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Overwatch 2’s mid-season update brings back Mei and nerfs Zarya

Anyone on a pre-paid phone plan should be able to play now, too

The mid-cycle patch for hero shooter Overwatch 2 has arrived to bring balance adjustments for multiple characters, and free Mei from her downtime at last. In particular, Zarya’s particle barrier duration has been reduced, so you should have an easier team taking her on in future. Blizzard announced there’d be a delay to the balance adjustment update earlier this week, which had been scheduled for November 15th.

Vid bud Liam enjoys Overwatch 2, but doesn't rate it as a true sequel to the original.

We’ve been expecting these hero rebalances since Blizzard had a change of heart at the end of last month, when they’d previously said there’d be no need to adjust any heroes until Season 2 arrives in December. Mei was temporarily removed from Overrwatch 2’s hero roster at the beginning of this month due to issues with her ice wall ability. At the time, Blizzard said they’d try to get her back in action by the time the mid-season update rolled around this week.

You should find taking on console players a little trickier now, too. The patch has enabled auto-aim by default in casual modes for crossplay lobbies. Blizzard say they’ve also fiddled with matchmaking for competitive play, with “numerous adjustments” to how a player’s skill tier and division are worked out. Oh, and players on pre-paid phone plans, or pay as you go as it’s known over here, will be relieved to hear that Overwatch 2’s SMS Protect access is now enabled worldwide after registration issues at the game’s launch.

Overwatch 2 is free to play from Battle.net. You can read all the various bug fixes in Blizzard’s full patch notes for the update here.


Activision Blizzard are currently the subject of a number of legal actions, labour disputes and allegations of workplace harassment. Rock Paper Shotgun will continue to write about these issues, as well as covering Activision Blizzard games as part of our commitment to cover subjects of interest to our readers. The latest news can always be found under our Activision Blizzard tag.

About the Author
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CJ Wheeler

News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.

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