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Published: October 10, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • Season 7 will feature a new “Group Respawn” mechanic for all non-competitive game modes
  • Heroes who die within 5 seconds of each other will respawn together
  • This could also shorten respawn times for some players, depending on when they died

In an effort to stop teams from snowballing, Blizzard wants to try new respawn mechanics that should prevent players from being picked off one by one by enemies.

Overwatch 2 Devs Announce the New Feature

Respawning in Overwatch 2 has been much the same as many other games out there – you die, wait for a certain amount of time, and then reappear at your team’s base. It’s a simple and classic game mechanic that’s been around for as long as online PvP games have existed, but that does not mean it does not have its downsides.

The main problem is that in smaller games, such as OW2’s 5v5 PvP, the loss of a single player means losing 20% of your forces. This seriously disadvantages the affected team in responding with a proper teamfight and also allows the enemy to take out the players one by one, sometimes causing a snowballing event.

With Overwatch 2’s Season 7 promising many new things, Blizzard sees this as an opportunity to experiment with new respawning mechanics. Specifically, the company will implement the so-called “Group Respawn”, which will allow players to re-enter the action in waves, instead of one by one. At first, this mechanic will only be available in Quick Play and players will be grouped together much more frequently, which should offer more balanced teamfights, at least in theory.

“Heroes who die within 5 seconds of each other will respawn together, resulting in some players having either a slightly longer or shorter queue than the standard 10 seconds,” the latest patch notes read. “Heroes who die more than 5 seconds from another player eliminated will still respawn in 10 seconds on their own.”

What this essentially means is that players can more easily catch up with the rest of the team, as they could have a shorter waiting time for respawning. Also, they will be far less likely to be picked off one by one by the enemy, as they will respawn and presumably move together with their teammates on the map.

Although it’s new for Overwatch, such a respawn mechanic has been present in many other video games for many years. Titles like Battlefield, Enlisted, and Rising Storm have all used mass group respawning to simulate the arrival of new waves of reinforcements. However, all of these games have much larger teams as well, which changes the equations quite a bit. Considering OW2’s small 5v5 matches, it’s understandable that Blizzard had to make its own version of the mechanic.

The devs promised they will be listening closely to feedback on this new system to make appropriate changes and consider adding these adjustments to Competitive Play in a later season.

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