Overwatch 2 screenshot of the mythic-tier Cyberdemon Genji skin

[Update #2]: Overwatch 2's Season 2 has now arrived with a new tank hero, escort map, cosmetics, and a bunch of strange balance changes.

[Update]: Blizzard has now detailed Ramattra's every ability and his stance-shifting mechanics.

After going through a slight delay due to some mysterious technical issue, Overwatch 2's very first balance update has now finally arrived. As expected, it brings with it a couple of nerfs to some of the most powerful heroes out there, as well as a set of bizarre yet fairly inconsequential nerfs to Junkrat of all people.

You can find the full list of tweaks and bug fixes over at the Blizzard forums, but for now allow me to share with you all of the major hero rebalances. Have a gander:


Hack ability lockout duration reduced from 1.75 to 1.5 seconds

 Hacked enemies are no longer valid targets for hacking for the duration of the effect

 Hacked damage multiplier reduced from 40 to 25%

Dev Comment: With Sombra’s rework, she gained a lot more damage to help account for the reduced ability lockout duration of Hack. This has proven to be too deadly for a flanker with easy access to the enemy backlines, and we’ve similarly had to address the damage output of heroes like Tracer, Reaper, and now, Genji, in the 5v5 format.

She can also no longer channel hack on an already hacked target as feedback indicated the reduced cooldown combined with hacking from stealth proved to be too frustrating for many players. This is essentially a per-target cooldown that enables Hack to keep its current 4 second cooldown for potentially hacking multiple targets.


 Maximum ammo reduced from 30 to 24

 Shuriken damage reduced from 29 to 27

Dev Comment: Genji is a Hero that has greatly benefited from the move to 5v5. Changing to a single Tank and the reduction of crowd control has meant Genji has had less obstacles in his way, however he hasn’t received tuning updates since he wasn’t actively in the meta until launch (something also informed by our general preference to avoid preemptive adjustments when possible). We also saw that, in early beta tests, other flanking Heroes such as Tracer and Reaper were also significantly more effective in OW2. These changes will bring Genji more in line with the other flanking damage heroes.


 Barrier duration reduced from 2.5 to 2 seconds

 Barrier cooldown increased from 10 to 11 seconds

Dev Comment: Early player sentiment predicted Zarya as one of the weakest solo tanks in 5v5 though her high damage potential and barrier uptime have proven to be extremely effective. For opponents, feedback has indicated this can feel as though Zarya has very limited windows of vulnerability, which feels difficult to deal with when combined with her ramping damage potential.

These changes will reduce the barrier uptime, making it slightly more difficult for her to gain energy and will provide enemies with more time to deal damage to her.


 Fusion Cannon spread increased from 3.5 to 3.75

 Boosters impact damage reduced from 25 to 15

Dev Comment: D.va ended up feeling too deadly after the last round of changes given how resilient she can be with the improved Defense Matrix. Both our stats and high-level player feedback regarded her as not effective enough before that compared with other tanks, so this is a partial revert to establish some middle ground there.


 Swift Step invulnerability duration reduced from 0.4 to 0.25 seconds

Dev Comment: This invulnerability window is primarily intended to help avoid instantly dying to something unseen after teleporting through walls, but it ended up being a little too long and led to some confusion when shooting at Kiriko


 Steel Trap arming time increased from 0.5 to 0.75 seconds

 Trapped duration reduced from 3 to 2.5 seconds

Besides the unexpected nerfs to Junkrat, the strangest thing about this update is the lack of Sojourn changes. Her ability to one-shot enemies at long range while still being strong in close quarters has made her an omnipresent part of higher ranked matches, especially Top 500 ones, yet somehow she has managed to squeeze on by without so much as a scratch.

As such, I can only hope the Season 2 update will bring with it another batch of major changes as Overwatch 2 is still far from balanced. And not just for Sojourn, but also for some of the currently underpowered and underplayed tank heroes like Junker Queen, Doomfist and perhaps even Wrecking Ball. 

Whatever the case may be, I'll make sure to let you know once Blizzard releases some actual information about the update. Until then, I hope you have fun with the new meta!