What is the Penalty in Overwatch for Leaving the Game Early?

If you play Overwatch a lot you might’ve been tempted, or forced, to leave a game in progress. Although your teammates might not understand, circumstances often dictate. In Overwatch, however, you receive a penalty for leaving games.

What is the Penalty in Overwatch for Leaving the Game Early?

In this article, we’ll explain what happens when you leave the game early, and what you should do to avoid punishment.

What Happens When I Leave

If you leave a game in progress, you may be counted as a leaver and incur a penalty. This penalty is calculated based on the number of games you’ve left in the previous 20 games.

In addition to the leaver penalty, you will receive 75% less experience from the matches you play.


When you’re penalized for leaving multiple games in quick succession, your best course of action is to simply avoid doing this whenever possible. Over time, your leave statistics will improve and the leaver penalty will be lifted. Your player card on the right will tell you how many games you have to play to lift the penalty.

Do note that the leaver penalty for competitive matches will require more games played to be lifted, as it has a stricter threshold.

Leaving a competitive match in progress will count as a loss for that match and you’ll incur a 10-minute penalty during which you can’t join another competitive match. Subsequent infractions will increase the duration of this penalty.

If you continue to leave competitive matches, you’ll be banned from that ranked season and receive no rewards when it ends.

Here’s a quick overview of how you can receive leaver status in any given game.

Quick Play

In Quick Play, leaving a match during the “Assemble Your Team” phase will incur no penalties. The game won’t be recorded on your account. You can then immediately queue up for another game with no delays if you so wish.

If you leave a match before the “Victory” or “Defeat” screens, the game will be recorded when it ends. You won’t receive any wins for the game should your team win without you. In addition, you’ll be considered a leaver and might incur a penalty.

If a player leaves a match in progress, the game will attempt to fill their spot with another player or group (if multiple people have left). The filled players won’t receive a loss if their team loses, and will receive a small bonus at the end of the match. However, if they leave the game as well, they’ll also receive leaver status.

If you leave a match after a winner is announced, there are no penalties, the game is recorded, and you’ll receive a win if your team has won the match.

Competitive Play

If you leave a competitive game in progress, you’ll receive a penalty for leaving that match, and will be unable to start another match until the match you left has concluded.

You have the option of rejoining the match in the next minute to avoid a leaver penalty. If any other player leaves during that time, they’ll be counted as a leaver as well. After that minute has passed, and you still haven’t rejoined the match, your teammates will be given the option to leave the game without incurring any penalties.

This will lead to the game being counted as a win or a loss. You leaving does not mean your teammates get a free pass, they’ll have to either win without you or lose. If all players of one team leave, they’ll immediately forfeit the game. This also causes their skill rating to decrease.

If you happen to leave the match and then come back later, your score for that match will be reset.

One Man Down

Leaving a match puts a strain on your teammates, as they have to fight the enemy team with a number disadvantage, which makes the game less enjoyable for everyone. We recommend you try and finish each match you start. This is especially true for competitive matches, where players take the game more seriously.

If you have connection problems, avoid playing matches until you’re sure you can play until the end, or you might be faced with leaving multiple games and tanking your ratings. If you have an emergency, that’s understandable. After all, real life has priority over video games, no matter how dedicated a player you may be!

Overwatch - Penalty for Leaving Early

Back to the Games

Overwatch is a great game and it would be a shame for that experience to be ruined by one player leaving their team. This can often lead to various penalties for the leaver, but their team is no better off either.

Have you ever left a game of Overwatch? What was the reason? Let us know in the comment section below.

3 thoughts on “What is the Penalty in Overwatch for Leaving the Game Early?”

Filip Alfredj Münnarzhic says:
My computer ran out of power lol

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