[Updated] Overwatch 2 stuck on 'applying update' message resulting in ban for some; Hanzo exaggerated bow recoil or flick faces backlash

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 13, 2022) follows:

Overwatch 2, Activision-Blizzard’s hit multiplayer hero-shooter, recently received its Season 2 update. However, it seems that things are not going quite well during the first days of the season.

It’s worth pointing out that the game has not been free of issues, which we have covered from its release. For instance, players have reported not being able to join friends or groups, OWL tokens and skins missing, among others.


Now, according to multiple reports, Overwatch 2 players are getting stuck on the ‘applying update’ message resulting in a ban. Meanwhile, others are criticizing the new Hanzo exaggerated bow recoil or flick.

Overwatch 2 stuck on ‘applying update’ message causing ban

In the last few hours, several Overwatch 2 players have been receiving a forced update even during matches, which ends up with the game getting stuck on the ‘applying update’ screen.

Since the game is stuck, players try to restart the game to solve the problem. However, this results in a ban or temporary suspension as the Overwatch 2 system detects the reset as a match abandonment.


Try to join game, says “applying update”. Nothing happens, and then I get a 15 minute suspension. This has happened twice now lol I guess I’m just wrecking my sr by even trying to play. Anyone else having this problem? God this games servers are an insane mess.

Applying Update Error. Wth I just got a suspension from comp after trying to join a match and it was stuck on the applying updates screen. I tried relaunching it to fix it but apparently, I was in a game. Does anyone know how to fix this? I don’t want to try again cause I might get a longer suspension.

Overwatch devs are aware of the problem and will take steps to prevent a similar situation from happening again in future updates. However, new bans are still appearing as a result of this update.

Also given the unexpected issues with today’s update, as we roll out future hotfixes, we plan to take precautions to avoid any potential unintentional penalties for players.

Unfortunately, there is still no ETA for the fix to the ongoing problem.

Hanzo exaggerated bow recoil or flick

Other Overwatch 2 players are also reporting that devs decided to nerf Hanzo without warning in the Season 2 update.

Hanzo is a character who uses bow and arrows to fight. However, he now has a noticeable recoil or flick after each arrow shot.

overwatch-2-Hanzo-bow-recoil-flick -1

What’s up with Hanzo’s weird bow recoil since patch? Is this a bug or a feature? Because neither would surprise me at this point. Either way, this is not helpful and I clearly need all the help I can get!

Hanzo Animation Bug.

Has anyone noticed the animation bug to Hanzo? Usually happens during stormarrow. The Bow covers your reticle after the shot. It makes the bow feel like it has recoil. Anyone else experience this?

In its current state, the recoil prevents players from aiming shots. The new animation even covers the reticle after each shot.

This could be a balancing change as developers might consider the character to be overpowered. But many players find the new effect excessive since it is similar to a rifle recoil.

There is still no official word on this situation from the Overwatch 2 dev team. We will update this story as events unfold.

Update 1 (Dec. 14, 2022)

11:10 am (IST): Blizzard recently released a statement stating that their servers are now fully stable again. So Overwatch 2 players who were stuck on the ‘applying update’ message, should be able to successfully connect to the game’s server.


However, the reports from some affected players (1,2,3,4,5) keep pouring in.

Update 2 (Dec. 16, 2022)

12:51 pm (IST): Some reports (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) suggest that this issue is only affecting players on consoles. So far, we also haven’t come across any reports from PC players.

Update 3 (Jan. 10, 2023)

10:23 am (IST): Fresh reports (1, 2, 3, 4) suggest that some players are again facing the issue where they get stuck on ‘applying update’ message.

Unfortunately, the support team hasn’t yet acknowledged it.

11:55 am (IST): We have come across a workaround that can help fix the ‘applying update’ bug temporarily. It involves force-closing the game (1,2,3,4,5).

If you search for “Applying Update” you will find a lot of people that have encountered this as well, I just got it too but got away without a suspension when I force-closed my game.

Update 4 (May. 2, 2023)

02:36 pm (IST): Fresh reports suggest that the ‘applying update’ issue has surfaced back once again. However, we did come across a potential workaround that will help solve your problem.

An Overwatch 2 Community Manager recommends that you load into the Practice Range every time you log into Overwatch 2.

Once you’ve successfully loaded into the Practice Range, you can exit and queue for any other game mode, but make sure to do this every time you log in.

NOTE: You can also check the Overwatch 2 bugs/issues tracker.

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Jean Leon

A tech enthusiast since ever. I like to always be up to date on the latest news in the industry and write about it. Twitter: @jean_ERdC