Overwatch Turns 4! Here’s How The Heroes Have Changed Since Release

Overwatch Turns 4! Here’s How The Heroes Have Changed Since Release

Nutan Lele
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Cover Picture, Thumbnail and other images courtesy Blizzard

  • We take a look back at some reworks and tweaks to Overwatch's Heroes as it celebrates 4 years. 

Overwatch turns 4 today. Despite its initial success, a lot of fans moved on from Overwatch long ago, either because they lost interest or other games caught their attention. If you're coming back to the game after a long break, you’ll notice several changes to the heroes and new releases, while the game itself has undergone a lot of tweaks since it launched in 2016. After many reworks and other balance changes, here’s what some of your beloved heroes look like today.   


Torbjorn has always been a controversial hero for a variety of reasons. He was once thought of as a ‘useless’ hero and picking Torb was considered throwing the match. Since then Blizzard has reworked his abilities, replacing his ultimate with one of his special abilities, Molten Core. Deploy Turret is now a projectile that deploys a standard “level two” turret where it lands. The new turret automatically tracks and attacks enemies. His new ability, Overload, functions similarly to the self-buff as his old Ultimate. The rework has made the hero more popular although he doesn’t have the same range as some of the other heroes in the game. 


Mercy has gone through quite a few changes since the times of her game-changing 5-man resurrections. She can still revive fallen teammates but with a bit of delay and the ability was added to her base kit. This change saw the rise of the moth meta where her number of resurrections per game actually went up. After several more tweaks to her abilities, Blizzard gave her an Ultimate called Valkyrie, which enhanced her mobility and utility as a healer.  


Symmetra started off as one of the game's least-played heroes leading Blizzard to rework her before the launch. Initially, she was able to give her teammates small shields, and only had one ultimate ability. Starting in November 2016, Blizzard changed her by giving her photon projector more range and letting her place all six sentry turrets at once. Come 2018, Blizzard decided to completely rework Symmetra again, increasing her overall damage output and switching up her abilities and shifting her teleport from her ultimate to one of her special abilities. She now only had 3 turrets but is allowed to throw them across the map. Blizzard also changed her from support to a damage class hero in selection. 

Other Heroes

There have been a lot of changes to other heroes as well as new releases in Overwatch over the past couple of years. Roadhog's hook has been changed multiple times, and D.Va was given a new missile barrage attack with a nerf to her shield matrix. Hanzo's Scatter Arrow ability is now replaced with a Storm Arrow which fires several arrows instantly. In June 2017, Reaper’s orbs were replaced with a self-healing percentage of damage dealt. There have also been a variety of other small changes. Blizzard's announcement of Overwatch 2 means we have to wait longer for more heroes but Blizzard’s balance changes continue. Here are all the new characters that have been added to Overwatch since launch:

  • Brigitte (Support) - 20/3/2018
  • Wrecking Ball (Tank) - 24/7/2018
  • Ashe (Damage) - 13/11/2018
  • Baptiste (Support) - 19/3/2019
  • Sigma (Tank) - 22/7/2019
  • Echo (Damage) - 14/4/2020

Echo is Overwatch’s 32nd hero and she’s the last new addition to the roster before Overwatch 2 ships – whenever that will be. Those who have previously played the game and moved on may find some heroes and additions to the game Overwatch unrecognizable.

Nutan is AFK Gaming's source for everything from Twitch to the Twitterati. Her focus lies in distilling esports content from around the world. As the former captain of Girlaxy India, she brings an experienced eye in analysing the League of Legends scene.