What is Overwatch 2’s Defense Matrix initiative?

Emily Stander
D.Va in Overwatch 2

The latest Developer Update for Overwatch 2 Season 10 put heavy emphasis on their Defense Matrix initiative, but what is it exactly? Here is everything you need to know. 

The Overwatch 2 Defense Matrix is an initiative that was introduced with the game’s launch that focuses on disincentivizing disruptive behavior

While it specifically looks at how they can manage disruptive behavior from players in matches, it’s also the initiative that they use to work against cheating in OW2. For those who’d like to know more, here’s everything about the Overwatch 2 Defense Matrix.

Overwatch 2 Defense Matrix explained

The Overwatch 2 Defense Matrix is an initiative introduced by the devs that aims to reduce toxicity and cheaters while encouraging a more positive player experience.

The Defense Matrix system uses a few methods to combat cheating and toxicity:

  • SMS Protect: Your account has to be linked to a working number.
  • Audio transcripts: In-game recordings of voice chat.
  • First Time User Experience (FTUE): Prompts and navigation for new players to learn about modes and get tips about the game.

You cannot play the game if your account is not linked to a number, which is a way for Blizzard to try and make it more difficult to cheat in the game or make smurf accounts for boosting. 

Audio transcripts were a big change that came into the game when it launched. Basically, the system transcribes everything that happens in voice and text chat so that devs can have an easier time identifying toxic behavior. 

The hope with this change was to make sure players couldn’t use voice chat as a way to work around being reported, which was a problem in Overwatch 1. 

In the latest Developer Update, Blizzard confirmed that more major changes are coming in Season 10:

  • Group restrictions in Competitive have been removed.
  • Harsher leaver penalties have been introduced.
  • A better optimized Streamer Mode is coming for better anonymity.

With these changes, it looks like Defense Matrix is still focusing on keeping toxicity at bay while also giving players more autonomy in how they experience Overwatch 2. It’s also a pretty big indication that Defense Matrix is evolving as an ongoing initiative to make the game a safer place.

Blizzard has also announced that more changes will come in future seasons, including being able to avoid more teammates and being able to report players quickly while you’re still in a match. 

As mentioned, the Defense Matrix is an ongoing initiative, so we will make sure to let you know of all the changes coming to the game as they are released. In the meantime, you can check out our guides below.

Overwatch 2 Flashpoint | Best Overwatch 2 Heroes: Tank, DPS, & Support ranked | Best Overwatch 2 PC settings | Overwatch 2 crossplay | Is Overwatch 2 free-to-play? | How to get Golden Guns in Overwatch 2 | Best Overwatch 2 Heroes | Who is the most popular Overwatch 2 Heroes | How to check your rank in Overwatch 2 

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About The Author

Emily is a Games Writer at CharlieIntel. Most of the time, you can find her playing RPGs and platformers - but she enjoys engaging in the rage of Overwatch 2 or Apex Legends from time to time. Emily has a Masters in Media Studies and has been working as a journalist for over 5 years, both freelance and full-time. You can contact her at [email protected]