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OverwatchApr 5, 2021 4:00 pm CT

When does Overwatch’s Archives 2021 event start? April 6!

It’s time to go back. Overwatch’s annual Archives event returns on April 6, 2021. It’s the in-game celebration where we get a peek into the past where every hero apparently wore cute little hats. There are also a few PVE modes where the characters with hats talk to each other dramatically, but you’re only really there to get your loot boxes.

This year’s event will run from April 6 – April 27, so you have time to earn all the cosmetics and new skins you want. This year’s preview videos lead with two new legendary skins — Bushi (“Warrior” in Japanese) Genji modeled after historical samurai armor and Mousquetaire (“Musketeer” in French) Widowmaker in swashbuckling, chivalric glory. Like any event, you’ll be able to earn all of the cosmetics and skins (hats) from previous Archives events, too, so 2019’s Ashe with exploding purse and 2020’s Militia Roadhog (among many others!) are back up for grabs.

The whole point of Archives is to explain what was going on before the game’s current events. During the 2020 event, we started with following Tracer as we revisited the Uprising story mission in week 1, using Tracer, Torbjörn, Reinhardt, or Mercy to free the city from an omnics uprising. Week 2 saw us joining Blackwatch in capturing a Talon member, playing as McCree, Moira, Genji, or Reaper (in his previous incarnation as Reyes). The event ended with the Storm Rising mission where we (as Tracer, Genji, Winston, or Mercy) hunt Maximilien through Havana without support, healing ourselves by dealing damage to enemies while dodging the risk of them spreading their enrage buff. Each week sees a new challenge; completing the challenges rewards new cosmetics such as icons, sprays, and skins.

Archives happens a few weeks before the Overwatch Anniversary event. Typically, most Overwatch players try their hardest to work as a team and win as much currency as possible to prepare for the upcoming events. You should take advantage of this rare moment in time to remember why the game can still be fun. May the RNG be with you, may your loot boxes be bountiful, and may you earn enough so that you can save up for the next event. Regardless, Archives is a better event (and a good glimpse into the potential story mode coming in Overwatch 2), so enjoy it while it lasts.

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