'Overwatch 2' will pit five-person teams against each other

"Tanks for the memories," says Blizzard.


Overwatch 2 won't arrive until 2022 at the earliest, but it will change the way you play the hero shooter. During a developer livestream Blizzard hosted on Thursday, newly-minted Game Director Aaron Keller announced the series is moving to a five-on-five player-versus-player format. With Overwatch 2, your team composition will consist of two damage dealers, two support heroes and a single tank. In short, you'll have one less damage sponge on your team in Overwatch 2 than you currently do in Overwatch.

For the most part, the game is moving to a five-on-five format to make it easier to understand and more legible. "Sometimes, it's hard to track what 11 other players are doing on the battlefield," Keller said. "Removing two of those simplifies everything. It allows players to understand everything around them and make better choices." He was also quick to point out that "Overwatch has changed over time." It might be hard to remember a time before Blizzard introduced role queue, but when the game came out it was possible for more than one person on your team to play the same hero. "We feel like this is the next step in the way Overwatch ought to be played," Keller said.

As you might imagine, changing the number of players involved in a match has profoundly affected other parts of the game. Blizzard has redesigned tanks to make them more aggressive. Some of the current changes the studio is testing include a new alternate fire for Winston's Tesla Cannon that allows him to finish off fleeing enemies more easily. In other instances, Blizzard has made off-tanks like D.Va more resilient by increasing their health pools and boosting defensive abilities like Defense Matrix. As a result of the tweak, the game's level design has also had to change. In Overwatch 2, maps like Toronto and Rome will feature more cover for players to duck behind. Unsurprisingly, the Overwatch community isn't sure what to think of the change just yet, especially without knowing how heroes like Orisa and Roadhog will fit into the new meta.