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When you’re playing a team-based game, early leavers in your team can cost you the match. It’s for this reason that a lot of games penalize players who ragequit, a preventative measure to ensure both teams are on equal footing. 

In a blog post on the official Overwatch forums, a player brings up the question whether Overwatch also has a penalty for leaving, stating that his reason for wanting to quit a match early is because the game always makes him play on a specific map.

Community manager Lylirra had the following to say on the subject:

  •  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.

Even with these rules in place, there are some situations where you may leave a match early without it counting towards your total games left. If you leave the match before you and your team spawn in the spawn room (so before the Assemble Your Team phase is over), this won’t count towards your total games left. You also won’t be considered a leaver if you leave the game after the victory screen but before the stats screen.

As Lylirra notes in the forum post, leaving several games in a row won’t get you a leaver penalty. Only when you leave a few games in quick succession will you get the leaver penalty. This also applies to you leaving a match to join a friend’s match. If this happens after the Assemble Your Team phase but before the Victory/Defeat screen, you will be seen as a leaver by the game. Additionally, if you lose connection to the server at any point after the Assemble Your Team phase, you will be seen as a leaver. If the server itself drops the connection, you won’t be considered a leaver.

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.)

While the game’s progression system is pretty much meaningless since leveling up doesn’t net you anything beyond cosmetic rewards, this will hopefully be enough to make players think twice about leaving a game before the match has officially concluded. 

More About This Game

Chris Anderson

Assoc. News Editor

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.



  • Jonathan Litwinka

    Seems fair enough.

  • BurntToShreds

    I’ve never seen anybody actually leave a match. I’ve joined matches in progress where somebody obviously left because they were losing, sure, but never a game I was already in.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    So if my wireless dies, and I don’t reconnect in time, or I have to go to the bathroom and it takes me too long the game considers me a leaver. Lame…

  • Garbagio Dumpsterino

    Yeah, but how many times are you gonna do that in 20 games?

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    I don’t know, but now I may have to plan around those type of things happening if I don’t want to be considered a leaver.

  • WhiteNut

    Now if only there were penalties for real issues, like people using tracer.

  • Dr.Weird

    you should probably take a shit before playing, I do that for League and it’s never been a problem

  • I’ve had people rage quit when we were losing

  • Tracer is fine, if you’re godlike
    if you’re not… don’t play tracer

  • I pee between matches all the time (I have a microbladder), and the game never kicks me

  • justsayin

    Your saying the game should let your issues be it’s problem? If you can’t play a team based game without needing to leave then you shouldn’t play these games. This is considered being an adult and learning to adapt to the world around you.
    With over 7 million players you are a drop in the ocean.
    Your Wi-Fi disconnects? Why is it Blizzards problem you can’t have a steady signal?
    Can’t tell when you may have to biobreak before the end of a match? Blizzard isn’t responsible.
    True sometimes the bodily functions of the average human can be urgent and immediate. However it’s not within the perview of a game developer to have to build in systems just for that.
    I have ibs but seemingly I have almost no leavings recorded. If anything the times I do it’s due to toxic players.
    Don’t try and blame a dev, no matter who they are, for penalizing people who don’t realize the responsibilities one has in a team game.
    To make the point stick, if you were part of a group for a job. You leave the group mid job. Should you get paid like the rest who stayed? No. You shouldn’t be paid at all. This is just like that. Except the example spreads across the entirety of adult life and you should get used to it.
    Just saying.

  • justsayin

    It truly is. Though I like how in the grand scheme of things we are reminded about how it’s just cosmetic things that are affected and nothing really progressive. So ideally it doesn’t matter if you leave or not. After all you can just buy loot boxes. The borders are about the only things locked behind levels.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    Wow, have I touched a particular nerve with you? It amazes me that simply by voicing my concerns and displeasure that I’ll always get people who feel the need to tell me how I should act and be.

  • justsayin

    I seem to have with you. Since you believe that you act or be anything unique to the grander scale.
    You also seem to think we need to hear your ubiquitous droning on about what you need or think needs to be said. Your the example kid. Enjoy.

  • SomeCollegeStudent

    You’re right. You have touched my nerves. I spent the first few minutes after reading your comment hating your very existence, and then crying by myself after realizing how pathetically and worthlessly childish I was acting. Then I realized I could not let this go. So now I’m writing this response to you.

    If you want a little context, not too long ago I felt like killing myself, and I tried to put myself back together. My reaction to your comment made me realize that I’m still not altogether.

  • Gargie

    People take games wwwwwwaaaayyyy too seriously.

    But-to be honest this type of thing makes me want to g3t gud at a game,top player in the match roster,mvp ,ect and just to nuke the team by quitting,afking,switching .ect like right at the peak of the match (not saying iv done it befor)…I don’t know Maybe maybe all these competitive pvp team shooters/TF2 clones left me with a vindictive complex towards people who think gaming is srs bzns…