ICYMI: What’s new on the Overwatch PTR?

With the Overwatch League finishing up its inaugural season, Blizzard has decided to make some significant changes to many of Overwatch’s heroes.

The first general change on Overwatch’s Public Test Realm (PTR) has made it so that Zenyatta, Lúcio, and Moria will now alert teammates with a voice line when being attacked. This change should be helpful for teams who are not communicating in voice chat do a better job of protecting their supports. The second general change is that Junkrat, Pharah, Roadhog, Zenyatta, Genji, and Winston will now have full ammo after using their ultimate abilities. This is a quality of life change that should help these heroes without making them overpowered and are similar to recent changes made to Reaper.

The most significant changes in this update are the tweaks that focus on 11 of Overwatch’s heroes. Arguably the biggest of these changes is one that allows Ana’s ultimate ability to now heal a target in addition to the damage boost and damage resistance they would already receive.

Hero-specific details from the July 26th PTR changes below.


Nano Boost

– Now also instantly heals the target for 300 health

Allowing the Nano Boost to now heal its target for 300 health means that not only will your teammate be guaranteed to be at or near full health went boosted, but also that Ana players can now use the Nano Boost to save teammates and turn around a lost fight.


Shield Bash

– Cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds

Blizzard seems to agree with many of their players who think that Brigitte can use shield bash far too often and has increased the cooldown so that it no longer feels like enemy players are able to spam the ability.


Rocket Punch

– No longer impacts Symmetra’s teleporter

– Now destroys Symmetra’s sentry turrets without stopping his movement

These changes to Doomfist are relatively minor, but will allow him to be more effective against enemy Symmetras.



– Cooldown increased from 4 to 5 seconds

Lunge is still a relatively new ability for Hanzo and was added to make Hanzo a much more mobile hero, but currently, Blizzard feels he can use the ability too often.


Biotic Grasp

– Passive energy regeneration rate increased from 2 per second to 2.4 per second

By increasing the energy regeneration for Moira’s healing, she will now be able to put out more healing per second, which will help her better compete for the main healer spot in team compositions.



– Aura radius increase from 10 to 12 meters

Sound Barrier

– Temporary shields granted increased from 500 to 750

Increasing the area in which Lúcio can provide healing and speed boosts will allow his teammates to receive his support during hectic team fights more easily. The additional temporary shields on Lúcio’s Sound Barrier ultimate ability will provide an even more effective counter to massive amounts of burst damage.


Caduceus Staff

– Healing beam reduced from 60 healing per second to 50 healing per second

By decreasing Mercy’s healing, Blizzard hopes that Overwatch’s other main healers can become more viable and that enemies can more effectively damage targets Mercy is healing.



– Reduced the size of Sombra’s head hit volume

Reducing Sombra’s head hitbox is being referred to as a bug fix by Blizzard, as her current hitbox is larger than they originally intended.


Barrier Field

– Decorative insignia no longer protrudes from the shield’s surface

By having the insignia no longer protrude from the barrier, Reinhardt should be able to block abilities and projectiles more effectively.


Grappling Hook

– Cooldown increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds

Blizzard wants to limit Widowmaker’s ability to reposition quickly, to allow teams to have a better chance of eliminating her when rushing her position.



– Drain rate reduced from 2 per second to 1.6 per second

Graviton Surge

– Radius reduced from 8 to 6 meters

By lowering Zarya’s energy drain rate, highly skilled players will now be more effective and newer players will have an easier time maintaining high energy. The decision to reduce the area in which enemies can get pulled into Zarya’s Graviton Surge will mean that players will have to have better timing to grab multiple enemies and secure kills.

While Blizzard may still make some minor alterations following player testing, many of these changes should appear on the live servers in the near future.