Overwatch is a multiplayer team-based first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on May 23, 2016. It is their first original franchise since StarCraft and entered numerous periods of both closed and open betas since October 27, 2015.
The game is known for its stylized sci-fi atmosphere and relatively simple gameplay, which combines elements from class-based teamplay shooters (such as Team Fortress 2) with hero-based MOBAs (such as Heroes of the Storm).
Set in a futuristic Earth, after the fall of an international task force eponymously known as Overwatch, the game primarily involves 6v6 objective-based skirmishes wherein each player can choose from one of over twenty uniquely designed "Heroes." Each hero has their own set of abilities, which make them suited for specific team roles, and the objectives each team must complete changes depending on the map.
The game's playable Heroes are split up into four categories: Offense (direct damage dealers), Defense (choke point maintainers), Tank (damage soakers), and Support (healers and utility providers). The game's initial release included a roster of 21 Heroes. As of the release of Sombra, this total was increased to 23 Heroes.
Offensive heroes are well-suited for dealing direct damage to other heroes and turrets, due to their high mobility and powerful damage output.
When his ninja-clan's elders manipulated his older brother Hanzo into attacking him, Genji barely survived. Then Overwatch rebuilt him into a cyborg-ninja in exchange for his help in destroying his clan, the Shimada. Though he has problems dealing with his new body, and drifts away occasionally from Overwatch, he eventually finds clarity in the teachings of an Omnic Monk, known as Zenyatta.
- Main Weapon: Shuriken. Classic ninja throwing stars, which can either be thrown in a fan (made up of three of them, that spreads horizontally) or three at a time directly behind one another, in quick succession.
- Passive Ability: Cyber-Agility. Genji's ninja skills and cyborg body parts allow him to climb most walls, better than his brother can, and also to double-jump in mid-air.
- Active Abilities: Deflect allows Genji to wield his katana, briefly, in order to deflect most projectiles back at their owner. His other ability, Swift Strike, allows him to swiftly slash forward, striking anything in his path with his katana,which causes enemies hit by it to slowly bleed out.. Genji can use Swift Strike mid-air, and upon killing an enemy with it, the cooldown resets.
- Ultimate: Dragonblade. Genji unsheathes his mystical katana, and for a short period, the ability grants him faster movement speed. During this time, Genji can only use melee attacks, but the sword deals massive amounts of damage to enemies.
A weapons smuggler for the Deadlock Gang in the southwestern USA, McCree accepted a deal to work with Blackwatch, the covert ops division of Overwatch, in order to stay out of prison. When all of Overwatch becomes embroiled in controversy, McCree decides to head out on his own, rather than to be involved in a Blackwatch scheme to sieze control of the struggling organization. Under normal circumstances, McCree will take on any job as long as it falls in line with his personal moral code.
- Main Weapon: Peacekeeper is the name of McCree's trusty old-school six-shooter. He can fire bullets from it one at a time, or fan the hammer in order to fire all six in rapid succession.
- Active Abilities: With Combat Roll, McCree rolls a short distance forward, and while doing so quickly reloads his revolver. Flashbang is his ability which lets him stun enemies for a short period, from a short distance, by hitting them with a projectile that has a small blast radius.
- Ultimate: Deadeye. Always laconic, McCree drawls "it's high noon" whenever the player uses this ability, which takes time to aim fully. It can target and hit as many enemies as are in his line of sight, but kill-shots from it take a few moments to lock in.
Once a decorated soldier in the Egyptian army named Fareeha Amari, she dreams of joining Overwatch, which disbands before she ever gets the chance. Instead, she works for a private security firm as a peacekeeper. Pharah uses one of their experimental flight suits in battle.
- Main Weapon: Rocket Launcher. In a straightforward manner, it fires "dumb" rockets that deal large amounts of damage in a modest area of effect.
- Passive Ability: By tapping the jump button in mid-air, the player can briefly hover as Pharah and slow her descent, for as long as she has fuel, which automatically recharges when it is not in use.
- Active Abilities: With Jump Jet, Pharah uses the suit she wears to quickly shoot upward into the sky, allowing her to "fly" over barriers that would normally be insurmountable. With Concussive Blast, Pharah shoots a projectile which can scatter groups of enemies and heavily damage enemy barriers.
- Ultimate: Barrage. Pharah fires a salvo of smaller rockets from her suit, that rain down death in a wide area. Pharah is not able to move until her rocket supply is spent. When used in mid-air, this ability causes her to hover in place.
Little is known about this dark-clad soldier, though he has been spotted hunting down Overwatch agents across the globe, mysteriously able to phase through solid objects and leaving bodies drained of energy in his wake. Background information suggests his true identity is Gabriel Reyes, a former commander of Blackwatch and comrade of Jack who grew jealous of Jack getting all the glory of Overwatch's accomplishments, though it is unknown who or what turned him into the Reaper.
- Main Weapon: Hellfire Shotguns. Reaper uses a pair of customized shotguns in combat that can blow apart enemies at close range.
- Passive Ability: Reaper can collect blood orbs from fallen enemies to instantly regenerate a small amount of health.
- Active Abilities: Reaper's Wraith Form turns him into a ghost that is immune to attack and can pass through other Heroes, but cannot attack until he becomes solid again. Shadow Step allows Reaper to teleport to another surface within his line of sight, allowing him to easily slip behind enemy lines and pick them off.
- Ultimate: Death Blossom: Reaper turns into a whirling shadow of death, firing his shotguns in all directions and dealing damage to any enemies near him.
Formerly an American known as Jack Morrison, the Director of Overwatch who barely escaped the explosion that destroyed his organization's headquarters. Convinced that a worldwide conspiracy had set Overwatch up to fail, he now travels the globe under the psuedonym of 76, using stolen tech to keep himself alive and hunting down those he believes responsible for Overwatch's downfall.
- Main Weapon: Heavy Pulse Rifle. A standard battle rifle from the Omnic Crisis that can hit targets at almost any range. Along with standard ammunition, the rifle carries rechargeable Helix Rockets that fire in a straight line and deal extra damage in a small radius. However, the rockets take longer to reload than standard ammo.
- Active Abilities: 76 can Sprint across the battlefield to reach his destination faster than some characters, but cannot fire while doing so. 76 also carries a Biotic Field with him, which can be placed on the ground to heal himself and allied Heroes in a small area of effect.
- Ultimate: When 76 switches on his Tactical Visor, he will always hit the closest target to the center of his field of vision, and will reload his rifle twice as fast as normal while it is active.
A gifted Mexican hacker who was forced to delete all traces of her identity after uncovering a global conspiracy. She later re-emerged as the notorious hacker Sombra, who uses her talents at Talon to stage massive cyberattacks.
She was added on November 15, 2016.
- Main Weapon: The Machine Pistol can shred enemies, but high recoil keeps it from being effective at longer ranges.
- Active Abilities: Sombra can Hack into a single enemy player or turret, disabling their abilities for a brief period. Her Thermoptic Camo can hide her presence from enemy vision until she attacks or gets attacked, while temporarily increasing her movement speed. The Translocator can be thrown onto any floor to enable her to teleport to it and escape danger (within 12 seconds).
- Ultimate: Unleashing her full hacking powers, the EMP disables the shields and abilities of all enemies and turrets in a wide radius near Sombra for a short period.
English test pilot named Lena Oxton who disappeared while testing the new "Slipstream" aircraft. Later reappeared at Overwatch, suffering from "chronal dissasociation" as the Slipstream technology somehow phased her in and out of the present for hours or even days at a time. She was unable to remain solid until Winston designed a high-tech harness for her, allowing Tracer to control her time-shifting at will.
- Main Weapon: A pair of Pulse Pistols that can be unloaded and reloaded at incredibly fast speed.
- Active Abilities: Tracer can Blink and teleport forward a short distance up to three times in a row, though her Blink charges regenerate very quickly. Tracer can also use Recall to reset her position, health, and ammo to where they were exactly three seconds ago.
- Ultimate: A Pulse Bomb that has a small area of effect, but can stick to whoever or whatever it touches, killing them instantly and their allies nearby when it explodes.
Defensive heroes are focused on holding territories and maintaining choke points, usually dealing powerful damage from afar.
A robot built for peacekeeping missions, the Bastion units were converted by the Omnic AI into frontline soldiers against the humans and most were destroyed over the course of the Omnic Crisis. One Bastion unit was left to rust away in a forest until it mysteriously reactivated, with its combat programming damaged. Instead of fighting, Bastion now wanders around remote areas, seeking to learn more about the natural world and its inhabitants, though it will not hesitate to use its arsenal against any humans it sees as a threat.
- Configuration: Recon: Bastion's default mode, allows it to walk around and fire at enemies with a submachinegun arm that hits enemies at medium range.
- Configuration: Sentry: Bastion transforms into a sentry turret, with a gatling gun capable of shredding enemies at any range. Though it can change its aim, Bastion cannot move in this mode, and has a glowing weak point on its back. Bastion can switch back to Recon mode at any time.
- Active Ability: Bastion is capable of Self-Repair. As the name suggests, this ability lets Bastion restore its health, though it cannot move or attack while doing so.
- Ultimate: Bastion's Configuration: Tank transforms it into a mobile armored vehicle for a brief period, briefly increasing its HP as it launches heavy explosive shells with a wide blast radius at enemies.
The eldest son of the Shimada Clan, Hanzo had trained hard to succeed his father, though he began having doubts as he slowly found out the true nature of his clan's business. His fears became realized when the clan's elders pressured him into almost killing his younger brother, Genji. Disgusted at the act, he abandoned the Shimada and decided to travel around the world, hoping to restore his own honor.
- Main Weapon: Hanzo's Storm Bow can hit enemies at a distance, one arrow at a time. Holding down the fire button ensures his arrows will fly further and deal more damage.
- Passive Ability: With Wall Climb, Hanzo's ninja training lets him scale most walls by holding the jump button next to them, letting him take up sniping positions inaccessible to most heroes.
- Active Abilities: Hanzo can fire custom arrows from his bow. Sonic Arrows allow him to create a makeshift radar within a wide radius of the arrow, revealing all enemies where it lands for a short time. His Scatter Arrows shatter and send multiple fragments bouncing around wherever they land.
- Ultimate: Hanzo's Dragon Strike lets him fire an arrow infused with the spirit of the dragon, which can pass through walls in a straight line and slowly damage any heroes caught in its wake.
An explosives-obsessed junker who managed to survive in the irradiated hellscape of the Australian Outback. After stumbling upon a secret treasure during one expedition through the destroyed omnium core, he decided to make a deal with an enforcer nicknamed "Roadhog" for a 50-50 share of the spoils. Now the two of them have left Australia to embark on a global crime spree.
- Main Weapon: Junkrat's Frag Launcher lobs custom grenades a long distance, bouncing off surfaces and exploding after a short period, or on impact if they hit a hero.
- Passive Ability: Junkrat's Total Mayhem makes him drop several bombs right after he dies, potentially killing enemies who walk over his corpse.
- Active Abilities: Junkrat's Concussion Mine can be planted and triggered remotely to send both himself and enemies flying. He can also plant a Steel Trap on the field to briefly immobilize and damage enemies who step in them. Both can be destroyed by enemy fire if discovered.
- Ultimate: Junkrat's RIP-Tire can be remotely controlled and steered into an enemy, with a remote detonator to kill enemies caught in its blast radius. However, enemies can shoot down the tire before it detonates, rendering it useless.
A Chinese climatologist who was forced into cryostasis with the rest of her team after a polar storm cut them off from the rest of the world. Mei awoke years later to find that she was the only survivor, and all of her team's hard work had been destroyed during the events of the Omnic Crisis. With no other options left, Mei decided to continue studying the climate on her own.
- Main Weapon: The Endothermic Blaster can be fired in a continuous short stream to freeze enemies solid, or fire long-range icicles that use more ammo.
- Active Abilities: Mei can Cryo-Freeze herself in place, allowing her to heal and become impervious to all damage while encased in ice. However, she cannot move or do anything until this ability ends. She can also generate an instant Ice Wall that temporarily blocks most attacks and vision along a modest-sized line.
- Ultimate: With Blizzard, Mei deploys a drone that freezes and slowly damages all enemies in a wide radius.
Swedish engineer and former Overwatch member Torbjörn worked hard to make inventions and weapons for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately, his hatred of sentient AI put him at odds with his funders, who wanted to link up his weaponry with AI. Though his non-Omnic inventions were crucial in helping Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis, many of his weapons went missing or were stolen after the war. Feeling responsible, Torbjörn has decided to hunt down those who use his inventions for evil.
- Main Weapons: Torbjörn carries a Rivet Gun that can fire rivets at long range, or a shotgun blast of molten metal at close range. He also wields a Forge Hammer that can be used to maintain his turret, or as a weapon itself in a pinch.
- Passive Ability: Collects scrap from fallen Heroes (up to 200) for use in creating Armor Packs at the cost of 50 Scrap per.
- Active Abilities: Torbjörn builds a stationary, automated turret that can hit an enemy in its sights with near pinpoint accuracy. He can also give out Armor Packs with enough scrap to give a temporary health boost to himself or allies who pick them up.
- Ultimate: With his Molten Core, Torbjörn temporarily gains enhanced armor and attacks. If his turret is at Level 2, it will upgrade itself to Level 3 as long as this ability is active.
When Talon tried and failed repeatedly to destroy an Overwatch agent who was sabotaging their operations, they turned their focus to his wife, Amelie. They kidnapped her and brainwashed her into the perfect sleeper agent. Even though Overwatch reclaimed her, Amelie killed her husband two weeks afterward in his sleep. Following the event, Amelie returned to Talon to complete her training into a ruthless, unfeeling assassin now known as Widowmaker.
- Main Weapon: Widow's Kiss is a versatile rifle. On its own, it can be a rapid-fire assault rifle for short-medium range engagements. However, by looking through the scope, it becomes a long-range sniper rifle capable of instantly killing enemies through headshots, and can quickly charge to deal powerful shots to any body part.
- Active Abilities: The Grappling Hook can be used to boost Widowmaker up to surfaces that would be inaccessible to most heroes, or serve as a quick exit. Her Venom Mine can be stuck to any surface and slowly poisons enemies close by once it detects them. However, the mine can be destroyed by enemy attacks.
- Ultimate: Infra-Sight allows the entire team to see red silhouettes of the enemy team, even through walls, for a short time.
As the name suggests, Tank Heroes are big and slow-moving, but have the highest amount of HP and plenty of protective capabilities to soak up damage for their team, while dealing their own against close-range enemies.
Hana "D.Va" Song is the #1 pro Starcraft player in the world, who decided to help defend her country of South Korea. The country was defending itself from a giant Omnic monstrosity that found a way to shut down their drone signals, forcing the government to find human pilots for their MEKA units. Recently, she has begun to stream her combat operations to her adoring fans, and her growing fanbase has turned her into a global icon.
- Main Weapons: Fusion Cannons have unlimited ammo while D.Va is inside her mech, but slow down her movement while they are firing. Outside of her mech, wields a Light Gun that fires bolts of plasma at medium-long range but needs occasional reloading.
- Active Abilities: The MEKA has Boosters which can allow D.Va to propel herself forward or even into the air to catch snipers unaware. The Defense Matrix can absorb nearly all projectiles fired in front of her for a short period.
- Ultimates: D.Va can Self-Destruct her mech, causing it to explode and kill enemies in a wide area without damaging herself. If she is outside her mech, D.Va can call an extra one in.
Salvaged from scraps of destroyed guard robots and built by a child prodigy from Numbani, Orisa is a centaur-like combat droid built to protect and serve the people.
- Main Weapons: An energy gatling-gun with limited range. Her alternate fire launches a sphere that can be detonated mid-air, yanking enemies towards it for a second.
- Active Abilities: Throwable Energy Shield that can block most enemy projectiles that pass through it. Similar Reinhardt's barrier, except it has 900 HP to the 2000 HP of Reinhardt's shield. Can also temporarily strengthen her defense and become immune to status changes for 4 seconds.
- Ultimate: A totem that charges the attack of all allies near it for some time. However, this totem can be destroyed by enemy attacks.
A highly decorated German soldier who follows a personal code of chivalry, Reinhardt was part of the original Overwatch strike team that put an end to the Omnic Crisis. Having served into his late fifties, Reinhardt was faced with mandatory retirement. However, as Overwatch descended into corruption and eventually disbanded, Reinhardt vowed to fight for justice across Europe like a knight of old, defending the innocent, with or without Overwatch's help.
- Main Weapon: The Rocket Hammer deals a large chunk of damage with each swing, over a wide arc but short range.
- Active Abilities: With his Barrier Field, Reinhardt protects himself and his allies from most projectiles to his front with a wide-ranging shield that can soak up to 2000HP before recharging. Offensively, his Fire Strike is the sole long-range attack that throws a slow-moving streak of fire straight forward, and his Charge attack makes use of his rocket-powered armor. If he directly hits enemies while charging, they will be Pinned and unable to do anything until Reinhardt hits a wall and delivers massive damage, or falls off a cliff.
- Ultimate: The Earthshatter attack deals some damage in a small cone to anyone standing in front of Reinhardt, but it also stuns all enemies caught in the attack for several seconds letting Reinhardt or his teammates finish them off.
A man named Mako once led a rebellion which ultimately destroyed the Omnic core, a sign of the peace treaty between Australia and the Omnic power. Upon its destruction, massive waves of radiation engulfed Australia. Adapting to his environment, Mako donned a mask and took to the broken highways of the Outback on his ramshackle chopper as Roadhog. He recently left Australia with Junkrat to embark on a global crime spree.
- Main Weapon: The Scrap Gun fires a small cone of degree that does good damage for a short range. However, a secondary fire mode allows the shrapnel to be midrange, but will do no damage at short range.
- Active Abilities: Take a Breather allows Roadhog to heal himself while standing in place. Chain Hook pulls an enemy towards Roadhog where his Scrap Gun does much better damage.
- Ultimate: When Roadhog goes Whole Hog his Scrap Gun becomes a machine gun for a short period of time, pushing enemies back as well as doing damage.
After tests on gorilla modification on the Horizon Lunar Colony, one gorilla displayed such rapid brain development from the gene therapy that he was taken under the wing of Dr. Harold Winston, who taught him science and inspired him with tales of human ingenuity. A super-intelligent, genetically engineered gorilla, Winston believed in the potential of humanity. However, his fellow gorillas on the colony thought differently, and killed the humans as they took over the colony. Taking on the name of his beloved human caretaker, Winston built a rocket and escaped to Earth where he joined Overwatch
- Main Weapon: Tesla Cannon does a small amount of damage at short range, but can hit multiple enemies simultaneously.
- Active Abilities: Jump Pack allows Winston to leap long distances in order to break through enemy lines.Barrier Projector lays down a small spherical shield that blocks all damage from the outside until it is destroyed.
- Ultimate: Primal Rage causes Winston to gain a large amount of health and use his jump pack more often. However his only attack becomes a melee has a large knock back.
As a child, Zarya was born into the Omnic conflict in Siberia. As she was surrounded by the carnage of the war, she swore to grow strong enough to protect those around her. Focusing on weightlifting and bodybuilding, she trained her body extensively, and was expected to shatter longstanding records in the upcoming world championships. On the night before the competition, a dormant Siberian Omnic rose again. Zarya immediately withdrew from the competition and enlisted to fight the robot.
- Main Weapon: Particle Cannon projects a short range laser doing a small amount of damage, while an alt fire fires grenades.
- Active Abilities: Particle Barrier encases Zarya in a protective shield for a short period of time. Any damage done to Zarya with the barrier up charges her Particle Cannon causing it to do additional damage. Projected Barrier creates the same barrier on an ally which also charges her cannon.
- Ultimate: Graviton Surge launches a grenade pulling all enemies nearby into it.
While their direct damage and HP are not as viable as the other hero types, support heroes are focused on keeping their team alive and/or slowly weakening the enemy.
Pharah's mother and the leader of an elite sniper squad that kept Egypt from being overrun by Omnic forces. Ana was a founding member of Overwatch who chose to stay in the field as Morrison's number two. During a hostage rescue mission, Ana hesitated a second too long and was shot through her scope by Widowmaker. At first, Ana decided to let the world assume she had died while she had only lost her right eye from the bullet. However, Ana soon decided that she could not sit on the sidelines, picking her rifle back up to continue fighting for her ideals.
She was added on July 19, 2016.
- Main Weapon: Biotic Rifle is a customized sniper rifle that shoots darts that can both heal allies and do damage to enemies.
- Active Abilities: Sleep Dart incapacitates enemies until damage is done to them. Biotic Grenade heals allies and damages enemies like her rifle. However, for a short time allies are healed for a much larger amount and enemies cannot be healed.
- Ultimate: Nano Boost boosts a single ally, letting them move faster, do more damage and take less damage.
Lúcio hails from Rio de Janeiro. After the Vishkar Operation began to act oppressively towards his fellow citizens, Lucio began to use music as an escape from the horrors of the world. Eventually, Lúcio stole Vishkar Operation's sonic technology, using the sound system to rally the people against the opressive regime. Lúcio's actions made him a local star, and his music rose in popularity globally. Lúcio is a symbol for Brazil, and seeks to provide positive social change with his music. He and D. Va. are mutual fans.
- Main Weapon: Sonic Amplifier shoots in 3 round bursts for moderate damage. and alt fire allows Lúcio to push his foes back.
- Active Abilities: Crossfade causes Lúcio to switch between speed boost and healing. Amp it Up amplifies the active ability for a short period of time.
- Passive Abilities: Depending on the mode Lúcio heals or gives a speed boost to all nearby teammates.
- Ultimate: Sound Barrier gives a shield to anyone nearby for a short period.
Angela Ziegler was the head of surgery at a prestigious Swiss hospital. Overwatch sought her out due to her healing skills, and eventually convinced her to join the organization as the head of medical research. She built the Valkyrie swift-response suit which allowed her to heal in front line missions. When Overwatch dissolved, she dedicated herself to helping those affected by war by healing the sick and injured.
- Main Weapon: Caduceus Staff allows Mercy to heal an ally near her with its main mode, or boost the main weapon damage of an ally with its alt-fire mode.
- Secondary Weapon: Caduceus Blaster does a decent amount of damage at all ranges but the pulses must travel to their target.
- Abilities: Guardian Angel allows Mercy to fly towards an ally anywhere in her line of sight. With Angelic Descent Mercy spreads her wings and glides slowly back towards the ground.
- Ultimate: With Resurrect, Mercy brings any number of allies back from death with full health as long as she is within range of them.
Satya Vaswani grew up in India, living in extreme poverty. The Vishkar Corporation of India began to create cities capable of sustaining themselves, and at a young age Satya was identified as a potential light-bending architech, and was enrolled in school. The transition from poverty to education was isolating to Satya, so she focused all of her time and energy into school. A city, Utopaea, used "hard-light" technology which allowed architects to build it at a very rapid speed. When Vishkar saw how skilled Satya had become, they named her Symmetra, and sent her on many missions globally to expand their infuence. Symmetra feels like the work she is doing is for the good of humanity, but feels like she has little control over her future, a pawn of the Vishkar Corporation.
- Main Weapon: Photon Projector fires a short range beam that magnetizes to a nearby enemy doing more damage the longer it is attached.
- Active Abilities: Sentry Turret attaches to any surface and fires short range lasers at enemies. Symmetra can place up to 6 turrets at a time. Photon Shield gives an ally a small shield that lasts until death.
- Ultimate: Teleporter can be placed anywhere and allows teammates to warp there after death from the spawn room.
Zenyatta was once a member of the Shambali, a group of Omincs who sought to repair the human/Omnic relationship via dogmatic teaching. Zenyatta disagreed with their methods, believing that the relationship could only be repaired with personal connections and empathy. This caused him to leave the order and travel the world. In his travels he met Genji, whom he tought to accept himself as both a man and a machine. He mentored Genji, eventually considering him one of his greatest students. Zenyatta continues to walk the earth in search of personal, emotional and spiritual enlightenment.
- Main Weapon: Orb of Destruction Zenyatta fires small orbs at his foes or many at once with an alt fire that takes a small amount of time to charge.
- Active Abilities: Orb of Harmony follows any teammate within line of sight healing them. Orb of Discord attaches to any foe within line of sight and causes damage done to them to increase.
- Ultimate: Transcendence causes Zenyatta becomes invulnerable and heals all nearby allies.
Game Modes & Maps
The attacking team must capture two control points consecutively by being the only team to stand on it for a certain amount of time, while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- Temple of Anubis
- Volskaya Industries
- Hanamura (limited-time Winter Wonderland version, released on December 13, 2016)
The attacking team must escort a payload on a fixed track to its destination by being the only team to stand near it, while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- Route 66
- Watchpoint: Gibraltar
A combination of the above game modes, the attacking team must capture the payload (similar to Assault) before escorting it on a fixed track to its destination (similar to Escort), while the defending team must stop them before the round timer expires. Each match has two rounds, with the teams switched between rounds.
- King's Row
- Eichenwalde (released on September 1, 2016)
- Hollywood (limited-time Halloween version, released on October 11, 2016)
- King's Row (limited-time Winter Wonderland version, released on December 13, 2016)
A king-of-the-hill game mode where both teams must capture a single control point at the center of the battlefield and maintain it for a certain amount of time. Each match is best of three rounds, with each round as a random battlefield in the map.
- Lijiang Tower
- Oasis (released on January 3, 2017)
A team-deathmatch game mode where each player only has one life per round, cannot switch heroes after the round starts, and must eliminate all members of the opposing team to win. For 1v1 duels, each match is best of nine rounds. For 3v3 skirmishes, each match is best of five rounds. Cannot be played in Custom Games.
- Ecopoint: Antarctica (released on November 15, 2016)
Added on November 15, 2016, Arcade Mode is a set of matchmaking playlists for special game modes with special rulesets. This mode replaces the Weekly Brawl mode (see Brawls below). Players can earn loot boxes by winning nine games in a weekly period (earning a loot box every three games won).
- 1v1 Mystery Duel - Elimination where both players start every round with the same random hero. Lúcio and Mercy disabled.
- 3v3 Elimination - Standard Elimination.
- 6v6 All Brawls! - Each round uses a different Brawl game mode.
- 6v6 Mystery Heroes - Each player respawns as a random hero and cannot switch heroes at any time.
- 6v6 No Limits - Hero selection limit disabled.
Brawls are special matchmaking modes with unique rule changes. Formerly, the game had one Brawl that is replaced every week (similar to Tavern Brawls in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and weekly Mutations in Left 4 Dead 2). With the addition of Arcade Mode, the game now has a playlist that switches between a known set of Brawls every round.
All changes (unless otherwise specified) can be reproduced in the Custom Game mode.
- Total Mayhem - Formerly "Arcade". Double health. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Fast gain rate on ultimates. Escort and Hybrid maps only.
- MOBAwatch - Cannot switch heroes at any time. No duplicate heroes per team.
- Highly Offensive - Offense heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Overly Defensive - Defense heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Tanks A Lot - Tank heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- Show Your Support - Support heroes only. Limited to 2 of the same hero per team.
- We're All Soldiers Now - Soldier: 76 only. Half health. Slow cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Control maps only.
- This is Ilios - Lucio and Roadhog only. Limited to 1 Lúcio per team. Single map only (Ilios)
- High Noon - McCree only.
- Justice Rains From Above - Mercy and Pharah only. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Assault maps only.
- Super Shimada Bros - Genji and Hanzo only. Very fast cooldowns on abilities. Slow gain rate on ultimates. Single map only (Hanamura).
- Charge! - Lucio and Reinhardt only. Limited to 1 Lúcio per team.
- One Shot, One Kill - Ana, Hanzo, and Widowmaker only.
- Ana Knows Best - Used in tandem with the Ana release. Ana, Tank heroes only.
- Girl Power - Female heroes only.
- Have Fun Storming The Castle - Single map only (Eichenwalde). No duplicate heroes per team.
- Head's Up - Unreleased. Genji, Hanzo, McCree and Widowmaker only. Damage only from headshots.
- High Noon - McCree only. Damage only from headshots. Single map only (Route 66).
- Mystery Heroes - Respawn as a random hero. Cannot switch heroes at any time.
- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - McCree, Reaper and Roadhog only.
Special Brawls are special limited-edition brawls that are used in tandem with special events. They cannot be reproduced in Custom Games mode.
- Lúcioball - Available during the Summer Games 2016 event, Lúcioball is a three-on-three game mode set in the Estádio das Rãs arena. Teams of Lúcio players must push a large soccer ball towards their enemy team's goal (in similar vein to Rocket League). Lúcio's primary fire is replaced with his melee attack, he cannot Crossfade out of speed boosting, and he cannot damage enemies. He can, however, use his Sound Barrier to pull the ball towards him, use numerous trampolines in the arena to high jump, and wall-ride certain walls faster. The team that scores the most goals in the time limit wins the match.
- Junkenstein's Revenge - Available during the Halloween Terror event, Junkenstein's Revenge is a four-player co-operative game mode set in a sectioned-off part of Eichenwalde. Players pick either Ana, Hanzo, McCree, or Soldier: 76 as they fight waves of "Zomnics" (zombie omnics) to protect their castle door within an amount of time. Throughout the match, they must regularly face Dr. Junkenstein and his monster, as well as The Reaper. At the end of the match, they must face all three bosses at once, along with The Witch, to win the match. Duplicate heroes are not allowed and players can not switch between heroes once the game starts.
- Mei's Snowball Offensive - Available during the Winter Wonderland event, Mei's Snowball Offensive is a six-on-six Elimination game mode set in Ecopoint: Antarctica. Teams of Mei players must eliminate the enemy team with their modified Endothermic Blasters (that can only fire a single instant-kill snowball). Melee is disabled and players can only carry one snowball at a time (in which they must find randomly-placed piles of snow to gather more). Her ultimate is replaced by a temporary buff that gives her infinite ammo (allowing her to fire at a rapid pace).
- Capture the Rooster - Available during the Year of the Rooster event, Capture the Rooster is a six-on-six Capture the Flag game mode set in Lijiang Tower. The first to three captures (or the team with the most captures at the time limit) wins the match.
Many years prior to the events of the game, the Omnica Corporation, a leading robotics manufacturer and AI developer, found that its Omnic robots became somewhat sentient. The Omnics organized themselves and started attacking their human masters in a global war that became known as the Omnic Crisis. To counter this threat, an international task force called Overwatch was formed under the United Nations to combine those with special powers, technology, and other abilities into a fighting force capable of countering the Omnics. Eventually, Overwatch managed to fight off the Omnics enough to end the war, and reach a peace accord with the remaining synthetic beings.
After the war, Overwatch remained active as an international peacekeeping force, but after multiple instances of criminal and terrorist actions occurring across the globe, Overwatch found itself embroiled in controversy. Branded as being corrupt and evil, like those they were fighting, public opinion slowly turned against the organization, culminating in an explosion at Overwatch headquarters that supposedly took the life of its leader and his second-in-command.
Afterwards, the task force was officially disbanded by the United Nations, and the members of Overwatch drifted away. However, after new attacks by the mysterious Talon group start happening around the globe, the surviving members of Overwatch decided to quietly reunite to once again protect the world from evil.