Looking back at 5 years of Overwatch’s Halloween Terror

Which year had the best skins?

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Overwatch‘s Halloween Terror, the game’s yearly Halloween event that brings new skins, new game modes, and an air of all-around spookiness.

In honor of the anniversary, we’re taking a look at each year’s Halloween content to celebrate how far we’ve come—and to speculate on what Overwatch 2 will do for its Halloween events.

Halloween Terror 2016

The year 2016 was a magical time to be an Overwatch player. It seemed like everyone on the planet was playing the game and fans were eagerly awaiting what Blizzard would reveal for the game’s first Halloween event.

Blizzard delivered. The mode launched with several now-iconic skins, including Witch Mercy and Junkenstein’s Monster Roadhog, and a variety of spooky sprays, victory poses, and voice lines. Blizzard also released a comic, titled Junkenstein, that provided the “origin story” behind all of the event’s legendary skins.

Additionally, Halloween Terror 2016 arrived with the aptly-titled Junkenstein’s Revenge, Overwatch‘s first PvE mode. Four players could team up cooperatively and play as Ana, McCree, Soldier 76, or Hanzo to keep Dr. Junkenstein’s endless hordes of Zomnics from breaching the walls of Eichenwalde. Players loved it: It was fun, unique, and different enough from the game’s modes at the time that many players asked Blizzard to make the mode permanent. Though Junkenstein’s Revenge remains a seasonal mode, its influence can be seen in the upcoming Overwatch 2’s PvE gameplay.

Halloween Terror 2017

Halloween Terror 2017 wasn’t quite as revolutionary as 2016’s event. Most players had seen all the events the game had to offer by then and were very much anticipating the return of Junkenstein’s Revenge. The spring Anniversary event had also given most players the chance to purchase some of the Halloween Terror 2016 skins that they missed.

Even so, Blizzard released some awesome new skins for 2017, like Dragon Symmetra, Corsair Ana, and Cultist Zenyatta. The developer also “spooky-fied” the Eichenwalde and Hollywood maps for the event, giving some flair to the game’s fighting grounds. Finally, there was a sequel to the Junkenstein comic titled The Return of Junkenstein, which continued the story from the previous year.

Halloween Terror 2018

By 2018, fans knew what to expect from Halloween Terror events: great skins, Junkenstein’s Revenge, and other fun seasonal goodies. The 2018 event added Tracer and Brigitte to the roster of heroes that could compete in the PvE mode and introduced skins like Banshee Moira, Swamp Monster Doomfist, and Bride Sombra to showcase some of the game’s newer heroes.

Overwatch‘s Deathmatch mode, which was introduced in late 2017, was also given a fresh coat of paint for the event. Like Eichenwalde and Hollywood before it, the Deathmatch map Château Guillard was transformed into a spooky mansion to celebrate Halloween.

Halloween Terror 2019

Halloween Terror 2019 introduced spooky-themed weekly challenges to earn cosmetics. The Demon Hunter Sombra skin, which was previously a BlizzCon exclusive, could now be earned by winning nine games in a week during 2019’s event. Inferno Junkrat and Vampire Baptiste could be earned the same way, albeit during two different weeks.

Alongside these new challenges came the usual spate of new skins, including some for heroes that had already received Halloween skins in past years, like Ana and Widowmaker. New Halloween skins also went to Ashe with Warlock Ashe, Orisa with Demon Orisa, and Lucio with Gorgon Lucio. As usual, the Junkenstein’s Revenge event made a return, allowing players to flex their PvE muscles once again.

Halloween Terror 2020

In 2020, Junkenstein’s Revenge was starting to get a little stale. To shake things up, Blizzard brought weekly challenges to the game that tweaked how it played. For example, in the first week of the event, Zomnics moved faster and players were chased by a ghost. In the second week, Zomnics could explode when they got close to players and the party was reduced to three players. But in return, each player dealt more damage. Baptiste and Ashe were also added to the mode’s playable roster to give players more variety.

The 2020 Halloween skins were heavily influenced by cultural mythology and superstition, including Karasu-Tengu Genji, Dai-Tengu Hanzo, and Shin-Ryeong D.Va. Winston also received a werewolf-themed skin, a nod to his dual personalities, while Sigma got a pirate-themed Flying Dutchman skin. Like 2019’s event, a handful of other skins could be earned in weekly challenges by winning nine games per week.

Halloween Terror 2021

This year’s Halloween Terror, which just started a few days ago, sees the return of the remixed Junkenstein’s Revenge alongside even more new skins. (Will Blizzard ever run out of ideas?) Like in 2020, the PvE mode will feature a rotating selection of tweaks and changes to keep things fresh for the whole event.

There are also new skins awarded for completing weekly challenges, including Skeleton Genji, Clown Roadhog (which looks a lot like Stephen King villain Pennywise), and Einherjar Zarya. Other new skins include Vampire Hunter Brigitte, Vampire Bat Echo, and Coffin Bastion. At this point, it seems like just about every hero has a Halloween skin.


What are you hoping for in 2022’s event? Will Overwatch even have a Halloween Terror 2022 if Overwatch 2 comes out before October? Fans will simply have to wait and see.