If you’ve ever dove into an Overwatch battle completely unaware that half your team died 15 seconds ago, I implore you to turn on a new setting for Overwatch 2. (opens in a new tab). It’s a distinct sound that plays when a teammate dies and having it on has already saved my bacon more than once.
The sound itself is familiar to Overwatch veterans: a blaring, short emergency siren that effectively communicates “oh god, back off, oh god.” The alarm has been used in Overwatch for years to signify the death of teammates, but only in limited time PvE events. Now it can be used in PvP, although it is disabled by default and easy to miss in the settings menu.
Blizzard has aptly named this setting “Play Sound When Teammate Eliminated”. You’ll find it at the bottom of this first sound settings page:
Once it’s on, you can basically stop worrying about the kill forever. It was revealing to reveal a small text stream that I often overlook and let the sound do the talking. I’m amazed at how quickly death alarms have improved my responsiveness. It’s now possible to stay completely focused on my target or the person I’m healing and still instantly understand when teammates are dead and we should retreat. Word of the handy new warning slowly spread among friends and associates, and now everyone who is anyone is on the lookout for death. Turns out the old way was slow and bad all along. This abrasive, unpleasant noise is quite sweet.
Here is the alarm in action, demonstrated by me repeatedly jumping off a cliff as Soldier 76 (sounds):
You might be wondering about the similar setting above the teammate’s death alarm, “Play Sound When Enemy Eliminated”. This one does what it says on the tin, but honestly, I can barely even hear it. It’s a unique sound, but it’s either too quiet or my brain decides to drown it out. That’s fine by me—I care more about teammate notifications anyway, and I think it’s pretty obvious when we’ve wiped the floor with the competition and there’s no one left to shoot.