Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes reveal massive changes to the game's entire structure

Overwatch 2 promotional screenshot
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Blizzard Entertainment has recently disclosed the patch notes for Season 9 of Overwatch 2.
  • The patch notes reveal significant gameplay changes, including a new co-op mission called Cosmic Crisis, reworks for the Competitive Play game mode, balance updates for the playable Heroes, bug fixes, and more.
  • Overwatch 2 is a competitive hero shooter where players play as the mighty heroes or villains of the Overwatch universe, compete in intense PVP matches, or work together to defeat hordes of enemies in PVE co-op missions.

On February 13, 2024, Blizzard Entertainment published the patch notes for Season 9 of Overwatch 2, titled 'Champions'. This long-running, competitive hero shooter has received many updates during its lifetime, and this one may be one of its biggest yet.

The patch notes reveal that Season 9 will add many balance changes to the roster of Heroes, reworks to the game's Competitive Play PVP mode, a co-op mission called Cosmic Crisis, bug fixes, and more.

Full patch notes for Overwatch 2 Season 9 are available at the game's official website.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - New Event: Cosmic Crisis

Overwatch 2 is getting a new PVE co-op mission called Cosmic Crisis. The premise is that four players have crash-landed into the ruins of Ecopoint Antarctica and must find a way to repair their ship to escape. The players will have to fend off the enemy hordes of Null Sector and an ancient, eldritch force that seeks to corrupt our heroes and betray each other.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - Competitive Play Updates

Earn new Jade Weapon cosmetic by competing in Competitive Play. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Developer comments: "With your feedback, we’ve made new improvements to Competitive Play that aim to provide more transparency into your progress after every match, plus we introduced a new skill tier and new Competitive Rewards to earn."

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Skill rank reset
Given the significant changes to our heroes and the addition of a new skill tier, this reset is designed to give all players a chance to climb higher than ever before.
All roles in Role Queue and Open Queue in Competitive Play have been reset to Unranked.
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Placement Matches
Placements have been rebuilt from the ground up. Your predicted rank will be displayed after each placement match.
You must complete 10 matches in a role to receive your Skill Rank for that role.
Winning your placements will have a significant impact on your final rank.
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Skill Modifiers
Modifiers now appear on the Competitive Progress page after each match.
Skill modifiers provide information on how much a rank will gain or lose progress after a match, including win or loss streaks, rank instability, and match favorability.
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New Skill Tier - Champion
A new rank has been added above Grandmaster, called Champion, that is more exclusive than any other rank in Overwatch. Only an exceedingly small percentage of players will ever occupy this echelon of Competitive Play.
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Versus Screen
The range of ranks for players in a match of Competitive Play is now displayed on the same screen where both teams are shown with their name cards, player icons, and titles.
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New Grouping Requirements
Bronze through Diamond Players may group with other players within 2 Skill Tiers of their own Skill Rank.
Master players may group with other players within 1 Skill Tier of their own Skill Rank.
Grandmaster players may group with other players within 3 Skill Divisions of their own Skill Rank.
Champion players may group with only one other player within 3 Skill Divisions of their own Skill Rank.
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Art & UI Updates
Skill Tier and Skill Division art for rank icons have been redesigned for improved readability.
The Competitive Skill Tier legend has been redesigned to include updated and new relevant information.
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Competitive Points
Each win now grants 10 Competitive Points.
Each draw now grants 5 Competitive Points.
Each loss still grants 0 Competitive Points.
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Competitive Progression
Competitive Challenges that award additional Competitive Points at the end of the season have been replaced with a new Competitive Progression system.
Every match grants progress toward your Competitive Progression meter, and after earning 30 you will receive an additional 100 Competitive Points.
Wins award 3 progress toward your Competitive Progression meter. Draws and Losses award 1 progress.
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Competitive Rewards
Jade Weapon Variants have been introduced.
Each Jade Weapon Variant costs 3000 Competitive Points to purchase.
All players will start this season with a balance of 0 Competitive Points.
All existing Competitive Points have been converted into a new currency, Legacy Competitive Points.
Each Golden Weapon Variant now costs 3000 Legacy Competitive Points to purchase.
At the end of a Competitive Year, any remaining balance of Competitive Points converts to Legacy Competitive Points.
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Matchmaking Rating
At the start of this season only, the internal Matchmaking Ratings for all players have been adjusted to push players closer to the normalized average (approximately at Gold 3).
Matchmaking Ratings have been decayed. The higher the rank, the more it has been decayed.
Most players will start at a lower skill rank and division than their most recent rank.
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Competitive Challenges
Competitive challenges removed. Rewards and progress for Competitive Play are now displayed on the Competitive Progress page and titles are rewarded at the end of the season.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - General Updates

Work together to overcome cosmic terrors in the new Cosmic Crisis co-op mission. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
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Player Progression
Added a new set of visual upgrades. Hero/Game Mode badge upgrades start at Level 500. Progression Level badge upgrades start at Level 2500.
Wrecking Ball title rewards are renamed from “Champion” to “Champ” to align with Junker Queen’s usage of the title (and to avoid confusion with the new Champion rank).
Adjusted amount needed to level up certain sub-badges for Mauga and Illari.
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Friend Endorsements
The endorsement is only eligible if you’re in the match for a set duration.
Endorsements are subject to the configured cooldown period of 12 hours.
Endorsements are subject to cooldown even if you unfriend the recipient.
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Settings
Added a feature for controller/keyboard users that remembers what you had focus when backing out of screens.
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Crosshair Update
New Reticle Types have been added.New Reticle Dots have been added.New Reticle color options have been added.
SquareRingBrown
BoxSquareDark Red
LineTriangleLight Red
TriwingCrossLight Purple
FalloffHeartGray
Row 5 - Cell 0 Row 5 - Cell 1 Teal

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - Hero Updates

Avoiding enemy fire is going to be more difficult in Season 9. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Developer comments: "Season 9 features changes to the fundamentals of Overwatch 2 gameplay that affect every hero. We’ve heard the community feedback around some gameplay pain points, and these changes are in response to many of those."

General Hero updates

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Most damage-dealing projectile sizes have been increased by a new global modifier added to their base size.
+0.05 meters for hitscan projectiles with a high rate of fire or spread (e.g., Tracer’s Pulse Pistols or Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns).
+0.08 meters for hitscan projectiles that are more precise (e.g., Cassidy’s Peacekeeper or Soldier:76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle).
+0.05 meters for travel time projectiles that are shotguns or have a very high rate of fire (e.g., Roadhog’s Scrap Gun or Ramattra’s Void Accelerator).
+0.10 meters for travel time projectile with a speed greater than 50 meters per second (e.g., Zenyatta’s Destruction Orb).
+0.15 meters for travel time projectile with a speed less than or equal to 50 meters per second (e.g., Pharah’s Rocket Launcher).
Very large projectiles with a base size greater than 0.5 meters have been excluded from these increases (e.g., Orisa’s Energy Javelin or Reinhardt’s Fire Strike).
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Hero combined HP (base health/armor/shields) increased by 15-25%.
150-175 HP heroes increased by 25 HP.
200-300 HP heroes increased by 50 HP.
300+ HP (Tanks) increased by 75-100 HP.
Each hero’s precise health increases are listed in their patch notes below.
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Ultimate Charge
All Ultimate ability costs increased by 10%.
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Regenerative Passive for All Heroes
All heroes now regenerate 20 health per second after 5 seconds of not taking damage.
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Support Role Passive
Now reduces the delay before regeneration begins by half (2.5 seconds).
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Damage Role Passive
Reload speed bonus on elimination has been removed.
New role passive: Dealing damage reduces enemy healing received by 20% for 2 seconds.
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Quick Melee
Damage increased from 30 to 40.

Tank Hero updates

Behold the new Season 9, 'Horrorhog' Skin for Roadhog. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
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D.Va
Pilot health increased from 150 to 175.
Mech armor increased from 300 to 375.
Self Destruct - Explosion maximum damage increased from 900 to 1000.
Self Destruct - Inner explosion radius (range for maximum damage before falloff begins) increased from 4 to 6 meters.
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Doomfist
Health increased from 300 to 375.
Rocket Punch - Max impact damage increased from 50 to 75.
Rocket Punch - Max wall slam damage increased from 30 to 40.
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Junker Queen
Health increased from 300 to 375.
Rampage - Wound damage over time increased from 60 to 90.
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Mauga
Health increased from 300 to 400.
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Orisa
Armor increased from 275 to 350.
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Ramattra
Health increased from 200 to 275.
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Reinhardt
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Armor increased from 250 to 275.
Rocket Hammer - Damage increased from 85 to 100.
Charge - Wall impact damage increased from 225 to 275.
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Roadhog
Health increased from 550 to 650.
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Sigma
Shields increased from 200 to 275.
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Winston
Health increased from 200 to 225.
Armor increased from 200 to 250.
Tesla Cannon - Damage increased from 60 to 75 damage per second.
Primal Rage - Punch damage increased from 40 to 50.
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Wrecking Ball
Armor increased from 100 to 175.
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Zarya
Health increased from 100 to 175.
Particle Cannon - Primary fire beam width increased from 0.15 to 0.2 meters.

Damage Hero changes

Get your hands on new Lovecraftian-themed cosmetic skins in Season 9. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
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Ashe
Health increased from 200 to 250.
B.O.B. - B.O.B.’s weapon damage increased from 14 to 17.
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Bastion
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Cassidy
Health increased from 225 to 275.
Deadeye - Initial damage rate increased from 130 to 150.
Deadeye - Damage rate increased from 260 to 300.
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Echo
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Focusing Beam - Width increased from 0.2 to 0.25 meters.
Duplicate - Maximum combined health value increased from 300 to 350.
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Genji
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Dragonblade - Swing recovery decreased from 0.9 to 0.7 seconds.
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Hanzo
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Storm Arrows - Damage increased from 65 to 75.
Storm Arrows - Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds.
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Junkrat
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Frag Launcher - Base projectile size reduced from 0.25 to 0.2 meters.
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Mei
Health increased from 250 to 300.
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Pharah
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Rocket Launcher - Recovery reduced from 0.85 to 0.80 seconds.
Rocket Launcher - Projectile speed increased from 35 to 40 meters per second.
Rocket Launcher - Explosion self-damage reduced from 50% to 25%.
Jet Dash - New Secondary Fire Ability.
Jet Dash - Provides a quick horizontal boost in the direction Pharah is moving.
Jet Dash - 8-second cooldown.
Jet Dash - Added a setting to activate Jet Dash on Double Jump instead.
Jump Jet - Now restores 50% of Hover Jets fuel and can briefly overfill the maximum fuel amount.
Jump Jet - Vertical boost height reduced by 20%.
Jump Jet - Cooldown increased from 10 to 14 seconds.
Concussive Blast - Cooldown decreased from 9 to 7 seconds.
Concussive Blast - Explosion now deals 30 damage to enemy targets.
Concussive Blast - Explosion radius reduced from 8 to 6 meters.
Concussive Blast - Knockback reduced by 10%.
Barrage - Now instantly refills Hover Jets fuel.
Hover Jets - Speed boost increased from 20% to 40%.
Hover Jets - Now requires landing to recharge fuel.
Hover Jets - Can now be activated without fuel to slow your descent.

Developer comments: "Pharah has a significant update that empowers more individual plays and shifting her movement capabilities from high up in the air to more horizontal movement that can cover distance quickly."

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Reaper
Health increased from 250 to 300.
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Sojourn
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Railgun - Secondary Fire base projectile size reduced from 0.1 to 0.07 meters.
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Soldier: 76
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Sombra
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Symmetra
Shields increased from 100 to 150.
Photon Projector - Primary fire beam width increased from 0.2 to 0.25 meters.
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Torbjörn
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Tracer
Health increased from 150 to 175.
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Widowmaker
Health increased from 175 to 200.

Support Hero changes

Even the Support heroes have been given horrifying new skins for Season 9. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
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Ana
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Baptiste
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Brigitte
Health increased from 150 to 200.
Rocket Flail - Damage increased from 35 to 45.
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Illari
Health increased from 200 to 250.
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Kiriko
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Kunai - Base projectile size reduced from 0.18 to 0.15 meters.
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Lifeweaver
Health increased from 175 to 225.
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Lúcio
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Soundwave - Damage increased from 25 to 35.
Soundwave - Knockback increased 12%.
Soundwave - Movement lockout duration increased from 0.3 to 0.45 seconds.
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Mercy
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Guardian Angel - Active duration on jump/crouch cancel reduced from 1.5 to 1 second.
Sympathetic Recovery passive - Health recovered increased from 25% to 40% of healing dealt.
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Moira
Health increased from 200 to 250.
Biotic Grasp - Secondary fire damage increased from 50 to 65 damage per second.
Biotic Grasp - Secondary fire target acquisition radius increased from 0.6 to 0.7 meters.
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Zenyatta
Health increased from 75 to 100.
Shields increased from 150 to 175.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - Map Updates

Junkertown has been renovated with new structures to take cover behind. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)
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Junkertown Update
New nighttime lighting theme.
New building near the first point to provide more cover & block long sightlines.
Added a water tower near the first point to block sightlines from upper choke positions.
Added more vehicles near the cliff to provide additional cover & block long sightlines.
Reduced the cliffside path to tighten the space and reduce the overall footprint of the area.
Removed a small health pack on the second area balcony that was easy for defenders to overuse.
Added vertical beam at second choke point to promote movement out of the upper floor & make the choke easier to defend.
Widened and added cover in a hallway in the third area to make close quarter fights easier to maneuver.

Developer comments: "We’ve added more cover—including new structures—to help counter some of the long sightlines around the first checkpoint. Additional changes in the third area allow attackers to push through certain chokes more easily."

Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes - Bug fixes

General bug fixes

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Fixed an issue with some shadows that could appear jagged when on any setting below Ultra.
Fixed a bug that prevented your skin from changing when using the Change Skin option in Hero Select if you had a Loadout selected.
Fixed a bug with Golden Weapons being marked as unspecified and not being purchasable.
Fixed a bug with some callouts for pushing the payload playing at incorrect moments.
Fixed an issue with Wall Climb failing in some situations.
Additional bug fixes for general stability and performance.

Map bug fixes

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Antarctic Peninsula
Fixed lighting in some areas of the map.
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King’s Row
Fixed areas of the map that were missing collision.
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Midtown
Fixed some locations that could cause some heroes to become stuck
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Shambali Monastery
Fixed a location of the map that displayed incorrect textures.

Hero bug fixes

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Doomfist
Fixed a bug with Meteor Strike that could result in Doomfist getting inside the environment.
Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented Seismic Slam’s damage from going through turrets.
Fixed a bug that could prevent Doomfist from acquiring Overhealth in some cases.
Fixed a bug where Rocket Punch left a small window of time open to use abilities.
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Echo
Fixed an interaction when Duplicating Bastion that prevented the Duplicated Configuration: Artillery’s shots from landing if Duplicate ended before they landed.
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Lifeweaver
Fixed a bug that prevented Tree of Life from healing Reaper when in Wraith form.
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Lúcio
Amp it Up now goes on cooldown if interrupted by stun during its cast time or when dying while it’s active.
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Mauga
Fixed a bug with the burning applied by Mauga not being removed when picking up a health pack.
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Orisa
Terra Surge now correctly pulls in and damages enemies that are on uneven slopes/collision, as long as Orisa has a direct line of sight, they will get pulled/damaged.
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Roadhog
Fixed a bug with Roadhog’s model becoming distorted with some skins during the Heroic Highlight intro.
Fixed a bug with Pig Pen displaying a Junkrat icon when pinged.
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Sombra
Fixed an interaction that prevented Hack from being interrupted by Rocket Punch or Shield Bash.
Fixed a bug where Sombra would enter Stealth while escorting the robot in some situations.
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Torbjörn
Fixed a bug with disabling the Interact Cancel Deploy Turret setting causing you to only destroy a deployed turret and not toss out a new one when the ability is used.
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Winston
Fixed a bug with Primal Rage that interrupted the ability to attack if the Ultimate was initiated while Jumping and using Melee at the same time.
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Zenyatta
Golden weapon tint should now properly be reflected on all skins.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 - Hero Mastery: Gauntlet

Hone your skills with the new Hero Mastery: Gauntlet mode. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Overwatch 2 Season 9 will introduce a match type for Hero Mastery, a game mode where players can learn how to play the game and hone their skills with their favorite characters. This new match type is Hero Mastery: Gauntlet, a team-based match type where players work together to defend tower objectives from increasing waves of enemies.

Each Hero Mastery: Gauntlet match will feature different enemy types, objectives, and upgrade options to fortify your objectives to ensure that no matches are alike.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 - Battle Pass

Obtain the new Survivor Soldier 76 Skin by completing the Season 9 Battle Pass. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

In addition to gameplay changes and new game modes, Overwatch 2 - Season 9 will include a new Battle Pass, with over 80 tiers of rewards to fight for. These rewards include the new Survivor Soldier: 76, Tentacle Horror Torbjörn, Horror Hog Roadhog, and more.

Once you have cleared 80 tiers of the Battle Pass, you will unlock Moira's Mythic tier, Ancient Caller skin. If you purchase the Ultimate Battle Pass bundle, you will also be able to get your hands on the Beholder Sigma Legendary Skin, the Harbinger Lifeweaver Legendary Skins, 2,000 Overwatch Coins, and 20 tier skips.

Overwatch 2 Season 9 - New cosmetics to buy in the shop

Celebrate Valentine's Day with the new Valentine's Reaper skin. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and Overwatch is celebrating the occasion with new Valentine's Day-themed cosmetic skins to purchase in the in-game store. These new hearty cosmetics skins include Rosahardt Reinhardt, Rose Lily Widowmaker, Cherry Blossom Kiriko, and Valentine's Reaper. In addition, the classic Cupid Hanzo skin will be making a return.  

Keep an eye out for new frightening Legendary Skins coming soon to the store, like Fiend Orisa and Dark Fawn Lucio, and new Weapon Skins based on the graffiti drawn by the infamous Loes Muertos gang of Dorado. In addition, another crossover collaboration event will be coming later this season.

Cosmic horrors and gameplay reworks await in Overwatch 2 Season 9

Season 9's reworks may change the way Overwatch is played forever. (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

As you can see from the patch notes, a mountain of gameplay changes is coming to Overwatch 2 in Season 9. The most prominent ones are the reworks to Competitive Play ranking progression and rewards, reworking the Junkertown map, increasing the size of projectiles, increasing the HP of every hero and giving them all regenerating health, and introducing new role passive traits for Tank, Damage, and Support heroes.

These changes will no doubt shake up Overwatch's gameplay formula completely. Regenerating health on every character will allow players who main the more fragile heroes to survive in the fight longer and encourage players who play damage-dealing heroes to be more aggressive to stop the enemy team from naturally regaining their health back.

These drastic reworks to breathe new life into one of the best PC games and best Xbox games are bold, to say the least, and ones that could run the risk of alienating long-time fans who are used to the old ways of Overwatch gameplay. Will fans readily accept and adapt to the changes of Season 9? Well, we won't have to wait long to find out as Overwatch 2, Season 9 'Champions', is scheduled to go live on February 13, 2024, at 11:00 AM PST / 2:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM GMT. 

Overwatch 2: Complete Hero Collection

Overwatch 2: Complete Hero Collection

Join the fight with the Overwatch 2: Complete Hero Collection. This premium edition of the popular hero shooter will net you access to all playable Heroes, 3 Epic Skins, 3 Legendary Skins, and 1,000 Overwatch Coins to spend in the in-game cosmetics shop.

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