There are many changes coming into Overwatch 2, Blizzard’s new FPS game is going to be much better than its predecessor. So, if you haven’t played Overwatch in a while but you’re thinking to start on the game again and brunch up some skills, then you may want to do some homework to get up to speed.
The Overwatch 2 release date will come in tweaks and tune-ups to every hero in the game, introduce new maps, monetization, and cosmetic choices, and revamp how all the roles work. Join us as we break down all of the upcoming Overwatch 2 changes, from the structure and mechanics of the game itself to all the main hero reworks.
The most crucial thing that you need to know about Overwatch 2 is that it’s free-to-play. This should lower the wall to admission for plenty of new and returning players, so if you had trouble convincing friends to buy the original then they’ll be out of excuses for this one.
The Overwatch team said in an update on their website that moving to a free-to-play model was “a natural step forward for our game and our players.” The game will also move to a seasonal update model like many live service games, refreshing every nine weeks with new Overwatch 2 heroes, maps, cosmetics, and game modes.
Plus, as an extra bonus incentive, anyone who already owns Overwatch can redeem an Overwatch 2 Founder’s Pack by logging in to either game before the 5th of December 2022. The Founder’s Pack includes two epic skins, an exclusive icon, and a surprise yet-to-be-announced gift.
Another significant change coming to Overwatch 2 is the change from 6v6 gameplay to 5v5. All current game modes will make the switch to five players per team, with Competitive and role queue Quick Play restricting teams to two Support heroes, two DPS heroes, and one Tank hero.
After trying various team comps from 4v4 to 7v7, the Overwatch team chose that this was the best move for the game’s sequel. According to the patch notes, “with one less player on each side, individual contribution means more to the overall success of the team.” Fewer players per team and more room to move around mean that, overall, there will be a less visual mess, and players will be able to concentrate on what is transpiring in the match.
Clearly, Tank players will be the most affected by this shift. However, the Overwatch team has reworked all of the tanks to fit the new team comp, making them “even more impactful and fun to play.” In general, they’re all much more difficult to take down and they should benefit from more focused support players.
Overwatch 2 is totally doing away with the old loot box system, replacing it with a battle pass and “an all-new and consistently updated in-game shop.” This means that players can directly acquire the items they want rather than rolling the virtual die for the chance of getting it in loot boxes.
The battle pass will revitalize in line with the seasons, bringing us new skins and voice lines, plus all-new types of rewards such as banners, weapon charms, and mythic rarity skins.
Mythic skins are set to evolve Overwatch 2’s rarest form of character skin, overtaking Legendary skins in the current rarity system. From what we know so far, mythic skins will come with an element of customization to the design, allowing players to pick and decide which parts of the design they want to equip, creating a little more space for originality. An oni-themed mythic skin was teased in the Overwatch 2 reveal event, and many more are in also in development.
There are some major changes to game modes in Overwatch 2. Assault maps, generally known as 2CP, are a thing of the past, and an all-new map type, called Push, is joining the rotation in their place. Overwatch 2 is going to release with two Push maps, one set in Toronto and another in Rome.
In a Push match, both teams are battling for control of the Treadweather TS-1 Large Utility Robot, which starts in the middle of the map. When teams take control of TS-1, their wall will be pushed along the map, and if they make it to the end they triumph in the game. If neither team reaches the endpoint in eight minutes, the team who has pushed the farthest distance and has control of TS-1 at the end of the map wins.
Let’s talk about new heroes, who have all been created from the ground up to suit the new 5v5 format. Sojourn has been available throughout the Overwatch 2 betas and is a versatile DPS hero, while Junker Queen is a damage-dealing tank who can help out with eliminations but might struggle to deliver much cover – we’ve got an Overwatch 2 Junker Queen guide that describes her abilities, too.
As for the returning cast of characters, here are all the significant reworks:
Doomfist has been updated to join the Tank roster for Overwatch 2. The new ability that shifts his kit from damage-focused to a more tanky role is Power Block.
Doomfist uses his gauntlet to stop incoming damage and charge up a barrage of Rocket Punches. Power Block gives Doomfist an 80% damage deduction, and improves the damage output, distance, and speed of the next Rocket Punch.
The most significant change to Bastion’s playstyle is that he can now move in his turret form using his ability Configuration: Assault. This ability turns Bastion into a moving turret with infinite ammo for a limited amount of time, compared to his static turret form in Overwatch.
His new kit also features a sticky grenade that can bounce off walls, and a new Ultimate, Configuration: Artillery which rains explosives down on up to three locations that you pick.
Double shield haters will be happy to know that Orisa no longer has a shield ability. Her shield has been substituted with an Energy Javelin which can pierce enemies to walls, stunning them.
She can also spin the javelin in front of her to save herself and her teammates, increasing her move speed and destroying incoming projectiles.
Orisa’s bongo has also been replaced with her new Ultimate, Terra Surge, which pulls in enemies and deals a large amount of damage, depending on how long the ability is charged. She’s much more of a damage-focused tank, and currently sits near the top of our Overwatch 2-tier list all because of her ability to put out near-constant damage and evade enemies.
While he’s got some buffs and nerfs, the main change is that Winston has a charged ranged shot in extra to his gradual zapping.
You no longer have flashbangs, but you do get a magnetic grenade that sticks to enemies, homing in on them and tracking them if they’re close by.
Steel Trap no longer controls all movement, instead stalling movement until the victim reaches the end of the chain’s tether and breaks it. To balance out the loss of crowd control utility, Steel Trap does more damage, is faster to throw down, and still counters all movement abilities.
The hacker has had many changes. Her machine pistol does less damage per shot but is more precise, which is good, but more importantly, her hacking ability can be used quicker and more often, especially when it comes to confusing the enemies – it only takes a second to cast now, not five, so expect to see it a lot more frequently.
She can also hack while in stealth and will be able to give an additional 40% damage against hacked targets. However, she can’t get anywhere near as close without being detected, so do not get close to her.
All of the biggest Overwatch 2 changes to get you back on track when the game hit the airwaves. Every hero has been tweaked in some way, and each beta has also presented fresh balancing tweaks, but these are all the big modifications in case you’re playing for the first time since uninstalling the first game.