The Overwatch 2 beta is nearing, putting an end to a two-year content drought. Overwatch hasn’t had a major update since the hero Echo was added back in April 2020. Since then, the wait for the sequel has been long.
Instead of waiting for the PvE side of Overwatch 2, Blizzard allows players to try out PvP content before the game’s full release. The big change from the original Overwatch is that it’s now 5v5 instead of 6v6 with teams of one tank, two damage, and two support players.
Overwatch 2’s beta is packed with content, so we’ve put together this one-stop shop for all the important info you need to know – like beta release date, remastered characters, new maps, heroes, and game modes are included. There’s a lot to dive into, so here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch 2 PvP beta.
Overwatch 2 beta: Stop chasing
- What is that? Our first chance to play Overwatch 2
- When can I play? April 26
- What can I play on? This first beta phase is only available on PC
Overwatch 2 beta: Release date and platforms
Overwatch 2 beta releases on April 26th. Since it is a closed beta, you can only participate if you are invited, although we expect to accept a lot of people to keep the netizens healthy.
If you want to participate here How to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta.
How long is the Overwatch 2 beta running?
Blizzard hasn’t said how long the Overwatch 2 beta will be – we only know when the first phase will launch and what it includes. We don’t know yet if it will be a beta version for a limited time or an ongoing release.
Beta tests are often short, and run for a week or less, giving developers an effective opportunity to test their servers and see if they’ll adapt at launch. However, we expect the Overwatch 2 beta to run for a while longer. Overwatch has extended its alpha and beta periods as Blizzard has combined player feedback to change the game. Overwatch’s first beta ran from October 27, 2015 to January 21, 2015. The second beta ran from February 9 through May 9, before the game was released on May 24.
As the Overwatch 2 beta end date has yet to be announced, we believe it will have a similarly long testing period. We’ve reached out to Blizzard to confirm.
Is Overwatch 2 beta on consoles?
Unfortunately, console players will not be part of the initial beta testing phase of Overwatch 2. The beta version launching this month is exclusive to PC. However, Blizzard says in its official Overwatch 2 beta FAQ that “the first closed beta will be available on PC only, but we have plans to include console players in future betas.”
Overwatch 2 beta: New Game Modes
Overwatch 2 PvP beta includes a new game mode called Push. While this is the first time we’ve been able to trigger Push, the situation was already revealed in 2019.
The push rules are easy to understand: it’s basically a reverse tug-of-war…using a robot. In the middle of the map is a bot named 2 that you are fighting to control. If your team grabs two, the machine will start pushing a barrier towards your opponents’ spawn. If they control two, the bot will push a different barrier towards your spawn.
In order to control two players, you must have more players in the vicinity than your opponents. If you lose control of two, the robot will quickly move to your barrier and start pushing it toward your spawn. There are checkpoints along the way that unlock rebirth points for teams so they can get back into the action faster.
If you can get two to push your opponents’ barrier to the end point on their side of the map, that’s an instant win (and vice versa). Otherwise, whoever is closest to their end point when the clock runs out loses.
If you’d like to see this mode in action, here’s a showcase match from last year’s Overwatch League Final.
Overwatch 2 beta: Characters
Overwatch 2 beta features all 32 Overwatch characters, plus new hero Sojourn.
However, with Overwatch 2 going from 6v6 to 5v5, Blizzard has modified each character, changing damage, restoring health, and health complex. Blizzard has completely reworked some heroes as well, including Sombra, Doomfist, Bastion, and Orisa.
Here is a list of every hero coming to Overwatch 2.
- fist of doom
- sound echo
- soldier 76
- widow maker
- wrecking ball
Overwatch 2 beta: New Characters
New heroine Sojourn has been revealed at BlizzCon 2019, and will make her debut in the first beta of Overwatch 2.
Sojourn is the game’s first Canadian champion and one of the original members of Overwatch before the group disbanded. She is a famous leader of the group and featured as a moderator at the Storm Rising Archives event. She’s now ready to join the overhauled Overwatch and take on Talon.
Blizzard released this story trailer for the character prior to the beta release:
Blizzard has also detailed Sojourn’s set, which looks a lot of fun, with both navigation and damage in spades.
- Railgun (initial firing) – Fast-fired projectiles that generate energy on impact.
- Railgun (secondary fire) – A high-impact shot consumes stored energy.
- power slice – The floor slide that can cancel out in the high jump.
- shot dead – Fire an energy shot that slows down and deals damage to the enemies inside
- Overclock (Final) – The Railgun automatically charges for a short duration and charged shots penetrate enemies.
To see it all in action, be sure to check out the latest Sojourn trailer.
Overwatch 2 beta: Character Redesign
Bastion has always been a complex character that has to be balanced in Overwatch. His ability to damage is enormous, and in the face of novice players, he rips apart teams that don’t know how to deal with him. However, it is close to being useless at higher levels, as players take advantage of its lack of mobility. This is not a great place for a hero, so Blizzard is looking at him again.
In its current redesign, the Bastion is no longer capable of self-repairing but is gaining an alternate fire which is a short-fused grenade that you can bounce off walls and around corners before it explodes.
The Bastion now has much slower blast fire while shooting on the go, giving its basic fire a sense of accuracy. While in tower mode, Bastion can now move at low speed, although this is an ability with a cooldown, so it can’t be used all the time.
Bastion also has a new Ultimate that goes into artillery mode and you can select three sections of the map for mortars.
Sombra’s redesign reduces her crowd control capabilities but makes her a more offensive champion. She can now hack while incognito (although she was briefly exposed). Its hack doesn’t last long but the hacked enemies are now exposed through walls and deal more damage.
Its electromagnetic pulses no longer negate shields, instead only inflicting damage on victims at 40% of their health, but penetration minuses are still applied to affected characters. These changes make Sobra a really dangerous hero that you’ll probably be more wary of.
fist of doom
Doomfist is seeing the most drastic change as Blizzard has confirmed that he will be moving from a damage role to a tank role. What was not revealed was its capabilities and how it would function as a tank.
However, GGRecon sources reported that he has improved his health, but his signature Rocket Punch damage has been reduced. Although his new ability apparently allows him to absorb damage to charge his Rocket Punch’s damage to a one hit probability.
It’s also been reported that Rising Uppercut and Seismic Slam are now an ability that starts with him punching people in the air and then hitting them on the ground to cause damage in the area of impact.
We don’t have an official word on the pending Orisa redesign yet, but GGRecon has reported that all of its capabilities have changed except for Fortify. She now has a shaft which is the core of her new collection. Energy Spear allows her to throw a spear, and another ability, Spear Spin, destroys projectiles and allows her to move faster and push enemies away.
Its end is now called Terra Lance and it attracts opponents to it and deals less damage with ability channels. The longer you point it, the more damage it causes.
Overwatch 2 beta: Maps
Like the heroes in Overwatch, all maps from the first game will appear in the Overwatch 2 beta except for the Assault maps.
Attack maps have been an issue since Overwatch launched, as they can either snowball quickly with one side winning easily, or get increasingly difficult to capture checkpoints the longer the time goes on.
In this first beta, the development team decided to instead focus on Push, using two maps in this mode. There are two other new maps, the New York-based Midtown map which is a mixed map, and the Monte Carlo-themed Circuit Royal Escort map.
Here is a complete list of maps that are included in the beta version:
- Lijiang Tower
- Route 66
- Observation point: Gibraltar
- Circuit Royal
- blizzard world
- King’s row
Maps don’t come back
- lunar horizon colony
- Temple of Anubis
- Volskaya Industries