The Communication Wheel (also called Communication Menu or Social Wheel) is the in-game interface that players use to communicate with one another in Overwatch. On PC, the default key to bring up the wheel is C; on the console version, the default key is down on the D-pad.
There is a global counting on the Communication Wheel lines; if there are too many voice lines, the options will be frozen for a few seconds, and the chat box will shows "Too many messages! Please wait a few seconds..."
The communication wheel offers the following options (clockwise from the top):
- Emote: The camera changes to third-person view, and the hero performs their current equipped default emote (the one on the top position in Emote sub-menu).
- Hello: The hero waves while greeting the team with a voice, and "Hello!" is shown in the chat next to the player's nickname and hero. Above their head, a symbol of "Hello" appears.
- Need Healing: The hero calls out and the chat shows "I need healing!". Only Ana, Brigitte, Mercy, Moira, Zenyatta, Lúcio, and Soldier: 76 can hear this. Zarya hears "I need a barrier!" if directed at her. Above their head, a symbol of "Need Healing" appears.
- Group Up: The hero asks other heroes to group up with them, and "Group up with me!" is shown in chat with the player's username and hero. Above their head, a symbol of "Group Up" appears.
- Ultimate Status: The hero announces the current status of their ultimate ability charge to their team, differing when the ultimate ability's percentage is between 0%–89, 90–99%, and 100%. The chat shows either "My ultimate is charging," "My ultimate is almost ready," or "My ultimate is ready", with the player's username, the name of the player's hero, the name of the ultimate ability, and the icon of the ultimate ability. Above their head, a symbol of "Ultimate Status" appears.
- Voice Line: The hero says the current equipped default voice line (the one on the top position in Voice Line sub-menu). Above their head, a symbol of "Voice Line" appears.
- Acknowledge: The hero indicates understanding something, and "Understood!" is shown in chat with the player's username. Above their head, a symbol of "Acknowledge" appears.
- Thanks: The hero gives their thanks, and the chat shows either "Thank you!" or "Thanks!" with the player's username. Above their head, a symbol of "Thanks" appears.
By clicking left mouse button and right mouse button, players can access two more wheels for Voice Line sub-menu and Emote sub-menu. Players can click the other mouse button to return to the main communication wheel.
On PC, the default binding keys for communication options are assigned to these buttons:
- Need healing: X
- Ultimate Status: Z
- Acknowledge: F
Hidden interactions for binding keys
Players can use the Options menu to bind any alternate key for communication actions. When pressing the binding key instead of using the communication wheel, there are some hidden interactions:
- When pointing to another hero and using "Hello," "Need Healing," "Group Up," "Ultimate Status," "Acknowledge," and "Thanks", the chat shows the name of the player being pointing at, as well as the name of that player's hero and the communication from the player toward that hero.
- Players cannot use "Need Healing" when pointing to heroes who cannot heal or cannot use Projected Barrier. Players can only use it on Ana, Lúcio, Mercy, Zenyatta, Soldier: 76, Zarya, and Torbjörn.
- If Ana, Lúcio, Mercy, and Zenyatta use "Need Healing" when targeting a teammate, they will tell that teammate to group up to receive healing. A marker will also appear above the player's head, allowing teammates to locate the healer.
- If player uses "Group Up" when pointing to another hero, their hero will announce their accompany and the chat will show a message from player toward that hero, along with the message "I'm with you" instead of "Group up."
- If player uses "Ultimate Status" when pointing to another hero and their ultimate is fully charged, their hero will announce their ultimate is ready through their chat line and voice, they will add "Let's do this!" at the end of the announcement.
- Players can use "Acknowledge" when targeting to the symbol of "Hello", "Need Healing", "Group Up", "Ultimate Status", "Voice Line", "Acknowledge" and "Thanks" above another player's head, the chat will show acknowledgement toward that player as if pointing directly to the player. It can work even when the other player is obstructed or far away.
- When "Acknowledge" is used on the objectives:
- On a Control map, the chat will show "*Player's name* wants to defend the objective!" or "*Player's name* wants to attack the objective!" depending on whether the team is attacking or defending the point.
- On an Assault or Assault/Escort map while using it on the capture point, if the player is on the defending team, the chat shows "*Player's name* wants to defend the capture point!" If the player is on the attacking team, the chat will show "*Player's name* wants to attack the capture point!"
- On an Escort or Assault/Escort map while using it on the payload, if the player is on the defending team, the chat shows "*Player's name* wants to defend the payload!" If the player is on the attacking team, the chat shows "*Player's name* wants to push the payload!"
- Before his rework, when playing as Torbjörn, players could hear and see in the chat "I need armor" when someone used the "Need Healing" option to the group.
- All the "Need healing" chat and voice would change to "I need armor" when player directed at Torbjörn (by using hidden interaction).
- The "Need healing" messages will turn to "I need a barrier" when the player directs it to Zarya (by using hidden option), but Zarya will hear "I need shield".
- When Ana, Brigitte , Mercy, Moira, Lúcio, and Zenyatta are all absent on a team, players hear and see in chat "We need a healer" when someone uses the "Need Healing" option.
- Before Torbjörn's rework, when the player was given armor, their hero would automatically say "Thanks!" and a symbol of "Thanks" appears on their head without any input from the player. However the chat will show nothing.