I know most of the lore for the game so far, but does any explain why it is reasonable for the characters to fight, if they always just respawn a few seconds later and rejoin the fight?

  • 8
    IIRC the entire game isn't considered lore (this also explains why for instance Tracer and Widowmaker can work in the same team even though they fought each other in the shorts)
    – Nijin22
    Jun 3, 2016 at 15:37
  • 8
    Because heroes never die.
    – Sterno
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:14
  • 1
    @Timelord64 Some games do provide an explanation for this, and given how lore heavy Overwatch is trying to be I don't feel this is unreasonable question.
    – Wipqozn
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:26
  • 8
    Also, I see we're now up at two close votes. Honestly, I don't think this is great question, but for the reasons I stated above I think it's perfectly on-topic. Remember, a close vote is not a super downvote.
    – Wipqozn
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:27
  • 1
    I get that it isn't worded that great, but it is a lore question, not a game design question.
    – Dragonrage
    Jun 3, 2016 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


The confrontations that happen in PVP matches are not canon. They're framed by the lore, but they can include clearly nonsensical things (Like 6 Lucios battling against another 6 Lucios). Certain characters have 0 reason to work together, like Tracer and Widowmaker, yet gladly do so.

Until we see otherwise, there's no reason to assume these PVP games are actually occurring in the Overwatch timeline. Think of it more as providing a backdrop.

Some of the characters, upon respawn, make mention of "the wonders of modern medicine". This is probably the best you will get for an explanation of the respawning in-game.

  • 1
    This perspective made me laugh. You're certainly right about the multiples. Jun 3, 2016 at 15:45
  • They may just use the Halo method, where it's all just a simulation and doesn't matter.
    – Rapitor
    Jun 3, 2016 at 16:47
  • I wouldn't say "gladlly do so", if I do recall there is a specific voice line that triggers between Tracer and Widowmaker in games which goes along the lines of "god why do I have to work with you" and tracer responds with something like "the feeling is mutual"
    – childe
    Jun 3, 2016 at 18:53

There is one hero which the lore of OW does sort of support infinitely respawning -- Reaper:

Reyes resurfaced as a volatile mercenary known as "Reaper." His identity and motives remained unknown. Now a ruthless and remorseless killer, he was responsible for terrorist attacks throughout the world. He fought in many armed conflicts over the decades, showing no loyalty to any cause or organization. Survivors described him as a black shadow ghosting unscathed through the most hellish battlefields. The few bodies recovered of his victims were pale, empty husks drained of life, their cells showing signs of intense degradation. It was speculated that Reaper was a byproduct of failed genetic alteration which forced his cells to simultaneously decay and regenerate at a hyper-accelerated rate.

Those attempting to track his movements began to see a pattern in his appearances. They believed that Reaper was hunting former Overwatch agents and systematically eliminating them.

Keywords from the summary:

speculated that Reaper was a byproduct of failed genetic alteration which forced his cells to simultaneously decay and regenerate at a hyper-accelerated rate.

This, in accordance with his interactions with Mercy supports that after the bombing of OW HQ, Reaper can constantly regenerate his cells even after he decays. Some quotes after he respawns are "The grave cannot hold me back" perhaps indicating he's done this before.

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