Overwatch 2 Season 3 patch notes: New map, Ranked changes, Mercy overhaul, buffs & nerfs, more

Nathan Warby
Overwatch 2 Mythic Genji skin

Blizzard’s Overwatch 2 Season 3 is set to be a big one with a ton of changes taking place. To help you out, here are the full patch notes for Overwatch 2 Season 3, including its start date, the new Antarctic Peninsula map, hero buffs and nerfs, and more.

Overwatch 2 Season 2 has wrapped up, with the second season having brought new hero Ramattra alongside the Winter Wonderland, Year of the Rabbit, and Battle For Olympus events.

With the end of Season 2, the Season 3 update has arrived. With an Asian mythology theme, Overwatch 2 Season 3 brings the new Antarctic Peninsula, the return of Overwatch Credits, a new Battle Pass, and some major hero buffs and nerfs.

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Here’s everything you need to know about Overwatch 2 Season 3 including the content and full patch notes.

Overwatch 2 Season 3 start date

Blizzard have finally declared that Overwatch 2 Season 3 will begin on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.

With previous knowledge of Overwatch 2 seasons and the game’s Battle Pass, fans had pretty much figured out that this would be the Season 3 start date. Then, Blizzard finally confirmed that February 7 is the date Overwatch fans have been waiting for.

Will there be a new Hero in Overwatch 2 Season 3?

New characters are always a major event whenever they come around, but, sadly, there won’t be a new Hero in Overwatch 2 Season 3 the devs have confirmed.

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Players have been used to new Heroes arriving with regularity every season, but the devs have confirmed that new maps and Heroes will alternate between seasons after Season 2 finishes.

Since we got Ramattra with the last major content release, players will have to wait until Season 4 to see the next big name arrive in Overwatch 2.

On the bright side, Overwatch 2 Commercial Lead, Jon Spector, did confirm in a Q&A with Inven that the next Hero will be a Support character when Season 4 finally rolls around.

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“Hero development takes a long time … Each hero role is properly harmonized and released in order. Ramatra is a Tank hero in Season 2, and we expect that the next hero will be a more solid support hero,” he said.

Ramattra in overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 Season 3: New Antarctic Peninsula map

Blizzard dropped an early bombshell ahead of the game’s roadmap reveal by showing off the new Antarctic Peninsula that will drop in Overwatch 2 Season 3.

The official teaser video might put a chill down the spine of players, but mainly because the whole map is filled with snow, ice, and harsh weather to engulf players as they battle in this new environment.

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For now, at least, the map is described as a “new Control map,” but could always be subject to change as time goes on.

Overwatch 2 Season 3 ranked changes

After complaints from players since the game’s launch, Blizzard will be making several changes to Overwatch 2’s Ranked setup.

This includes several small changes including the rate at which a player rank will refresh – it will now be shortened by several wins and losses – overall matchmaking, and new UI improvements to make tracking progress easier.

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Overwatch 2 Season 3 buffs & nerfs

Some major buffs and nerfs arrive in Overwatch 2 Season 3, completely reworking Mercy’s Passive.

With her Regeration Passive removed, Mercy has the new ‘Sympathetic Recovery’ Passive ability in Season 3, where she’ll now heal herself “for 25% of healing done with the Caduceus Staff.”

You can check out the rest of the hero buffs and nerfs in the full patch notes below.

Overwatch 2 Season 3 events

Of course, there are new events throughout Overwatch 2 Season 3. The new season brings a collab with One-Punch man and brings the ‘Loverwatch dating simulator’ to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Plus, PachiMarchi returns in March with rewards such as an “epic skin, six PachiMarchi player icons,” and more.

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Overwatch 2 brings the Loverwatch dating simulator on February 13.

Credits return in Overwatch 2 Season 3

In a surprising move, Credits will be making their return to Overwatch 2 and giving players another currency to be able to unlock more items.

The devs explained: “All players can earn up to 1500 credits as free rewards and another 500 credits as premium rewards spread throughout Season 3 Battle Pass. We are also adding more uses for your Credits so you can choose from many potential rewards.”

Overwatch 2 Season 3 patch notes

OVERWATCH 2, SEASON 3

Drop into season three to explore the depths of the coolest new control map, Antarctic Peninsula. Compete in limited-time in-game events, such as Ultimate Valentine. Customize your heroes with new skins and cosmetics from the Battle Pass and weekly Shop drops. Now earn Credits in the Battle Pass that can be redeemed for over 250 cosmetics from the original Overwatch , and go premium to get exclusive rewards, such as Mythic Amaterasu Kiriko.

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NEW MAP: ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

Journey across the frozen Antarctic Peninsula. Discover the abandoned station where the Overwatch Ecopoint team once searched for the source of a dangerous anomaly threatening the world and explore the wreckage of the icebreaker ship that failed to rescue Mei-Ling Zhou and her friends.

NEW FEATURE: STREAMER PROTECT

Players can now activate Streamer Protect options in-game settings. These options will provide players with ways to hide identifying information when livestreaming matches.

GENERAL UPDATES

Accessibility Improvements

  • Improved Subtitles Options: text scalability, character portrait icons, speaker name, text color, background color, and subtitle preview in the options menu
  • Added mouse cursor size setting for PC
  • Added setting to select custom colors for Group and Alert colors in the UI. Preview feature added to preview custom colors in the accessibility options

Challenges

  • Added challenges to unlock “Silhouette” player icons for all heroes
  • Added tracking for each of the roles for the Weekly “Role Mastery” challenge
  • Added Ramattra unlock challenges
  • Partial progress through the season three Battle Pass is now carried over to the “Wins for Ramattra” challenge

Endorsements

  • Players can now endorse the opposing team
  • All players can now be endorsed in Free-For-All game modes

Game Report

  • Players can view scoreboards from previous matches within the View Game Reports menu found in the History tab of the Career Profile

Mystery Heroes Changes

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  • Mystery heroes now limits each team to a maximum of three of each role
    Example: You are Reinhardt in Mystery Heroes. Your team also includes Mercy, Ana, and Lucio. When you die, you cannot respawn as a Support hero because there are already three Support heroes on your team. You will either be respawned as a Damage or a Tank hero
  • This new maximum role limit can be changed in Custom Games under Settings > Modes > All > Random Hero Role Limit Per Team,
    This setting only functions when the Respawn as Random Hero setting is enabled

Overwatch Credits are back

  • Overwatch Credits, which were previously labeled “Legacy Credits” and were not earnable in Overwatch 2, can now once again be earned through progressing in the Season 3 Battle Pass
  • All players can earn up to 1500 credits as free rewards, and another 500 credits are available as premium rewards in the Season 3 Battle Pass
  • Credits can be spent in the Hero Gallery, which now contains nearly all seasonal Epic and Legendary-tier skins released prior to the launch of Overwatch 2. This includes many skins that were previously only available for purchase with Coins in the “Just for You” section of our Shop

Ping System Update

  • Pressing Ability 1 or Ability 2 when the ping wheel is open and when these abilities are on cooldown now prints these cooldowns in chat
    Example: If Baptiste’s Immortality Field is on cooldown and you press the key/button to activate the ability while the Ping Wheel is open, the cooldown for the ability will be printed in chat

COMPETITIVE PLAY

Season 3 competitive play begins now! Here are some of the latest updates aimed at improving the competitive experience in Overwatch 2:

  • Skill tiers and divisions will adjust after every 5 wins or 15 losses and ties (formally 7 wins or 20 losses and ties)
  • Players can select the “View Competitive Progress” button from the Competitive menu to view their progress toward receiving a rank update

WORKSHOP UPDATES

  • Workshop Editor is back!

Workshop Moderation Tools

We added new menu options when reporting a player. Our goal is to give players more ways to report inappropriate behavior so that we can take action in a timely manner. As a result, you can select the category and sub-category that best explain why you are reporting the player or their custom content. The major categories include:

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  • Inappropriate Communication
  • Inappropriate Name
  • Cheating
  • Gameplay Sabotage
  • Inappropriate Custom Content

HERO UPDATES

ALL HEROES

  • Maximum ultimate charge retained when swapping heroes reduced from 30 to 25%

Developer Comment: As part of this patch, there was a tuning pass for how often ultimate abilities are being generated, so expect to see several ultimate cost adjustments across multiple heroes.

TANK ROLE PASSIVE

  • The health totals for all tank heroes will be lower when playing any game mode that does not have a role queue. Health totals will remain the same for tanks when playing any Role Queue enabled game.

Developer Comment: This change to the tank HP pools helps to address the relative power of those heroes in game modes where there can be multiple of them on the same team.

TANK

D.Va

  • Mech base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Mech base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200

Doomfist

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 450 to 300

Junkerqueen

  • Base health in Role Queue modes increased to 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 425 to 300

Developer Comment: The overall base health for Junkerqueen is increased by 25 HP.

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Orisa

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 275
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 275 to 125

Augmented Fusion Driver

  • Damage falloff range reduced from 25 to 15 meters

Ramattra

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 450 to 300

Annihilation

  • Damaging enemies with the ultimate now slows the duration timer down instead of pausing it entirely. Lasts up to 20 seconds
  • Ultimate cost increased 12%

Developer Comment: The idea of an ultimate ability potentially lasting forever is an exciting concept, but the reality is that if it’s too easy to do it causes a lot of frustrations and with Ramattra’s ultimate in particular, an excessive amount of visual noise. We’re limiting the maximum duration to 20 seconds, which is still highly impactful for most team fights, but it guarantees it’ll end in a reasonable amount of time.

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Reinhardt

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 325
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 325 to 175

Charge

  • Cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds

Fire Strike

  • Damage increased from 90 to 100

Earthshatter

  • Direct hit damage reduced from 250 to 170
  • Knockdown duration increased from 2.5 to 2.75 seconds
  • Ultimate cost increased 7%

Rocket Hammer

  • Knockback impulse reduced from 10 to 6

Developer Comment: In similar fashion to Roadhog’s Chain Hook combo changes last season, we’d generally like to avoid heroes in the Tank role from killing enemies in one shot. Earthshatter direct hit damage is being reduced with that goal in mind. In most cases, targets on the receiving end would die anyway during the knockdown stun, but it does open up some potential for their allies to intervene.

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For now, we’re fine with Charge pin staying lethal to many characters due to the difficulty and risk involved. The Fire Strike damage increase does mean it could once again one-shot when combined with Baptiste’s Amplification Matrix, but that requires an ultimate combo with another hero. We’ll see how it plays out and adjust if necessary.

The Rocket Hammer knockback reduction sounds like a loss of power though it is actually aiming to reduce the number of times Reinhardt accidentally knocks enemies out of his melee range.

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Roadhog

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 700
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 700 to 550

Whole Hog

  • Maximum duration increased from 6 to 8 seconds
  • Ultimate cost increased 8%

Developer Comment: Allowing Roadhog to use abilities during his ultimate made it much more reliable in a solo tank environment, though doing so was often much like just canceling the ultimate as it ran out of time. We’re adding a couple seconds to the maximum duration to increase the flexibility of player choices during the Whole Hog ultimate, but we’ll keep an eye on if it’s simply too much damage or knockback overall.

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Sigma

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200

Gravitic Flux

  • Ultimate cost increased 7%

Winston

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 350
  • Base health in none non-Role Queue modes reduced from 350 to 200

Barrier Projector

  • Health reduced from 700 to 650

Wrecking Ball

  • Base health in Role Queue modes reduced from 600 to 450
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 600 to 300
  • Shield health increased from 0 to 150

Pile Driver

  • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds

Minefield

  • Ultimate cost increased 9%
  • Arming time reduced from 1.5 to 1 second

Developer Comments: Wrecking Ball received some of the fewest changes in the transition to 5v5 as he proved to be one of the most effective solo tanks in early testing. His extreme mobility and massive health pool enable him to choose when to fight much more freely than other heroes. These changes are aimed at reducing his downtime so he can press that advantage even further. The regenerating shield health pool often leads to not needing to search for as many health packs before getting back in position.

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Zarya

  • Base health in Role Queue modes remains the same at 250
  • Base health in non-Role Queue modes reduced from 250 to 100

Graviton Surge

Ultimate cost increased 8%

DAMAGE

Cassidy

Combat Roll

  • Movement is no longer blocked by enemy player collision

Peacekeeper

  • Primary fire falloff range increased from 20 to 25 meters

Developer Comment: Combat Roll not being blocked by players is mostly a small quality-of-life change to make the ability feel smoother, particularly when rolling in a direction that you’re not facing.

Junkrat

Concussion Mine

  • Maximum damage reduced from 120 to 100

Developer Comment: As the Concussion Mine already has damage falloff the further from the explosion the enemy player is, lowering the maximum damage will require Junkrat to be slightly more accurate to achieve the same lethality with some of his combos.

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Mei

Blizzard

  • Ultimate cost reduced 5%

Pharah

Barrage

  • Ultimate cost reduced 5%

Reaper

Death Blossom

  • Ultimate cost reduced 8%

Soldier:76

Heavy Pulse Rifle

  • Number of shots to reach maximum recoil increased from 4 to 6
  • Recoil reduced 12%

Developer Comment: This is more an adjustment for the gun feels rather than strictly trying to add power, but it does have an effect on both. It makes the weapon handle more similar to the original version in that you can burst fire more accurately before the recoil kicks in.

Sombra

Machine Pistol

  • Damage per projectile increased from 7 to 7.5

Hack

  • Health pack hacked duration increased from 30 to 45 seconds

Developer Comments: Sombra is underperforming after her last round of changes. While we make progress on a small rework for her abilities, this damage increase will help strengthen Sombra even against targets that aren’t affected by her Hack effect. It’s a small increase per projectile, but it adds up quickly due to her fast fire rate. The health pack duration increase is a minor buff to avoid needing to re-hack them quite so often.

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Symmetra

Photon Barrier

  • Ultimate cost increased 10%

Torbjorn

Deploy Turret

  • Turret base health reduced from 250 to 225

Developer Comment: With the move to 5v5 and one less player to shoot at it, Torbjorn’s turret tends to survive longer than ever. We’re reducing its health slightly to help it feel less like a sixth player and be easier to deal with once someone turns their attention to it.

Widowmaker

  • Base health reduced from 200 to 175

Developer Comment: We experimented with Widowmaker at 200 health for a while due to concerns that the increased power of tanks made her too vulnerable to them. Ultimately she gains more advantages from 5v5 than she loses so we’re returning her back to 175 HP to better enable more heroes to contest her lethal ranged capabilities.

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SUPPORT

Ana

Biotic Grenade

  • Effect duration reduced from 4 to 3.5 seconds

Brigitte

Repair Pack

  • Healing over time reduced from 55 to 50 per second
  • Applying a Repair Pack now instantly heals for 25 health on impact

Rally

  • Ultimate cost reduced 10%

Developer Comment: Repair Pack having a small amount of instant healing will help Brigitte have more agency in saving an injured ally and generally makes the ability feel more responsive and impactful.

Lucio

Sound Barrier

  • Ultimate cost reduced 7%

Mercy

Guardian Angel

  • Cooldown increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds
  • Holding the backwards directional input and canceling the ability with Jump now moves 20% slower

Caduceus Staff

  • Healing-per-second reduced from 55 to 45
  • Healing is increased by 50% for allies under half health

Regeneration Passive

  • Regeneration Passive removed

New Passive: “Sympathetic Recovery”

  • Mercy heals herself for 25% of healing done with the Caduceus Staff

Developer Comment: Replacing Mercy’s Regeneration passive with a more interesting interaction was something we wanted to do after all support heroes gained a similar version of it through their Role Passive.

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For the Caduceus Staff change, this will empower Mercy even more as a triage healer and enable her to more often save low health allies. The overall time it takes to fully heal a 200-health hero from 1 hp is about the same as before.

For Guardian Angel, the cooldown increase is necessary to reduce the greatly increased mobility resulting from the recent rework to the jump cancel. It enabled Mercy to quickly launch herself long distances in any direction and be overly evasive for such a short downtime.

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Moira

Coalescence

  • Ultimate cost reduced 5%

Zenyatta

Orb of Destruction

  • Ammo increased from 20 to 25

Developer Comment: We’ve been discussing options to potentially increase Zenyatta’s survivability. We’ve seen previously in the beta that Zenyatta is on somewhat of a knife’s edge for balance. Even just 25 more shield health pushed him into overpowered-must-pick territory at the pro level. To balance his powerful damage output, the lack of mobility is an intentional disadvantage by design, so we’d prefer not to change that too much. Instead, we’re adding more ammo to lengthen the times between when Zenyatta is most vulnerable, which is when he is reloading.

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SEASON 3 MAP POOLS

Push

  • New Queen Street – Morning
  • Colosseo – Morning (NEW)
  • Esperança – Morning

Hybrid

  • Blizzard World – Morning
  • King’s Row – Evening
  • Midtown – Morning
  • Numbani – Morning
  • Paraíso – Morning

Escort

  • Dorado – Night
  • Havana – Night (NEW)
  • Junkertown – Morning
  • Circuit royal – Morning (NEW)
  • Rialto – Morning
  • Shambali Monastery – Night

Control

  • Antarctic Peninsula – Night (NEW MAP)
  • Ilios – Morning
  • Lijiang Tower – Night
  • Nepal – Evening
  • Oasis – Evening

BUG FIXES

GENERAL

Ping System

  • Unified the range for most targeted ally pings to 35 meters
  • Fixed D.Va hearing the “Behind You” VO in unintended circumstances when enemies are pinged
  • Fixed a bug where pings could be fired by the Communication Wheel if the Ping Wheel had been canceled (by not moving the mouse or with a manual cancel)
  • Fixed free camera spectators hearing “Need Healing/Need Help” sound effects (not voice-over) if the hero requesting healing was injured and within 30 meters of the spectator’s free cam
  • Fixed Mercy’s Soul Pings not displaying her Resurrect cooldown time remaining in some circumstances
  • Made all pings available to be placed in the Communication Wheel
  • Fixed the issue where OW1 players with pings in the Communication Wheel couldn’t change their options in the Communications menu
  • Fixed self-pings being able to fire Hero-specific pings (Example: Group Up could cause Mercy to say she’d like to Resurrect a teammate)

Other Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where some players were unable to receive or send invites
  • Fixed an issue with Junkerqueen’s Mythic skin ‘Zeus’ not having glowing hair on console
  • Resolved a bug where all maps were toggled off by default when starting a new Custom Game
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes Health Packs were displaying the cooldown circle while the health pack was available
  • Fixed a bug where the Social Screen would not display friends correctly on some consoles
  • Improved the performance when viewing the friend’s section of the Competitive leaderboard
  • Fixed an issue with Cyber Genji displaying broken animations when using emotes or souvenirs
  • Healing VFX on players being healed should no longer clip through the environment
  • Resolved an issue with the level of bloom on several maps

MAPS

Blizzard World

  • Fixed lighting in several areas around the map

Busan

  • Meka Base: Fixed areas near forklifts that players could become stuck on

Dorado

  • Fixed lighting in some areas of the map

Esperança

  • Fixed some areas that should have been slippery for players but were not
  • Fixed some areas where players could become stuck
  • Added a missing flag to the loading screen of Esperança

Oasis

  • City Center: Fixed several reflection issues
  • Gardens: Fixed multiple lighting issues

Colosseo

  • Fixed ambient lighting across the map

Shambali Monastery

  • Fixed areas of the map that should have been slippery but were not
  • Fixed areas of the map that allowed players to leave the playable space
  • Fixed areas players could become stuck
  • General bug fixes across the map

HEROES

Ana

  • Fixed a bug with Ana’s OWL skins missing their eyepatch

Doomfist

  • Fixed an issue where Doomfist would spawn with an empowered punch if killed by the environment while blocking
  • Fixed a bug where Environmental eliminations from Rocket Punch were not credited if the target slammed into a wall before dying
  • Fixed a bug where Seismic Slam would sometimes fail to break breakables
  • Resolved an issue with Seismic Slam not animating correctly when used to cancel Rocket Punch
  • Fixed an instance where Doomfist could use Primary Fire during the Meteor Strike outro animation

Genji

  • Fixed a bug to make Genji’s attack animations smoother

Junkerqueen

  • (Fixed in a previous update) Fixed an issue where Carnage could activate the cooldown reduction on non-player objects

Junkrat

  • Fixed an issue with Steel Trap sometimes failing to place

Kiriko

  • Fixed an issue where using Swift Step would sometimes cause Kiriko to fall through the map
  • Fixed an issue where Swift Step was missing effects when arriving at the target
  • Hero Melee animations should animate more consistently when under the effect of Kitsune Rush

Mercy

  • Fixed a bug where Mercy’s heal target would heal to full if the Mercy player disconnects from the game if they were actively healing

Moira

  • Fixed an issue where Coalescence was not benefiting from Kitsune Rush

Ramattra

  • Fixed a bug with Ravenous Vortex not spawning if it gets stuck between the Push bot and the barrier it pushes
  • Fixed a bug where damage from some abilities was not counting toward the ‘Incomparable Pain’ achievement
  • Fixed an issue with the Heroic Highlight Intro being blurry in the Hero Gallery

Sigma

  • Fixed an issue where Sigma’s Hyperspheres were sometimes missing

Sombra

  • Fixed a bug with Sombra’s Passive tooltip displaying the incorrect value

Symmetra

  • Symmetra can no longer fire her Photon Projector while casting Photon Barrier

For more on Overwatch 2, be sure to check out some of our other guides for the game:

Best Overwatch 2 PC settings | Overwatch 2 crossplay | Is Overwatch 2 free-to-play? | How to get Golden Guns in Overwatch 2 | Best Overwatch 2 Heroes | Who is the most popular Overwatch 2 Heroes | How to check your rank in Overwatch 2 | Is Overwatch 2 split-screen? | How to spectate matches in Overwatch 2

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Image credits: Blizzard Entertainment

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About The Author

Nathan is a Senior Writer for CharlieIntel and Dexerto, primarily covering FIFA and Call of Duty, as well as general gaming news and guides. After leaving university with a degree in Sports Studies and a master's degree in Magazine Journalism, he took on a role as a local news reporter before moving into games media. You can contact Nathan by email at [email protected].