Head to our comprehensive Season 4 guide instead for everything you need to know about the latest period of competitive Overwatch.
Blizzard has just revealed the first details of Season 3 in Overwatch, with some of the more notable changes currently being tested on the Public Test Realm (PTR). If you fancy getting a look at the action, keep in mind that a lot of the changes are taking place in the background, and so may not be immediately apparent as you mess around with the test client.
Anyway, with all that said and done we've pulled together all of the information that we do know from Blizzard's communications so far. Want to know the start and end dates for Season 3 of Overwatch? Confused by some of the subtle tweaks being made to the placement match system? Hopefully you should find everything you need in our comprehensive Season 3 guide.
As soon as we have more details on things like Season 3 rewards (sprays and what-have-you), we'll add a new section to this guide. If there's anything we've missed, please let us know in the comments so we can look at working the information in!
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Overwatch: Season 3 guide
How are Skill Rating placements changing?
The way that Skill Ratings are allocated is going to change somewhat in Season 3. The developers felt that lower-skilled players were placed far too high up the ranks at the start of this Season, with more players appearing in Gold and Platinum than was intended.
Should you complete your placement matches to a similar degree of aptitude during Season 3, you should expect to start in a lower bracket than you would have during the same qualification period in Season 2. Gold players might expect to find themselves starting off in Silver this time around, for example.
If that all sounds like a bit of a bummer, Blizzard has stated that while your Skill Rating might be skewed somewhat lower this time around, your wins and progress will move upwards at a slightly faster pace - for your initial chunk of games, that is. So, do well and you can expect to find yourself back where you feel you belong in pretty short order.
These changes are currently being tested on the Public Test Realm, and are subject to change. We'll keep updating this section of the guide in the run-up to the launch of Season 3.
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When does Season 3 start?
Season 3 of Overwatch will begin on 1st December 2016 - just a few weeks from the time of publishing the second edition of this article.
The previous Season concludes just a week earlier on 24th November, giving the development team just a little bit of time to iron out the kinks and set things up for the next round of competitive play.
When will Season 3 end?
UPDATE: Blizzard's given its strongest hint yet of when the Season 3 end date will be.
It's not currently known when Season 3 of Overwatch will end but the last Season began on 6th September. If things carry on in the same fashion going forwards, you should expect Season 3 to end some time towards the end of February 2017, with another week of downtime before Season 4 kicks off at the start of March 2017.
Obviously, all of this is up in the air at the moment and contains a fair dollop of speculation on our part. Blizzard could well decide to shorten or lengthen Season durations at any given point, and let's not forget that Overwatch's competitive mode is still very much a work in progress.
We will update our Season 3 guide if it looks like any changes are afoot, but for now just assume that it'll be business as usual going forwards.
Season 3 Skill Rating Tiers
As far as we're - currently - aware, there are no changes planned for the actually Skill Rating Tiers that will separate the playerbase in Season 3. For that reason, we've reproduced the table from Season 2 for you below - we will, as always, tweak it to ensure its accurate in the light of any adjustments by Blizzard.
|Season 3 Rank||Points||Rewards (CP)|
You can click on the image above to get a look at some of the finer details around thresholds for dropping ranks.