Complete Guide On How To Optimize Your PC Like A Pro For Competitive Overwatch 2018

Updated: 2018-01-10

Overwatch is a fast growing eSports game. We at esportsettings.com have been playing the game since release (currently top 500 in EU) and want to share our knowledge with the Overwatch community. Similar to our CSGO optimization guide, here is now one for Overwatch.

Remember: With this guide we focus on the competitive settings that the pro players use which will give us the best performance and the lowest input lag, not how the game looks.

1. Overwatch Settings

1.1 Graphics Settings


Start Overwatch and go to Options -> Video. We recommend to use the settings in the image below which we will talk more about in 4.2 Reduce Display Lag. These are the settings that most pro players are using because it reduces the input lag, makes the game smoother and you also get higher fps. When playing at a pro level you don’t care if the game looks amazing. The only thing should care about if you take the game seriously and want to improve is to make your game feel smooth.

Reduce buffering for example makes the mouse feel a lot smoother and precise which makes it easier to aim and track enemies. This option reduces the fps slightly though but it’s totally worth it.


An image of the best overwatch video settings part1


Almost all pro players have Graphics Quality on the absolute lowest. As mentioned before, when playing on a pro level you don’t care if the game looks nice. The only thing you care about is how the game runs. You want to have the best performance when playing on that level where milliseconds determine whether you win a match or lose. The higher fps you have the smoother the game feels and also the mouse responsiveness feels a lot better.

Most pro players use “Render Scale” set to 100%. Some pro players have it on 75% which gives you more fps. This is all up to you, what you want to use. If you have a bad computer and need more fps, choose 75%.


An image of the best overwatch video settings part2


1.2 Reduce Display Lag


Now when you have changed the “Video” settings above, go into “Practice Range” and press CTRL + SHIFT + N. At the very right side of “SIM” you will see a number that fluctuate. Mine is 6.4 ms in this image.


SIM is the amount of time it takes for your cursor to move on the screen. You want this number to be as low as possible. Below 10 is good.

The settings that we changed in 4.1 Graphics Settings affect the SIM number positively. But if you have “Triple Buffering”, “Vertical sync” etc, the sim number will be higher which is bad. That’s why we turned them off.


How do we make this number even lower?


If you put render scale to 75% or lower, that can make your SIM go down. Changing Overwatch to “High Priority” in task manager can also make SIM lower.


An image of sim in overwatch

1.3 Audio Settings


Most people have “Music Volume” enabled which is totally fine to have but if you want to hear if someone sneaks up on you, it’s better to have it disabled.


Let’s say you are playing Mccree defending point B and if you manage to defend it you get a draw. It’s 10 seconds left and a tracer kills you from behind and you lose the match because you died there. You couldn’t hear the tracer sneaking behind you because the 10 seconds music starts. If you had the “Music Volume” set to “0” you would have heard the tracer and could have easily used your “E” on her which would probably gave you the draw instead of a defeat.


If you want to have “Music Volume” enabled, no problem. But think of the matches you could have won if you had it disabled.


An image of the best overwatch audio settings

2. Graphics Card Settings


2.1 Update Your Graphics Drivers


By updating your graphics card driver, you can get a massive increase in fps. Especially if it was a really long time since you last updated it. If you don’t know what GPU model you have, you can easily find out by searching for dxdiag in windows search bar. A window will pop up where you want to hit “No” and in the “Display” tab is where the GPU model name is located.


Links to the GPU driver downloads page:

Nvidia Graphics Drivers: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us

AMD Graphics Drivers: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download

Intel Graphics Drivers: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/detect.html?iid=dc_iduu


2.2 Nvidia Change Resolution


In here you want to change to the highest resolution that your monitor supports and also the highest refresh rate.


An image of the nvidia change resolution for overwatch


Note: Before changing the Refresh rate setting, make sure to check if you monitor supports it. Changing to a refresh rate that your monitor doesn’t support can damage the monitor.


2.3 Nvidia Adjust Desktop Color Settings


The “Digital Vibrance” setting will make your monitor look more colorful which makes it easier to spot enemies hiding in dark areas of the map. Digital vibrance is more important in a game like CSGO than Overwatch and it is definitely more popular in CSGO among the pros than Overwatch but some pro players in Overwatch also use it (not everyone). Those who uses it has it on 70 – 100%


An image of the best nvidia digital vibrance settings for overwatch


2.4 Nvidia Adjust Desktop Size and Position

Select “Aspect ratio” and Perform scaling on: “GPU”.


An image of the best nvidia adjust desktop size and position settings for overwatch


2.5 Nvidia Manage 3D settings


Manage 3D Settings are the most important Nvidia settings that can give you more fps and make your game feel really smooth. We have been playing competitive games with these settings for years which is based on what the best pro players are using. These settings will reduce the input lag and make the game more responsive which is exactly what we need in a competitive game where milliseconds decide whether you win or lose a match. We want to have the advantage over our enemy.


An image of the best nvidia 3d settings for overwatch part1

An image of the best nvidia 3d settings for overwatch part2


Note: You generally want to have Shade Cache “ON” which should make your game smooth but if for some reason the game doesn’t feel smooth, try changing it to “OFF”.


3. Windows Settings


3.1 Windows Power Options


Enable “High Performance” plan in Windows Power Options. To find “Power Options” you can either go to the control panel and find it there or you can go to windows search bar and search for “Power Options”.


An image of the best power options in windows for overwatch


3.2 Disable Xbox DVR For Windows 10


Xbox DVR is enabled by default in windows and it lowers the fps in games. If you are not using Xbox DVR then why have it enabled? In CSGO this could lower the fps a lot and if you had it enabled, a message box popped up showing how to disable it.


The easiest way to disable Xbox DVR is to disable it in the Xbox app in Windows. Open Xbox App -> Settings -> Xbox DVR -> Disable “Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR”


The hard way is to go into “Registry Editor” and disable it there. The link below shows how to do it:




4. Mouse Settings


4.1 DPI Settings and Polling rate


In Overwatch you generally want to use either 800 or 1600 dpi because if you use 400 dpi the mouse will skip pixels. You change the DPI by going to your mouse software. Some mice e.g Zowie has a DPI switch underneath the mouse.


We recommend to use 1000 HZ/Polling rate if your mouse supports it.


4.2 Sensitivity


Mouse sensitivity is something you have to go ingame and see for yourself. Play a few matches with the sensitivity and tweak it to your liking.

If you can’t find a sensitivity that you feel comfortable with, we usually recommend to start with either 5 or 7 sensitivity and 800 dpi and then tweak to your liking because that’s what most pros are using.

5. More Tweaks You Can Do


Besides all the things we already mentioned you can also:

Updating all your drivers can give a fps increase.

Scan your computer for virus with an anti virus program.

Installing Overwatch on a SSD makes the maps load faster.

Notes: We didn’t talk about Windows Mouse Tweaks in this optimization guide since Overwatch uses raw input ingame and window sensitivity in menus but if you want to disable mouse acceleration in the menus you can read how to do it in our CSGO Optimization Guide: https://www.esportsettings.com/csgo-optimization-guide/

We hope you found this optimization guide useful. Feel free to comment if you have any questions.