Earning skins, emotes, highlight intros and other cosmetics is a big part of the Overwatch experience. But with Overwatch 2‘s shift to a free-to-play model, you can no longer directly buy cosmetics with real money. Instead, you need to earn Overwatch Coins, the new in-game currency. Here‘s an in-depth guide on how to get Coins and cosmetics without spending any real cash.
Complete Weekly Challenges
The primary way to earn free Overwatch Coins is by finishing weekly challenges. Here‘s the breakdown:
- Complete 4 challenges = 30 Coins
- Complete 8 challenges = Additional 20 Coins (50 total)
- Complete 11 challenges = Additional 10 Coins (60 total)
So if you maximize and complete all 11 challenges each week, you can earn 60 Coins. With seasonal changes happening every 9 weeks, that equates to 540 free Coins per season from weekly challenges alone.
The challenges rotate each week and involve things like winning games, playing certain roles or heroes, and earning achievements. Some may come naturally through regular play, while others might require more focus.
Unlock the Free Battle Pass Rewards
Each season features a free 100-tier Battle Pass that all players can progress through. It includes 1,500 free Overwatch Coins scattered across the tiers in addition to sprays, voice lines, souvenirs and other cosmetics.
Players earn Battle Pass XP by completing matches, winning, and finishing daily/weekly challenges. Even moderate play will unlock some free Coins, but you can accelerate Battle Pass progression by:
- Winning matches – Earn 500 XP per win
- Playing in a group – +20% XP for each grouped player
- First win of the day – Earn 1,500 XP for your first daily win per mode
- Weekly challenges – Provide large XP rewards
At 10 Coins per tier, it takes roughly 100 tiers to earn 1,000 Coins, so most players will get 800-1,200 free Coins from the Battle Pass.
Strategically Spend Your Legacy Credits
Players with Overwatch 1 accounts received a transfer of any unspent Credits as "Legacy Credits" in Overwatch 2. These can still be spent in lieu of Coins to unlock old OW1 cosmetics at their original pricing.
For example, you can buy a non-event legendary skin for 1,000 Legacy Credits instead of spending 1,900 Coins. Prioritize spending Legacy Credits on expensive items first to maximize savings.
When your balance hits zero, remaining legacy items will convert to Coin pricing. So spend Credits strategically while you have them.
Take Advantage of Free Seasonal Items
During certain seasonal events like Anniversary, Halloween Terror or Winter Wonderland, all players can unlock event-themed loot boxes for free just by logging in.
These gift boxes award four random cosmetic items including skins, emotes, highlight intros, sprays, and voice lines. While the chances of scoring a legendary skin are low, it‘s still an opportunity for free seasonal cosmetics.
Over the course of a year, regular players can open 50+ free event loot boxes, improving your odds of valuable unlocks.
Buy the Battle Pass Only When You‘ve Saved Enough
While buying the 1,000 Coin premium Battle Pass instantly unlocks a new hero and over 80 cosmetics, it‘s not the best value for strictly free players.
Instead, focus on saving the free Coins from challenges and the free track until you can afford the Pass. With 540 weekly + 1,200 free track = ~1,740 Coins per season, you‘ll be able to buy the Pass every 2 seasons without spending real money.
Prioritize saving if your goal is to stay completely free to play.
Grab Free Twitch Drops
On occasion, Blizzard offers free OWL-themed skins and other cosmetics as Twitch Drops for watching certain livestreams. Keep an eye out for drop events and remember to link your Battle.net and Twitch accounts.
It‘s not a steady source of cosmetics, but you can score some nice freebies by watching streams you‘d view anyway.
Take Advantage of Account Linking
If you have multiple accounts across platforms (ex: PC, Xbox and Switch), you can merge them together for a one-time transfer of all unlocked skins and cosmetics.
This allows you to consolidate cosmetics from accounts that you don‘t actively use onto your current main account. However, be sure to only merge trusted accounts that you own to avoid penalties.
Let Time Work For You
It‘s important to remember that Overwatch 2 is a marathon, not a sprint. With each season lasting over 2 months, there‘s no need to unlock everything immediately.
Stay patient and let the free Coins accumulate over time. Eventually you‘ll have enough to grab that legendary skin or emote you‘ve been eyeing without spending a dime.
- Always prioritize weekly challenges for maximum Coins
- Don‘t waste Coins on common cosmetics
- Watch for free Twitch Drops during esports events
- Spend Legacy Credits from OW1 wisely
- Be selective and only buy your favorite cosmetics
While Overwatch 2‘s free-to-play model is more restrictive for non-spenders, you can absolutely unlock plenty of skins and items without paying by utilizing these tips. Stick to the free options and your cosmetic collection will slowly grow over time.