Overwatch 2 season 6 starts Aug. 10, bringing a new support hero, new maps, and the long-awaited arrival of new story content for Blizzard’s free-to-play hero shooter. It’s a big content drop, with some of it free, and some of it requiring a purchase.
To help make sense of what’s new in Overwatch 2: Invasion, here’s a rundown of the content.
New hero: Illari
Overwatch’s 38th hero, the solar-powered healer Illari, brings a much-needed update to the support roster. Armed with a Solar Rifle that uses charged shots and fires a healing beam, Illari also has a healing turret and a flashy, damage-dealing ultimate. Illari hails from Peru, and her name derives from the Quechua language, apparently meaning “dawn” or “new beginning” — or in its more modern usage, “electronic.” You can read more about Illari’s weapon, abilities, and ultimate in this post, which also details her skins at launch.
A new core PvP game mode, Flashpoint sees teams battle to control points across large maps, with the goal being to capture three points before the opposing team does. It’s comparable to Call of Duty’s Headquarters Pro mode, in that players will need to capture and defend multiple points across the map.
Flashpoint will launch with two maps, described as “Overwatch 2’s biggest PVP maps to date”: Suravasa, a sun-drenched map set in India, and New Junk City, an Australian metropolis with a makeshift Junkertown aesthetic and a central combat arena called The Hammer Mill.
Flashpoint will be playable as part of the general rotation in role and open queue. Initially, it will launch in Quickplay modes, then come to Competitive modes “a couple weeks after the season begins,” Blizzard says. The developer said it plans to introduce more Flashpoint maps in future updates.
PvE Story Missions
Overwatch 2’s ambitious Hero Missions and elaborate talent trees have been scrapped, but the game’s PvE lives on in a series of new Story Missions. These missions are similar to some of the limited-time PvE content Blizzard has released during previous events, pitting heroes from the Overwatch team against Null Sector ’bots in structured, replayable levels. Three story missions arrive with season 6, sending heroes like Reinhardt, Lúcio, Mei, Winston, Genji, and Tracer to locations like Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Gothenburg (an all-new location) to fend off the Omnic invasion.
Story Missions can be played solo (with AI-controlled allies) or cooperatively in teams of four. Based on some early hands-on time with Overwatch 2’s new Story Missions, they’re easily clearable on base difficulty by yourself, but you’ll definitely need some flesh-and-blood teammates for higher difficulties.
And in case you’re wondering, Story Missions do provide experience toward your battle pass.
The Story Missions set in Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Gothenburg are paid content; Blizzard is selling access to those missions for $15. (An Invasion Bundle includes access to those missions, an earnable Sojourn skin, and 1,000 Coins.) Separately, a limited-time free event co-op mission called King’s Row: Underworld will be available from Aug. 10 to Sept. 5.
Hero Mastery and Progression
Players looking to hone their skills can tackle the single-player Hero Mastery experiences, which are kind of like hero-specific practice ranges with specific challenges. Only a subset of Overwatch 2’s overall roster is playable in Hero Mastery mode, with more to come in future seasons, Blizzard says. Hero Mastery has its own leaderboards as well, bringing a new level of competition to Overwatch 2.
Blizzard is also bringing back a version of progression to Overwatch 2. Players will be able to earn emblems, badges, and upgradeable name cards for heroes as they spend time playing with each character on the Overwatch roster.
Season 6 and Battle Pass
Overwatch 2’s newest battle pass is themed around the overall Invasion DLC. Through the premium battle pass, players will be able to unlock skins for heroes like Ashe, Zarya, Winston, Pharah, Symmetra, and Ana — who is the recipient of this seasons’ Mythic skin, a Null Sector-inspired look.
Season 6 will run through mid-October, and will include the Overwatch 2 Anniversary event. That event will feature the return of previous limited-time game modes Battle for Olympus, Starwatch, and Mischief & Magic — and each event’s associated cosmetics.
Here’s a quick look at everything coming in Overwatch 2 Invasion and season 6, in handy infographic form.
Overwatch 2 on Steam
Yep! The PC version of Overwatch 2 is now on Steam, making it the first title from Blizzard Entertainment to expand beyond Battle.net and onto Valve’s digital storefront. You’ll still need a Bnet account to play Overwatch 2, but the Steam version won’t open up Blizzard’s launcher.