Nefarious Overwatch glitch lets Mercy tank everyone's framerate to single digits, then bring her own back up and start blasting the sluggish victims

Overwatch 2 Mercy
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

An Overwatch 2 player has discovered a new glitch with Mercy that allows players to hold an entire lobby hostage and, in theory, game competitive matches as well as annoying the hell out of everyone. YouTuber nsbunited describes themselves as an "Overwatch glitch hunter", and the Mercy bug was discovered while experimenting with a known element of the Blizzard's FPS: During the earlygame countdown, Overwatch will teleport players who escape the starting area back into the starting area.

This particular feature is called the "spawn escape mechanic" and has been used in the past to uncover other glitches, most notably the Genji's pet dragon glitch (which also had the ability to lower other players' frame rates). And as nsbunited puts it, "Mercy can hold Paraiso lobbies hostage with a broken FPS dropping glitch now".

Paraiso is the Overwatch 2 map on which this can be triggered. The bug involves standing in a particular spot during the setup phase holding her gun, which then triggers a bugged animation. After this bugged animation has played between 7-9 times, Mercy pulls out her main weapon, the Caduceus staff, and shortly afterwards the game's FPS starts dropping: For everyone in the lobby.

In nsbunited's video you can see it begin to drop from the low hundreds and just keep falling. Then a nasty twist of the knife: If Mercy jumps off the map and kills herself, the FPS drops get even worse. Eventually the game is running for all players in single digits. 

And at this point, the not-so-angelic Mercy player can switch back to their gun, which sees their framerate begin to rise back to normal levels while everyone else in there is left in slideshow hell. At this point Mercy is free to saunter around, administering what can only be called Mercy killings, and can of course easily defend or deliver the payload while doing so.

Welp. Blizzard has had some big issues with Overwatch 2 glitches, to the extent it had to remove Bastion and then Mei entirely for a period. It's hard to see the same thing happening with Mercy but, now that this glitch and clear instructions on how to execute it are in the wild, we'll soon see if it's as big a deal as the glitch hunters claim (also note that there are ways for players to counter this, detailed at the end of nsbunited's video).

Overwatch 2 is a game with much bigger problems than glitches, however. Blizzard recently announced that much of the planned and promised singleplayer content, which was one of the big arguments for making Overwatch 2 in the first place, has now been cancelled. This is a game struggling to find its identity, to the extent some already think Overwatch 2 has failed.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."