What is Overwatch?
Overwatch features squad-based combat with two opposing teams of six players each. Players choose one of several hero characters, each with their own unique abilities and role classes. The four character roles include: offense characters with high speed and attack but low defense, defense characters meant to form choke points for enemies, support characters that provide buffs and debuffs for their allies and enemies respectively (such as healing or speed alterations), and tank characters that have a large amount of armor and hit points to withstand enemy attacks and draw fire away from teammates. Players can switch between characters in-game following deaths, which is encouraged by the game’s overall design.
Minimum (targeting 30fps):
Operating system: Windows Vista/7/ 8/10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
Processor: Intel Core i3 or AMD Phenom X3 865
Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460, ATI Radeon HD 4850, or Intel HD Graphics 4400
Memory: 768 MB VRAM, 4 GB System RAM
Storage: 7200 RPM with 5 GB available HD space
Recommended (targeting 60fps on Medium settings):
Operating system: Windows Vista/7/ 8/10 64-bit (latest Service Pack)
Processor: Intel Core i5 or AMD Phenom II X3, 2.8 GHz
Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or ATI Radeon HD 7950
Memory: 2 GB VRAM, 6 GB System RAM
Storage: 7200 RPM with 5 GB available HD space
Base price on PC will be $40, consoles will be $60. There will also be a $60 version on PC that comes with additional cosmetic content for Overwatch and a single item for every Blizzard game. The $40 version on PC will be digital only.
If you preorder Overwatch, you will get early access on May 3rd-4th with an extra key for a friend to join you 2 days early. Open Beta will be fully open to the public from May 5th-9th on all platforms.
Overwatch currently has three main game modes, with some maps featuring a hybrid of assault and payload:
Assault: The attacking team is tasked with capturing two target points on the map, while the defending team must stop them.
Escort: The attacking team is tasked with escorting a payload to a certain delivery point before time runs out, while the defending team must stop them. The payload vehicle moves along a fixed track when any player on the attacking team is close to it. In some escort maps (referred to as hybrid), the attacking team has to capture the payload first before actually escorting it.
Control: Each team tries to capture and maintain a control point until their capture percentage reaches 100%. This game mode is played in a best-of-three format.
Here is an introduction to all of the Overwatch characters and what to expect from each one.
Primary: Shuriken - Three shurikens fired with perfect accuracy one after the other in a burst.
Secondary: Shuriken Fan - Throws all three in a spread, meaning big damage on a single target up close or spread across medium range.
Shift: Swift Strike - A dashing attack that passes through enemies, dealing damage. Refreshes its cooldown when you get a kill.
E Ability: Deflect - Genji reflects all projectiles fired at him for a short duration, aiming them with the crosshair.
Ultimate: Dragonblade - Draws a katana that deals serious damage in a wide arc in front of him, but only at melee range. Deflect and Swift Strike are still usable.
Primary: Peacekeeper - Standard six-shooter revolver that packs a decent punch but has damage drop off at long range.
Secondary: Peacekeeper Rapid-Fire - Less accurate but faster firing version, where McCree unloads an entire clip in quick succession.
Shift: Combat Roll - A quick dodge that also reloads ammunition on the Peacekeeper.
E Ability: Flashbang - A short-range contact grenade that stuns everyone around its explosion for a short time.
Ultimate: Deadeye - McCree’s movement speed drops significantly as he draws a bead on each enemy in sight. Once he has one or more lined up, he can shoot to kill all of them. Higher health targets take longer to focus on, but can be shot early to just do a bit of damage.
Primary: Rocket Launcher - It’s a rocket launcher, you do not need it explained. In Overwatch’s world of hit-scan, it’s not at its strongest, but good aim and leading the target will mean great damage.
Shift: Jump Jet - Launches Pharah high into the air, letting her reposition or get a tactical advantage.
E Ability: Concussive Blast - A wrist-mounted weapon that pushes enemies away from the impact point.
Ultimate: Barrage - Immobilizes Pharah wherever she is and fires a stream of rockets. Very good AoE damage and can be used in the air.
Primary: Hellfire Shotguns - A pair of shotguns that do obscene damage at close range.
Shift: Wraith Form - Turns Reaper into a shadow for a short period, making him immune to damage and able to pass through enemies. He is not invisible and cannot use other abilities, however.
E Ability: Shadow Step - A long range teleport that allows Reaper to reappear at any location he can see after a short wind-up.
Ultimate: Death Blossom - Moves to a third-person camera as Reaper rapidly unloads his shotguns in every direction, dealing massive damage to anyone around him. Allows for movement but not use of other moves.
Primary: Heavy Pulse Rifle - A rapid-fire machine gun, accurate and damaging. Have you played an FPS? If so, you know what this is.
Secondary: Helix Rockets - An underslung rocket-launcher that fires three spiraling projectiles at once. Deals heavy damage.
Shift: Sprint - 76 can eschew his other abilities and shooting to move faster until cancelled.
E Ability: Biotic Field - Drops a device on the ground that produces a healing field for a short period. Effects allies.
Ultimate: Tactical Visor - 76 gains perfect auto-aim for a short time for anything in his vision. Effects both the primary and secondary fire modes.
Primary: Pulse Pistols - Two rapid-fire, short range pistols that do heavy damage.
Shift: Blink - Tracer teleports a short distance in the direction she’s moving. Cannot gain height.
E Ability: Recall - Tracer time travels a few seconds backwards, returning to her position and health at that time.
Ultimate: Pulse Bomb - A high-power sticky bomb that detonates after a short moment. Will stick to enemies as well as floors or walls.
Primary: Configuration: Recon - Bastion’s normal mode, where he is equipped with a sub-machine gun.
Secondary: Configuration: Sentry - A stationary mode that increases Bastion’s firepower dramatically and gives him some armour, as well as a weak-spot on his back.
Shift: Reconfigure - Switches between the primary and secondary mode.
E Ability: Self-Repair - A channelled heal that lasts as long as you like. Bastion cannot move or fire during it.
Ultimate: Configuration: Tank - A timed mode that turns you into a tank. Gives a long range explosive cannon. Obscene damage.
Primary: Storm Bow - Fires fast-moving arrows that are affected by gravity. Can be charged for more power.
Shift: Sonic Arrow - An alternate fire mode that lodges the arrow in a wall and emits a pulse that marks nearby enemies, even those not in line of sight.
E Ability: Scatter Arrow - This arrow fractures when it hits, ricocheting off surfaces and creating a death zone inside any small room.
Ultimate: Dragonstrike - a charged shot that comes out as two massive dragon heads, passing through walls and enemies on its way. Deals heavy damage across its area of effect.
Primary: Frag Launcher - Fires explosive, bouncing grenades that detonate on impact with an enemy or after a short time.
Shift: Concussion Mine - Places a remote detonated mine that flings whoever’s hit by the explosion high into the air. Useful for reaching out of the way places as well as killing or moving enemies.
Secondary: Detonate Concussion Mine
E Ability: Steel Trap - Throws out a bear trap that will briefly immobilise and deal small damage to the first enemy to run over it.
Ultimate: RIP-Tire - After a short wind-up, gives control over to a 10-second fuse remote explosive that rolls along the ground. Can be detonated but has a relatively small health pool that causes it to disintegrate without effect.
Primary: Endothermic Blaster - A freeze beam that slows and eventually stuns a target if it can be continuously hit.
Secondary: Endothermic Icicle - Heavy damage, slow firing projectile that has damage drop-off at long range.
Shift: Cryo-Freeze - Stuns Mei and makes her immune to all damage inside an ice crystal that regenerates her to full health over 4 seconds. Can be cancelled early.
E Ability: Ice Wall - Raises a large wall of ice at a target location, blocking vision, shots and movement for everyone.
Ultimate: Blizzard - Throws Mei’s small robot ball friend to a location, who then constantly emits a freezing field with the same properties as her blaster.
Primary: Rivet Gun - Long range bolts of fire that travel slowly and are effected by gravity.
Secondary: Rivet Blast - A shot-gun varient on the above, spraying molten death in front of Torbjörn.
Shift: Build Turret - Places an upgradable turret that puts out a high amount of damage and can be repaired.
E Ability: Armor Pack - Throws out a collectable armor shard that can be picked up by team-mates, giving them some additional protection.
Ultimate: Molten Core - A significant self-buff that gives Torbjörn faster attack and build speed, as well as making his turret more deadly.
Primary: Widow’s Kiss - A fast-firing machine gun that’s deadly up to medium range.
Secondary: Widow’s Sniper - Widowmaker aims down the site of her rifle, transforming it into a high-powered sniper weapon.
Shift: Grappling Hook - Latches onto ledges and pulls Widowmaker up to them, allowing quick vertical traversal.
E Ability: Venom Mine - Fires a mine that sticks to any surface and explodes on proximity to an enemy, poisoning them and anyone else nearby for a time.
Ultimate: Infra-Sight - Gives Widowmaker, and her allies, the ability to see enemy heat-signatures through walls and other obstructions.
Primary: Fusion Cannons - Close-range rotary shotguns that never need to be reloaded.
Primary (Human Form): Light Gun - Fast firing and reasonably damaging pistol with long-range.
Shift: Boosters - Allows D.Va’s mech to move at increased speed and fly for a couple of seconds.
E Ability: Defense Matrix - A cancellable projected cone that destroys all projectiles that enter it, including ultimates.
Ultimate: Self-Destruct - Detonates D.Va’s mech, putting her into human form. Explodes after a long, obvious wind-up but does incredible damage.
Ultimate (Human Form): Call Mech - Drops a mech in front of D.Va which she climbs inside. The calldown does light damage and push back.
Primary: Rocket Hammer - A wide-swinging melee attack that does heavy damage and knocks enemies back.
Secondary: Shield - Projects a large barrier in front of Reinhardt that moves with him and takes a lot of damage to break. Allies can hide behind it for cover.
Shift: Charge - Reinhardt powers forward in a straight line, grabbing enemies he hits. If he hits a wall, they take extra damage and are usually killed.
E Ability: Fire Strike - His only ranged attack, Reinhardt swings his hammer letting out a jet of fire that can hit multiple enemies in a row.
Ultimate: Earthshatter - Hitting the ground with the hammer, a wave of force is let out that knocks down and damages all enemies in a cone.
Primary: Scrap Gun - A short-range, wide-spread shotgun blast.
Secondary: Scrap Gun Ball - Fires a ball that travels a short distance before releasing a shotgun blast in the direction it was fired.
Shift: Chain Hook - Throws out a hook that latches onto opponents, dragging them towards Roadhog and dealing a bit of damage.
E Ability: Take A Breather - Roadhog sucks on some gas for a short time, self-healing for half HP.
Ultimate: Whole Hog - A stream of shrapnel fires constantly for a few seconds, knocking enemies back and doing damage.
Primary: Tesla Cannon - A short-range, conal attack in front of Winston.
Shift: Jump Pack - Leaping into the air, Winston can reposition to higher surfaces. Also damages and staggers all enemies near the impact point.
E Ability: Shield Projector - Throws out a device that extends a large protective bubble around an area. Team mates can shoot through it.
Ultimate: Primal Rage - Increases Winston’s melee attack speed and damage, as well as buffing his damage resistance and health. Even gives Jump Pack a shorter cooldown while active.
Primary: Particle Cannon - A constant beam of energy with medium range, law damage but a good option.
Secondary: Particle Grenade - A long-range, arcing ball of energy that explodes on impact.
Shift: Particle Barrier - Places a shield around Zarya that absorbs a decent amount of damage before dissipating, each bit of absorbed damage powering up her main weapon.
E Ability: Projected Barrier - Puts the barrier on a targeted ally.
Ultimate: Graviton Surge - A powerful grenade that drags in all enemies around it for a few seconds upon detonation.
Primary: Sonic Amplifier - A three round burst of energy shots.
Secondary: Soundwave - A conal blast that knocks all enemies in front of Lúcio back.
Shift: Crossfade - Toggles between two buff auras around Lúcio, one granting movement speed and the other for healing.
E Ability: Amp It Up - Increases the power of the currently active aura for a short time.
Ultimate: Sound Barrier - Gives Lúcio and everyone around him a powerful shield that dissipates quickly.
Primary: Caduceus Staff - A healing weapon that fires a constant beam of regeneration at an ally.
Secondary: Caduceus Damage - Utilising the same staff, this boosts the damage of an ally rather than healing them.
Shift: Guardian Angel - Flies towards a targeted ally at great speed.
Ultimate: Resurrect - Brings all nearby dead allies back to life at full health.
Primary: Photon Projector - A beam of energy that will latch onto a target, damaging them until they leave its range.
Secondary: Photon Ball - A charged ball that deals big damage as it travels and passes through enemies plus projected barriers.
Shift: Sentry Turret - Places an immobile turret that lasers any enemies that come within range. Can place multiples.
E Ability: Photon Shield - Gives an ally 50 HP of shields that only dissipate when they die, regenerating otherwise.
Ultimate: Teleporter - Symmetra places a teleporter exit connected to an auto-built entrance at her team’s spawnpoint.
Primary: Orb of Destruction - Rapid firing projectiles from Zenyatta’s necklace.
Secondary: Charged Orbs - Gathering all his orbs around him, Zenyatta projects five of them out at once for big damage.
Shift: Orb of Harmony - An orb attachs to a nearby ally and continues to heal them for as long as Zenyatta is alive and they are within line-of-sight.
E Ability: Orb of Discord - Attaches to an enemy, increasing the amount of damage they take from all sources so long as they remain within line-of-sight.
Ultimate: Transcendence - Transforms Zenyatta into a healing beacon, making him immune to damage but unable to use other abilities until it finishes. He also constantly heals himself and those around him.