Overwatch devs tweak hero health pools in latest experimental patch

The patch features adjustments for Baptiste, McCree, Mei, and more.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The Overwatch development team released a new experimental patch today. The patch made a number of notable adjustments, particularly focusing on small, specific balance changes to the health pools of various characters.

“We’re experimenting with some max health adjustments in 25 HP increments to allow for more fine tuning of heroes’ power,” the developers said in the patch notes. “Until now this was done in 50 HP increments to help simplify the understanding how many hits an enemy hero could withstand.”

The new changes provide incremental adjustments to various heroes in an attempt to make more nuanced and subtle changes to hero power. Smaller changes have a smaller probability of making dramatic shifts in the metagame and allow the developers to fine-tune the balance of the game, instead of making drastic changes that introduce even more balance issues.

Here are the notes for today’s Overwatch experimental patch.

Hero updates


The developers made some minor adjustments to Baptiste’s Biotic Launcher. His primary fire recovery time was reduced from 0.45 to 0.38 seconds and his damage was reduced from 25 to 24. His secondary fire, on the other hand, saw its recovery increased slightly from 0.8 to 0.9 seconds, and the healing of each shot increased from his secondary fire jumped from 50 to 60. 

The width of his Amplification Matrix received a significant buff, with the developers nearly doubling its width from five to nine meters. This should make Baptiste an overall more powerful hero with a much more useful ultimate ability.

“We’re trying out some adjustments to Baptiste’s Biotic Launcher firing cadence that will make dealing damage quicker and landing a healing grenade more impactful,” the patch notes read. “His Amplification Matrix was sometimes difficult to utilize for his allies without gathering very closely together so we’ve made it much wider.”


Brig had her base health increased from 150 to 175. Brigitte saw her base health reduced from 200 to 150 a few months ago after she once again overtook the Overwatch and Overwatch League meta during the summer. This adjustment will give her a little bit of that health back, making her slightly less squishy in teamfights.


McCree had his health increased from 200 to 225. If this minor buff is added to the game, it’ll make him slightly tankier than his other hit scan counterparts and set him apart as the best frontline hit scan hero.

McCree also saw a small buff to his Peacekeeper revolver. His reload time was reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1.2 seconds, which will slightly increase his possible damage per second.


Mei received a buff to her Cryo-Freeze ability. Now when she uses her iceblock ability, she’ll restore 15 ammo per second in addition to the restoration of her health. This adjustment is designed to balance out a previous change to Mei where the developers made her primary fire burn through ammo more quickly.

“Since we previously made Mei’s primary fire relatively more expensive, she spends more time out of ammo and this was particularly noticeable when unable to reload while in Cryo-Freeze,” the patch notes read. “To help smooth out this gameplay she now regains some ammo during Cryo-Freeze.”

The experimental patch also included a minor buff to Mei’s Ice Wall. The ability cooldown for Ice Wall was decreased from 13 to 12 seconds.


Symmetra saw an increase in her base shields from 100 to 125. Although her overall health pool remains essentially the same, this buff will make Sym more self-reliant because a greater portion of her health will recharge on its own. 


Perhaps the most surprising change in the experimental patch was the reduction of Widowmaker’s health pool from a full 200 to 175 health. This makes Widow significantly more fragile and may even force many Widowmaker players to switch up their playstyle since they’ll likely have to rely even more on their team to protect them. The squishier version of Widow also further differentiates McCree from the other snipers since he’d have a full 50 more health than Widow if these experimental changes go live.

The experimental patch is available to be played right now on the live servers.