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Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event, release date, and battle pass

The Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event features limited-time arcade modes, an exclusive battle pass, and seasonal skins up for grabs.

Widowmaker swings into view dressed in her Kerrigan costume for the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event.

When is the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event? Overwatch 2’s calendar is resplendent with all manner of events to celebrate across the seasons, though few are as beloved as Winter Wonderland. This landmark festive celebration includes a selection of new and returning game modes, as well as an exclusive battle pass bursting with legendary skins to get you in the holiday spirit.

You can earn a new player icon simply by logging in during the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event, but that’s only scratching the surface of what Overwatch 2 has in store for you this holiday season. Thankfully, we’ve got all the details you need to make the most of this limited-time event, including the release date, game modes, and Overwatch 2 battle pass rewards on offer. Here’s what’s coming to the free PC game as the year comes to a close.

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Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland release date

Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland begins on Tuesday, December 19, 2023, and runs until Tuesday, January 9, 2023. This limited-time seasonal event allows players to participate in exclusive game modes to obtain XP and unlock legendary skins in the battle pass.

Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland game modes

The Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland game modes are:

  • Mei’s Snowball Offensive
  • Yeti Hunt
  • Freeze-Flash Elimination

Four versions of Mei lob snowballs at each other during Mei's Snowball Offensive arcade mode, the flagship game mode for the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event.

Mei’s Snowball Offensive

Mei’s Snowball Offensive can be considered the flagship arcade mode for the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event. All participants play as Mei and take part in a deadly snowball fight in either a 5v5 Elimination or Free-For-All Deathmatch format. Snowballs are a one-hit KO, and you must use Mei’s defensive Ice Wall and Cryo Freeze abilities to avoid a swift defeat.

A Yeti Winston ambushes a group during the Yeti Hunt, an exclusive game mode in the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event.

Yeti Hunt

The Yeti Hunt is an asymmetrical 5v1 PvP brawl that takes place on the Nepal Village Overwatch 2 map. As the name suggests, one player assumes the role of the yeti (or, more specifically, Winston in his legendary skin) while five others attempt to take them down. Like the Snowball Offensive, these hunters all play as Mei, and can deploy yeti traps alongside her regular control effects to temporarily immobilize the yeti and go in for the kill. The yeti, meanwhile, must consume meat that spawns across the map to charge Winston’s Primal Rage ability and attempt to wipe out the hunters first.

Brigitte faces off against Moira, Torbjorn, and Tracer as they attempt to freeze both her and her team during the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event.

Freeze-Flash Elimination

Freeze-Flash Elimination is Overwatch 2’s very own version of freeze-tag in a 5v5 Elimination format. Unlike standard eliminations, players are frozen solid upon losing all of their health, with the opportunity for teammates to thaw them out as the match continues. Your goal is to completely freeze the opposing team in two out of three rounds.

The Winter Fair event pass, the exclusive battle pass for the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event.

Overwatch 2 Winter Fair battle pass

The Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event includes an exclusive battle pass this festive season. The Winter Fair Event Pass runs concurrently with the Season 8 battle pass, though it’s populated with exclusive Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland skins.

Skins in the Winter Fair event pass can only be unlocked by earning tickets while playing the FPS game during the Winter Wonderland event. You can expect to receive at least one ticket every nine games played; wins count as double, so be sure to check out our Overwatch 2 tier list for the best heroes to secure a victory.

Like the standard battle pass, the Winter Fair event pass includes a free and premium track. The free track offers the choice of one legendary skin, while the premium track includes up to three – though you’ll have to purchase bonus tickets using Overwatch Coins to unlock them first. It’s important to note that any unspent tickets you accrue over the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event are due to expire on Monday, January 15, 2024, and will convert into Overwatch Credits instead.

Now that you know what to expect from the Overwatch 2 Winter Wonderland event this year, be sure to brush up on the best Overwatch 2 crosshair settings to perfect your aim. We’ve also got the lowdown on Overwatch 2 crossplay, as well as the Overwatch 2 changes if you’re a long-time fan still getting to grips with the sequel.