The Overwatch 2 Season 3 patch notes are here, and they're huge

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Ahead of Overwatch 2 Season 3's launch, developer Blizzard has revealed its patch notes.
  • Highlights include a key nerf to Ramattra's Annihilation Ultimate, several buffs to Reinhardt, the addition of shield health to Wrecking Ball, and a partial rework of Mercy's kit that incentivizes "triage healing" allies below half health.
  • Some other changes include nerfs for Junkrat, Ana, and Widowmaker, and buffs for Roadhog and Soldier: 76.

Overwatch 2 Season 3 is only a day away, and ahead of its launch, developer Blizzard has revealed the patch notes for the seasonal update. Like the ones that came before it, the game's third season offers players new content to enjoy while also introducing important changes and improving Overwatch 2's progression and social features.

Many of the changes and additions mentioned in the notes were announced by Blizzard in earlier press releases, such as the arrival of the new Control map Antarctic Peninsula, the introduction of a "Streamer Protect" feature to combat stream sniping, tank health reduction in non-role queue modes, and the return of Overwatch Credits. With that said, they also highlight several significant hero balance tweaks, several of which will have a massive impact on the Overwatch 2 metagame.

The most significant of these are nerfs to Ramattra's Annihilation Ultimate, which has been dominating ranked Competitive play since it was recently given a 20% speed boost. Once Season 3 arrives on February 7, the Ultimate will have a 12% higher cost, and affecting enemies with it will only slow its rundown timer rather than pause it. Additionally, Annihilation is being given a max duration of 20 seconds, capping how long it can be active on the battlefield.

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

On the flip side, Reinhardt — one of the weakest tanks in Overwatch 2 right now — is getting a variety of large buffs to his kit. His Charge cooldown is being reduced from 8 to 7 seconds, and the damage of his Firestrikes is being raised from 90 to 100, which is where it was before Overwatch 2's release. Earthshatter's direct hit damage is being reduced from 250 to 170 as Blizzard wants to move away from one-shots with it, but its knockdown duration is being extended from 2.5 to 2.75 seconds. The knockpack impulse of his Rocket Hammer is also being reduced from 10 to 6; while this sounds like a nerf, it's actually a buff, as it's meant to reduce the chances of Reinhardt's melee attacks knocking foes out of his range.

Both Wrecking Ball and Mercy are getting some big changes in Overwatch 2 Season 3 as well. The former is getting a two-second Pile Driver cooldown reduction and 150 health replaced by rechargeable shield HP, which Blizzard says should reduce the amount of health pack hunting Wrecking Ball players will need to do between fights. Meanwhile, Mercy's getting a small rework in the form of a new passive. Instead of her improved version of the support role's health regeneration passive, Mercy will now have a "Sympathetic Recovery" passive that returns 25% of her Caduceus Staff healing to herself as health. Other changes to her kit include a 1.5 to 2.5 seconds nerf to Guardian Angel's cooldown and a tweak to the Caduceus Staff that lowers its healing-per-second from 55 to 45, but increases its healing by 50% for allies under half health.

Some other notable Overwatch 2 hero changes and reworks include a Junkrat Concussion Mine damage nerf from 120 to 100, a two-second buff to the duration of Roadhog's Whole Hog Ultimate, a half-second duration reduction for Ana's Biotic Grenade, a 12% recoil cutback for Soldier: 76's Heavy Pulse Rifle, and a base health reduction from 200 to 175 for Widowmaker. For the complete patch notes that include bug fixes, Season 3's map pools, and more, check out the section below.

Overwatch 2 Season 3: Patch notes

(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Here, we've listed the full Overwatch 2 Season 3 patch notes.

New Map: Antarctic Peninsula

Journey across the frozen Antarctic Peninsula. Discover the abandoned station where the Overwatch Ecopoint team once searched for the source of a dangerous anomaly threatening the world and explore the wreckage of the icebreaker ship that failed to rescue Mei-Ling Zhou and her friends. 

New Feature: Streamer Protect

Players can now activate Streamer Protect options in-game settings. These options will provide players with ways to hide identifying information when livestreaming matches. 

General updates

Accessibility Improvements  

  • Improved Subtitles Options: text scalability, character portrait icons, speaker name, text color, background color, and subtitle preview in the options menu 
  • Added mouse cursor size setting for PC 
  • Added setting to select custom colors for Group and Alert colors in the UI. Preview feature added to preview custom colors in the accessibility options 


  • Added challenges to unlock "Silhouette" player icons for all heroes
  • Added tracking for each of the roles for the Weekly "Role Mastery" challenge
  • Added Ramattra unlock challenges
  • Partial progress through the season three Battle Pass is now carried over to the "Wins for Ramattra" challenge


  • Players can now endorse the opposing team
  • All players can now be endorsed in Free-For-All game modes

Game Report

  • Players can view scoreboards from previous matches within the View Game Reports menu found in the History tab of the Career Profile 

 Mystery Heroes Changes 

  • Mystery heroes now limits each team to a maximum of three of each role.
    Example: You are Reinhardt in Mystery Heroes. Your team also includes Mercy, Ana, and Lucio. When you die, you cannot respawn as a Support hero because there are already three Support heroes on your team. You will either be respawned as a Damage or a Tank hero 
    • This new maximum role limit can be changed in Custom Games under Settings > Modes > All > Random Hero Role Limit Per Team, This setting only functions when the Respawn as Random Hero setting is enabled 

Overwatch Credits are back 

  • Overwatch Credits, which were previously labeled "Legacy Credits" and were not earnable in Overwatch 2, can now once again be earned through progressing in the Season 3 Battle Pass
  • All players can earn up to 1500 credits as free rewards, and another 500 credits are available as premium rewards in the Season 3 Battle Pass
  • Credits can be spent in the Hero Gallery, which now contains nearly all seasonal Epic and Legendary-tier skins released prior to the launch of Overwatch 2. This includes many skins that were previously only available for purchase with Coins in the "Just for You" section of our Shop 

Ping System Update

  • Pressing Ability 1 or Ability 2 when the ping wheel is open and when these abilities are on cooldown now prints these cooldowns in chat. Example: If Baptiste's Immortality Field is on cooldown and you press the key/button to activate the ability while the Ping Wheel is open, the cooldown for the ability will be printed in chat 

Competitive play

  • Skill tiers and divisions will adjust after every 5 wins or 15 losses and ties (formally 7 wins or 20 losses and ties) 
  • Players can select the "View Competitive Progress" button from the Competitive menu to view their progress toward receiving a rank update 

Workshop updates

  •  Workshop Editor is back!

Workshop Moderation Tools

We added new menu options when reporting a player. Our goal is to give players more ways to report inappropriate behavior so that we can take action in a timely manner. As a result, you can select the category and sub-category that best explain why you are reporting the player or their custom content. The major categories include: 

  • Inappropriate Communication
  • Inappropriate Name
  • Cheating
  • Gameplay Sabotage
  • Inappropriate Custom Content

Hero updates


  •  Maximum ultimate charge retained when swapping heroes reduced from 30 to 25%


  • The health totals for all tank heroes will be lower when playing any game mode that does not have a role queue. Health totals will remain the same for tanks when playing any Role Queue enabled game. 



  • Mech base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Mech base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 450 to 300

Junker Queen

  • Base health in Role Queue modes increased to 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 425 to 300


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 275
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 275 to 125
  • Augmented Fusion Driver
    • Damage falloff reduced from 25 to 15 meters


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 450 to 300
  • Annihilation
    • Damaging enemies with the ultimate now slows the duration timer down instead of pausing it entirely. Lasts up to 20 seconds
    • Ultimate cost increased 12%


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 325
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 325 to 175
  • Charge
    • Cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds
  • Fire Strike
    • Damage increased from 90 to 100
  • Earthshatter
    • Direct hit damage reduced from 250 to 170
    • Knockdown duration increased from 2.5 to 2.75 seconds
    • Ultimate cost increased 7%
  • Rocket Hammer
    • Knockback impulse reduced from 10 to 6


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 700
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 700 to 550
  • Whole Hog
    • Maximum duration increased from 6 to 8 seconds
    • Ultimate cost increased 8%


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200
  • Gravitic Flux
    • Ultimate cost increased 7%


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Base health in none non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200
  • Barrier Projector
    • Health reduced from 700 to 650

Wrecking Ball

  • Base health in Role Queue modes reduced from 600 to 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 600 to 300
  • Shield health increased from 0 to 150
  • Pile Driver
    • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Minefield
    • Ultimate cost increased 9%
    • Arming time reduced from 1.5 to 1 second


  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 250
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 250 to 100
  • Graviton Surge
    • Ultimate cost increased 8%



  • Combat Roll
    • Movement is no longer blocked by enemy player collision
  • Peacekeeper
    • Primary fire falloff range increased from 20 to 25 meters


  • Concussion Mine
    • Maximum damage reduced from 120 to 100


  • Blizzard
    • Ultimate cost reduced 5%


  • Barrage
    • Ultimate cost reduced 5%


  • Death Blossom
    • Ultimate cost reduced 8%

Soldier: 76

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle
    • Number of shots to reach maximum recoil increased from 4 to 6
    • Recoil reduced 12%


  • Machine Pistol
    • Damage per projectile increased from 7 to 7.5
  • Hack
    • Health pack hacked duration increased from 30 to 45 seconds


  • Photon Barrier
    • Ultimate cost increased 10%


  • Deploy Turret
    • Turret base health reduced from 250 to 225


  • Base health reduced from 200 to 175 



  • Biotic Grenade
    • Effect duration reduced from 4 to 3.5 seconds


  • Repair Pack
    • Healing over time reduced from 55 to 50 per second
    • Applying a Repair Pack now instantly heals for 25 health on impact
  • Rally
    • Ultimate cost reduced 10%


  • Sound Barrier
    • Ultimate cost reduced 7%


  • Guardian Angel
    • Cooldown increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds
    • Holding the backwards directional input and canceling the ability with Jump now moves 20% slower
  • Caduceus Staff
    • Healing-per-second reduced from 55 to 45
    • Healing is increased by 50% for allies under half health
  • Regeneration Passive 
    • "Regeneration" Passive removed
  • New Passive: "Sympathetic Recovery"
    • Mercy heals herself for 25% of healing done with the Caduceus Staff


  • Coalescence
    • Ultimate cost reduced 5%


  • Orb of Destruction
    • Ammo increased from 20 to 25

Season 3 map pools

  • Push
    • New Queen Street - Morning
    • Colosseo - Morning (NEW)
    • Esperança – Morning
  • Hybrid
    • Blizzard World - Morning
    • King's Row - Evening
    • Midtown - Morning
    • Numbani - Morning
    • Paraíso - Morning 
  • Escort
    • Dorado - Night
    • Havana - Night (NEW)
    • Junkertown - Morning 
    • Circuit royal – Morning (NEW)
    • Rialto - Morning
    • Shambali Monastery - Night 
  •  Control
    • Antarctic Peninsula - Night (NEW MAP)
    • Ilios - Morning
    • Lijiang Tower - Night
    • Nepal - Evening
    • Oasis - Evening

Bug fixes


  • Ping system
    • Unified the range for most targeted ally pings to 35 meters
    • Fixed D.Va hearing the "Behind You" VO in unintended circumstances when enemies are pinged
    • Fixed a bug where pings could be fired by the Communication Wheel if the Ping Wheel had been canceled (by not moving the mouse or with a manual cancel)
    • Fixed free camera spectators hearing "Need Healing/Need Help" sound effects (not voice-over) if the hero requesting healing was injured and within 30 meters of the spectator's free cam
    • Fixed Mercy's Soul Pings not displaying her Resurrect cooldown time remaining in some circumstances
    • Made all pings available to be placed in the Communication Wheel
    • Fixed the issue where OW1 players with pings in the Communication Wheel couldn't change their options in the Communications menu
    • Fixed self-pings being able to fire Hero-specific pings (Example: Group Up could cause Mercy to say she'd like to Resurrect a teammate)
  • Other fixes
    • Fixed an issue where some players were unable to receive or send invites 
    • Fixed an issue with Junkerqueen's Mythic skin 'Zeus' not having glowing hair on console
    • Resolved a bug where all maps were toggled off by default when starting a new Custom Game
    • Fixed a bug where sometimes Health Packs were displaying the cooldown circle while the health pack was available 
    • Fixed a bug where the Social Screen would not display friends correctly on some consoles
    • Improved the performance when viewing the friend's section of the Competitive leaderboard
    • Fixed an issue with Cyber Genji displaying broken animations when using emotes or souvenirs 
    • Healing VFX on players being healed should no longer clip through the environment 
    • Resolved an issue with the level of bloom on several maps


  • Blizzard World
    • Fixed lighting in several areas around the map
  • Busan
    • Meka Base: Fixed areas near forklifts that players could become stuck on
  • Dorado
    • Fixed lighting in some areas of the map
  • Esperança
    • Fixed some areas that should have been slippery for players but were not
    • Fixed some areas where players could become stuck
    • Added a missing flag to the loading screen of Esperança
  • Oasis
    • City Center: Fixed several reflection issues
    • Gardens: Fixed multiple lighting issues
  • Colosseo
    • Fixed ambient lighting across the map
  • Shambali Monastery 
    • Fixed areas of the map that should have been slippery but were not
    • Fixed areas of the map that allowed players to leave the playable space
    • Fixed areas players could become stuck
    • General bug fixes across the map


  • Ana
    • Fixed a bug with Ana's OWL skins missing their eyepatch 
  • Doomfist 
    • Fixed an issue where Doomfist would spawn with an empowered punch if killed by the environment while blocking
    • Fixed a bug where Environmental eliminations from Rocket Punch were not credited if the target slammed into a wall before dying 
    • Fixed a bug where Seismic Slam would sometimes fail to break breakables 
    • Resolved an issue with Seismic Slam not animating correctly when used to cancel Rocket Punch 
    • Fixed an instance where Doomfist could use Primary Fire during the Meteor Strike outro animation 
  • Genji
    • Fixed a bug to make Genji's attack animations smoother
  • Junkrat
    • Fixed an issue with Steel Trap sometimes failing to place
  • Kiriko
    • Fixed an issue where using Swift Step would sometimes cause Kiriko to fall through the map
    • Fixed an issue where Swift Step was missing effects when arriving at the target 
    • Hero Melee animations should animate more consistently when under the effect of Kitsune Rush
  • Mercy
    • Fixed a bug where Mercy's heal target would heal to full if the Mercy player disconnects from the game if they were actively healing
  • Moira
    • Fixed an issue where Coalescence was not benefiting from Kitsune Rush 
  • Ramattra
    • Fixed a bug with Ravenous Vortex not spawning if it gets stuck between the Push bot and the barrier it pushes
    • Fixed a bug where damage from some abilities was not counting toward the 'Incomparable Pain' achievement 
    • Fixed an issue with the Heroic Highlight Intro being blurry in the Hero Gallery
  • Sigma
    • Fixed an issue where Sigma's Hyperspheres were sometimes missing
  • Sombra
    • Fixed a bug with Sombra's Passive tooltip displaying the incorrect value
  • Symmetra
    • Symmetra can no longer fire her Photon Projector while casting Photon Barrier

Overwatch 2 Season 3 is releasing on February 7, and the game as a whole is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. It's arguably one of the best Xbox shooters available, and since it's free-to-play, it doesn't cost anything to check it out. Alternatively, there's the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack that provides access to a Premium Battle Pass, in-game currency, and more. Make sure you buy it after Season 3 starts so you get its Premium Battle Pass and not Season 2's.


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 a Premium Battle Pass track, unlock some unique rewards, provides some in-game currency to use, and more.

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Brendan Lowry

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.