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Blizzard has announced the latest changes for Overwatch 2 with Season 8: Call of the Hunt, which breathes new life into the popular esports title. The update brings a new tank, strategic adjustments to hero abilities, and a ton of quality-of-life improvements to the hero shooter.

Here’s an overview of the Overwatch 2 Season 8 patch notes, including details about the new hero Mauga, the Battle of the Beasts game mode, Winter Wonderland 2023, hero balance changes, and gameplay changes.

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New Hero – Mauga

The highlight of Season 8 is the highly anticipated arrival of Mauga, Overwatch 2’s new tank hero. First unveiled at BlizzCon 2023, the Samoan mercenary is the 39th hero to join the Overwatch 2 roster. He arrives armed with dual chainguns and a powerful ability kit that will shake up the new season.

Mauga’s Weapons

  • Incendiary Chaingun (Primary Fire): Mauga’s primary weapon is “Gunny,” a hitscan automatic weapon that ignites enemies after repeated hits to deal damage over time.
  • Volatile Chaingun (Secondary Fire): Also called “Cha-Cha,” this gun deals critical damage to burning enemies, including those affected by abilities like Torbjörn’s Molten Core.

Note: You can fire “Gunny” and “Cha-Cha” simultaneously but they share ammo and reload time.

Mauga’s Ability Kit

  • Overrun (Left Shift): Mauga charges forward and performs a stomp at the end of the charge to launch enemies. He is unstoppable while charging, takes 50% reduced damage, and the stomp counts as a critical hit, triggering Berserker. The stomp is also considered a jump, allowing Mauga to clear small gaps.
  • Cardiac Overdrive (E): This supportive ability provides nearby allies with 30% damage reduction and allows them to heal for 70% of the damage they deal.
  • Berserker (Passive Ability): Mauga gains temporary health (overhealth) equivalent to 50% of the critical damage dealt, up to a maximum of 150. 
  • Cage Fight (Q – Ultimate Ability): Mauga deploys a cylindrical barrier that traps and leashes enemies within its radius, granting him unlimited ammo for its duration. It also traps enemies who enter the barrier after its deployment. The ultimate can also be interacted with and countered in various ways specific to different heroes and abilities.

Note: The cooldown for Overrun and Cardiac Overdrive begins only when the ability ends.

New Game Mode – Battle Of The Beasts

The Battle of the Beasts is a new limited-time 4v4 PvPvE game mode in Overwatch 2 Season 8, and it ends Dec. 18, 2023. The objective is simple: players must safeguard their Grand Beast while trying to defeat the enemy’s beast, all while skillfully dodging powerful abilities. 

What’s more enticing is the chance to unlock exclusive rewards, including a highlight intro for the hero Mauga and a new name card. Plus, up to 25,000 Battle Pass XP is up for grabs, paving the way to more rewards like the Mythic Grand Beast Orisa skin in the Premium tier.

New Event – Winter Wonderland 2023

Ready to embrace the festive cheer? Overwatch 2’s beloved Winter Wonderland event returns in Season 8 on Dec. 19, 2023. This season is decked out with a ton of new Christmas-themed skins. And here’s the best part—you get to unlock a free legendary skin!

These cosmetics range from snazzy formalwear for Cassidy or Baptiste, to cozy Winter Jammies for Illari. The choice is yours! These skins are up for grabs through the Shop or by beating various limited-time challenges, including Mei’s Snowball Offensive and the Yeti Hunt.

New Hard Light Weapon Skins

If you’re looking for more ways to make your heroes stand out this season, you’ll be happy to know that Overwatch 2 will feature Hard Light skins for Rein, Reaper, and Mercy. Weapons are also getting customization options, with weapon skins arriving in future updates!

Hero Updates And Balancing

The maximum Ultimate Ability charge preserved on hero swapping has been reduced from 25% to 15% in Overwatch 2 Season 8. This means you’ll need to carefully consider your hero choices (if you want to retain your hard-earned Ult progress). It will also foster more competitive gameplay.

There are many hero-specific nerfs and buffs, and you can find all the hero balance changes below:


  • Doomfist
    • Meteor Strike: Now regenerates 75 health per second while in the air. Ultimate cost increased by 16%.
  • Junker Queen
    • Scattergun: Spread reduced by 8%.
  • Mauga
    • Base Health: Reduced from 500 to 350.
    • Base Armor: Increased from 0 to 150.
    • Head Hit Volume: Reduced by 15%.
    • Incendiary and Volatile Chainguns:
      • Spread for firing both guns reduced by 15%.
      • Fire rate multiplier for firing both guns reduced from 25% to 0%.
      • Damage per shot increased from 4.5 to 5.
      • Damage falloff range increased from 25 to 30 meters.
      • Max ammo increased from 300 to 350.
      • Movement speed penalty reduced from 20% to 15% per gun.
    • Overrun: No longer interruptible by Hack. Damage reduction increased from 30% to 50%.
    • Cardiac Overdrive: Lifesteal increased from 60% to 70%.
    • Berserker: Overhealth conversion rate increased from 40% to 50%.
  • Ramattra
    • Base Health: Reduced from 300 to 200.
    • Base Armor: Increased from 0 to 100.
    • Void Accelerator: Projectile size increased from 0.075 to 0.1 meters. Damage increased from 4.5 to 5.
  • Sigma
    • Experimental Barrier: Regeneration rate reduced from 100 to 85 health per second.
  • Winston
    • Tesla Cannon: Now ignores armor damage reduction.


  • Mei
    • Endothermic Blaster: Maximum ammo reduced from 150 to 120.
  • Soldier: 76
    • Biotic Field: Cooldown increased from 15 to 18 seconds.
  • Sombra
    • EMP: Ability lockout duration increased from 1.5 to 3 seconds. Damage reduced from 30% to 25% of current health.
  • Torbjörn
    • Overload: Overhealth increased from 75 to 100.
  • Tracer
    • Pulse Pistols: Damage increased from 5.5 to 6.


  • Baptiste
    • Biotic Launcher: Primary fire ammo reduced from 45 to 36.
  • Brigitte
    • Whip Shot: Damage reduced from 80 to 70.
  • Kiriko
    • Healing Ofuda: Projectile speed increased from 14 to 18 meters per second.
    • Protection Suzu: Invulnerability duration reduced from 0.85 to 0.65 seconds. Healing explosion increased from 40 to 80 health.
  • Mercy
    • Valkyrie: Activating Valkyrie no longer disconnects Caduceus Staff from its target.

Competitive Play Updates

There’s also good news for ranked players in Overwatch 2 Season 8. For starters, MMR decay for Competitive Play will only occur at the beginning of a new season, so this won’t impact players who qualified for a rank in a particular role.

For example, if a player wins five games and receives a Competitive Update, their MMR won’t decay once the season ends. However, players without a rank, like those who won three games but didn’t receive a Competitive Update, will experience decay.

Note: Ranked players only need one Competitive Play match to maintain their rank for the next Overwatch 2 season.

General Updates And Changes

Lastly, there are a few general changes to Overwatch 2 in Season 8:

  • Endorsements: The requirements for reaching level 5 have been reduced, and the decay of Endorsement Scores at levels 4 and 5 has been slightly lowered.
  • Hero Mastery: A new five-week Hero Mastery course starts on Jan. 2, 2024, featuring weekly challenges and rewards for Lucio, Mei, D.Va, Echo, and Genji. Plus, the new “Replay Bookmarks” feature lets players easily navigate to key moments in replays.
  • Reticle Changes: Additional reticle settings are now available for Overwatch 2 heroes with multiple weapon modes, like Ana, Ashe, Bastion, Lifeweaver, Mercy, Ramattra, Widowmaker.

If you want to learn more about Overwatch 2 Season 8, including a rundown of all the bug fixes, check out the full patch notes on Blizzard Entertainment’s blog.

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