Overwatch 2 Season 4: Expected start date, new Hero, map changes & more

Nathan Warby
Kiriko in Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 Season 4 is right around the corner and it’s set to be a major content drop for Blizzard’s hero shooter. Here’s everything we know about Overwatch 2 Season 4 so far, from the expected start date to new character details.

When it arrived back in February, Overwatch 2 Season 3 was one of the biggest updates to hit the sequel so far. It brought the new Antarctic Peninsula map and the return of Credits, as well as major events like Loverwatch and the One Punch Man crossover.

But players are always looking ahead, and Overwatch 2 Season 4 is on its way to deliver even more fresh content.

Here’s a breakdown of everything coming in Overwatch 2 Season 4, including a new Hero and Ranked mode changes.

Overwatch 2 Season 4 expected start date

Overwatch 2 Season 4 is expected to begin on Wednesday, April 14, 2023, as this is when the current Season Battle Pass timer is set to expire. Each OW2 season tends to last for exactly nine weeks, so this would line up with the date mentioned.

However, nothing has been confirmed by Blizzard just yet and there’s every chance that it could be delayed if the update isn’t ready. We’ll be sure to update this section as soon as we know more, which will likely be when the trailer drops on April 6, 2023.

Overwatch 2 Season 4 new Support Hero: Lifewaver

After making no changes to the roster in Overwatch 2 Season 3, Blizzard is finally releasing new Support Hero in Season 4 known as Lifeweaver.

This new Support Hero is equipped with abilities and weapons that allow him to excel at healing his teammates and being mobile. If you’re interested in the new Support Hero’s kit in Overwatch 2, check out our guide on Lifeweaver.

overwatch 2 lifeweaver
Lifeweaver arrives in Overwatch 2 Season 4.

Map pools removed in Overwatch 2 Season 4

While Overwatch 2 Season 4 is adding plenty of new content, it’s also doing away with a feature that’s less popular – map pools. Since the sequel was released, each season has come with a limited number of maps included in the rotation, while others are temporarily removed.

The community largely disliked the change, insisting that they wanted every map to be in the mix at the same time to keep things fresh. In a February blog post, Aaron Keller confirmed that map pools will be a thing of the past once Season 4 gets underway.

He said: “You were right. We were wrong. Map Pools are going away starting in season 4. We aimed to provide a bit of freshness each season and concentrate the number of maps that people were playing, however player sentiment around map pools was pretty low, the map roster doesn’t have enough maps where we truly need them, and the impact they had on seasonal identity was fairly low.”

Antarctica map in OverwatchAll Overwatch 2 maps will be included in Season 4.

Keller went on to say that map pools could make a return down the line if the number of maps becomes too large, but these would be more likely to refresh weekly rather than every season.

Overwatch 2 Season 4 Ranked changes

Overwatch 2’s Competitive mode will be receiving some much-awaited changes in the Season 4 update. The biggest of these is the removal of a partial rating reset at the beginning of a new season. Starting from Season 4, your rank won’t reset seasonally, and climbing to the higher ranks should become easier.

While rank resets will be gone in Season 4, Blizzard is still looking for a way to incorporate them in the long run. In another blog post, Blizzard Director Aaron Keller clarified that the team is still discussing the matter internally and that yearly resets might be implemented.

Moreover, Overwatch 2 Season 4 will show players exactly where they are ranked within an SR tier after leveling up, offering a much better idea of how close they are to slipping back down.

Another major addition that could be included is harsher penalties for those who leave Ranked matches early. At the moment, anyone who quits mid-game receives a 75% experience cut and can be banned from joining new matches for a certain length of time.

Following complaints that players were still leaving early, especially towards the end of seasons, the devs revealed they were “considering” making penalties carry over from season to season.

That was everything we know about Overwatch 2 Season 4 so far. We’re expecting more details to emerge close to the release date, so we’ll be sure to keep this page updated with any news.

In the meantime, take a look at the rest of our Overwatch 2 guides:

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

Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment

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About The Author

Nathan is a Senior Writer at CharlieIntel. He’s an expert in EA Sports FC, Call of Duty, and Overwatch, as well as superhero games, including Marvel’s Spider-Man. With a master's degree in Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, he worked as a Trainee Reporter for Derbyshire Live before moving into games media, with bylines at Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, and more. You can contact Nathan by email at [email protected].