Overwatch 2 is really happening; PvP beta begins in April

Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • The Overwatch 2 PvP beta will be available for PC players beginning in late April.
  • The beta will feature a new hero, hero reworks, new maps, and a new mode.
  • The last time we heard about Overwatch 2, the game had been delayed until further notice.

It's been a while, but Overwatch 2 looks like it's finally moving forward. Blizzard announced Thursday that a PvP beta will launch in late April for PC players in select regions.

Interested players can sign up on the Overwatch website (although at the time of this writing, the page says the website is "undergoing maintenance"). If you don't get in, there will be other public beta tests later in the year.

Addtiionally, Blizzard announced it would be "decoupling" Overwatch 2's PvP and PvE to get PvP content out sooner while the team continues to work on PvE.

"We are changing our release strategy by decoupling Overwatch 2's PvP and PvE experiences from one another to get new PvP content into your hands sooner, while we continue to work on PvE," a blog post says.

A closed alpha testing phase will also begin this week, but it'll be limited to Blizzard employees and Overwatch League pros.

Game Director Aaron Keller was also on hand to host a development update on YouTube, which you can watch below.

Here are the new features that'll be available during the beta:

  • 5v5 PvP gameplay
  • New hero: Sojourn
  • Four new maps
    • Circuit Royal - Escort map
    • Midtown - Hybrid map
    • New Queen Street - Push map
    • Colosseo - Push map
  • New mode: Push
  • Hero reworks for Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion, Sombra
  • New ping system

Updates on Overwatch 2 have been scarce since it was announced at BlizzCon in 2019. The original announcement said it would feature PvE gameplay, upgraded visuals on a newer engine, and would be moving to a 5v5 PvP experience. It would also feature a new multiplayer mode called "Push," which will be available during the beta.

However, in November, Blizzard announced it would be delaying Overwatch 2, along with Diablo 4, further than originally planned to give developers more time and to account for leadership changes and turnover. Keller noted in the video that the team had let players down in regards to communication on development, and overwhelming focus on Overwatch 2 meant that the live game didn't receive nearly as much attention.

Activision Blizzard has been in a state of turmoil since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) filed a lawsuit against the company for its toxic, "frat" workplace culture. This has resulted in a number of accounts regarding harassment against women and people of color, and retaliation.

Additionally, Activision Blizzard is set to be acquired by Microsoft for nearly $69 billion following approval from the FTC and other governmental bodies.

Carli Velocci
Gaming Lead, Copy Chief

Carli is the Gaming Editor and Copy Chief across Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. Her last name also will remind you of a dinosaur. Follow her on Twitter or email her at carli.velocci@futurenet.com.