Overwatch’s game balance is almost constantly ebbing and flowing, with new heroes coming and going from the list of top picks. Its most drastic change of course was with the launch of Overwatch 2, which saw the introduction of 5v5 matches as standard on PS5 and Xbox. However, we’re in for another massive shakeup. A newly-leaked set of Overwatch 2 Season 9 patch notes could make things feel more like an Overwatch 3 sequel, overhauling class passives, health, healing, and damage.
After its remarkably rocky launch, Overwatch 2 has become one of the best FPS games on PS5 and Xbox. With heaps of new maps, modes, and heroes, Overwatch 2 already feels like a different beast. Nevertheless, following a substantial leak by OW2 pro player Rupal ‘Rupal’ Zaman, Overwatch 2 Season 9 will be the drastic change many have been waiting for, especially those who bounced off of 5v5 at launch.
According to the leak, the global Hero health pool (including health, armor, and shields) will be “increased from around 15% to 20%”. In other words, all characters are getting significant boosts to their total health. For example, standard 200 HP DPS Heroes will now have 250 HP. To go along with this is the previously confirmed new global health regeneration passive, meaning all players will regenerate 20 HP per second after five seconds of not taking damage.
To combat this health buff, global projectile size is also set to increase to allow all heroes to hit their targets more easily. “Hitscan weapons with a high spread and rate of fire, such as Soldier: 76’s Pulse Rifle, have been increased by 0.05”, for example, while “projectiles that travel slower than 50 meters per second, such as Pharah’s Rocket Launcher are increased by 0.15”. Various abilities also seem to be affected by this change, such as Sombra’s Virus. Alongside making it easier to deal damage, the damage of lots of abilities is also being increased.
Perhaps most importantly though, the DPS role is receiving a new passive that reduces the healing targets received shortly after taking damage.
With seemingly every character also receiving a number of individual balance changes to weapons, abilities, and so on, these changes almost completely overhaul Overwatch 2 across all roles. In an effort to reduce burst healing and burst damage, sustained damage is much more incentivized through the increased health, DPS’ new anti-heal passive, and easier-to-hit damage.
Alongside these overhauls to the core experience, Pharah’s rework was also leaked by Rupal. Most notably, she’s set to gain a brand-new ability, Jet Dash. Assigned to the secondary fire function, Jet Dash is a horizontal dash with a ten-second cooldown that will give the aerial assaulter some added evasion at long last. To compensate, her Jump Jets are being nerfed with an increased cooldown, reduced fuel, and weaker thrust. Interestingly, it appears as though her fuel will no longer recharge while airborne but there is a way to increase capacity, though this section of the leaked patch notes is obscured by Rupal’s webcam. Nevertheless, Pharah will be a force to be reckoned with in Season 9 if these Overwatch 2 patch notes come to fruition.
While it’s not quite the return to 6v6 that many players have been hoping for, it will no doubt overhaul the meta and could be just what vexed players have been waiting for. With Overwatch 2 competitive ranks also resetting in Season 9, it would be perfect timing for such a drastic, almost Overwatch 3-level change. So, grab the best PS5 controllers and best Xbox controllers and get ready.