Since its release in May 2016, Overwatch has taken the online gaming community by storm, quickly becoming one of the best-selling video games in 2016.
With a gameplay similar to Team Fortress or Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Overwatch is a game that requires the help of your teammates, the aim being to defend or attack dynamic objectives to win games. Players can choose from up to 23 heroes with unique skills and abilities to help win games.
Overwatch also has a huge competitive scene, which further reinforces the need for team play and communication. Check out the video below to see what I mean!
As you can see in the video, the voice chat (or VOIP) in Overwatch is an integral part of the game if you want to be successful. Unfortunately, there are countries which ban VOIP services and voice chat, making it impossible to join team voice chat in Overwatch. The absence of voice chat can drastically reduce the overall experience, as well as put residents of these countries at a competitive disadvantage.
Where is Overwatch Voice Chat Banned?
Overwatch voice chat is currently unavailable in the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia
The countries restricting VOIP/voice chat access are known to have a poor track record when it comes to certain freedoms. Luckily, there is a way to bypass these silly bans – by using a VPN!
How to Use a VPN to Unblock Overwatch Voice Chat
A VPN allows you to “tunnel” into a different country and change your location to bypass geo-restrictions and ISP blocks. For instance, if you live in Saudi Arabia and voice chat is unavailable, you can use a VPN to change your location to a nearby country (such as Nigeria or Israel), to access voice chat on Overwatch.
You can read more about how VPNs work and the benefits of using one in the BestVPN.com Beginner’s Guide.
Let’s go over how you can use a VPN to unblock voice chat in Overwatch!
- Purchase and install Overwatch for your desired platform.
- Choose a VPN service meant for gaming or check out my personal favorite, ExpressVPN.
- Sign up and install the VPN software on your computer, PS4 or Xbox One.
- Connect to a VPN server that is closest to your actual location (and doesn’t block voice chat).
- Start the game and test voice chat by pressing “P” in-game. If you are able to join the team voice chat channel, you are all set to go!
Note: The biggest drawback to using a VPN is that it can slow down your connection. Latency and connections are extremely important in online gaming, meaning you should always try to find a VPN with a fast network and servers close to your actual location. See the screenshots below to see the effect of using a VPN with Overwatch.
As you can see, while I did get ~20 ping added to my connection by connecting to ExpressVPN, the difference can hardly be felt. Only truly competitive players will be able to notice a difference when connected to ExpressVPN!
I Don’t Live in a Country Where Voice Chat is Banned! What is the Issue?
If you reside in a country where voice chat is allowed, and you are still running into problems, chances are you probably don’t have the right ports configured for Overwatch.
Overwatch uses TCP ports 1119, 3724, 6113, and 80. UDP ports 6250, 5062, 5060, 12000-64000, 3478, and 3479 also need to be open for the game client to function. You will need to unblock these ports on your router for Overwatch to function without any issues. Check out this helpful site for more information on opening ports for Overwatch.
I hope this guide has helped you access voice chat in Overwatch. Have any questions or comments? Leave them below!