The Overwatch 2 patch notes have finally arrived for the Blizzard multiplayer game. The mid-season one update has arrived shortly after an Overwatch 2 update delay from its original intended release date. While many of the tweaks were known about ahead of time thanks to a long wait between the Overwatch 2 patch announcement and release, there are some key additions that weren’t included in the original notes, such as implementation of aim assist for console players during crossplay. The development team also teases a future Sojourn nerf and speaks about its desire to improve free rewards given out for playing.
Introduced with the new patch is a change to aim assist in crossplay lobbies, a topic of constant controversy among the community. Previously, if you joined a PC friend as a console player then you would be placed in the PC matchmaking pool – but your aim assist would be completely disabled. While the idea of ‘aim assist’ sometimes gets conflated with ‘auto aim’ (especially by PC players on mouse and keyboard who may not be too familiar with it), it’s more of a gentle pull or slowing of your aim as you pass over enemy heroes, designed to help lessen the inaccuracy of controller joysticks compared to the precision of a mouse.
Blizzard says that it will be enabling aim assist for controller players in all matches except for competitive – which should prevent any further discussion (it won’t) as there aren’t any serious stakes on the line anyway. It emphasises that aim assist only exists on consoles, and says it will be “monitoring the deployment of this change carefully and making changes quickly if needed.” Notably, Overwatch is one of the few crossplay FPS games not to have allowed aim assist in crossplay lobbies, as games such as Call of Duty typically leave it on.
Also introduced is a limited rollout of audio transcription for PC players in select countries. You will now see a notification when entering voice chat if this applies to you, warning that voice chat may be recorded. This is a change implemented as part of the ongoing ‘Defense Matrix’ initiative aimed at combating toxicity. Blizzard says that “transcriptions are only made for reports of disruptive behaviour in public voice channels, which includes team and match chat – group ‘party’ chat is excluded.”
In a blog post, new Overwatch 2 executive producer Jared Neuss talks about how the team feels about the successes and failures of its free-to-play seasonal model since launch. He says that “a good place to start is saying that we aren’t completely satisfied with how everything feels right now.” Neuss goes on to explain that Blizzard wants players “to feel more rewarded just for sitting down and playing,” and “to have new accomplishments to chase outside of competitive rank and battle pass level.”
As a result, from season two onwards, each Overwatch 2 event will have a skin earnable by playing (though it’s worth noting that, even discounting loot boxes, the first Overwatch typically offered three free skins earned across the three weeks of an event). Neuss says that Overwatch 2 Twitch drops will continue to offer skins and other cosmetic items as rewards for watching streamers play the game.
To kick things off, there are three free highlight intros coming as login bonuses through the rest of November. Neuss also adds that from season three onwards, the team is considering “a mix of battle pass changes, more interesting challenges to pursue, and more exciting play-focused progression systems for you all to dig into.”
In addition, Neuss says that the team is “discussing targeted support hero reworks, game system updates, and even some role-wide changes to improve support quality of life” to help encourage players to queue for support and balance out queue times for dank and DPS players.
Furthermore, he notes that the team is already planning ahead for more hero balance changes at the beginning of season two – including, crucially, a tease that Sojourn nerfs are on the way in season two. Neuss mentions “your favorite cybernetically-enhanced Canadian” as a primary target, after much community discussion about Sojourn being overpowered in her current state.
Overwatch 2 patch notes – hero balance changes
- Fusion Cannons – Spread increased from 3.5 to 3.75.
- Boosters – Impact damage reduced from 25 to 15.
- Call Mech – Cost reduced by 12% (fixed in last update).
- Particle Barrier – Duration reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds.
- Particle Barrier – Cooldown increased from 10 to 11 seconds.
- Projected Barrier – Duration reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds.
- Projected Barrier – Cooldown increased from 10 to 11 seconds.
- Shuriken – Maximum ammo reduced from 30 to 24.
- Shuriken – Damage reduced from 29 to 27.
- Steel Trap – Arming time increased from 0.5 to 0.75 seconds.
- Steel Trap – Trapped duration reduced from 3 to 2.5 seconds.
- Hack – Ability lockout duration reduced from 1.75 to 1.5 seconds.
- Hack – Hacked enemies are no longer valid targets for hacking for the duration of the eight-second effect.
- Hack – Hacked enemy damage multiplier reduced from 40% to 25%.
- Swift Step – Invulnerability duration reduced from 0.4 to 0.25 seconds.
You can check out the full patch notes, including more detailed explanations and additional bug fix details, on the Overwatch website.
Our Overwatch 2 tier list will keep you up to date on how these latest round of changes impact the meta of the FPS game. We’ve also got all the details on the Overwatch 2 season two release date, and the abilities and Nemesis form you’ll be able to use as new Overwatch 2 tank Ramattra. Meanwhile, an Overwatch 2 sale lets you pick up the season one battle pass at a discount, along with some skins and currency.