On Control, two teams fight over a series of objective areas in a best-of-three format. This means that there is no distinction to attacking or defending teams like in other game modes.
Once the match has started and both teams have left the spawn, the control point takes 30 seconds to unlock. Once it unlocks, the objective area can be captured by either team. To capture the checkpoint, members of only one team must stand on the point for a given time, speed increasing with the number of teammates present. Note that the objective cannot be captured if a member of the enemy team is also on the control point. Once captured, the team must defend the point, while the other must gain control of the area by driving the enemies out and capturing it themselves. The objective score will progress 1% every 1.2 seconds in favor of the team controlling the point. The round is won once one team reaches 100%. If a member of the non-controlling team touches the point when the score hits 99% or shortly before, Overtime will be activated. The first team to win two rounds wins the match.
Each of the Control maps has three objective areas, randomly chosen for every round.
Until the end of Season 5, the Competitive Play match used to be played in a format of best of five rather than best of three. The map sectors were randomized for the first three rounds and then reshuffled if the match reached further, guaranteeing each map section to occur at least once. As of Season 6, the Competitive Play matches are also played in the best of three format.
Control is playable on the following maps:
- Lijiang Tower
- Night Market
- Control Center
- City Center
- MEKA Base
Capture speed increases as the number of players on point increases, up to a maximum of 3 players.
Tables below display the number of seconds required by X players to capture the point.
- All control objectives in Overwatch are rendered on a single map instance and sometimes can be seen from each other. This is likely to both allow faster load times between matches and to maintain continuity.
- Overwatch Beta Patch Notes, 2016-02-09 (beta) http://eu.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/17610431272