BlizzCon 2023 has been host to a ton of news for all of Blizzard's top games, with the developer's beloved hero shooter Overwatch 2 opening the show on November 3. After some heartfelt comments from Game Director Aaron Keller, attendees and viewers around the world were treated to a number of exciting announcements and reveals — more of which then came over the course of the weekend.
Below, you'll find a complete overview of everything that was shown for Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2023. This includes the game's next hero, reveals of characters coming to the game in the future, a fresh upcoming PvP game mode, and more.
Overwatch 2: New tank hero Mauga
The Overwatch 2 showcase kicked off with its premier reveal: Mauga, a new tank hero coming to the game in Season 8, which is slated to begin on December 5, 2023. Fans have been pleading with Blizzard to make this Samoan juggernaut a hero ever since he was first seen in a short story four years ago, and the developer has finally given the people what they want. With dual-wielded chainguns "Gunny" and "Cha-Cha" as well as abilities that help him both take space and stay alive throughout a fight, Mauga is poised to become one of the strongest mid-range tanks in Overwatch 2.
Mauga isn't coming to the game fully until Overwatch 2 Season 7 ends next month, but from now until the end of BlizzCon weekend on November 5, he's freely playable in all Overwatch 2 PvP modes other than Competitive. That means you can take him into Quick Play or the Arcade to try him out, which is worth doing if you're on the fence about getting the Premium tier of the Season 8 Battle Pass to unlock him right away when he releases.
Overwatch 2 Mauga gameplay abilities
The core of Mauga's kit revolves around his dual chainguns, which he relies on for consistent damage output. The rest of his abilities are designed to maximize the effectiveness of these weapons and help Mauga get into the best possible positions to use them.
We've listed out each of these abilities below, including their names and how they work in-game.
Incendiary Chaingun: Ignites enemies, dealing damage over time.
Volatile Chaingun: Does critical damage to ignited enemies (including those ignited by Ashe's Dynamite).
Overrun: Become immune to crowd control and charge forth before slamming the ground, damaging and knocking back enemies. Landing directly on someone stuns them briefly.
Cardiac Overdrive: You and nearby allies gain damage reduction and heal yourselves as you deal damage to enemies.
Cage Fight (Ultimate): Trap enemies in a cage with you and gain infinite ammo.
Berserker (Passive): Dealing critical damage gives Mauga Overhealth.
Overrun allows Mauga to charge into the fray and get into medium or close range, while Cardiac Overdrive sustains him and his teammates with healing as he starts to pump damage into his foes. His Incendiary Chaingun is the perfect tool for "priming" enemies so that he can deal critical hits with his Volatile Chaingun — and doing so then gives him Overhealth thanks to his Berserker passive.
Overwatch 2: New heroes Venture and 'Space Ranger'
Following the announcement of Mauga, Aaron Keller also announced Overwatch 2's next two heroes: a damage character named Venture, and a support hero with the codename "Space Ranger." Both are scheduled to come to the game in 2024, with Venture's release planned for Season 10 and Space Ranger set to arrive in Season 12.
During the second day of BlizzCon, we got some closer looks at these heroes. Detailed concept art for Space Ranger (see above) was shown, with Blizzard revealing that she's from a colony on Mars and that she'll be a "highly mobile support hero who has quite a bit of vertical mobility," and also that a lot of her gameplay will revolve around thrusters.
More from BlizzCon 2023
Next, we actually got to see some early gameplay of Venture, which you can view in the embed above. They're heavily inspired by miners and mining gear, which is reflected in the design of their drill weapon that operates both as a long-range rifle-type weapon with explosive projectiles as well as a tool for performing a fast charge. They can also burrow underground and drill up under enemies, and become invincible while doing so. Sadly, though, we didn't get to see their Ultimate.
Overwatch 2: New PvP mode Clash
Blizzard also revealed Clash, a new PvP mode coming to Overwatch 2 in 2024. Like many other modes in the game, it will feature capture point objectives for both teams to fight over. What separates Clash from other gametypes, though, is its win condition.
Clash features five capture points in a row, with the central point unlocked at the start of a round. In order to win, your team first needs to capture the center point, then also push forward and capture the two points in the enemy team's territory. The other team, meanwhile, has to defend these points while also trying to counter-attack and push back. Whichever team captures all five points — or reaches a round's score limit — will emerge victorious.
If you've ever played Team Fortress 2, the structure of Clash probably sounds familiar. That's because it's extremely similar to 5CP, which is one of the most popular competitive modes in that game. One thing Clash has that 5CP doesn't, though, is a score limit; 5CP sometimes results in drawn-out stalemates in TF2, so Blizzard likely wanted to prevent them from happening in Overwatch.
Overwatch 2: New map Hanaoka
To go along with the reveal of Clash, Blizzard announced a new map for it: Hanaoka. This map will ship alongside the mode in 2024, and is a remake of the Hanamura Assault (also known as 2CP) map from the original Overwatch. Like the original stage, Hanaoka will be set in the home of the Shimada clan that Overwatch 2 heroes Genji and Hanzo came from.
The map will prominently feature Japanese architecture and cherry blossom trees, and portions of the original Hanamura map will even be visible in the map's background scenery. This is because Hanaoka is actually a street located right next to Hanamura itself. You can get a closer look at some screenshots of the map above.
Overwatch 2: Competitive play rework
Alongside a new highest rank above Grandmaster called Ultimate, a rework to Overwatch 2's Competitive mode was announced at BlizzCon 2023 as well, and it's coming early in 2024 when Season 9 launches. Its main goals are to give more feedback to players, introduce new rewards for them to pursue, and improve the overall Competitive play experience.
One way the developers are achieving this is by overhauling Competitive with a new Competitive Overview page. This screen gives you updates on your rank and your upward progress (or the loss thereof) after every match, allowing you to track your climb on the skill ladder more precisely. You also won't have to play a certain amount of games before your rank updates, either.
Notably, Competitive matches will also display the range of ranks of the players in each lobby, and the developers are "removing most grouping restrictions." This means you'll be able to matchmaking with friends who are in a rank much higher or lower than yours, with the matchmaker doing its best to find you a group of players with a similar rank spread to play against.
Season 9 will also feature a rank reset and the return of placement matches, which were taken out of the Competitive system when the original Overwatch became Overwatch 2. Though there won't be a full MMR reset, this rank reset, along with placement matches that have much more of an impact on your placement on the Competitive ladder than they did previously, will give players a chance to make a significant change to their rank. Blizzard says it wants to do resets and placements like this "every year, along with some big changes to our systems and hero balance."
In terms of rewards, emerald weapons (see above) are coming in Season 9 to offer fans an alternative to golden weapons to spend their Competitive Points on. Wins and losses will also contribute to end-of-season Competitive Point payouts, and players will be able to earn role-specific player titles that reflect the rank they reached in a Competitive season.
Overwatch 2: New Hero Mastery courses
Earlier this year, Hero Mastery courses were introduced to Overwatch 2. These stages act as training levels that help players learn and master the mechanics and abilities of specific heroes, with three distinct difficulty levels available to choose from.
When they were introduced, there were only courses available for Reinhardt, Mercy, Tracer, Sojourn, and Winston. However, Blizzard has revealed that when Season 8 launches, levels for Mei, D.Va, Echo, Lúcio, and Genji will be added to Overwatch 2 as well. Presumably courses for every hero will come eventually, though this will likely take a long time.
Overwatch 2 is one of the best Xbox games on the market for fans of multiplayer shooters, and it's available now for free on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, PS5, and PS4. The Overwatch 2: Complete Hero Collection costs $20, and gives you instant access to every hero in the game along with three Epic skins, three Legendary skins, 1,000 Overwatch Coins, and 1,500 Overwatch Credits.
Overwatch 2: Complete Hero Collection
This $20 bundle gives you instant access to every hero in Overwatch 2, along with three Epic skins, three Legendary skins, 1,000 Overwatch Coins, and 1,500 Overwatch Credits.