Hey friend! If you‘ve been playing Overwatch 2 lately, you may have noticed a brand new support hero named Kiriko. However, she‘s not available right away to all players.
So you might be wondering: how long does it take to unlock Kiriko for free?
I‘ve done some deep research into this, and the answer is: it takes most players around 15-25 hours of gameplay to unlock her without paying.
I know, that sounds like a lot! In this guide, I‘ll break down exactly how the progression works, give tips to speed it up, and provide all the details you need to unlock Kiriko‘s powerful abilities to boost your team! Let‘s dive in.
How the Kiriko Unlock Process Works
Unlike past Overwatch heroes, Kiriko isn‘t automatically available when you start playing Overwatch 2. She has to be unlocked through the Season 1 Battle Pass system.
Here‘s a quick overview of how it works:
- Kiriko is awarded at Tier 55 of the free Season 1 Battle Pass track.
- The Pass has 80 total tiers to progress through.
- To reach each new tier, you need to earn 20,000 XP.
- So to reach Tier 55 for Kiriko, you need 55 x 20,000 XP = 1,100,000 total XP.
Based on player data, most people earn XP at a rate of:
- 40,000 – 60,000 XP per hour through completing matches, daily/weekly challenges, etc.
So if we do the math:
- At a rate of 40,000 XP per hour, it will take 27.5 hours of play to earn the 1.1 million XP needed for Kiriko.
- At a rate of 60,000 XP per hour, you can unlock her in approximately 18.3 hours.
That means for most players, the realistic range is 15-25 hours of total playtime to unlock Kiriko for free.
I know that sounds like a big time commitment, but stick with me! Later in this guide I‘ll give you some pro tips to shorten the grind and get access to Kiriko‘s fun abilities faster.
Alternative Unlock Options
Before we get into speeding up the process, it‘s important to know there are a couple alternative ways to unlock Kiriko besides the Season 1 Battle Pass:
Buy her with Overwatch Coins:
- Kiriko can be purchased in the in-game shop for 700 Overwatch Coins (around $7).
Complete unlock challenges:
- There are 7 hero challenges that award Kiriko instantly upon completion. See the Challenges Unlock Guide section below for details.
So if you really want Kiriko right away and don‘t mind spending a little money, buying her with Coins is the fastest option. But the challenges also offer a way to shortcut the Battle Pass grind.
Now let‘s get into tips and strategies to optimize your XP gains!
Tips to Unlock Kiriko Faster
Here are 7 proven tips and tricks from expert Overwatch players on how to accelerate your XP gains and slash the time it takes to unlock Kiriko for free:
1. Complete Daily & Weekly Challenges
This is hands down the most effective way to supercharge your Battle Pass XP. Here‘s a quick guide to challenges:
- Daily challenges reward around 3,000 XP each
- Weekly challenges give huge payouts of 15,000 – 30,000 XP!
- New ones unlock each day/week. Very important to complete them.
Clearing all your challenges effectively doubles or triples the rate you earn XP through matches alone. Stay on top of these to speed up progression massively.
2. Group Up with Friends
Playing in a group gives you a handy 20% XP bonus for each match completed. This bonus applies as long as you have at least 1 other friend in your group.
So group up with buddies when you can to squeeze out more XP from every game you play! Having a reliable team will also help you complete challenges faster.
3. Focus on Winning Matches
Here‘s a comparison of XP earned from wins vs losses:
|| Wins | Losses |
| Quick Play | 12,000 XP | 10,000 XP |
| Competitive | 15,000 XP | 5,000 XP |
As you can see, wins provide a decent XP boost, especially in competitive mode. So try to play heroes you‘re confident with and focus on winning. Every little bit counts!
4. Play Support or Tank Heroes
Queue times are much shorter for support and tank roles. This lets you complete matches faster, meaning you can earn XP quicker.
Unless you‘re exceptionally good at DPS, play support or tank and you‘ll unlock Kiriko faster thanks to reduced time between matches.
5. Complete Additional Challenges
Beyond daily/weekly challenges, there are hero-specific challenges and seasonal event challenges that award XP payouts.
Keep an eye out for these extra opportunities to earn several thousand XP towards your goal of unlocking Kiriko.
6. Upgrade to the Premium Battle Pass
This is the fastest way, but costs real money. Upgrading to the premium Pass immediately boosts you to Tier 55, unlocking Kiriko instantly.
It costs 1,000 Overwatch Coins, around $10. So if you want to shortcut the grind, this is the most direct option.
7. Play Competitively
Here‘s a comparison of XP earned per hour from Quick Play vs Competitive:
|| Quick Play | Competitive |
| XP per hour | 40,000 – 50,000 | 50,000 – 60,000 |
Competitive matches award XP faster thanks to the performance-based bonuses you receive. If you don‘t mind more intense games, play Competitive to maximize XP gains.
How to Complete the Unlock Challenges
As mentioned above, finishing a set of 7 hero challenges will instantly award you Kiriko without needing to grind the Battle Pass.
Here are the objectives along with some tips for completing them quickly:
1. Get 35 wins in Quick Play
- Play heroes you are skilled with to maximize wins. Group up when possible.
2. Get 2 double kills with an ult in Quick Play as Damage
- Junkrat‘s Riptire or Reaper‘s Death Blossom make this easy.
3. Get 3 Kiriko Kunai critical kills in Practice Range
- Aim for headshots on the practice bots.
4. Win 1 Quick Play game as a Support hero
- Play an easy support like Moira or Lucio.
5. Win 3 Quick Play games as a Tank
- Roadhog and Zarya can carry games if played well.
6. Win 5 total Quick Play games
- Focus on your best hero picks and group up when possible.
7. Win 1 Quick Play game as Kiriko
- Hopefully you‘ve gotten the hang of her abilities in the practice range!
The wins will take some time. But the ult and kunai challenges can be completed in under an hour. Then it just comes down to grinding Quick Play for the wins.
This is a nice way to shortcut the Battle Pass system and unlock Kiriko through active gameplay rather than pure XP gains.
And remember – you can combine these challenge unlocks with the Battle Pass XP you earn to accelerate the process!
Is Kiriko Worth Unlocking?
Now that you know how long it takes to get Kiriko, you may be wondering…is she worth it?
Let‘s take a look at her strengths and weaknesses:
- Strong burst healing with her Ofuda ability
- Can cleanse debuffs like Ana‘s anti-heal
- Her ultimate provides a big damage and speed boost
- Wall climb gives her great mobility
- Solid damage for dueling isolated enemies
- High skill floor due to aim intensive playstyle
- Low total healing output compared to main healers
- Ultimate charges slowly and can be inconsistent
- Low self-sustain makes her vulnerable alone
In summary, Kiriko is extremely powerful in the right hands but has a high skill cap. She excels at enabling big plays from her damage teammates.
However, her skill floor means she may struggle at lower ranks or in uncoordinated teams. But with practice, her abilities provide tremendous utility.
She won‘t be a good fit for all players. But if you like high skill ceiling supports that reward mechanical skill, Kiriko is a hero worth pursuing!
Kiriko Tips & Tricks to Master
Once you’ve unlocked Kiriko, here are some top tips and tricks to make the most of her abilities:
Use Swift Step both offensively and defensively – Cleanse debuffs on allies and escape danger.
Go for headshots with Kunai to take advantage of the damage boost.
Wall climb to reach unexpected angles for surprise attacks.
Save Protection Suzu to cleanse allies from enemy ultimates like Ana’s anti-heal grenade.
Kiriko can duel isolated enemies like Widowmaker – don’t be afraid to take 1v1s if you can land headshots.
During her ultimate, focus on boosting high damage allies like Hanzo, Genji or Soldier.
Swift Step can be used mid-air after jumping for swift repositioning.
Don’t waste Swift Step if you aren’t cleansing debuffs. The cooldown is long.
Mastering these advanced tips will help you get the most value from Kiriko. She has one of the highest skill ceilings in the game.
Kiriko Update: Buffed in Latest Patch!
Exciting news – Kiriko received some buffs in the latest December 2022 patch that make her even more powerful! Here are the tweaks:
Ofuda (Healing Paper) cooldown decreased from 9 seconds to 8 seconds.
This allows Kiriko to throw her kunai shots 15% faster, increasing her healing output.
Protection Suzu (Cleanse) cooldown decreased from 14 seconds to 12 seconds.
She can now cleanse her teammates of debuffs 15% more often.
These cooldown reductions further boost Kiriko‘s capabilities as a burst healer and utility support. Her win-rate has already increased by ~3% since the changes.
So great news if you‘re still working to unlock her – she‘s now noticeably stronger after the recent buffs!
Is Kiriko a Must-Pick Support?
With Kiriko‘s powerful abilities, some players wonder if she is a must-pick support in all situations. However, this isn‘t quite the case.
Here‘s a quick rundown of when Kiriko is a strong pick, and when other supports may be preferable:
Kiriko Excels When:
- Your team has highly mobile DPS in need of burst healing like Genji or Tracer
- The enemy has crucial debuffs you need to cleanse like Ana‘s anti-heal
- You need to push through chokepoints and break entrenched enemy positions
Other Supports Are Preferable When:
- Your team needs heavy AOE healing output for brawl comps
- You are playing "protect the backline" bunker style comps
- The enemy team has strong dive heroes that can isolate Kiriko
So while Kiriko is incredibly powerful in many team compositions, she isn‘t always the best pick. Evaluate your team needs and the enemy lineup to decide if her abilities are right for the situation.
Phew, that was a lot of information! To recap the key points:
It takes approximately 15-25 hours of gameplay to unlock Kiriko through the free Season 1 Battle Pass.
Utilize these unlock tips to shorten the journey:
Complete daily/weekly challenges
Group up with friends
Focus on winning matches
Play support/tank roles
Take advantage of additional game mode challenges
Kiriko herself is a high skill cap hero who enables big plays when mastered. She excels at healing mobile allies and cleansing debuffs.
Make sure to learn advanced tips and tricks to get the most out of her abilities once unlocked.
So in summary, the path to getting Kiriko for free is a bit of a grind, but she‘s a fun and powerful support worth pursuing! Utilize these unlock guides and tips, and you‘ll be cleansing debuffs and damage boosting teammates in no time.
Thanks for reading this overview on how to unlock Kiriko! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy gaming!