Echo, Overwatch’s Hero 32 has been playable on the game’s Public Test Realm (PTR) since March 19 after Blizzard cryptically teased the robotic character a day beforehand. The latest addition to the team-based shooter’s roster was first revealed in a 2018 short and she’s finally received an official release for Blizzard’s live servers.
Contrary to speculations, Echo is an aerial damage hero instead of a support character that’s somewhat similar to Pharah but has a unique set of skills unlike any other member of Overwatch. Game Director Jeff Kaplan broke down Echo’s role, abilities, and full backstory in a developer update and he appeared on Timothy “TimTheTatman” John Betar's Twitch stream to talk through her gameplay and how they approached designing Hero 32.
“Echo is a character that breaks the design of the game,” he told TimTheTatman when referring to her Ultimate move, which transforms Echo into an enemy Hero for a short period of time.
Echo is the perfect character for players that enjoy taking to the skies and raining down devastating projectiles from above like a pesky, mechanical mosquito. Here’s everything you need to know about Hero 32 in Overwatch.
When is Echo's release date in Overwatch?
Echo will be available on the PC and console versions of Overwatch on April 14, Blizzard announced on April 9th. Currently, only PC users can test out Echo on the PTR even though the Overwatch team added an “Experimental Card” in the live version of the game where developers are planning on giving players the ability to test their wildest balancing ideas and game modes, but it didn't include Echo.
“Echo is a brand-new asset that didn’t exist in the game yet so we couldn’t put her in the Experimental Card,” explained Kaplan on stream.
Anyone who owns the PC-version of Overwatch can hop into the PTR straight from their Battle.net client. Console gamers will need to wait until April 14 Echo to pilot her.
Echo’s role and abilities
Echo is a Damage hero with excellent air mobility that rivals Pharah. She has extreme burst-damage potential and seemingly has one of the strongest ultimates in the game. Keep in mind that Blizzard is currently testing Echo in the PTR so some of these abilities might change as they balance her. Here’s a rundown of all of her entire moveset:
- Tri-Shot (Primary Fire) shoots three projectiles at once in a triangle pattern from Echo’s fingertips. Players will need to lead their shots, like Pharah’s rockets or Mei’s icicle, to land this ability.
- Sticky Bombs (Secondary Fire) fires a volley of sticky bombs that detonate a moment after impact. As the name implies, these will attach to enemy heroes and deal massive damage. The ability is also a projectile and has a 6-second cooldown.
- Flight gives Echo the ability to freely fly around for 3 seconds, just like Mercy’s Valkyrie ultimate. It has a 6-second cooldown.
- Glide (Passive) is similar to Mercy's glide but Echo falls faster and has far more horizontal mobility, making her more slippery in the air.
- Focus Beam is a stream of energy that Echo channels for 3 seconds that damages (50 per second) anyone it touches. It does boosted damage (200 per second) to enemies or barriers that are under 50% health, making it a powerful finishing move.
- Duplicate (Ultimate) transforms Echo into a targeted enemy hero for 15 seconds, and she gains the use of all of their abilities, including their Ultimate. During this ability, Echo has an increased ultimate charge rate. This means she can use an enemy Hero’s Ultimate against their team multiple times.
Is Echo overpowered?
On paper, Echo does seem extremely powerful but dealing consistent damage will require some experience with projectile heroes, like Pharah, or you’re going to be whiffing a lot of your shots. Plus, she only has 200 HP like many other DPS heros so she can easily be taken out by an enemy Widowmaker or Solider: 76 if she isn’t careful where she’s flying.
While her ult does seem scary, gaining an enemies ult isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sure if you’re able to swing on the entire enemy team as a Duplicated Reinhardt, you’ll get Earthshatter instantly. But if you get pushed away by a Lucio you’re basically a sitting duck.
Taking over an enemy hero requires the Echo player to be at least a little proficient with their abilities to quickly amass ult charge. So if you don’t have the best shot, maybe opt to Duplicate the enemy Rein instead of the McCree.
What is Echo’s backstory?
Echo is a highly advanced robot created by Singaporean scientist Dr. Mina Liao who was one of the founding members of Overwatch. Before then, she worked as an artificial intelligence and robotics researcher at the Omnica Corporation, which would ultimately create the Omnic robots that would wage war against humanity during the Omnic Crisis.
While the Omnic Crisis made many distrust A.I. in general, Dr. Liao believed that the technology could be used to better humanity, which she tried to demonstrate by creating Echo. Dr. Liao designed Echo to have multiple layers of failsafes and protections to allow her to become a loyal member of the Overwatch team.
Dr. Liao was killed in an attack by an unknown force, and Echo now carries on everything she stood for.
Echo is now available on Overwatch’s PTR and has no confirmed wide release date.