As Overwatch 2's impending launch approaches, Blizzard has shared more details about how it plans to ease new players into the hero shooter, revealing when competitive play unlocks alongside how the new first-time user experience will work.
As it includes the original game's content, Overwatch 2 can be overwhelming to new players. Proper hero skill usage, counters, and synergies aren't immediately obvious. They take time to learn while also being at the center of any competitive efforts. This is partially why competitive play won't be available for new players until they win 50 quick-play matches.
How to unlock Overwatch 2's Competitive Mode
"New players who create an Overwatch 2 account on or after October 4 will play through a guided First-Time User Experience (FTUE). They will need to complete FTUE and win 50 Quick Play matches before Competitive unlocks," reads a post on the game's website.
"This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive, while veteran players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience. In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone."
The developer notes that only accounts made after Overwatch 2 enters early access on October 4, 2022, are affected by this decision. If you unlocked Competitive play previously, you'll be able to access it right away.
Players who create their accounts post-launch will also have to complete the guided first-time user experience that's meant to provide a gradual introduction to the hero shooter's sizeable roster of playable characters and modes.
"New players begin with access to a limited set of game modes, heroes, and some other restrictions to onboard them more gradually. The first phase of our new FTUE 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.
Most of these restrictions are lifted while in a group, so they won't stop you from playing together with friends.
The time investment behind this initial experience is also meant to discourage disruptive play, although the number of matches supposedly required to unlock the original's hero roster has made some prospective players unhappy.
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