Hit detection (also called "hit registration") means that the game has properly detected a hit that you have landed on a target. In the context of Overwatch, a properly detected hit would mean that you have landed a shot on an enemy, the server interpreted the shot as landing, and your target sustained damage and had their hit points reduced. If you land hits on an enemy but they do not lose any health, this would be an instance of hit detection failing. Some players experienced this exact issue as detailed in this particular thread. Forum user proudQatari began the thread and collected several images and videos showcasing the issue such as this one by a competitive player known as Kephril:
In the above video, Kephril is playing Widowmaker and lands a shot on the enemy Ana. You can see the shot impact on her model (especially when the video is slowed down). Unfortunately, the hit did not properly register and the enemy Ana did not properly sustain damage as she should have.
Mr. Ford splits the issues of hit detection in Overwatch into three categories: issues where the problem is understood and a fix is underway, issues where a fix is ready or has already been deployed, and issues where players are misinterpreting deliberate design choices as failed hits.
An issue with hit detection for weapons with recoil is being investigated and a fix may be deployed with the next patch. Hanzo has an issue where a defect in programming caused successive shots to not be detected correctly and a fix for this is on deck for the next patch. An issue with hit detection in plays of the game and kill cams may have been solved and will hopefully work its way into the next patch if the testing bears fruit. Lastly, some complaints are related to certain situations where a character is moving rapidly such as Winston when he's leaping or Genji when he's using Swift Strike. Mr. Ford has stated that "missed" hits in these instances are deliberate design decisions and not the result of a bug.
The post closes with Mr. Ford stating that these hit detection issues have been present in one form or another in Overwatch since the beta. He requests that players continue to send in videos to assist with the effort to fix the problem and he asks that players avoid covering the orange network issue icons on the top left of the screen with any overlays. At least one fix is on its way in the next patch, and if the testing currently underway works out well there may be more fixes to come.
What do you think of how Overwatch Lead Engineer Tim Ford has addressed the game's issues with hit detection? Do you think they will be able to squash the problem? Let us know in the comments below!