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Overwatch 2: How to Play Reaper (Abilities, Skins, & Changes)

Meet Overwatch’s edgiest agent.

The choice of edgy teenage boys everywhere, here’s the artist formerly known as Gabriel Reyes, now going a considerably more moody moniker and matching aesthetic: Overwatch 2‘s Reaper. Beneath his whole Death Incarnate shtick, Reaper is just the grumpiest of old men – his voice lines often sound like my Dad stuck in traffic. Die, die, die. 

If you find yourself cut down by Reaper’s shotguns after he’s ghosted in behind you, you can place the blame solely at Moira’s feet – her experiments are responsible for the violent monstrosity that is Reaper. These experiments have left him living in a “state of constant agony,” in his own words, for the fact that his body can dissipate and reform at will, due to his cellular makeup now decaying and restoring at a greatly accelerated pace. That really does sound like it hurts. 

Read on for the low down on Reaper’s abilities, skins, tips, and build changes for Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2: Reaper’s Abilities

Hellfire Shotguns: a pair of short-ranged shotguns, which rely on proximity to an enemy for full damage output due to the spread of the 20 pellets, and a damage fall-off of between ten and 20 meters. They pack a serious punch up close though – a shot with all pellets landing on the same target hits for 108, and even more if it’s a headshot. A good chunk of Overwatch 2’s heroes will fall to a couple of shots here. The shotguns reload their eight capacity mags quickly too, only taking about a second and a half. 

Wraith Form (Active): Forgo your attacking capability, but gain 50% faster movement speed and invulnerability for up to three seconds, or less if you cancel early. Wraith Form also removes negative status effects, reloads your weapons, and has a cooldown time of eight seconds.. Plus, it looks cool as hell. 

Shadow Step (Active): Teleport yourself up to 35 meters away – perfect for sneak attacks and dropping in to flank enemy teams. You are exposed during the wind-up animation, which lasts for around two seconds, so be cautious when you deploy it. 

The Reaping (Passive): This passive ability heals Reaper for 35% of all damage dealt, including environmental kills if you knock someone off the map. Helps to offset his modest 250 HP, and facilitates a good old fashioned rampage. 

Role: Damage (Passive): As a damage hero, Reaper is granted a 25% boost to reload and movement speed after each elimination for two and a half seconds. 

Death Blossom (Ultimate): Do a little dance, make a little death. Spin around for three seconds, doing 170 damage per second to each enemy within 8 metres for a brutal AoE ult. While it does nerf for your movement speed by half for its duration, you do somehow emerge with a full clip to carry on blastin’ with. 

How has Reaper Changed for Overwatch 2? 

Reaper concept art.

Reaper has made the jump between games relatively unscathed, with a slight (but manageable) nerf to his primary weapons and the addition of a new passive: 

  • Hellfire Shotguns damage has decreased, and now hits for 5.4 per pellet, down from 6.
  • The shotgun’s spread angle has also decreased by a degree, from 8 to 7. 
  • Addition of Role: Damage passive ability, boosting reload and movement speed after a kill. 

While it may hit a little softer, the tightening of Hellfire’s spread has slightly increased Reaper’s capability over distance. No huge, dramatic changes here, thankfully. 

Reaper Strategy 

Reaper's golden shotgun.

Given that Reaper’s dual shotguns don’t have the greatest range on them, you’re gonna have to get in close to the enemy to maximize your damage output. Reaper’s abilities compliment this, as Shadow Step lets you drop in at a point of your choosing, providing it’s within range. 

Use this mobility to flank the opposing team, unload a clip into their poor, unsuspecting faces, and then Wraith Form off to safety. Rinse, lather, and repeat to really get on their nerves, and leave them with little recourse. This is a particularly good strat for dealing with support heroes, and making openings for the rest of your team to move in.

The strength of the Hellfire Shotguns in proximity makes Reaper a contender in a duel with a tank hero too. If you can get a full clip into a tank on a surprise attack, the odds are you’re gonna be walking away to keep on aggravating. 

It’d be remiss to not talk about Death Blossom, as it’s borderline unfair how effectively you can dispatch an entire team if they’re all huddled up together, and with the exception of a stun ability catching you, can’t be stopped. When you see a big group on the defensive, such as escorting a payload, you can rain death from above by Shadow Stepping over them and activating your ult as you’re landing. Just be glad you’re not on their voice channel as you do so.

And while you can cover distance in the blink of an eye, you’ll need to be wary of more agile heroes, as Reaper is not the spring chicken he used to be. Ranged weapons can make for hard times too if you don’t have an escape route or ability ready, as there’s not much to be done for heroes outside of your shotgun’s reach. 

Reaper Skins in Overwatch 2

Every Reaper skin in Overwatch 2.

Reaper’s got 23 skins available at launch in Overwatch 2, with many returning from the previous title. Hellfire looks like how I imagine Guy Fieri sees himself in the mirror, and so is my firm recommendation here. 

NameInformation 
Overwatch 1Common skin

Free, unlocked by default

Overwatch 2Common skin

Free, unlocked by default

Blackwatch ReyesLegendary skin

Unlocked by buying Overwatch: Origins, Game of the Year, or Legendary Editions

Also available in the Watchpoint Pack

NevermoreLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Plague DoctorLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

El BlancoLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Mariachi Legendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

BikerLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

DraculaLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

Pumpkin Legendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

Rat KingLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

Lü BuLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

Soldier: 24Legendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

EvermoreLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

MasqueradeLegendary skin

1,900 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

DesertEpic skin

1,000 Overwatch Coins

HellfireEpic skin

1,000 Overwatch Coins

WightEpic skin

1,000 Overwatch Coins

Shiver Epic skin

1,000 Overwatch Coins

Seasonal

Blood Rare skin

300 Overwatch Coins

Midnight Rare skin

300 Overwatch Coins

MossRare skin

300 Overwatch Coins

Royal Rare skin

300 Overwatch Coins