Overwatch 2's roles may come with extra passive abilities

Mei overwatch 2
(Image credit: Blizzard)

Blizzard is interested in adding a bit more complexity to the three core roles (tank, damage, and support) in Overwatch 2. The developer has always preferred to keep things simple for its competitive shooter (which is why you have three to four abilities instead of ten), and part of that is not including many invisible, passive abilities. That could change if a recent experiment called "role passives" pans out.

Role passives would essentially give small-scale benefits to every hero based on which role they are. Here are the examples shared by Blizzard during today's behind-the-scenes video:

  • Tanks: Knockback reduction, decreased ult charge for damage dealt to them
  • Damage: Movement speed bonus
  • Support: Automatic healing (active after taking no damage for a period)

Interesting. A speed boost for damage and automatic healing (at a lower rate than Mercy's current passive) for support could be fairly transformative for the meta, depending on their strength. And since the proposed passives would apply to all heroes in each role equally, you wouldn't have to memorize too much to stay on top of what everyone can do.

As is par for the course for anything the Overwatch team talks about ahead of time, there's a fair chance that none of this will make it into the final version of Overwatch 2. Or if role passives do make it in, don't expect the specific abilities to look exactly like they do in those bullet points.

BlizzCon 2021 rages on through today and the weekend. To stay up to date with everything happening, read up on everything we've learned from BlizzCon 2021 so far.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.