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Here are all the hero changes fans can expect in ‘Overwatch 2’

Are you willing to sacrifice cool down time for visibility of hacked characters? Check out what your favorite characters have lost, and gained in 'Overwatch 2'

Overwatch 2 - Doomfist
Screengrab via YouTube

The beta version of Overwatch 2 dropped on April 26, inviting fans of the first title into a soft-launch of sorts for the highly-anticipated sequel.

Gamers have already logged dozens of hours in the Overwatch 2 beta, exploring its new maps, missions, customization options, and hero upgrades. The game has made quite a few changes to the formula that made the first title so popular, adding new elements and upgrading others in hopes of making a “worthy successor to the first game,” according to the development team at Blizzard. Users are keeping a close eye on these changes, particularly alterations made to the title’s popular characters. Here are all the changes you can expect to see in all your longtime favorite heroes.

Hero changes in Overwatch 2

The heroes in Overwatch make the game what it is. The first title gradually introduced gamers to fresh additions via their excellent animated shorts, which provide background and motivation for each of the game’s lineup of playable options. Users who put time into the first game have become well acquainted with each of these characters’ traits and abilities, but many of those will see a change in Overwatch 2.

Several of the game’s heroes, like Bastion, Sombra, and Orisa, will undergo major changes, while several others will see minor updates and alterations.


Players can expect big changes for Overwatch‘s deadly turret bot. Bastion is getting a major rework in Overwatch 2, with some of his most-used features changing or altogether disappearing. The character will continue to feature both a Recon mode and an Assault mode, according to Polygon, but the latter will now allow the hero to move at the cost of a cool-down. His look has also seen an update, as has his tank ability. In Overwatch 2, Bastion’s former tank mode will shift into an “artillery mode,” which allows him to rain fire upon his enemies with a devastating artillery strike. This new mode comes at the expense of the character’s former self-repair ability, which has been completely eliminated.


Another robot addition to the Overwatch 2 team, Orisa undergoes some major changes in the new game. The powerful frontline defender will see a shift into far more offensive techniques, with the complete removal of not only her Protective Barrier Shield but also her graviton charge ability. Instead, she’ll gain the ability to fire a crippling energy javelin that stuns enemies, and a new method for blocking projectiles, also in javelin form. Her “Javelin Spin” ability will allow Orisa to block all incoming projectiles from the front and increases her movement speed.

Her former Ultimate will also see a change, as Orisa is given the ability to pull in nearby enemies and deal out damage that ticks up based on charge time. Her primary weapon won’t remain the same either, instead shifting to an infinite option that allows her to fire without the constraints of ammunition, but adds the threat of overheating, which could lock the weapon down.


Already one of the most popular damage-heavy heroes, Doomfist‘s Overwatch 2 rework will see the character transform into a tank. His base health is almost doubled in the sequel, and most of his other abilities — including his Hand Cannon, Rocket Punch, and Seismic Slam — all see minor tweaks that speed up charge time, slightly lessen damage, or alter movement options. Like Orisa, Doomfist’s Ultimate is also set to see a change-up, as the Overwatch sequel trades out the former power of his “Meteor Strike” for speed and the ability to slow incoming enemies.


The team at Blizzard is teasing Sombra as one of Overwatch 2‘s most-changed characters. The tech-based character’s hack ability is set to get a much shorter cool down, allowing players to use it with far more frequency. The tradeoff for the shorter cool down also means that hacks last less time, however, but this is offset by the additional perk of hacked characters being visible to Sombra and her team through walls. Even better, she can do it all while in stealth mode.

Sombra’s damage output also gets a boost in Overwatch 2, as does her finishing potential. Her Ultimate is seeing some tweaks, leaving it without the ability to remove all shields, but exchanges this with the ability to do 40% damage to an enemies health, according to game director Aaron Keller and lead hero designer Geoff Goodman.


Much more minor changes are also coming to a number of Overwatch‘s most popular characters, including Reinhardt, Winston, and Mei. Reinhardt is already one of the game’s most popular tanks, but updates should see the character pair his immense strength with enhanced brawling ability. His Fire Strike projectile is getting an upgrade that allows it to fire two charges, and his Charge attack will be easier to control — with the added perk of being cancelable — according to Polygon.


Another character set to see a real boost in damage potential is Cassidy, who’s Flashbang stun ability is replaced with Magnetic Grenade. This weapon is particularly useful in its ability to target enemies and hone in on their position, dealing out damage even when they manage to slide behind cover.


Veering away from damage-based character alterations, we have Zarya, whose primary upgrade comes in the form of her defensive ability. The beefy pink-haired soldier’s Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier now share a cool down, which could definitely give a defensive boost in your next battle.


The charming Mei’s damage will see a minor reduction in Overwatch 2, with the full removal of her ability to turn enemies to ice with her Endothermic Blaster. The weapon still deals out damage and should significantly slow enemies, but Mei’s Ultimate is now the only method through which players can freeze an enemy solid.


Arguably Overwatch‘s most prominent character, Winston is also getting a minor upgrade to his Tesla Cannon. The weapon now sports a second mode, which allows the studious gorilla to charge up and blast off a much more devastating shot of electricity.


Polygon notes that Brigitte’s Shield Bash is also getting an update, switching out its former ability to stun to instead inflict a small amount of damage.

Nahila Bonfiglio
About the author

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.