There's a lot of anticipation surrounding Overwatch 2, the hero shooter sequel delivering a host of changes to the series' established formula when it launches in early access. Chief among them is the shift in business model, which sees it following in the tracks of other live service games and embracing free-to-play.
Hearing about Overwatch 2 going free-to-play might be a tad confusing, if not difficult to believe, since this is not how Blizzard usually monetized its games in the past. Read on below to learn more about what you can and cannot do without paying a single penny when the first-person shooter finally launches.
Will Overwatch 2 Be Free-to-Play?
Reiterating for clarity's sake, yes, Overwatch 2 will be a free-to-play title from the moment it becomes available in early access, on October 4.
This means that, as opposed to its predecessor, you won't need to purchase anything to play the game's PvP mode. As long as you have a Battle.net account, you can download the shooter using Blizzard's own launcher and play with your friends, regardless of platform.
Owners of the original or Watchpoint Pack get access to the original's full roster of heroes alongside Junker Queen and Sojourn right away. Kiriko is also obtainable without spending a dime, although you'll have to reach tier 55 of the Season 1 battle pass' free track in order to unlock her.
This will be the case with future heroes, as well. You can remain a free-to-play Overwatch 2 user and unlock every new hero, as long as you reach tier 55 of its free battle pass.
Should you miss out on a season's battle pass, its associated heroes will be obtainable through special challenges or the in-game store, but the latter won't be free.
Alternatively, paying for the premium battle pass instantly unlocks its associated hero, which means that Watchpoint Pack owners also get Kiriko instantly.
First-time players who do not own the Watchpoint Pack will have to go through a separate experience that gradually unlocks the game's modes and the roster of the original title.
"The first phase of our new FTUE [first time user experience] rapidly unlocks all the game modes and the ability to chat in-game, and the second phase unlocks all the original Overwatch heroes over the course of approximately 100 matches," the developer explains.
As is the case in other titles, Overwatch 2's free-to-play users have access to fewer, less shiny cosmetic items from the battle pass.
The free track still dishes out goodies as you play but, if you're adamant about looking super stylish while killing opponents, you'll have to consider spending some money.
It's worth noting that 8 Prestige Tier titles, which become available only after progressing through the entire battle pass, are also part of its free track.
The game is also set to receive a PvE mode in 2023, but it's unclear at this point in time whether or not that will be part of the free-to-play offering or not. More details will likely be shared over the coming months.
And, if you're wondering about Overwatch 2 free weekends, things should be fairly self-explanatory. Since the game doesn't require a purchase, every weekend is technically free.
That's what you need to know about whether or not Overwatch 2 is free-to-play. Since it's so easy now to jump in and play the game, you may want to refresh your memory on whether or not it's also coming to Xbox Game Pass or gaze into the future and see when Season 2 kicks off.
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