Overwatch 1 vs. Overwatch 2 – the eight biggest changes

These are the things that should catch your eye first.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The first Overwatch took over the gaming scene when it was released in 2016. In the years since, it was very apparent that the game needed to make changes to continue being considered one of the best video games available. Luckily, Blizzard has been working on some significant updates to the game. Here are the biggest changes made in Overwatch 2.

Related: All content included in the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

What are the biggest updates in Overwatch 2 vs. Overwatch?

PvE additions

Our first item is one that isn’t available as of this writing. A story mode and other PvE content will be coming to Overwatch 2 in the future, aiming for 2023. Hero Missions are another mode that will allow players to work cooperatively as they fight off AI enemies in various situations.


Looking at the PvP content that you can see now, the biggest and most notable change is the shift to the 5v5 format. Each team now plays with one fewer Tank, but many heroes have been altered to account for that.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Overwatch 2 works in a new ping system that allows you to point out enemy placements to teammates without needing to be in voice chat. With a click of the button, you will place a marker, and your character will voice where you are looking. There are also special situations for this, like Ana pinging a sleeping enemy to point that out specifically.

Hero changes

The biggest changes to the heroes have been made to the Tanks. Orisa received a complete rework, Doomfist transferred from Damage to a Tank, Reinhardt got significant changes, and others were also changed. There have also been changes to individual moves like Cassidy no longer has a Flash Grenade but a Sticky Grenade. All classes also have specific passive abilities now. Tanks are harder to boop, Damage Heroes retain some Ultimate charge when they swap characters, and Supports regenerate health after not taking health for a little bit.

Free-to-play and battle pass

Overwatch 2’s PvP has gone free-to-play, making the popular multiplayer available to anyone with the internet. Like many other multiplayer games with this model, Overwatch 2 utilizes a battle pass. Each battle pass season offers 80 tiers of rewards, and the premium version is available for $10. Each season lasts for nine weeks.

Heroes are no longer automatically unlocked

In the first Overwatch, every new hero added to the game was immediately unlocked for everyone. Now, they are available through the battle pass. If you purchase the premium tier, you receive them immediately, but you can also unlock them at level 55 in the free version of the battle pass. If you do not play enough to unlock the hero during the season, Blizzard has mentioned some kind of challenge system to unlock them, although we have not seen what this entails yet.

Related: Overwatch 2 fans are really upset about unlocking heroes through a battle pass

Push mode

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Push is a new PvP mode that will appear in place of the Assault 2CP mode in Overwatch 1. Teams will fight over escorting a robot to push a palette to the enemy base; whoever reaches the end of the track or pushes it the furthest wins.

Related: All new maps in Overwatch 2

New maps and returning locations

There are a few new Push maps in New Queen Street, Colosseo, and Esperanca, but even the Hybrid and Escort modes have received new additions. Circuit Royale is a new Escort map, and the Hybrid newcomers are Midtown and Paraiso. While all of the Hybrid, Escort, and Control maps from Overwatch 1 return, some have gotten updates that have them take place at different times of the day.