As long as there’s been competitive gaming, there’s been all kinds of bad sports. From trash-talking to griefing to downright disgusting behavior, most players have unfortunately had at least a few unfortunate encounters with these toxic players. At first, there was basically nothing that could be done about these players except to mute them and maybe use some sort of reporting system if the game had that feature. As games have gotten more popular, the amount of these bad players has increased, but so too have the tools for discouraging this bad behavior.
Blizzard’s incredibly popular and evolving Overwatch has had a particularly bad history with toxic players in their community. While there have been many attempts to cure this plague of annoying, offensive, and downright abhorrent behavior, the latest system they’ve implemented is trying something slightly new. Rather than discouraging bad behavior with punishments, which of course still exists, Overwatch now has an endorsement system that tries to encourage good behavior. If you’re wondering what endorsements are, how they work, and how and why you should try and get them, here’s everything you need to know.
What are Overwatch endorsements?
The obvious question is: What are endorsements? In simple terms, they’re a social feature added to the game that’s meant to act as rewards for players who play nice, are good teammates, and are generally positive players for the game’s community. There are three types of endorsements that can be earned:
Sportsmanship: This type of endorsement is meant to be rewarded to players who show good sportsmanship. That means staying positive rather than blaming or arguing with your team, staying respectful to everyone in the game, and generally showing good behavior throughout the entire game. And this endorsement isn’t just limited to your own team, either. Being a good sport to your opponents, whether you won or lost, is also important here. To earn this, keeping a good attitude, encouraging your fellow teammates through voice chat, and refraining from trash-talking will be your best bet.
Good Teammate: This one is a little more focused than Sportsmanship since it applies directly to your interactions with your specific team during a match. All the usual things mentioned in Sportsmanship apply here, but with a few additions. A good teammate, for example, is willing to put the team first. That can mean contributing to the objective or team effort, offering helpful advice or information via voice or text, and, perhaps most importantly in Overwatch, being willing to change characters for the good of the game. If you’re a Hanzo main, but your team needs a healer, making that small sacrifice will go a long way to earning this endorsement.
Shot Caller: If you’re an Overwatch veteran, this one is a good endorsement to aim for. If you know all the tips, character strategies, and best team compositions for the situation, telling that information to your team — in a respectful and kind way, of course — is how you become a Shot Caller. Being a good leader by giving helpful advice, especially to players who might be new or simply unfamiliar with the current meta, is great for building a stronger community, making this a fantastic endorsement.
How to give and receive endorsements
So, now that we’ve covered the different types of endorsements, how do you actually get them? The game itself can’t really pick out who was a Good Teammate or Shot Caller like it can for the play of the game, which means it falls on you and the other players in a game to decide who, if anyone, deserves an endorsement.
Once a match is complete, you will see an option to endorse a player while the play of the game is shown. You’re allowed to award up to three players an endorsement every match to prevent spamming or manipulating the system, so choose carefully before giving one out. You will also earn yourself 50 XP for each endorsement you give out.
You can give any endorsement you want to anyone on your team, excluding yourself, of course, but you can’t give Good Teammate or Shot Caller to someone on the other team for reasons that should be obvious. However, you can — and should — still give out the sportsmanship endorsement to someone on the other team if they deserve it. Bear in mind that you can only endorse one player with one endorsement at a time, and you can only endorse any individual player once every 12 hours. This is also the time where you will see if anyone endorses you. So long as you finished the match, you are eligible to get an endorsement, even if you leave as soon as the match ends to start looking for another match.
You can’t give or receive endorsements in arcade mode or to people in your group or who you’re friends with. This prevents friends from boosting each other with endorsements.
Why should I care about endorsements?
There are a few main reasons why you should care about endorsements. The first is the health of the game’s community. Overwatch is nothing without its players, and everyone wants to have a good time playing without feeling like they’ll be harassed or put on a team with someone intentionally trying to lose. Second, endorsements have their own progression system to work on. They don’t use the same XP system as your normal level but instead can only be leveled up by earning more of that endorsement. In other words, keep being a good sport, and you’ll get higher-level endorsements. Each one can go up to a max level of five at the moment, but that level isn’t static. If you stop earning endorsements, or worse, get reported for being toxic, it will go down.
Finally, there are a few other rewards you may enjoy from getting endorsements. The first is to get some priority when looking for a match in the new Looking For Group option so that you will be placed with other highly endorsed players. Blizzard has also hinted at other additional rewards that will be doled out to highly endorsed players over time, but details on those have yet to be shared. Some suspect additional loot boxes and discounted credits, which do seem like likely rewards but are just rumors at this point.