Overwatch screenshot of Reaper looking at camera

Throughout Overwatch's history, Reaper has always been a bit of a problematic hero. His entire skillset is designed around the idea of beating up tanks and ambushing players, but given his limited range and rather slow teleport, he was never really good at accomplishing any of that. Blizzard tried to fix this recently by super-buffing Reaper's lifesteal in order to compensate for his short range, but all this did is make Reaper a nightmare in the lower ranks and just as mediocre in the higher ranks. 

Clearly a more elegant solution was needed, which is why I'm glad to say that the Overwatch PTR has now been updated with a rather substatal buff to Reaper's Shadow Step ability, as well as Junkrat's weapon. You can find all of the details over at the official website, but here are the most important bits:


Frag Launcher

- Projectile speed increased from 20 to 25

- Grenades now bounce less but explode sooner

Developer Comments: With this change, we’re looking to slightly increase the range at which Junkrat can land direct hits. The speed of his bombs has increased, but we tuned it so this wouldn’t affect the arc of his projectile. This means that aiming with it will feel the same. The grenades bounce less and explode sooner, which will allow Junkrat to aim them more deliberately. This will reduce the amount of rolling grenade spam when playing against him.


Shadow Step

- Can now be used in air

- Time to exit Shadow Step reduced from 1.0 second to 0.5 of a second

- Reaper is now invisible for the entire time it takes to exit shadow step

- Can now teleport onto surfaces that would usually break, like railings

- Easier to place on thin surfaces

- Appears less jittery when placing while moving around

Developer Comments: Shadow Step was originally intended to be purely an out-of-combat mobility tool to traverse the map, since Wraith Form was already a great tool for disengaging. However, this made Shadow Step very situational, so we’re increasing its flexibility to make it a better, less niche ability. This will enable Reaper to use Shadow Step in more offensive situations.



- Railings and other breakable objects no longer block teleporter placement and teleporting

- Players that use your Teleporter now continue to look in their current viewing direction

- Easier to place on thin surfaces

- Appears less jittery when placing while moving around


Seismic Slam

- Can now target through railings


Ice Wall

- Easier to place on thin surfaces

- Appears less jittery when placing while moving around

While these aren't exactly massive changes, they are definitely the sort of thing I wanted to see for nearly two years now. Junkrat is being pushed towards aiming rather than blindly spamming, Reaper is getting mobility improvements rather than straight up damage, and some of the ground-targeting heroes are now finally getting a bit more consistent. I don't know if this will make any of the hero suddenly amazing at the highest levels of play, but it is a solid step in the right direction regardless!

If you would like to check all of these buffs in action, as well as see how awesome teleporting while falling looks, you should hop on over to the test realm by changing the server on the PC version to "PTR". Have fun!