat, and avoiding trash-talking will greatly increase your chances.
2. Good Teammate: This endorsement focuses more specifically on your interactions with your own team during a match. It encompasses all the elements mentioned under Sportsmanship, with some additional considerations. A good teammate willingly prioritizes the team’s needs. This could involve contributing to the objective or overall team effort, providing helpful advice or information through voice or text communication, and, perhaps most importantly in Overwatch, being willing to switch characters for the benefit of the team. For example, if you primarily play as Hanzo but your team requires a healer, sacrificing your personal preference to fulfill that role will significantly contribute to earning this endorsement.
3. Shot Caller: If you’re an Overwatch veteran, aiming for this endorsement is a wise choice. If you possess in-depth knowledge of tips, character strategies, and ideal team compositions for specific situations, sharing that information with your team—always in a respectful and considerate manner—transforms you into a Shot Caller. Being a good leader by providing helpful advice, particularly to players who are new to the game or unfamiliar with the current meta, contributes to a stronger community, making this endorsement highly valuable.
How to give and receive endorsements
Now that we’ve covered the different types of endorsements, you might wonder how to obtain them. Unlike the system for determining the play of the game, the game itself cannot automatically identify who qualifies as a Good Teammate or Shot Caller. Therefore, it falls upon you and the other players in a match to decide who, if anyone, deserves an endorsement.
Once a match concludes, you’ll have the option to endorse a player while the play of the game is being showcased. You can endorse up to three players per match, preventing spamming or manipulation of the system, so choose wisely before distributing your endorsements. Furthermore, each endorsement you give out will reward you with 50 XP.
You have the freedom to endorse any player on your team, except yourself, but you cannot give the Good Teammate or Shot Caller endorsements to players on the opposing team—for reasons that should be self-evident. However, you should still consider awarding the sportsmanship endorsement to deserving opponents. Keep in mind that you can only endorse one player with a single endorsement at a time, and you can endorse any individual player only once every 12 hours. During this time, you will also discover if anyone has endorsed you. As long as you complete the match, you are eligible to receive an endorsement, even if you leave immediately afterwards to search for another match.
Please note that endorsements cannot be given or received in arcade mode, nor can they be exchanged with individuals in your group or those on your friends list. This prevents friends from artificially boosting each other’s endorsements.
Why should endorsements matter to you?
There are several key reasons why you should care about endorsements. First and foremost is the well-being of the game’s community. Overwatch’s success heavily relies on its players, and everyone wants to enjoy playing without the fear of harassment or being matched with someone intentionally trying to lose. Second, endorsements have their own progression system. Unlike your normal level, they utilize a separate XP system that can only be increased by earning more endorsements. In other words, if you consistently display good sportsmanship, your endorsement level will rise. Each type of endorsement can reach a maximum level of five currently, but these levels are not static. If you stop earning endorsements or, worse yet, are reported for toxic behavior, your endorsement level will decline.
Finally, there are additional rewards to be obtained through endorsements. Prioritization in matchmaking when using the new Looking For Group feature is among the benefits. Highly endorsed players will be grouped together, providing a more positive gameplay experience. Blizzard has also hinted at other rewards that will be periodically distributed to highly endorsed players, although details on these rewards have yet to be revealed. Speculation suggests the possibility of additional loot boxes and discounted credits, but such information remains unconfirmed.
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