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Bastion PTR Preview: Is this Overwatch’s most significant hero adjustment yet?

Overwatch developer, Blizzard, has been talking about major changes to everyone’s favourite death robot, Bastion.

If you happened to play Overwatch during the alpha and beta stages ahead of launch, you would have surely noticed how utterly overpowered and bordering on invincible Bastion was.

He received some pretty significant tweaks and nerfs leading into launch, and while he was still a fairly effective hero in both attack and defense, he wasn’t used nearly as much as he was during pre-release matches.

This was due in part to his damage output being reduced, and his transform time from Recon to Sentry mode being reduced to a crawl.

While he still stood as a viable first-time option for Overwatch newcomers, other more mobile and effective heroes — such as Symmetra and Torbjorn — became the norm on defense.

As it stood almost a year after launch, Bastion remained essentially untouched. Until now.

While almost every other character has seen some sort of overhaul to attack and defensive capabilities, Bastion had been left behind and overtaken, leaving him as not only one of the game’s most vulnerable heroes, but also one of its most demanding.

Demanding in the sense that he is ineffective without being protected, and vulnerable in a sense that his most useful traits leave him open to be shredded: switching from Recon to Sentry is utterly impossible while an enemy player has Bastion in their line of sight.

Thankfully, the latest PTR changes address a lot of Bastion’s more obvious flaws, and makes for a more balanced and appealing hero.

Sentry configuration

There are some big changes made to Bastion’s Sentry configuration.

Importantly, the deploy time has been reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 second, which is fairly drastic. It’s clear that Bastion is far more mobile and active in this sense, leaving him far less vulnerable has he attempts to shift configurations.

Bullet spread, however, has been increased by 50 percent: This is a fairly significant increase, and while it doesn’t hurt accuracy, it does appear to reduce the amount of hits at a distance due to the increased spread.

This has been balanced by a magazine size increase, boosted from 200 to 300. There’s also no longer a headshot damage multiplier while in this configuration. He also can’t deal critical damage.

Safe to say that the Sentry configuration has been given a rather significant nerf, simply to make way for what is a more balanced, mobile and effective Recon configuration.

Recon configuration

His bullet spread has been decreased by 25 percent, and this is actually rather significant and can’t be understated in terms of effect on the character.

The spread of bullets is now closer to — but not quite on the same level as — what Soldier 76 is capable of.

Further, bullets don’t spread until around the 8th or 9th bullet, so you’ve got bang-on accuracy at medium range while in Recon configuration.


This is another big change: you can now repair Bastion while he’s moving. It’s also bound to the secondary fire, which was formerly Ability 2.

You’ll also be able to repair while taking damage, meaning there’s no annoying interruption while you’re trying to boost his health.


Blizzard has removed the bonus armor that is granted when Bastion’s ultimate is activated.

However, he will take 35% less damage while in both Tank and Sentry mode.

Final Thoughts

There still seems to be significant damage dealt while in Recon mode, but the aesthetic cues seem a bit off so it seems like he’s dealing less. At close to medium range, however, Bastion’s Sentry can still shred through anyway. The added spread will make him less of a formidable asset while in Sentry.

The self-repair ability is long overdue, as he had to basically leave battle to heal himself, which was unlike most other self-healing enemies (including Mei who can heal right in the midst of it all). Further, no interruption during healing is a much welcomed change.

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