Overwatch Leaver Penalty Explained in Detail by Blizzard

June 9, 2016 Written by Alex Co

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While people rage quitting or just leaving their character idle to grief others are nothing new, Overwatch players might have noticed that it’s not as prevalent in Blizzard’s shooter compared to other titles in the genre.

The chief instigator of change here is Blizzard’s “leave penalty” to XP, which penalizes players with a whopping 75 percent penalty for leavers and quitters in their future games. Of course, there’s also the chance that you got kicked unintentionally for being idle (like, say, going for a bathroom break real quick) or getting disconnected due to your internet conking out. If you’re wondering how Blizzard computes this Overwatch leaver penalty, allow the studio themselves to explain.

In a forum post, Blizzard Community Manager Lylirra gives us a detailed info on what you can and cannot do in order to get this dubious reward.

We’ve seen similar questions about how the leaver penalty currently works in Quick Play (both here and on social media), so here’s a bit more information:

  • If you leave too many games and your “games played” vs “games completed” percentage falls below our required threshold, you will receive a warning message (this percentage is calculated based on your 20 most recent games).
  • If you continue to leave games after receiving a warning (which will display in the lower left-hand corner of your screen), you will incur a 75% EXP penalty on all future games.
  • The penalty isn’t time-based, but instead will be removed once you complete enough games to raise your “games played” vs “games completed” percentage above our required threshold (again, this percentage is calculated based on your 20 most recent games).
  • If you disconnect or are removed due to inactivity from a game, it will count the same as if you leave the game intentionally.

If you leave a game before the “Assemble Your Team” phase is over (i.e. before you enter your starting spawn rooms):

  • It won’t count as a game played
  • You will not be considered a “leaver” in this scenario

If you leave a game after the match ends (i.e. after you see the VICTORY/DEFEAT screen):

  • It will count as a game played—and if your team won, it will count as a win
  • You will not be considered a “leaver” in this scenario

If you leave a game after the “Assemble Your Team” phase is over, but before the match ends:

  • It will count as a game played

  • You will be considered a “leaver” in this scenario

Thankfully, if you’re close to getting this leaver penalty, you’ll see a warning pop up on the main menu. Check out the additional scenarios about leaving and quitting below to get a better grasp whether you’re doing the right thing or not.

As a quick reminder: Leaving a couple games in a row won’t cause you to be penalized in any way. We understand that there are circumstances, either in or outside of your control, that may necessitate you needing to step away from a game before it ends. It’s only if you repeatedly leave games in succession, to the point where it could be considered a habitual behavior, that you will be penalized.

The threshold at which the 75% EXP penalty will activate is actually pretty high. (Not only that, but you will receive a very clear warning message on the main menu if you are getting close to that threshold before any penalty is applied.)

With that said, here are some additional answers to your questions!

Posted by DoctorWorm

Q: What if a friend is mid game and I invite him to a group and it takes him out of the game?

A: If you join a group and, as a result, leave your current game either a) after “Assemble Your Team” has ended or b) before you see the VICTORY/DEFEAT screen, you will be considered a “leaver.”

We’ve definitely seen posts that this process (i.e. the fact that when you join a group, you will be automatically removed from your current game) may not always feel great, and that’s certainly feedback for us to consider.

Q: Posted by RealHankHill

A: Wait, so are you telling me when the disconnect is on serverside for no reason and it won’t let me reconnect. It counts as me leaving on purpose? There is no way I’m reading this right am I?

If your computer drops its connection to the game server (due to any number of potential issues or hiccups), and this disconnect occurs either a) after “Assemble Your Team” has ended or b) before you see the VICTORY/DEFEAT screen, you will be considered a “leaver.”

If the game server drops its connection to your computer (due to it no longer being available) at any point during a match, you will not be considered a “leaver.”

Q: Posted by SodaSeven

A: I just accidentally joined a friends game as a spectator. Left, and it occurred to me that it might be considered leaving.

Quick google search later, turns out leaving as a spectator counts against you. This needs to be fixed.

There you go, then. Once a game starts where heroes spawn in, then it’s NOT okay to leave and quit. Once you see the “defeat” and “victory” flash across the screen, it’s good to go. 

Anyone experienced this and found it unfair? Have you been given this penalty unjustly? Let us know below.

[Source: Battle.net]