What You Need to Know About the Year of the Rooster in 'Overwatch'

Happy New Year! 

If we’ve learned anything over the past few months, it’s that Overwatch knows how to party. It looks like Blizzard will be carrying that trend into 2017, as Overwatch’s Year of the Rooster festivities are well under way. The peerless character shooter is celebrating the Chinese New Year in style with an impressive spread of in-game goodies and, yes, even a new gameplay mode. Even Lijiang Tower, the Overwatch level modeled after a Chinese metropolis, is decorated for the occasion, fireworks and all. There’s a lot to uncover, so let’s take a look at everything on offer to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.

There's a lot of collecting to do. 

Blizzard Entertainment 

Skins Galore

Each character is getting a new holiday skin, though Mei, as a nod to her Chinese heritage, gets two spiffy new looks. Chang’e Mei is done up in red and gold, while Luna Mei is donning a purple and jade costume to celebrate the New Year.

Other characters skins’ pay homage to the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West. Wujing Reinhardt, Bajie Roadhog, Wukong Winston, and Sanzang Zenyatta are all repping the classic story.

Meanwhile, D.Va is sporting a Korean hanbok while her mech has been transformed into a Palanquin. Symmetra gets a scarlet Chinese qipao, while Bastion’s bird, Ganymede, has been transformed into a rooster. Tracer, Mercy, Junkrat, and Ana all have lovingly detailed Chinese New Year’s costumes as well. The skins can be purchased with Overwatch Credits. Most of them go for 750, though Mei and D.Va’s skins cost 3,000 credits.

Ooo, shiny. 


Sweet, Sweet Loot

Of course, what are new skins without accessories? Loot Boxes will now win you a bunch of new sprays, icons, emotes, and more — though the new items will be mixed in with standard goods. Each player gets one free Loot Box for the event, although you have the chance to earn more over the course of the festival, which ends on February 13. At least one item in each Loot Box is guaranteed to be a Year of the Rooster item.

Capture the Rooster

Perhaps almost as exciting as the skins, the event also introduced a Capture the Rooster gameplay mode. At long last a capture the flag mode has been added to Overwatch, albeit temporarily. Teams will need to be able to handle both offense and defense simultaneously in order to get ahead, as both flags are up for grabs at the same time.

While capture the flag is typically a staple for most FPS games, the Overwatch developers have had some trouble implementing this mode in the past, mostly due to many of the characters mobility powers that might make the game a bit too easy. Jeff Kaplan gets into the nitty gritty, explaining how the team helped to shape capture the flag to fit into Overwatch’s unique hero system. While Capture the Rooster is only available during the event, Kaplan said he’s open to keeping it as a permanent Arcade mode down the line.

There’s a lot to do and discover, but you only have until February 13 before the fireworks are spent and the lanterns are packed away. After that, we’ll just have to wait for the next Overwatch holiday event.

The cast in their holiday best.

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