During an Overwatch 2 player-versus-player livestream, Overwatch 2 game director Aaron Keller announced teams in the upcoming game will be decreased to five players instead of the first entry’s six-character team size.
“Overwatch has changed over time. We’ve gone from having no hero limits… to having a hero limit. We ended up introducing a role lock over the course of the game.” says Keller. We feel like this is the next step in the way Overwatch ought to be played.”
Keller also adds more specific reasoning behind the decrease in team size. Much of it boils down to making the player experience less overwhelming. Even for a game that aims for simplicity, it can get really difficult to read everything that is happening in any given match.
“We always tried to make out combat easy to read and very understandable. And even with all of the work that we’ve put into that, sometimes it’s just hard to track what eleven other players are doing on the battlefield,” says Keller. “Removing two of those simplifies everything, and it allows players to understand everything that’s happening around them and to be able to make better choices because of it.”
In its current form, Overwatch teams are comprised of six players made up of two support characters, two damage dealers, and two tanks. Overwatch 2‘s format will be the same minus one tank. Blizzard did confirm that other team formats were tested, including a four-player and seven-player team meta. However, it seems the new five-player team limit was the best of the bunch.
The livestream also revealed new gameplay of Overwatch 2, which included another look at the new game mode Push. The game’s Twitter account has also been giving glimpses of the new maps, as well as the changes being made to its characters, including Winston and Mei.