How To Get Experimental Access in Overwatch 2

Experimental Mode is Overwatch's answer to stale gameplay, and you can access it relatively fast.

Updated on Aug 26, 2023
Fact checked by Szymon Bielawski |
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How To Get Experimental Access in Overwatch 2

How To Access Experimental Mode in Overwatch

To get experimental access, all you need to do:

  1. Launch Overwatch from the Blizzard desktop app.
  2. On the play menu, access "Arcade Mode."
  3. "Experimental Mode" is in the bottom right. The screen will have an image of Moira holding a test tube, implying these game modes are an experiment by this deranged scientist.

Experimental Mode Overwatch

Note that there are occasional times when the experimental settings will be off, so that will have the lock icon over it instead.

What is an Experimental Card & Experimental Mode?

Blizzard developers wanted to incorporate an alternate mode to test changes both large or small. Before the Experimental Mode was introduced to the Arcade, you would use experimental cards and create custom game modes in Overwatch. These would give temporary boosts lasting a random amount of time.

After Experimental Cards, Overwatch developers introduced the Experimental Mode, limited-time game modes that added drastic changes. A completely separate game mode, Experimental has been vital to the evolution of Overwatch 2. Overwatch experimental mode and cards adjusted things like:

  • Increased health pool
  • Abilities
  • Damage
  • Cooldowns
  • Increased primary fire rates
  • Shortened stun duration
  • Added maximum duration of abilities

For those aiming higher in Competitive Play, parcticing with these experimental changes could be the difference between staying in a Platinum rank, reaching the prestigious Diamond or even getting into the Master rank.

What is an Experimental Card and Experimental Mode

These changes were made to test the balance of certain active abilities, but sometimes, Overwatch developers added things like triple damage simply for fun, or to answer questions like who counters Mei in unique game scenarios. The duration of Experimental Mode would usually run for about two weeks. The Overwatch team would then add new targets to experiment with and test, and the game style would start with different challenges.

Blizzard would also gather important data from player feedback and statistics for balance issues and bugs. Overwatch experimental mode gives a chance for players to offer feedback and data on abilities, team compositions, cooldown duration, and other experiments.

What Are The Changes in Overwatch 2 Experimental Mode Compared to Overwatch 1?

Changes in an experimental mode often lead to changes to the actual game, though bigger experiments like the triple damage mode are mostly done for fun. In Overwatch 2, here are some of the major features:

  • Self-healing buff to the support class, completely changing gameplay for characters like Baptiste and Ana.
  • Decreased damage to tank class
  • Increased projectile speed
  • Incresed maximum range of hit scan
  • Lower the ultimate cost
  • Shortened cast time of certain abilities.
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