Overwatch 2 is finally removing dreaded map pools

Overwatch 2 Map PoolsOverwatch

The unpopular addition to Overwatch 2, map pools are being removed at the start of Season 4.

Although there were plenty of improvements that came with Overwatch 2’s launch, such as better role specialization and ult charge tuning, the increase in maps added with the name game led to the implementation of one of the game’s least-popular features.

Map pools were brought into Overwatch 2, giving players only a limited number of options for the map or maps they might see in a particular game.

The developers justified map pools, saying they were necessary to give players more of a chance to experience the new Overwatch 2 maps as well as giving them a chance to touch up the original Overwatch maps and bring them up to snuff for the sequel. Unfortunately, players have been outspoken about the limiting choices the map pools offer.

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Map pools will end with Overwatch 2’s third season

In a recent director’s take post, the Overwatch team has confirmed that map pools will not return in Season 4.

In explaining the change in direction, the post says “[w]e 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.”

The developers did hint that map pools could return in the future if the number of maps does become unwieldy. However, it is likely that, if map pools do return it would be in a specific playlist or game mode.

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Overwatch 2 Meis in snowball fightBlizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 will make changes to map pools, along with seasonal changes.

In addition to the removal of map pools, the team also confirmed that they would be doing a bit of tinkering with code on the back end to make sure that certain maps (particularly Colosseo) will not appear as frequently.

Other notable changes the developers discussed were changing certain maps to allow for more flanking routes closer to spawns, and to change up future challenges so they are not as focused on the seasonal game mode.