The day without Overwatch is almost over. The Overwatch 2 (opens in new tab) launch brings a free-to-play sequel today, replacing the original game with a revitalized hero shooter and battle pass full of goodies.
There are plenty of changes to the original game’s team-based tactics, including reworked heroes, new maps, and a new mode. And it’s all free with an optional $40 Watchpoint Pack to get a few skins, 2,000 Overwatch Coins (its new premium currency), and the first season’s premium battle pass—which comes with new support hero Kiriko (opens in new tab).
Overwatch 2 isn’t quite the game that was initially announced in 2019. The PvE side of the game won’t arrive until next year. Blizzard promised wildly different abilities than you get in the PvP and a whole talent tree system, but all of that will have to wait for now.
The PvP side of the game, however, has been updated with three new heroes: Sojourn (damage), Junker Queen (tank), and Kiriko (support). The battle pass and in-game shop also have a variety of new cosmetics, like the Mythic Cyber Demon Genji skin that lets you customize parts of his armor. Blizzard plans to drop new seasons (and themed battle passes) every nine weeks (opens in new tab). A new tank hero is coming in season 2, and then each season will flip flop between a new map and a new character.
Overwatch 2 launch time
Overwatch 2 launches as a free-to-play game for everyone on Tuesday, October 4 at 12 pm PDT. Here’s how those times translate in other parts of the world:
- PDT: 12 pm, October 4
- EDT: 3 pm, October 4
- BST: 8 pm, October 4
- CET: 9 pm, October 4
- AEST: 6 am, October 5
At those times, Overwatch 2 will launch globally on PC, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and Nintendo Switch.
You can preload the 50GB game in advance of the launch. PC players only need to click “pre-release content download” below the play button for Overwatch in the Battle.net launcher.
If you owned the first Overwatch, you can log in before the end of season two and receive a Founder’s Pack that lets you unlock Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko immediately. Non-Overwatch 1 owners who log in during the first season will get Sojourn and Junker Queen for free too. They will also have to unlock most of the original game’s roster of heroes by completing around 100 games (opens in new tab).
Overwatch 2 also requires a phone number tied to your Battle.net account to enable SMS verification. Blizzard has a blog post (opens in new tab) about how to add SMS Protection to your account and it also explains how to merge your Overwatch accounts into one so that cross-progression is enabled. Cricket and other prepaid phone users have reported that their numbers don’t work and thus they won’t be able to play the game. Blizzard hasn’t said if there’s a change to this rule coming yet, which is a huge bummer for those who can’t get their numbers to work.
If all goes well for you though, Overwatch 2 juices up the game that changed the shape of FPS games. I hope you’ve practiced your mouse dexterity because everyone is going to try to lock in the new heroes before you.