The Overwatch endorsement system has recently gone live and since then, the social feature has made major strides in combating the toxicity of the Overwatch community. Endorsements are important if a player wants to be added to groups, can give you experience and even in-game rewards. Here is everything you need to know about Endorsements.

​​The point of Endorsements is to encourage Overwatch players to be nice to each other and to play fairly. Gaining and maintaining endorsements is not mandatory and for the most part, will not affect your gameplay but striving for the highest level of endorsement will give you more opportunities to play with the right people and continually reward you for your efforts.

You can Endorse players in three ways:

Sportsmanship - This endorsement can be awarded to someone on your team or someone on the opposite team. Given to players who might congratulate the winning team or who aren't sore losers.

Good Teammate - This endorsement is only awarded to teammates. You can give this endorsement to teammates who switched off their mains to help the composition, or encouraged everyone to have a great game, or maybe did exceptionally well.

Shotcaller - Another team-only endorsement, this will be awarded to someone on your team who used effective communication. This endorsement also encourages people to use voice chat and to be communicative with strats.

You can give away three endorsements per match, and use one endorsement per player. You can only endorse a player every 12 hours. There are new icons next to a player's icon that indicates the level of endorsement that player has. So far, the level of endorsement goes from zero to five. This can decay, prompting players to maintain a positive playing persona.

You cannot Endorse your friends, unfortunately. Anyone you're playing with on your friend's list will not be available to receive your endorsements and vise versa. This is to ensure that players do not favor their friends over other players. Endorsements are also not available in Arcade modes. 

Players begin with an Endorsement level of one and can progress to a max level of five. Players who maintain a high endorsement level will be rewarded periodically. Reportedly, the first rewards will include extra loot boxes and discounts on credits when you want to buy things in-game. Future rewards will be added, and they will be tied to seasonal events. You can also receive a small amount of player experience when you endorse another player. 

Endorsement level will decay over time, so it's important to keep up good behavior to ensure more endorsements from other players. 

The Endorsement system came out with another new social feature, the Looking for Group tool. The LFG has a feature that allows people looking for teammates to dictate what Endorsement level people need to have to apply. Some groups will not accept endorsement levels lower than a certain level and vise-versa. This makes it clear that your endorsement level will impact some of the things you want to do in-game. 

Players with lower Endorsement levels may be looked down upon by some players and that could also affect the way people play with you. Your player profile is no longer public by default, but your Endorsement level icon is visible and right next to your player icon. 

So far, the major gripe about the Endorsement system is that its rewarding players for being "fake nice" and genuinely nice players are being accused of acting. That may all be true of course, but awarding a player for at least being nice for the sake of an Endorsement is far and beyond better than dealing with toxic players who ruin your gaming experience.

Dealing with toxicity has been an uphill battle for the Overwatch team, and has even impeded the development of the game itself because devs are having to place their focus on punishing toxic players instead of advancing the game. The Endorsement system is combating toxicity with positivity, and keeping "being nice" in the forefront of players' minds. Whether it's genuine or not, it still impacts Overwatch in a positive way and makes the game more fun for everyone.

This system is unprecedented and seems like a great experiment in dealing with one of the gaming industry's biggest problems. If this is successful, it could potentially spill over into other Blizzard IPs and even other games from other studios. Nobody can tell how well Endorsements will work yet, but the success of this experiment will benefit all of us.

Photos courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment