Our Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2017 guide contains all of the Christmas skins, map makeovers and game modes expected to make a return with this year's version of the event.
The Christmas-themed Winter Wonderland update is widely expected to hit the Overwatch servers once again this year, and will likely do so around the middle of December.
As you'll have come to expect from seasonal events by now, there'll no doubt be a load of new - and old - festive items to unlock from Loot Boxes, as well as a special Mei-themed PVP encounter to overcome. Be warned that you'll need quick wits to come out on top in this particular snowball fight though....
Now that we're approaching the start of December, we thought it was high time we overhauled our Winter Wonderland guide to make sure it was ready for the 2017 version of the event. We've tidied up everything in the article so you can catch up on what happened last year, and we will of course update it with all the latest information on this year's event as soon as it becomes available.
For the sake of getting this article together, we're going to assume that Blizzard will continue following the same pattern when it comes to recycling old events. That means a return of last year's skins at a reduced price, a lot more new skins at a much higher cost, a return of Mei's Snowball Offensive - perhaps with a twist - and lots of other minor cosmetic unlocks.
First up though, let's get you in the festive mood with a highlight of the deliciously Christmas-y music that was leaked just ahead of Winter Wonderland last year!
UPDATE: 12th December 2017
Winter Wonderland 2017 has officially gone live in Overwatch and we’ve quickly put together this section which should cover exactly what you’re looking for!
If you want to know what brand new Christmas skins have been released, make sure you check out our Winter Wonderland 2017 Skins page as it contains images of each one.
There’s a brand new game mode in town and it features fan favourite, Mei. It’s called Mei’s Yeti Hunt and is essentially a boss fight mode that sees a team of Mei’s versus one massive Winston.
For tips, tricks and tactics make sure you head on over to our Mei’s Yeti Hunt guide.
Finally, Mei’s Snowball Offensive returns this year as well. Here’s our complete Mei’s Snowball Offensive guide to help you win those snowball fights with ease.
On top of all this, while Hanamura and King's Row received wintery makeovers in last year's Winter Wonderland event (they've returned this year as well) the Black Forest arena map now has a lovely layer of snow too.
We'll overhaul this guide to bring it all up to date in due course!
Start and End Dates
Last year's version of Winter Wonderland began on Tuesday 13th December. This year lines up pretty neatly with that date, and so we reckon Tuesday 12th December 2017 will be the start date for Winter Wonderland 2017.
The event wrapped up on Monday January 2nd 2017 last time around. We suspect the end date for Winter Wonderland 2017 will in fact be Tuesday 2nd January 2018, just because the team are unlikely to be working on New Year's Day.
As for the exact time we expect the event to get started, have a look at our Winter Wonderland Start Time page for current speculation.
We'll update this section of our guide as soon as we have confirmed start and end dates, as well as start times for the event.
Skins and Other Cosmetic Items
Next up, let's talk about the Winter Wonderland Loot Boxes and what you can expect to find inside them.
In this first edition of our Winter Wonderland 2017 guide we're highlighting all of last year's Epic and Legendary skins. In the previous event, the Epic skins cost 750 Credits and the Legendary skins cost 3,000 Credits.
Expect these to make a comeback at a discounted price, along with a lot more new - and more expensive - skins to work towards during the event.
- Andes Lucio
- Scrooge McCree
- Mei-rry Mei
- Frostbite Pharah
- Shiver Reaper
- Rudolph Roadhog
- Peppermint Sombra
- Santaclad Torbjorn
- Jingle Tracer
- Yeti Winston
- Frosted Zarya
- Nutcracker Zenyatta
Other Cosmetic Items
As well as these skins, last year's event also added 2 Highlight Intros, a Legendary Emote for Zarya, 7 Victory Poses and a tonne of Player Icons and Sprays.
Here's a video which shows off the lot. We'll replace this with an updated version once the 2017 event has actually gone live and we've been able to grab all the latest assets directly from the game:
Both King's Row and Hanamura were given a festive makeover to celebrate the Christmas season last year, and we expect both to make a return in 2017.
Winter King's Row
Winter King's Row had coloured lights in all of the shop and hotel windows, snow on the ground and The Foundry section (towards the end of the map) was turned into a toy factory. You'll also notice that lots of the boxes on the ground have been replaced with neatly wrapped presents.
This video's very long, but you can skip between sections to get a look at the whole map with its new Christmas feel:
Winter Hanamura also got a solid dusting of snow, as well as the odd snowman dotted here and there around the map. Here's how it looks - it's not quite as exciting as King's Row to be honest, but it's a nice change regardless!
New game modes
Two new game modes were introduced with Winter Wonderland last year: Winter Mystery and Mei's Snowball Offensive.
The first of these is simply a twist on Mystery Heroes. The rules remain exactly the same, but the map rotation is temporarily limited to Winter Hanamura and Winter King's Row.
More interesting though is Mei's Snowball Offensive. In this sudden-death challenge, two teams of six compete on Ecopoint Antarctica, armed only with a single-shot snowball launcher that can one-shot enemy players. To reload, you have to target one of the piles of snow that are littered around the map.
The last man standing takes victory for their team. It's an incredibly tense affair that some find frustrating. If you want some help with it, take a look at our Mei's Snowball Offensive guide - it's packed full of tips, tricks and strategy advice.
Will Mei's mode be expanded upon this year? A new Endless Mode was added to Junkenstein's Terror this year after all, and so it's not impossible we'll see a twist on the established play when Winter Wonderland makes its return in 2017.
That's it for the very first edition of our Winter Wonderland 2017 guide. When we have official - or even leaked - information about this year's returning event, we'll update this guide and make a note of what's new at the top.