If you’re jumping into Overwatch 2 next week and haven’t played the original game get ready for a heavy grind. Blizzard has confirmed that at launch, only a select handful of heroes will be playable to new players. In addition, Blizzard is also locking certain game modes out for new players and says you’ll likely have to play around 100 matches in order to unlock the full Overwatch 2 experience.
Blizzard is calling this program the “First Time User Experience”. Over the course of 100 matches, players will unlock the original cast of Overwatch heroes and game modes. Keep in mind that this First Time User Experience is separate from the game’s battle pass where you’ll have to either pay $10 for the new Overwatch 2 heroes or unlock them through the 55-track pass.
The First Time User Experience will also lock certain game features when you load Overwatch 2. For example, players won’t be able to use in-game chat and select certain game modes in the so-called “first phase”. The second phase will then unlock all the original heroes across the 100 matches you play.
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Blizzard says this First Time User Experience has been implemented into Overwatch 2 to ease new players into the game and teach them about the different modes, rules and other high-level aspects of the experience.
The developer says that most of the restrictions in Overwatch 2 are lifted if you play the game in a group. For example, group play will enable the ability to play game modes you can’t select if you’re playing solo. However, Ranked Mode is locked until you have won 50 Quick Play matches first. The original game required you to win 25 matches.
Blizzard is also implementing a cellphone verification system into Overwatch 2 called SMS Protect. When Overwatch 2 releases on 4 October, all players are required to have a cellphone number linked to their Battle.net account. This includes PC and console players.
That cellphone number will be tied to your Overwatch 2 account and used to authenticate your login. Blizzard says the SMS Protect system helps keep your account safe while also making it challenging for banned players to return to the game.
Overwatch 2 is set to launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC on 4 October. Check out the launch trailer for the game below.