Overwatch 2 Explained: Battle Pass, Shop, Hero Unlocks, and more
Overwatch 2 releases October 4th and will usher in a new era for the game. The changes we’re making will support our goals to deliver more content to the game, more regularly, all while helping more players than ever before experience the Overwatch universe.
Moving to free-to-play for Overwatch 2, together with enabling cross-platform with cross-progression, means anyone can access the game and join their friends, for free, which we are incredibly excited about. At the same time, we know this is a big transition that involves many changes.
One of our goals is to make sure our game provides plenty of entertainment, fun, and expression, no matter how much you spend—even if you choose to spend nothing at all. When Overwatch 2 launches, we’ll be delivering more in one drop than we’ve delivered since the original game launched in 2016. This includes three new heroes, which will all be available immediately to returning Overwatch players who log in during Season One or Season Two.
We understand you have many questions about how our live service will work. So, we’re here to answer them!
New Seasonal Model
Overwatch 2 is shifting to a seasonal model where we plan to deliver new content to the game every nine weeks.
Each season will feature a lot to explore—new experiences and ways to play—and will typically bring either a new hero or a new map, alternating each season. Each season will have a new Battle Pass, every one with a unique theme and up to 80+ unlockable tiers of cosmetics. We also plan on using the start of each season to make most of our hero balance changes so that everything always feels fresh and distinct.
With this new seasonal model, Loot Boxes are going away in Overwatch 2, and our new in-game shop will allow you to purchase exactly what you want with our new virtual currency, Overwatch Coins– what you see is exactly what you’re going to get. The shop will offer featured cosmetic items every week for all players, and in Season One, many of these cosmetics will follow a cyberpunk theme. Future seasons will have different themes for our cosmetics.
Additionally, the shop will feature a ‘Just for You’ section with personalized offers based on what you prefer to play and equip in-game, as well as rotating bundles. This is our chance to feature different items regularly and to celebrate special occasions and moments. In our first few seasons, the ‘Just for You’ shop and rotating bundles will feature items from the original Overwatch to allow players to catch up if they need.
The Battle Pass is free for everyone, and you can choose to upgrade to the premium Battle Pass in the shop to unlock the premium rewards – let’s dive into how that will all work.
Introducing the Season One Battle Pass
We’ll use specific examples from our Season One Battle Pass to explain how Battle Passes will work.
Our goal is to make the game feel fair, enjoyable, and rewarding whether you choose to spend money on the Premium Battle Pass or not. Our team has worked hard to carefully craft not only the cosmetics you expect, but brand-new cosmetic types for the Overwatch universe like name cards, charms, and souvenirs, and some of these rewards will be available to everyone through the free track of the Battle Pass. If the season features a new hero, they will be earnable through the free Battle Pass track.
In Season One, everyone who logs in to play will receive Junker Queen and Sojourn automatically, whether they’re new players or returning. Players who own the original Overwatch will also receive Kiriko through their Founder’s Pack, which needs to be redeemed by logging in before the end of Season Two.
Season One’s Battle Pass will feature the following unlockable free rewards in 20 tiers spread throughout the 80+ total tiers:
- Newest support hero, Kiriko (for new players who won’t have her already)
- 2 Epic Skins
- 1 Weapon Charm
- 2 Souvenirs
- 1 Highlight Intro
- 14 additional items (emotes, victory poses, name cards, sprays, player icons, etc.)
- Prestige Tier Titles (8 earnable titles available only after completing the entire pass)
Season One Premium Battle Pass
Each season, we’ll have a Premium Battle Pass Track for players who want to earn even more rewards. The Premium Battle Pass features 60 additional (for a total of 80) tiers to unlock, including our first ever Mythic-tier skin and many other premium cosmetic items. If the season features a new hero, purchasing the Premium Battle Pass will also grant instant access to that hero in addition to a season-long Battle Pass experience boost and additional cosmetic rewards.
Season One’s Premium Track provides instant access to Kiriko for new players, and contains over 60 cosmetics to unlock, including five all-new Legendary skins, one Epic skin, and the all-new Cyber Demon Genji Mythic skin.
We’re especially excited about Mythic skins: an entirely new tier of skins in Overwatch 2. These skins go beyond our existing legendary skins.For our first ever Mythic skin, we've built Genji a highly-customizable Cyber Demon skin that features layers you can mix and match, each containing different color schemes and patterns. We’re planning to include a new Mythic skin in every season’s Battle Pass.
In total, Season One’s Premium Battle Pass includes, in addition to all the free rewards above, the following unlockable rewards:
- Immediate access to Kiriko
- 20% XP Battle Pass Boost
- 1 Mythic Skin
- 5 Legendary Skins and 1 Epic Skin
- 3 Play of the Game Intros
- 4 Weapon Charms
- 3 Emotes
- 3 Souvenirs
- 6 Poses
- 6 Name Cards
- 30+ additional cosmetic rewards
The Premium Battle Pass will cost 1000 Overwatch Coins (equivalent of $10 USD) – those coins can be purchased directly or also earned over time by completing weekly challenges. Watchpoint Pack owners will automatically unlock Season One’s Premium Battle Pass.
Battle Pass Progression
Everyone progresses through the Battle Pass simply by playing the game, as well as through completing daily and weekly challenges which offer significant XP. You can also progress your Battle Passes faster by grouping up for a 20% XP boost on match XP. If you decide later in the season to acquire the Premium Battle Pass, all previously earned premium tiers will unlock at that time.
Those of you who complete the season’s Battle Pass can continue to progress through Prestige tiers. Prestige rewards take longer to unlock, but, in Season One, they reward 8 total unique hero titles you can equip on your name cards. You’ll only be able to earn specific Prestige tier titles during the season they are available: for example, you cannot earn Season One titles during Season Two.
With the launch of Overwatch 2, our roster will expand to 35 heroes as Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko join the fight. As we build new heroes and balance the existing cast for our new 5v5 PvP experience, we have shifted our hero design approach to allow you to have an impact on your matches with a range of different heroes and strategies. This means reducing the presence of specific hard counters to heroes.
For example, in the original Overwatch—especially at higher skill levels—the strongest way to shut down a great enemy Tracer diving into your support line was to swap over to Cassidy. If that Cassidy player was effective enough, the Tracer could even feel a need to switch themselves to avoid that hard counter. While Overwatch 2 heroes will each have their own clear strengths and weaknesses, and some heroes will be more effective against others, we believe our game plays better and is more fun with fewer hard counters and a broader range of effective hero picks. A further benefit is having your personal favorite heroes be viable more often. That philosophy will be guiding us moving forward.
This focus also means that when a new hero is introduced (beginning with Kiriko), we will delay introducing them into Competitive modes for a few weeks. This will allow us to tune their balance quickly if needed, as well as give players time to experiment with them.
Because of this shift in design approach to heroes, we believe that launching new Overwatch 2 heroes through the Battle Pass system is fair to our players, respects the competitive nature of the game, and aligns with our goal of supporting Overwatch 2 as a live service moving forward.
So – how exactly do new heroes enter the fray in Overwatch 2? New heroes will debut for everyone in Overwatch 2 at Tier 55 on the free track of the Battle Pass. They’ll unlock immediately on the premium Battle Pass track.
New heroes will typically come out every alternate season, except for Season One and Two, which will each feature a new hero. After that, we are planning a new hero in Season Four and Season Six.
There will be ways to earn heroes introduced in earlier seasons in future seasons, so everyone will have the opportunity to earn these heroes by playing: this applies to players who start playing in future seasons, and to players who didn’t level previous Battle Passes enough to unlock the hero. You will be able to earn heroes from past seasons through special new challenges, or you can directly acquire them in the shop with Overwatch Coins.
New Maps and Limited-Time Events
In addition to the already announced new maps for Overwatch 2—Circuit Royal, Colosseo, Midtown, New Queen Street, and Paraíso —Season One will also introduce a new push map set in Portugal, Esperança. All maps are available to everyone, and, moving forward, a new map will generally be introduced every alternate season.
We’ll also revisit past limited-time game modes and welcome new ones as early as Season One, which will include the new “Wrath of the Bride” Junkenstein event. We’ll have more to share about Season One’s event soon.
As we progress through the seasons together, there are some big moments we look forward to sharing along the way: Overwatch is a big universe with so many possibilities. We already have new core game modes and a set of new maps in development, and we plan to launch one of those new modes later in 2023.
We’re also looking forward to sharing PvE with you in 2023. It’s been a continued major focus for our team, and we can’t wait to share what’s coming next.
We hope that we’ve answered a lot of your questions, and we can't wait for you to experience Overwatch 2 on October 4—the team has poured our hearts into this experience, and we’re excited to be on this adventure with you.
Overwatch 2 Season One will feature a cyberpunk theme and include the Mythic Genji Skin.
You can progress through the Battle Pass simply by playing the game, with experience points awarded at the end of each game. Battle Passes can be progressed more rapidly by completing in-game challenges which are offered on a daily and weekly refresh schedule. Grouping up with friends also applies an extra 20% Battle Pass experience per match!
It’s our intention to make weekly challenges a fun part of Overwatch 2, and to not make anyone feel burdened by completing them. Challenges are in-game missions that you can complete for various rewards, including Battle Pass experience and Overwatch Coins. Most challenges will give you experience towards the Battle Pass, and completing enough Weekly Challenges will reward Overwatch Coins.
New heroes will typically come out every alternate season, except for Season One and Two, which will each feature a new hero. After that, there will be a new hero in Season Four, Season Six, and so on, with new maps typically dropping in the seasons between.
Approximately every nine weeks, there will be a new season with a themed Battle Pass, new cosmetics in the Shop, and seasonal events. Season Two will begin on December 6 and feature a new theme, a new hero, and a new Mythic skin.
Overwatch 2 will revisit past, limited-time game modes and welcome new game modes as early as Season One. We’ll have more to share about this Season One game mode soon.
Prestige tiers only become available after completing the 80 rewards tiers of the Battle Pass, and they reward unique, hero titles that players can equip on their name cards. These rewards take longer to unlock because they’re not offered at every Prestige tier. You will only be able to earn specific Prestige tier titles during the season they are available. For example, you cannot earn Season One titles during Season Two.
Overwatch Coins are the new virtual currency we’re introducing in Overwatch 2. They can be purchased directly in the Shop or earned by completing in-game weekly challenges.
Original Overwatch Credits will carry over into Overwatch 2 for players to use in the hero gallery on core launch cosmetics for new heroes. For example, each of Kiriko, Junker Queen, and Sojourn have 2 legendary, 1 epic, and a few rare skins available to purchase with either Credits or the new Coins. In addition, original Overwatch Credits can be used to buy other always-available items in the Hero Gallery for the 32 original heroes and some launch items in new cosmetic classes (for example 5 new Weapon Charms) as well.
Seasonal content delivered through previous events like Summer Games and Lunar New Year may be made available for Overwatch Coins, and non-seasonal legacy content can be acquired with legacy Overwatch credits or Overwatch 2 Coins in the Hero Gallery.
There will be an Overwatch League tab in the shop where you can redeem your OWL Tokens.
New heroes will be free for everyone to unlock in the Battle Pass. They’ll be available to be unlocked at Tier 55 in the free Battle Pass track and unlock immediately on the premium Battle Pass track. Heroes from past seasons can be earned through special new challenges, or you can directly acquire them in the shop with Overwatch Coins.
Junker Queen and Sojourn are free for everyone who logs in to Overwatch 2 during Season One, and Kiriko is included for all original Overwatch owners through the Founder’s Pack, which you can redeem by logging into Overwatch before Season Two.
New heroes, starting with Kiriko, will not show up in Competitive modes immediately. We plan to debut Kiriko into competitive play after the first two weeks of Season One. The purpose here is two-fold: our team will take this time to monitor and tune new the new heroes' performance while players learn how new heroes play; and it gives players some additional time to unlock the new hero before they become available in Competitive modes.
There will be ways to earn past heroes in future seasons, so everyone will have the opportunity to earn heroes by playing! Heroes from past seasons will return in new hero challenges, or you can acquire them in the shop with Overwatch Coins.
There are many places where you can play using new heroes that they have not yet unlocked. For example, all heroes are playable automatically in the Practice Range, Custom Games, No Limits, Mystery Heroes, Mystery Deathmatch, and select other game modes, as well as some special event game modes.
No. New maps will be available to all players upon release.
No. If we find changes are needed urgently to address balance, they can be made outside of that time frame.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Unless otherwise explicitly stated, all information, including forward-looking information, are current as of September 15, 2022 only. Forward-looking statements are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties and forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. Blizzard and Activision Blizzard undertake no duty to update or revise any forward-looking information contained herein. For more detailed information, please refer to Activision Blizzard’s 2021 Form 10-K and other reports and filings with the SEC.