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Blizzard's Battle.net Launcher Gets A Long-Overdue Makeover

For years, Battle.net has functioned as Blizzard's flagship online service, allowing gamers to play the company's games online. Though it's taken different forms at various times, including a one-time change in name, the version of Battle.net most players currently use has remained constant for around eight years. That's about to change, however, as Blizzard has unveiled the latest redesign of its Battle.net launcher.


Most readily apparent in the update is a change in appearance. Whereas the prior version of the Battle.net launcher listed each of the Activision Blizzard titles it supports within a sidebar located to its left, the new version features the same list of games near the top of the window. However, the new version only displays icons for the games, rather than their full titles.

Furthermore, players will now be able to "favorite" games and otherwise rearrange their order, which should help to ease navigation. Notifications for game downloads and messages have been pared down too.

As a result of the reduction in real estate dedicated both to its list of games and to notifications, the bulk of the main window has been reworked to focus on two primary features. First, the added room now provides more space for news and content generally associated with its supported games to be displayed. Second, its friends list is now built into the launcher's default screen, remaining at its right side.


Though Blizzard's history includes its fair share of ups and downs, one unqualified improvement to Blizzard's new launcher in the implementation of a few new accessibility options. Most of the launcher, according to Blizzard, can now be navigated with the keyboard. Plus its color contrast has been deepened and support for screen readers has been enhanced.

These are just the changes to Battle.net that have been codified so far. Blizzard has promised further changes to the launcher, as the company intends to "keep iterating, improving, and adding to the app over time." Plus, of course, new Blizzard titles are set to be added to the service in the near future.

Players who have opted into the Beta version of the Battle.net launcher are likely already utilizing this new version. Otherwise, only some players in North America so far have received the patch introducing the new launcher. For everyone else, these updates are scheduled to be rolled out once Blizzard is pleased with the results of early testing.