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Overwatch 2 Season 2 is currently live. In the spirit of setting you up for the win, here’s a guide with everything you need to know before heading into the next round of updates, skins, and heroes. 

Where has all the time gone? Overwatch 2 has been released for two months, and we’re already in Season 2. Blizzard isn’t slowing down anytime soon; it has packed loads into this season, with even more content scheduled to arrive later. Like the previous season, we will have two months of fun lasting from December 6 until February 7.

As we pivot from the familiarity of classic Overwatch and follow Blizzard down the rabbit hole, even minor changes will be crucial to grasp as you head into your matches. We’ll update this guide regularly with all the information you need, so with that in mind, let’s jump into this new season. 

Season Theme: Greek Mythology

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For fans of Greek Mythology (or anyone who just thinks it looks cool), this season’s for you. This theme will run through the Battle Pass, with most voice lines, sprays, and skins having a discernibly deific quality. 

Your reward for completing the Battle Pass will be a Mythic Junker Queen Zeus Skin. Like the Mythic Genji skin in the first season, this will also be customizable, with unique voice lines, special effects, and new weapon models. 

Junker Queen won’t be the only hero getting some ancient attention. There will also be a Legendary Poseidon Ramattra skin and a Legendary Hades Pharah skin that you can unlock in the Battle Pass. 

According to the Blizzard blog post (opens in new tab), “these heroes and several others will be imbued with awesome god-like powers in our new Battle for Olympus game mode”. This limited-time event will run from January 5 to January 19. While we aren’t sure what it will entail as of yet, there may be clues to its design scattered among the new skins released this season. We’ll let you know if we find anything.

New Map: Shambali

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(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

This season will also bring us a much-needed new map in the form of Shambali. This Nepalese location and will be built around the three existing Nepal maps – Village, Shrine, and Temple – so if you look at it from a bird’s eye view, you can see how they all connect. 

The Shambali Monastery will be an escort map featuring a payload. The Blizzard Blog page details how you can follow the path “walked by countless Omnics who have sought refuge within its walls”. This points to the critical role that Nepal will play in the story, as well as the relationship between Zenyatta and new hero, Ramattra. 

This monastery is where the characters meditated and reflected together, where they decided which path they will take to ensure the Omnic people’s survival, one peaceful and one destructive. While we will get to play this map our own way, we will also hopefully see it down the line in comics or animations centered around the Omnics’ friendship. 

New Rotation maps

Some eagle-eyed viewers may have also spotted the strange disappearance of a couple of well-known maps from Overwatch. If you’ve missed Blizzard World or Rialto, you’ll be happy to know that they will enter the map rotation for Season 2.

What’s a map rotation? This feature is new to Overwatch 2. As more maps are added, they will enter the round-robin rotation that will change each season. This time Blizzard World and Rialto will replace Hollywood and Gibraltar (though these two maps will still be accessible in custom games). Oasis and Nepal will also appear at different times throughout the day.

New Hero: Ramattra

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(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Ramattra is the new tank hero for Season 2, which was announced at the Overwatch League finals. We have a Ramattra guide ready before you unlock his character in Season 2 where you can read up on his origin story, his abilities, and the effect he may have on other heroes. For example, Ramattra may make Doomfist redundant. 

All you need to know is that those who purchase the premium Battle Pass will have Ramattra instantly unlocked for you to play. For those opting out of the premium payment, you will be able to secure this tank hero at Battle Pass Tier 45. Initially this was kept at Tier 55, but days before Season 2, Blizzard dropped the requirement level.  

Catch-up hero challenges

There is also a new challenge mode being introduced in Season 2. Catch-up hero challenges are for old players who failed to unlock previous heroes like Kiriko in Season 1, or brand new players who didn’t get the chance.

You start by selecting the challenges for the hero you want to unlock, which will send you to the practice range so you can learn their abilities. You will then be challenged to win certain Overwatch 2 games under specific conditions. This will help you secure all the new heroes added to Overwatch 2.

If that all sounds like too much hassle, then there’s an option to unlock all the new heroes within the in-game shop.

Events: Winter Wonderland and Lunar New Year

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(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

Season 2 will also encompass two seasonal events. We got a small outline of how Blizzard plans to celebrate these with their approach to the Halloween event earlier in Season 1. From this, we can expect to see a small PVE game introduced, along with skins and cosmetics being added to the shop. 

The Winter Wonderland event will run from December 13 to January 4. In comparison, the Lunar New Year event will be from January 17 to February 1. Thankfully both of these will have everything promised in the Halloween seasonal event and more. This time, Blizzard has promised certain skins you can collect by completing games and event-specific challenges. This includes Epic Ice Queen Brigitte, Legendary Winged Victory Mercy, and Legendary Kkachi Echo. 

You will also be able to earn rewards and skins by watching Overwatch 2 streams on Twitch. Despite a shaky start to these viewing rewards from the Overwatch League handouts, Blizzard seems to be working on a solution. 

Hero Updates: Balances and Nerfs

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(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

A new season means a host of new updates and game changes have arrived. While some are more welcome than others, each and every change will impact how the community accesses and plays Overwatch 2 over the following season.

These updates aren’t set in stone; if they don’t work out, they will inevitably be tweaked. However, these changes can’t happen overnight, so regardless of performance and community reception, the new updates will stay around for at least the first few weeks of Season 2. With that in mind, let’s get our heads around them. 

DPS updates  

The damage heroes have seen one massive change to their performance that affects everyone. This is the fundamental change to their Passive Role. For those who don’t know what a Passive is, it is an ability that the hero performs without the player having to do anything. 

Blizzard decided to remove the temporary increased movement speed Passive that allowed many DPS heroes to engage and disengage from fights easier. This has been somewhat balanced by the blanket increase of reload speed from 25 to 35%. 

When it comes to specific damage heroes, Bastion has received some promising updates. It was decided that their ultimate: Configuration Artillery, was too easy to avoid due to the long delay between the initial warning and the final explosions. This has been reduced from 1 to 0.6 seconds. However, the explosion damage has been reduced from 300 to 250 to ensure the omnic isn’t too overpowered. The cooldown on their reconfiguration ability has also been reduced from 12 to 10 seconds. 

Regarding buffs, Tracer and Symmetra have both been made more robust. Tracer’s pulse pistol damage has been increased from 5 to 6. At the same time, Symmetra has had updates to her primary fire. It now gains ammo from damaging barriers again, making her gameplay faster. 

However, the much-anticipated update goes to Sojourn. She’s been the bane of many players’ existence since her addition to Overwatch 2 back in October, so these changes are a relief. Her Railgun has received a ton of changes. The secondary fire damage falloff range has been reduced from 70 to 40 meters, and the critical damage multiplier has been reduced from 2 to 1.5. However, her primary fire damage per projectile has increased from 9 to 10, and her ultimate charge rate is up by 20%.

Tank updates  

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Of all the tanks, Doomfist has received the most love in these updates. The impact range of his rocket punch has been increased to 25-50 damage, and its cooldown has been reduced from 4 to 3 seconds. On top of that, the cooldown on his power block ability has been reduced from 8 to 7 seconds, and the duration increased from 2 to 2.5 seconds. Finally, Doomfist has also received more health. His temporary health is up from 150 to 200, and the health he can gain from damaged enemies is increased from 30 to 40. There’s much more to check out with Doom, so check out the specific patch notes (opens in new tab). 

In contrast, the update to Junker Queen is a lot more measured. On the one hand, her ultimate has been weakened, with the cost reduced by 10% and the wound duration decreased from 5 to 4.5 seconds. On the other hand, her commanding shout cooldown was reduced from 15 to 14 seconds, while her passive healing ability multiplier is up from 1 to 1.25 damage dealt by wounds. 

Support updates 

When it comes to support characters, Kiriko has received the most significant changes following these patch notes. She enjoys an ammo increase from 12 to 15, and the cast time on her protection suzu ability is down from 0.15 to 0.1 seconds. However, her Ultimate has been balanced. The cost to build her Kitsune Rush is up by 10%, and the movement speed bonus is down from 50 to 30%; the cooldown rate on her Ultimate has been downgraded from 3 to 2 times faster than usual. 

Ana and Mercy have become more aggressive and defensive with their respective updates. Ana’s sleep dart cooldown is reduced from 15 to 14 seconds, giving her more protection. While Mercy’s ammo for her blaster has gone from 20 to 25, the time taken to swap between healing and damage is reduced from 0.5 to 0.35 seconds. 

    Elie Gould

    Features writer

    Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending her free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for her student publications. 

    Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokemon. The video games came later, but it was the trading card game that caught her eye and led to Elie owning an extensive playing card collection (She would tell you how many are PSA 10, but she doesn’t want to get robbed). 

    When it’s not Pokemon it’s got to be horror. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on her list to play. This is all despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased – so horror games aren’t always the most enjoyable experience. 

    But really, anything weird and wonderful is right up her street. She loves to find new games and cool indie devs. Just make sure not to ask her anything about SCP if you want to get home for dinner.

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