Overwatch 2 Season 8 - release date, new hero, buffs & nerfs, events, and more

Overwatch 2 Season 8 is on the horizon, promising an array of updates including the release date, new hero, skins, events, buffs, nerfs, and much more.

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Overwatch 2 Season 8 will begin on December 5th.

Overwatch received a major update for Season 7, probably the biggest to ever reach live servers. Now, the focus is on Overwatch 2 Season 8, which will launch on PC, PS5, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch on December 5, 2023.

Before the official release, Overwatch 2 Season 8 patch notes were shared, which have nerfed and boosted several heroes to make room for Mauga, the game's newest tank, who is making his debut with several improvements from his BlizzCon preview weekend. This patch also adds Weapon Skins to the mix of hero balancing adjustments and customization options for players' primary characters. A Hard Light theme for Reaper, Mercy, and Reinhardt has also been included in this version.

So without any delay, let's go right into the information disclosed regarding Overwatch 2 Season 8.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 Release Date

Typically spanning about nine weeks, the Overwatch 2 Season 8, given Season 7's timeline, is anticipated to commence on December 5, 2023. However, this date is subject to potential alterations as more specifics surface. 

The current Season 7 is set to conclude on December 5, 2023, confirming this as the launch day for Season 8, which usually starts around 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 Hero – MAUGA

Mauga, Overwatch 2's newest tank hero, is undoubtedly one of the biggest things arriving in Season 8, both literally and figuratively. Mauga is making his Overwatch 2 debut as part of Season 8 after being hinted at as early as 2019. Although players have had access to an early build of the Tank hero, the complete release of the character comes out at the same time as the upcoming seasonal update.

The brash bruiser has self-healing abilities comparable to Roadhog's and carries two enormous miniguns. After his reveal at BlizzCon, Mauga gave players a taste of what to expect, but at the beginning of Season 8, he will be making a comeback to Overwatch 2 with some upgrades.

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Incendiary Chaingun (Primary Fire)

  • Automatic weapon that ignites enemies on repeated impacts.

Volatile Chaingun (Secondary Fire)

  • Automatic weapon that deals critical damage to burning enemies.

Overrun (Ability 1)

  • Charge forward and stomp to launch enemies. You are unstoppable while charging.

Cardiac Overdrive (Ability 2)

  • Nearby allies take reduced damage and heal by dealing damage.

Cage Fight (Ultimate)

  • Deploy a barrier that traps yourself and enemies. Gain unlimited ammo while inside.

Berserker (Passive)

  • Gain temporary health when dealing critical damage.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 Theme: Call of The Hunt

OW2 Season 8's theme, unveiled on November 28, is called Call of The Hunt. This thematic setting is anticipated to influence most Battle Pass skins, limited-time in-game events, and skin bundles. The teased skins include Grand Beast Orisa, featuring in the Mythic category for this season, and a sneak peek at a potential new skin for Junker Queen.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 Mode: BATTLE OF THE BEASTS

Fight in a powerful brawl with epic and powerful Grand Beasts in a fun 4v4 PvPvE game mode: The Battle of the Beasts. In a clash of Grand Beasts, protect yours while coordinating with your team to defeat the enemy beast. 

You’ll be able to play Mauga for free as the only tank to play in this mode, or try your hand as one of many other hunter-themed heroes and tear through the Grand Beast’s health while trying to avoid powerful abilities. May the best hunters win.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 Events: WINTER WONDERLAND 2023

Ring in the holidays with the Winter Wonderland event! Check out our heroes celebrating in style with all-new Holiday skins. Beat challenges and unlock one free legendary skin of your choice – choose from the stylish Formalwear skins for Cassidy or Baptiste, or the cozy Winter Jammies Illari skin. 

Players will also get to dive into the action with returning fan-favorite event modes like Mei’s Snowball Offensive and Yeti Hunt, with new challenges and rewards. Winter Wonderland launches on Tuesday, December 19.

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Overwatch 2 Season 8 Skins: HERO AND WEAPON SKINS

Based on the Overwatch 2 teaser image, it appears that Junker Queen will most likely receive a Call of the Hunt skin in OW2 Season 8. Despite this, Overwatch 2 stated that Orisa would receive the Mythic skin, which would turn the robotic tank into a Grand Beast with interchangeable colors and weaponry in addition to distinctive sound and graphics. When players complete the Season 8 Premium Battle Pass and level 80, they will be able to access this new Mythic skin.

In addition, if Overwatch follows previous trends, gamers should anticipate that purchasing the Premium Battle Pass or leveling up to 55 in the free edition would immediately unlock Mauga. In-game missions will probably allow players to obtain Mauga if they miss out on it during Season 8, in the same way, they can with other Overwatch 2 heroes like Kiriko and Ramattra.

Players used to only be able to obtain one Mythic Skin per season with the Battle Pass, but that is now changing. Players will be able to select from any unclaimed Mythic Skin going forward. As a result, if you miss a season, you can now make up for it and receive the desirable prize.

Additionally, Blizzard is launching Weapon Skins, a brand-new method for personalizing your characters. The Hard Light pattern is what we're starting with for Rein, Reaper, and Mercy. You may customize these stylish designs with unique sound and visual effects to match any of these heroes' skins. 

The devs said, "We’re excited about weapon customization, and this is just the first step. As we create more Weapon Skins, we want to hear about what you love about the skins. Your feedback is key as we evolve Weapon Skins and introduce new looks and more ways to customize your heroes."

Overwatch 2 Season 8: HERO BUFFS AND NERFS

There have been a ton of nerfs and buffs in Overwatch, and Season 8 will be no different. 

Numerous buff changes have been made to improve balance. For example, Ramattra's projectile size has been increased, Tracer's damage has been increased and Sombra's EMP now locks off enemy abilities for three seconds. On the Nerf front, Soldier 76's biotic field will have a longer cooldown, Brig's Whipshot damage will only deal 70 instead of 80, and Sigma's Experimental Barrier will heal much more slowly.

As revealed by the devs, the maximum ultimate charge preserved on hero swap will be reduced from 25 to 15%. Moreover, Hero-Specific Options have been added to every character to adjust the rumble strength of each of their abilities.

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  • Base health reduced from 500 to 350.
  • Base armor increased from 0 to 150.
  • Head hit volume reduced 15%.

Incendiary and Volatile Chainguns

  • Spread for firing both guns reduced 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.


  • Can no longer be interrupted by Hack.
  • Damage reduction increased from 30 to 50%.

Cardiac Overdrive

  • Lifesteal increased from 60 to 70%.

Berserker (Passive)

  • The overhealth conversion rate increased from 40% to 50%.


Meteor Strike

  • Now regenerates 75 health per second while in the air.
  • Ultimate cost increased 16%.

Junker Queen


  • Spread reduced by 8%.


  • 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.


Experimental Barrier

  • Regeneration rate reduced from 100 to 85 health per second.


Tesla Cannon

  • Now ignores armor damage reduction.


Endothermic Blaster

  • Maximum ammo reduced from 150 to 120.

Soldier: 76

Biotic Field

  • Cooldown increased from 15 to 18 seconds.



  • Ability lockout duration increased from 1.5 to 3 seconds.
  • Damage reduced from 30 to 25% of current health.



  • Overhealth increased from 75 to 100.


Pulse Pistols

  • Damage increased from 5.5 to 6.


Biotic Launcher

  • Primary fire ammo reduced from 45 to 36.


Whip Shot

  • Damage reduced from 80 to 70.


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.



  • Activating Valkyrie no longer disconnects Caduceus Staff from its target.

Overwatch 2 Season 8 MAPS UPDATES

New Holiday decorations added to the following maps!

  • Paraíso
  • New Queen Street
  • Watchpoint: Gibraltar

New Lighting Scenarios

  • Antarctica Peninsula – Morning

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Overwatch 2 Season 8 Patch Notes



  • Endorsement Score required to reach level 5 reduced.
  • Endorsement Score decay at level 4 reduced slightly.
  • Endorsement Score decay at level 5 reduced.

Hero Mastery

Next wave of Hero Mastery courses will launch starting on January 2, 2024, in a five-week event featuring a new course each week with new challenges and cosmetic rewards to earn.

  • A new set of five Hero Mastery courses for Lucio, Mei, D.va, Echo and Genji have been added.
  • Lucio’s courses will unlock on January 2nd, and a new course for a new hero will be available every week for the next four weeks.

An exciting new way to view Hero Mastery replays is now available, Replay Bookmarks!

  • Replay Bookmarks can be enabled from the Replay Viewer at any time. Once enabled, players can instantly skip to important moments during a run.
  • A list of bookmarks, course runs and records is shown on the left side of the screen. Players can quickly choose bookmarks from here, or by tapping the indicators on the replay skimmer.
  • A new leaderboard for Hero Mastery courses released in Season 6 has been added. The previous leaderboard will return in a future patch for players to view any time.

Reticle Changes

Extra reticle settings have been added for specific Heroes with multiple Weapon Modes. Players can now customize the modes separately or keep them in sync. The following Heroes have access to the new options:

  • Ana
  • Ashe
  • Bastion
  • Lifeweaver
  • Mercy
  • Ramattra
  • Widowmaker

A new option for the Reticle’s Outline Color has been added, and the Outline Opacity has been separated from the main Opacity. Players who have previously hidden their Dot by setting its Opacity to zero will now need to set the Dot’s Size to zero instead.

Unranked Leaver Penalty Updates

In a further effort to discourage players from repeatedly leaving games and impacting the experience for others, we are increasing the suspension times for leaving too many matches from Unranked modes.

  • Leaving 4 out of your last 20 games played will result in a 20-minute suspension from being able to queue for most game modes, including Unranked and Competitive.
  • Leaving 6 out of your last 20 games played will result in a 4-hour suspension from being able to queue for most game modes, including Unranked and Competitive.

These suspension thresholds only occur when you leave multiple games among your most recent games played. We know this may impact those who are having issues with their connection when playing Overwatch 2, and would encourage testing your connection in custom games or the Practice Range as you troubleshoot your connection prior to playing modes that involve other players. Troubleshooting your connection to Overwatch 2 can be found in this article on our support site.


  • MMR Decay now only occurs for Competitive Play at the start of a new season.
  • MMR Decay is not applied to roles that qualify for a rank.
  • Example: A player that won five games and got a Competitive Update will not decay at the end of a season.
  • If a player does not have a rank already who won three games and did not get a Competitive Update, that player will decay at the end of that season.
  • If the player does have a rank, they only need to play one match in the season to keep their rank for the next season.



Hero Mastery

  • Fixed a case where Tracer would be unable to pick up ultimate canisters while blinking.
  • Fixed a bug that could result in the Agent course remaining locked despite obtaining 3 stars in the Recruit course.

Story Missions

  • Fixed a bug in the Rio Mission that could result in the Charger failing to charge valid targets.

Other Fixes

  • Fixed a bug that caused Rumble to be activated by other heroes in the match using their abilities.
  • Fixed a bug with Rumble activating for other players actions when viewing Kill Cam.
  • Fixed a bug in the Hero Gallery that could result in Heroes being incorrectly posed after interacting with the Random From Favorites system.
  • Fixed a general issue where heroes could jitter when Frozen.



  • Fixed an area of the map that allowed some characters to escape the playable space.
  • Fixed areas of the map where players could become stuck.

Horizon Lunar Colony

  • Fixed an area of the floor that could prevent players from moving.


  • Fixed a drum that could cause players to become stuck on it.


  • Fixed some areas of the map where heroes could become stuck.



  • Fixed a bug that could cause the ‘Hindered’ text to remain on screen after having it cleansed.


  • Fixed an interaction with Zarya and Echo’s Duplicate which could result in Zarya not being able to apply their own Particle Barrier for a few moments after being Duplicated.


  • Resolved a bug that made it appear as though Sonic Arrow was not fully charged even if it was.


  • Fixed a bug with Healing Pylon’s sound effects persisting after being destroyed.


  • Fixed an interaction with Tree of Life applying overhealth to Mei in Cryo-Freeze.


  • Fixed a bug with burn DoT not being applied and still resetting progress.
  • Fixed a bug with movement speed reduction not being applied when firing a single gun.


  • Fixed an interaction with Terra Surge and Bastion in Assault mode that resulted in Bastion not being pulled inwards during the ultimate.
  • Fixed a bug with the Tip of the Spear achievement not activating correctly.


  • Fixed a bug with Pig Pen where it would fail to damage some deployable items from others heroes (ex. Ice Wall, Tree of Life, Winston’s Barrier Projector, etc).
  • Resolved a bug that allowed Pig Pen to be placed on basketballs.


  • Fixed an issue with Virus not being correctly Amplified by Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Stealth overlay to cause the screen to be darker than intended.

That finishes the main highlights for OW2 Season 8 and after. Blizzard has not yet revealed many details on their plans, even though a new hero and the Winter Wonderland event are coming. However, before fans start looking forward to Overwatch 2's next big release, there is still a ton of material for them to discover.

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