07 Apr 2021 8:24 AM +00:00

Overwatch Archives Event 2021: Everything We Know

It's that time of the year, again! The Overwatch Archives Event for 2021 has just started and it's time to join the fight.

Celebrating the game's backstory and the origins of some of its characters, the event is a deep dive into the lore of Blizzard's hit game.

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LATEST - What's New?

This year's Overwatch Archives Event is a little different from the last one. Rather than introducing a new PvE mission to the mode, Blizzard has opted to bring in "mission modifiers" to change up the existing experiences.

READ MORE: When Did The Event Actually Start?

A few of these are showcased in the 2021 Archives Event Trailer below:

For hardcore fans, this can't be seen as good news. For a while now there have been claims that Overwatch is on the tail-end of its' lifespan despite Blizzard's claims that it will continue to be the online component of Overwatch 2...

The lack of new PvE content this year seems to be another nail in the slow-building coffin.


Two New Skins Revealed

Blizzard has already revealed some Overwatch Archives 2021 skins - and we expect more leading up to launch day!

Thus far, we've gotten a brief trailer for each new skin - Bushi Genji and Mousquetaire Widowmaker.

Start Date

We finally have a confirmed release date and it's right around the corner!

The Overwatch Archives Event for 2021 is coming on April 6th, running until April 27th with a three-week duration.


We don't know much about what's in store just yet but we're expecting all the older PvE LTMs will be returning again with new modifiers to keep them fresh for returning players.

READ MORE: When is Hero 33 Going To Join Overwatch?


Overwatch Archives introduces a ton of new skins each year.

Overwatch Archives Skins 2021 Mousquetaire Widowmaker
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NEXT UP: Mousquetaire Widowmaker is coming in Overwatch Archives 2021

We already have some of the Overwatch Archive skins for 2021 thanks to some new reveals from Blizzard - this includes Bushi Genji and Mousquetaire Widowmaker.

READ MORE: Overwatch 2 BlizzCon 2021 Summary

Limited-Time Game Modes

The main feature of the Archives Event is the PvE, lore-focused arcade modes that become available with each limited-time event. These are always limited to four-player groups, as opposed to the traditional six-player teams in Overwatch.

These began with Uprising, taking place on Kings Row, and each year adds a new PvE experience on a familiar location.

Overwatch Archives Event Uprising Null Sector
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UPRISING - The first PvE Archives Event was released in 2017, a year after launch

For the most part, these either take place against Null Sector or Talon and each one features a mixture of units and two playlist options: Fixed or All Heroes.

Fixed Heroes is the way the event "happened". For example, Retribution limits the four-player squad to Moira, McCree, Reaper, and Genji.

All Heroes, as you might imagine, opens up the same PvE mission to the full Overwatch Roster.

READ MORE: Is Overwatch 2 Coming This Year, Or Next?

There is currently no information about what the next Archives Event PvE playlist will be. However, all the old PvE missions will be available for you to replay during the event.

Story Updates

Since the Archives Event will feature story focused content, fans are speculating about what we might see from the characters.

Overwatch Archives 2021 Story Characters Skins
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THE NEXT CHAPTER: Where will stories go as Overwatch 3 approaches

They're usually flashback to events involving popular characters. The first year's followed Tracer and the second was focused on Reaper and McCree working together.

Therefore, you probably won't see any of the story content or PvE modes focus on those three characters in the Overwatch Archives event 2021.

It'll likely center around characters with newly revealed skins - which currently includes Genji and Widowmaker.


Weekly Challenges

Last year, Blizzard added their newly-developed Weekly Challenge system to the Archives Event.

Nowadays, each week of a limited-time event follows a similar format of Weekly Challenges and we can imagine the 2021 Archives Event coming to Overwatch is going to be the same.

Each week has three challenge milestones for players to complete:

  • Win 3 Games
  • Win 6 Games
  • Win 9 Games

Which will reward the following:

  • Event Player Icon
  • Event Spray
  • Event Epic Skin

Although there is no word on what these will look like just yet, we expect this year's Archives Event to follow the trend and include these Weekly Challenges.

Keep an eye on Blizzard's Official Overwatch Archives Event Page for more information on the event in the coming weeks.