Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 map pools to be removed later this year

The door can hit them on the way out.

Many of the Overwatch 2 developer blogs posted this week have focused on what’s coming in the quickly-approaching season three, set to launch on Feb. 7. 

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To close out the week, though, game director Aaron Keller looked to the future and commented on a few perpetual pain points that fans have asked about. In the newest “Director’s Take” blog, Keller touched on some issues regarding maps within Overwatch 2

The biggest news for players is that map pools—a very contentious feature added in the game’s sequel—will be eliminated in season four, which should begin in mid-April. With map pools, certain maps were taken out of the rotation in each season to create a more specific selection. In theory, this would allow players to get used to the maps and learn them better for competitive play. But in execution, it apparently didn’t work out that way. 

“You were right. We were wrong,” Keller said, fulfilling the dreams of thousands of Overwatch 2 fans who are always convinced they’re right when giving critiques about the game. 

Keller went on to note that the game doesn’t have enough maps to truly justify using map pools. He did, however, note that the idea may return in the future when Overwatch 2 has more maps to use. “If we were to bring them back, they would probably rotate at a faster rate, potentially every week,” he said.  

Players are often convinced that certain maps appear more frequently than others and have dinged the development team for that fact. Keller clarified today that this isn’t intentional, but that the game’s matchmaker “tries to avoid people playing the same map as well as the same game mode over a short period of time.” Because of this, Push maps appeared at a higher frequency due to how few of them currently exist in the game. 

Conspiracy theorists got a slight win with that admission, but Keller noted that this will be “mitigated” in a future season. 

Other future changes include an issue with spawn points, especially on Escort or Hybrid maps. For most of Overwatch’s lifespan, if a player dies as the opposing team takes a point, there’s a chance that player spawns at the previous spawn point instead of the new one. In a later season, the team will be taking a look at this and will attempt to improve it. 

Players have also noted that the latest events focused too heavily on event-specific modes, like the most recent Battle for Olympus. Future events will “include more challenges that let you play the way you prefer” instead of focusing so hard on limited-time modes. 

Though it’s been discussed in the developer roadmaps about Overwatch 2’s future, Keller reminded players of a big feature coming later in the year in this blog: A new game mode, which comes with new maps, is scheduled for a seasonal release sometime in 2023. 


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Author
Liz Richardson
Liz is a freelance writer and editor from Chicago. Her favorite thing is the Overwatch League; her second favorite thing is pretending iced coffee is a meal. She specializes in educational content, patch notes that (actually) make sense, and aggressively supporting Tier 2 Overwatch. When she's not writing, Liz is expressing hot takes on Twitter and making bad life choices at Target.