Overwatch's Arcade Mode Will Balance Quick Play's New Single-Hero Limit

Overwatch’s Arcade Mode
Overwatch’s Arcade Mode

Overwatch will soon get a new “Arcade” mode, Overwatch’s Game Director Jeff Kaplan announced at Blizzcon today. It offers five new and—ever-changing—ways to play Overwatch and will be available on the PTR early next week. Now that Quick Play will get a single-hero limit on Monday, I say, burying the lede, this is where you’ll go to blow off steam with some casual play.


“For Quick Play to stay good and healthy, we want to add a single hero limit to that,” Kaplan said to applause. The new Arcade mode will accommodate the sort of fun, casual play that players have enjoyed (or really, really not enjoyed) in Quick Play.

The new game mode is also an answer to fans’ criticism that the Brawl mode didn’t click. “We were hearing feedback that our weekly Brawl didn’t have enough umph to it and that you also wanted a reward for the weekly Brawl,” Kaplan explained. Players can earn 3 loot boxes a week from winning Arcade games.

This is how the new Arcade mode will work:

  • Mystery Duel: A 1v1 best-of-five duel where a hero is randomly selected for you and your opponent—the same hero for both. Overwatch’s new “Eco-Point Antarctica” map, which is smaller than other maps (and Mei’s home base), will make it easier for heroes to face off one-on-one.
  • Elimination: A 3v3 best-of-five brawl where, when your hero dies, they are dead—with a single-hero limit. Make sure you have a Mercy!
  • Mystery Heroes: A 6v6 brawl that takes place on normal Quick Play maps, with regular rules, but you’re not allowed to pick which hero you have.
  • No Limits: Here, you can have the six-Genji battle you always wanted. And I won’t have to deal with it. It’s basically Quick Play, as it is now. And I will avoid it.
  • All Brawls: “Super Shimada Bros.,” “We’re All Soldiers Now,” and other old and new Brawls will be available here as a “playlist.” My favorite is the one that only takes place on Ilios’ Well point with Roadhogs and Lucios.

The Brawl mode still exists and will be called “Total Mayhem.”

Overwatch now has a lot of modes. And, now that Quick Play has a single-hero limit, it will be hard pull away from—if not for Arcade’s new reward system.

Senior reporter at Kotaku.


Gene Jacket

I have never minded that you could stack heroes in quick play. It can get a bit annoying at times, but it usually not a big deal. That said, all of this sounds like a phenomenal addition to keeping the game fresh, and I am super excited to try out every one of the new modes.