Years after it was first revealed, we finally know the Overwatch 2 release date - and it's relatively soon. Originally expected to launch in 2022, the anticipated sequel is getting a staggered release later this year. Read on for the details around the Overwatch 2 release date, and a whole lot more.
Overwatch 2, the follow-up to Blizzard's 2016 mega-hit, was announced at Blizzcon 2019 after multiple leaks and rumours. Offering PvE content alongside the first game's PvP offerings, players will be able to level their character and abilities in PvE modes, and we'll also be treated to new heroes, too.
For more on the long history of the franchise, check out the details around game director Jeff Kaplan's departure from the franchise, and the best monitor for Overwatch if you're hoping to make a competitive push with the new release.
When Is the Overwatch 2 Release Date?
Announced during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase on June 12, 2022, the Overwatch 2 release date was set for October 4. This is only for the multiplayer component, however. The single-player part of Overwatch 2 will launch at a later, unannounced, date in 2023.
When Is the Next Overwatch 2 Beta?
When the first closed beta test came around, Blizzard said that it wouldn't be the last before release. At the recent reveal event, we learnt that the next Overwatch 2 beta will start on June 28. It'll include the new heroes Sojourn and Junker Queen, as well as maps including New York, Rome, Monte Carlo, and Rio.
The new Overwatch 2 beta will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. You can request access via this very link.
Will Overwatch 2 Be Free?
In a surprising twist that should breathe new life into the game, Overwatch 2 will be a completely free download. The single-player part releasing in the future will likely be a paid game, but the PVP aspect the game is known for will be free for everyone on October 4.
What Will Overwatch 2 Be On? - Overwatch 2 Platforms
The Overwatch 2 PVP launch will take place on Windows, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, confirming that any console that got Overwatch 1 will get Overwatch 2 as well.
All Overwatch 2 Heroes
- Wrecking Ball
- Junker Queen
- Soldier 76
Overwatch 2 is set to launch with 34 characters as of June 13, 2022. Two of these, Sojourn and Junker Queen, are new for Overwatch 2, with the rest being returning characters from the first game. No characters have been removed for the sequel.
Overwatch 2 Announcement Trailer
The eight-minute long trailer for Overwatch 2 was aimed directly at all of the Blizzard lore nerds, with a clear callback to two previous pieces in particular: Winston surviving Reaper’s attack on Gibraltar, and Mei’s recovery from cryosleep.
The clearly signalled continuation of the franchise’s story is tied to the sequel, which was announced as primarily a co-op and story-driven endeavour rather than a straightforward replacement for the original Overwatch.
It also introduces a new enemy faction: Null Sector, which seems comprised primarily of weaponized Omnics, lacking the near-human behaviour of the Tibetan Buddhist-inspired Zenyatta, or the quirkily innocent body language expected of Bastion and Orisa (when, obviously, they’re not actively fighting).
How the villainous organization Talon plays into this new uprising has yet to be explained.
New Overwatch 2 Modes
Push is effectively a mirrored Escort mode, where your team must take control of a robot that will very literally shove a barrier down the city’s winding streets until it reaches various checkpoints. To that point, it’s near-identical to Escort mode – except that, if the enemy team manages to defeat yours, they will take possession of the pusher bot for themselves and have it shove their blockade down to your side of the city. Victory is determined by whoever pushed farthest by the game’s end, or if one side manages to push all the way to the third checkpoint.
Overwatch 1 Crossplay, Explained
The most interesting thing about the Overwatch 2 announcement, however, has to be the glaring lack of otherwise expected impact on the original game.
Per Jeff Kaplan’s explanation, all new map modes and heroes are on their way to the original game as well. Furthermore, the player base will not be split either – Overwatch 1 players will still be queueing up against Overwatch 2 players on the same map modes, and bickering over the same voice chat about who should switch from Hanzo to a “real hero.”
Overwatch 2 co-op modes, however, may not be as easily shareable. Though the original Overwatch does have its “archive” events and other seasonal co-op modes, the forms they will take for Overwatch 2 may not be backwards compatible. And this is especially true for any modes that are planned for Overwatch 2’s progression system.
Overwatch 2 Multiplayer Maps Reworks, and More
If Overwatch 2 shares the same multiplayer modes, heroes, and even player base as Overwatch 1, why is it being made at all? The answer for that is twofold, and fairly simple.
First, Blizzard’s confirmed that Overwatch 2 is made with a different engine – even if they’re rendering the “same” multiplayer map and effects, we can probably expect a notable visual improvement, or at least visual differences, with the new game.
Second, because the campaign and hero story modes for Overwatch 2 will be its own entire thing – both as a solo experience and as a co-op game.
Furthermore, the ability to upgrade heroes, change their skill loadouts, and improve their power over time makes Overwatch 2’s campaign mode more like an RPG – and definitely not something that the original game was designed to accommodate.
Whether all of that is worth the cost of a full-fledged new game, instead of as an expansion like Blizzard’s done with both Diablo and StarCraft, will naturally depend on how substantial the offerings are with the sequel. Otherwise, you will still have a lot of content updates to look forward to with the original Overwatch for the coming years.
Overwatch 2 Roadmap
At the Overwatch 2 reveal event in mid-June 2022, Blizzard unveiled the preliminary content roadmap for the game. So far we know about the first two seasons, both due for release in 2022, followed by a slew of new content in 2023.
Unsurprisingly, season 1 lands on October 4, the same day the game launches. In that battle pass there will be three new heroes: Sojourn, Junker Queen, and another that hasn't been announced yet. Alongside that, a 5v5 PvP mode will be added, as well as six new maps and over thirty exclusive skins.
Season 2 then lands two months later, on December 6. Details are slim on what to expect so far, though a brand-new tank hero is already confirmed. Also expect another 30+ skins, as well as another new map.
Following the first two seasons, 2023 is set to be a big year for Overwatch 2. Blizzard has confirmed that the narrative PvE mode will debut in 2023, pushing the franchise's story along. Of course, there will also be the regular seasonal model, with even more heroes, skins, and maps to work towards. The future is looking very bright for Overwatch 2, if the roadmap is anything to go by.
Will Heroes In Overwatch 2 Cost Money?
Given the game is heading towards a free-to-play model, Overwatch 2 fans are curious whether Blizzard will compensate that by charging for each individual hero. Other free games like Valorant and League of Legends use that setup, so it's not unreasonable to assume.
However, as of June 17 Blizzard has yet to speak out on whether each hero in Overwatch 2 will cost you money. Some are bound to be included in the battle pass, including Sojourn and Junker Queen in the first season, so those will likely cost as part of that purchase - but not as individual microtransactions. We'll have to wait and see how the core roster of heroes is handled, though.
And that's about everything there is to know about Overwatch 2 at the minute. For more on Blizzard's library, check out the Diablo Immortal tier list for help choosing your character, and the Diablo Immortal Legendary Gems tier list for help slotting in the best gems for your chosen class.
The original version of the guide was written by James Wright. Upkeep has been handled by Jon Nicholson, Josh Brown, and Luke Hinton.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Overwatch and Hubs page.