Overwatch 2 Announces Kiriko, New Ninja Support Hero for Season 1
Teleport into action, climb walls and send a fox spirit running toward your enemies.
Adam BenjaminManaging Editor
Adam Benjamin has helped people navigate complex problems for the past decade. The former digital services editor for Reviews.com, Adam now leads CNET's services and software team and contributes to its game coverage.
ExpertiseOperating systems, streaming services, mobile apps and first-person shootersCredentials
Adam has been covering streaming services since 2013 and wants to help people navigate the subscription creep in their lives.
Meet Overwatch's newest hero, Kiriko. Yes, the rumored fox spirit girl is real, and we're only a few weeks away from trying her out. Returning Overwatch players will unlock Kiriko (as well as new heroes Sojourn and Junker Queen) immediately, while new players can unlock her through the seasonal battle pass. Kiriko is the game's first new support-class hero since Baptiste launched in March 2019, and I can't wait to test her out in-game.
Looking for lore drops? Kiriko has close ties to the game's Kanezaka deathmatch map and the heroes Genji and Hanzo. Kirko's mother -- a ninja master -- trained both Genji and Hanzo, with a young Kiriko training alongside them. Now Kiriko combines her ninja training with the protective and healing abilities she learned from her grandmother.
Kiriko almost seems like she was engineered in a lab to appeal to players. You like playing support? Here you go. You like ninjas? Ta-da. Foxes? Your ultimate is a fox. And, honestly, that laboratory formula is working.
Here's what you need to know about your new Overwatch main (just don't tell Junker Queen).
What is Kiriko's release date?
Kiriko will be available in the Overwatch 2 season 1 battle pass, starting Oct. 4, when Blizzard launches the free-to-play game. She's the first new support hero in years, but she's also the first Overwatch hero ever that has to be unlocked. Players can unlock Kiriko at level 55 of the free battle pass, but anyone with the premium battle pass (included with the paid Watchpoint Pack) will unlock immediate access.
Returning players will also have immediate access by claiming the free Founder's Pack, but new heroes won't be available to play in competitive modes for several weeks at the start of the season. Exact competitive availability hasn't been announced yet.
What are Kiriko's abilities?
Based on the developer update video, Kiriko appears to be a high-mobility hero that rewards precise aim and timing.
Primary fire: Kiriko sends out a slow-moving homing projectile that passes through walls and heals the target over time (must have line of sight to send the projectile).
Secondary fire: Kiriko tosses kunai that have moderate base damage and a high critical modifier. (Training bots die to two headshots in the reveal video.)
Swift Step: Kiriko targets an ally and teleports toward their location, even passing through walls.
Protection Suzu: Kiriko protects her team by making them immune to damage for a brief window.
Wall climb: Kiriko can climb up walls, just like Genji and Hanzo.
Ultimate ability: Kiriko summons a fox spirit that illuminates a path for her team, giving them increased movement speed, attack speed and reload speed as well as cooldown reductions.
On paper, Kiriko looks extremely powerful. In the right hands, she seems capable of high damage and game-changing plays with her invulnerability mechanic. As always, precise interactions and healing/damage numbers are subject to change by release and after.
Kiriko seems like such a fun and dynamic character, it's almost enough to erase the pain of three-plus years without new support heroes.