Blizzard reveals Overwatch 2 launch balance changes and patch notes

Orisa in Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Developer Blizzard has announced the balance changes that are coming to Overwatch 2 when it releases on Oct. 4, 2022.
  • The patch notes include nerfs to Junker Queen's Commanding Shout, buffs to Orisa and Bastion's survivability, and many other small tweaks.
  • Additionally, Blizzard is also adding a new damage role passive that allows damage heroes to get a 25 percent movement and reload speed boost whenever they score an elimination.
  • The old damage passive that allowed damage players to preserve up to 30% Ultimate charge when swapping heroes has been applied to all heroes, including tanks and supports.

Overwatch 2 is slated to launch in just under two weeks on Oct. 4, 2022, and ahead of the game's full release, developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced all of the balance changes that are going live on release day. These include a variety of buffs and nerfs to specific heroes, as well as some broader changes that will affect a wide variety of characters.

The biggest change that players can expect when Overwatch 2 goes live is that the role passive for damage heroes that allowed players to transfer 30% Ultimate charge when swapping characters has been applied to all heroes, including tank and support characters. Damage heroes now have a new passive that gives them a 25 percent faster movement and reload speed whenever they score an elimination. This buff will last for 2.5 seconds, and while players won't be able to stack it, they will be able to refresh and extend it by getting additional eliminations.

Blizzard is also tweaking the temporary health (green bars of HP) provided by certain abilities and Ultimates so that it grants 50 percent reduced Ultimate charge instead of zero Ultimate charge when enemy players damage it. This will make damaging health-buffed opponents more rewarding, while still preserving Overhealth's utility as an effective tool for countering abilities and contesting objectives.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Many hero changes have also been made, with nerfs to Junker Queen and buffs to Orisa and Bastion standing out as the most significant tweaks. Junker Queen's Commanding Shout ability is having its health bonus reduced from 100 to 50, though the Overhealth will no longer decay over the course of the ability's duration. Its duration is also being reduced from 5 seconds to 3, and its cooldown has increased from 11 to 15 seconds as well.

Orisa, meanwhile, is getting both her base HP and her armor health increased from 250 to 275, and the cooldown on her Energy Javelin has been reduced from 8 to 6 seconds. Bastion's Ironclad passive that provided the hero with 20 percent damage reduction while transformed has also been added back, making Bastion more resilient while in the Assault or Artillery forms. For a complete overview of every change, don't miss our full list of the Overwatch 2 launch day patch notes below. Also, check out the full blog post for more details.

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Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

The $40 Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack offers fans a variety of benefits that will allow them to get guaranteed access to Season 1's Premium Battle Pass track, unlock some unique rewards, provide some in-game currency to use when Overwatch 2 launches, and more.

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Overwatch 2 Day 1 patch notes

General

  • Temporary health now grants 50% reduced ultimate charge instead of zero ultimate charge
  • Damage Role Passive - New Passive: Eliminations grant 25% increased reload and movement speed for 2.5 seconds. Does not stack with itself but will refresh the duration
  • All heroes now refund up to 30% ultimate power on hero swap

Junker Queen

  • Commanding Shout
    • Allied health bonus reduced from 100 to 50 HP
    • Allied duration reduced from 5 to 3 seconds
    • Temporary health no longer decays over its duration
    • Cooldown increased from 11 to 15 seconds

Orisa

  • Base health increased from 250 to 275
  • Base armor increased from 250 to 275
  • Energy Javelin cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds

D.Va

  • Boosters impact damage increased from 10 to 25
  • Micro Missiles cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds
  • Call Mech ultimate cost reduced by 12%

Brigitte

  • Inspire duration reduced from 6 to 5 seconds

Baptiste

  • Biotic Launcher primary fire damage increased from 24 to 25
  • Biotic Launcher primary fire minimum falloff range increased from 20 to 25 meters

Mercy

  • Pressing Crouch during Guardian Angel now launches you straight up
  • Angelic Descent can now be activated by holding Crouch while airborne

Bastion

  • Ironclad passive is enabled again (20% damage reduction while transformed)

Reaper

  • Hellfire Shotguns spread reduced from 8 to 7 degrees

Sojourn

  • Railgun energy gain from non-player targets (barriers, turrets, etc.) reduced by an additional 50%

Sombra

  • Hack ability lockout duration increased from 1 to 1.75 seconds

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.