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Overwatch patch tweaks nearly half of the game’s heroes

13 out of 31 Overwatch heroes will be adjusted in latest testing patch

Overwatch hero Sombra standing the the shadows Blizzard Entertainment
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Just under half of Overwatch’s 31 characters will be adjusted in Patch 1.41 released on the public test server yesterday.

Thirteen heroes are receiving buffs or nerfs as part of developer Blizzard Entertainment’s Sept. 24 testing patch, including D.Va, Sombra, Winston, Tracer, Doomfist, and Symmetra. Blizzard is calling the patch a “remaster” that will “require a relatively large download for all platforms,” according to the patch notes. Players have reported download sizes up to 8 GB.

Individually, none of the adjustments are huge — most of them are minor numbers tweaks — but, as a whole, they’ll certainly have an impact on the game’s meta.

Shields have become really important in the current Overwatch meta, and Blizzard’s making these tweaks with that in mind.

The shield meta

Since Overwatch’s newest hero, Sigma, joined the game’s roster, the meta has switched to shields. Sigma’s got a super powerful shield — Experimental Barrier — that’s super powerful paired with other shield-heavy heroes, like Orisa. Bring in a third shield from Symmetra and, well, the composition can feel impenetrable.

Blizzard’s adjustments are tweaking the game for the current meta, and Sigma nerfs are a big part of that. His Kinetic Grasp ability won’t block Roadhog’s Chain Hook ability or Brigitte’s Whip Shot anymore, and the high gravity effect from Gravitic Flux will see its duration reduced to .9 seconds, down from 1.2 seconds.

The big thing about this adjustment is that it buffs Roadhog and Brigitte, making those two heroes stronger in compositions against him in controlling positioning — something that becomes increasingly important when you need to push or pull enemies out from behind shields.

Experimental barrier, Sigma’s mobile shield, will have its regeneration rate reduced from 175 to 150 per second, with a one second cooldown after “recalling the barrier,” Blizzard said in the patch notes. Its initial cast time of .2 seconds has also been removed. The cooldown will act as a deterrent for players that just throw out the shield without thinking; now there’s some risk in using it without much thought.

Symmeta’s also got some hefty nerfs to her Photon Barrier, reducing its duration time and health.

Everyone else

Lúcio, D.Va, Mercy, Winston, Roadhog, and Tracer are all getting buffs in the latest testing patch, while Sigma, Orisa, Baptiste, Doomfist, Moira, and Symmetra are being nerfed.

Sombra’s getting an adjustment, too — but it doesn’t really feel like either a nerf or a buff. Her Translocator’s cooldown has been increased from four seconds to six seconds, but the cooldown begins right after she’s deployed the beacon, or when it’s killed by an enemy.

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – September 24, 2019

A new Overwatch patch is in development and now available for testing! To share your feedback or report any issues, please post in the PTR Feedback 80 or PTR Bug Report 20 forums.

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes may also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and only reflects changes coming specifically to that platform.


  • Patch 1.41 is a remaster and will require a relatively large download for all platforms.



Defense Matrix

  • Regeneration rate increased from 12.5% to 16% per second
  • Delay before regeneration begins lowered from 1 second to 0.75 seconds


Protective Barrier

  • Cooldown increased from 9 to 10 seconds


Scrap Gun

  • Ammunition increased from 5 to 6.


Kinetic Grasp

  • No longer blocks Chain Hook and Whip Shot

Gravitic Flux

  • High gravity effect duration reduced from 1.2 to 0.9 seconds

Experimental Barrier

  • Regeneration rate reduced from 175 to 150 per second
  • Now has a 1 second cooldown after recalling the barrier
  • Initial 0.2 second cast time removed


Barrier Projector

  • Duration increased from 6 to 9 seconds
  • Health increased from 600 to 700


Immortality Field

  • Health decreased from 250 to 200



  • Speed boost’s effect increased from 20% to 25%

Amp It Up

  • Speed boost’s amplification increased from 50% to 60%

Wall Ride

  • Speed buff reduced from 40% to 30%



  • The extra beams created by Valkyrie now ignore enemy barriers


Biotic Grasp

  • Self-healing reduced from 30 to 20 health per second


Rocket Punch

  • Time to reach max charge increased from 1 to 1.4 seconds

The Best Defense…

  • Shield health gained per hit reduced from 35 to 30



  • Cooldown increased from 4 to 6 seconds
  • Cooldown now begins immediately upon deploying the beacon or if it is killed by an enemy


Photon Barrier

  • Duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds
  • Health reduced from 5000 to 4000

Sentry Turret

  • Damage per second reduced from 50 to 40

Photon Projector

  • Players impacted by the primary fire beam should now hear a louder impact sound


Pulse Pistols

  • Damage falloff now starts at 13 meters, up from 10 meters