Every year, the Overwatch development team produces a new slew of cosmetics and skins for their various heroes.
Some skins are released on their own, some skins are used for promotional events, and the rest are released during seasonal events. This year the Overwatch team released some truly amazing skins.
Here are the best Overwatch hero skins released during 2020.
The D.Va Shin-Ryeong skin was brought to the game during the 2020 Halloween Terror event. Inspired by guardian anime, this skin depicts D.Va as a spirit fox girl mid-transformation, showing her fox ears and six of her fox tails. Her mech is a haunted temple adorned with candles, a stone tile roof, and a beautiful wooden finish.
According to an interview with the artist who designed this skin, David Kang, his goal was to depict the nine-tailed fox myth common in other video games, but he wanted to depict her part way through her transformation with a much darker tone. This spirit fox skin isn’t just one of the best skins released in 2020, it is one of the best skins ever added to Overwatch.
This year’s Atlantic All-Stars skin is absolutely incredible. The theme of the 2020 All-Stars skins was heaven and earth. The Reinhardt Atlantic skin, Gaia, obviously represents earth. It depicts Reinhardt as a mythical protector the forest, wielding a massive magically infused wooden hammer.
The design draws heavily upon Germanic and Celtic artwork and folklore, which is perfect for Reinhardt who is German. Nowhere is the Celtic influence more clear than on the tree on his chest which features a very traditional Celtic tree design. This skin also features Reinhardt in deer antlers, which is another addition from northern European folklore. On top of all that, they added a magical leaf aura that remains around Reinhardt’s head, indicating that he is a magical fae character.
The D.Va 2020 Pacific All-Stars skin represents heaven. This skin is inspired by Asian mythology of the heavens and depicts D.Va as a celestial deity from the sky. This incredibly polished and beautiful skin features carefully curved angles and a gorgeous white, gold, and blue color palette. The shoulders of the mech resemble clouds and golden wings rest on the crown of the machine. The character models for both D.Va and her MEKA also feature an animated starry sky texture. This is a top-tier skin and is surely one of the best skins of 2020.
Surf’s Up Echo
The Surf’s Up skin for Echo was added into the game during the 2020 Summer Games event. This very cool summer-themed skin transforms Echo’s wings into surf boards and adds a cool water texture to her head and body. With its bright yellow to orange gradients and bright blue accent colors, this skin definitely sells those summer beach sunset vibes.
The Overwatch team has released many skins for Hammond, but it really outdid itself with the Submarine Hammond. This adorable skin features Hammond as a submarine pilot with a mustache and captain’s uniform, and his mech as an early, old-school submarine. When in ball form, his mech looks reasonably similar to David Bushnell’s Turtle submarine, circa 1776. This nautically themed skin features all sorts of cool details, including cool lights, a hatch, and even a starfish holding on for dear life.
Reaper’s Masquerade skin was released for the 2020 Anniversary event. The skin depicts the Talon hero in 19th century scarlet formal wear, donning a mask over the eyes of a skeletal head, on top of which rests a bright red hat embellished with two bright yellow feathers. With this outfit, Reaper is more than ready to attend a masquerade ball in in the 1850s.
This skin is beautiful and even contains some clever literary references. For one, on the bottom of his shotgun there is an inscription which reads “Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men.” This is a reference to the Phantom of the Opera, when the ghost who is wearing the cloths of Red Death says this very quote. The skin name itself is a reference to the Masque of the Red Death, a book written by Edgar Allen Poe.
Sand Castle Bastion
First released during the 2020 Summer Games event, the Sand Castle Bastion skin transforms the omnic hero into a playful sand castle, replete with various brightly colored plastic buckets and plastic joints to ensure the integrity of the castle build. This skin is a very creative and fun depiction of Bastion which transforms the character with a whole new theme. In some ways, this skin is reminiscent of the Lego Bastion skin from 2019, which also sought to transform the turret hero into something more playful.
Mardi Gras Ashe
Next on our list is Ashe’s Mardi Gras skin. This skin could be unlocked during the Ashe’s Mardi Gras Challenge which took place from Feb. 25 through March 9.
In this skin, Ashe wears leather legging and a leather vest, all in green, purple, and gold. Under that vest she wears a white button up shirt with a golden bowtie. She tops this all off with a purple top hat trimmed in gold and green and a black mask for her eyes.
Bob is wearing a tinier version of her purple hat, a gold mask, and massive green and gold beads around his neck. The high quality of fashion on display in this Ashe skin betrays her tremendous wealth and her flamboyant sense of style during Mardi Gras.
The Huitzilopochtli skin for Zenyatta was added in the Anniversary event. This skin depicts Zenyatta as the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, which is also sometimes spelled Uitzilopochtli. Huitzilopochtli was the god of the sun and war in ancient Mexico and is traditionally depicted with bird features, since his name means Hummingbird. This Zenyatta skin features the god’s headdress and is dressed in traditional Aztec stylings. This is a very cool theme which was executed gracefully.
Ana’s Sniper skin was added to the game during the 2020 Overwatch Archives event. This is one of the few skins which depicts a young Ana in her element during the early years of Overwatch before she went into exile.
The skin features a desert camo outfit for Ana which would allow her to blend in to sandy environments. The coolest aspect of this skin is the entirely unique gun. This skin features Ana’s original sniper rifle, which looks totally different from the default rifle. While playing the game, this gun has a totally different look in first person, making it a unique alternative to the standard Ana in-game view.
Face Changer Sombra
Face Changer was added during the 2020 Lunar New Year event and is perhaps the most unique skin available to Sombra. This skin features six unique faces which are based on Bian Lian or “face changing,” which is a subgenre of Sichuan opera which originated during the Qing Dynasty in the seventeenth Century. The performance in Bian Lian involves the use of constant and sometimes rapid face mask changes throughout the performance of a story.
This Sombra skin features six different masks which Sombra cycles through during game play. The changing face is a feature unlike any other skin in the game and as such is notable. To learn more about the rich history and culture behind Bian Lian, check out the Overwatch team’s blog post about this skin.
Echo was released during 2020, so technically all of her skins qualify to appear on this list. The Butterfly skin was one of Echo’s original four legendary skins. This version of Echo transforms the character from a form-focused robot into a beautiful, organic, freaky bug monster with butterfly wings, a thorax, and antenna. All of this is completed with a bright green and soft purple color scheme that is absolutely delightful.
Comic Book Tracer
The Comic Book Tracer skin was released as part of Tracer’s Comic Challenge, an event that took place in mid-September. That event was designed to help promote the latest Overwatch comic books, which are currently in the midst of a run dedicated to the backstory of Overwatch’s cover art hero, Tracer.
The skin features a light blue and pink color palette. On her guns and arms there are various comic book sound effects written, such as “Bang,” “Zap,” and “Pow.” Her leggings are made up of panels for comic books that are actually about Tracer. Top all of that off with her bright red running shoes, and you have one of the most fun Tracer skins in the game.
The Thunder Doomfist skin was released in March and is the San Francisco Shock’s 2019 championship skin. The concept artists chose to make a skin for Doomfist, since he was an essential hero in the meta during the Shock’s 2019 championship win. According to the skin designers, the idea behind this character design is that Doomfist is a molten lava person inside a rock body with a gold and obsidian gauntlet. His abilities are all infused with an electric aura.
Doomfist’s ultimate ability and several other features in the skin reference the Shock. When he smashes into the ground during his ultimate, he leaves behind a SF for San Francisco on the ground. He also has a subtle Shock logo on his forehead and another one on his belt buckle. This skin is one of the most unique and interesting Doomfist skins in the game.