The launch of Overwatch 2 has brought some big changes to Blizzard‘s popular hero shooter, including a shift to a free-to-play model and the introduction of seasonal Battle Passes. This has left many returning Overwatch players wondering – is the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass free for old players?
Overview of the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass
Overwatch 2 features a Battle Pass system similar to other popular free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. The Battle Pass contains 100 tiers of cosmetic rewards that players can unlock by gaining XP and completing challenges over the course of a season.
There are both free and premium reward tracks in the Battle Pass:
Free Track: This contains rewards on 20 tiers, granted every few levels. Free players can unlock heroes and other content.
Premium Track: This has 80 tiers of premium cosmetics, available immediately when you purchase the premium Battle Pass.
The premium Battle Pass costs 1000 Overwatch Coins, which is approximately $10. It‘s important to note that the Battle Pass and all progress resets at the end of each season.
Do Old Overwatch Players Get the Battle Pass for Free?
So do existing Overwatch players get the Season 1 Battle Pass for free? The answer is no – the Battle Pass is not free for old Overwatch players.
Everyone starts on the free track when each season begins. Old players will need to purchase the premium pass just like new players, if they want access to those premium cosmetic rewards.
However, Blizzard has provided some exclusive bonuses to thank Overwatch veterans for their support over the years:
Founder‘s Pack: This free pack contains 2 epic skins, 2 player icons, and currency for old players. It also instantly unlocks the new Kiriko hero.
Overwatch Credits: Existing players retain all unused credits from Overwatch 1. These can be used in the hero gallery but not to purchase the Battle Pass.
Cosmetics: All cosmetics like skins, emotes, sprays etc are carried over and usable in Overwatch 2.
So while the Battle Pass itself is not free, Blizzard has provided some free bonuses as a thank you to loyal fans. But purchasing the premium pass is required to unlock all tiers of cosmetics each season.
What Do You Get on the Free Track as an Old Player?
While old players don‘t get the premium Battle Pass for free, the good news is that everyone can still earn great rewards through the free track just by playing.
Here‘s what existing players on the free track get in Season 1:
New Hero Unlocks: Free players can unlock new heroes like Kiriko by progressing through tiers. She unlocks at Tier 55.
Weapon Charms: Equipable cosmetic items for your weapons.
Souvenirs: Display pieces like banners and flags to customize your player profile.
Name Cards: Customize your player card with stylish backgrounds.
Emotes: Unlock new emotes for expressing yourself during matches.
Sprays: New sprays to tag walls and objects in-game.
Voice Lines: Additional voice lines to customize your hero interactions.
Player Icons: New icons to customize your player profile.
So while you don‘t get all the premium cosmetics, the free track enables you to unlock new heroes and earn plenty of cool rewards just for playing.
What are Some Tips for Unlocking Rewards Faster?
Here are some tips to level up your Battle Pass more quickly and unlock those free rewards as an old or new player:
Complete Daily & Weekly Challenges: These give big XP boosts so make sure to knock them out!
Group Up: Playing in a group gives +20% XP to you and your friends, so group up whenever possible.
Play Competitively: Competitive matches award more XP than Quick Play, so jump into Comp when you can.
Be Flexible: Queueing as Flex for roles gives a little XP bump over selecting a single role.
Take Advantage of 2XP Events: Keep an eye out for double XP weekends or weeks to accelerate Battle Pass progression.
Using these tips will help you maximize the value from the free track of the Battle Pass by earning those rewards faster.
What are Some Highlights of the Overwatch 2 Premium Battle Pass?
While the free track has some solid rewards, upgrading to the premium Battle Pass gives you access to 80 additional tiers of great cosmetic content. Here are some highlights of what you can unlock with the premium pass in Season 1:
New Mythic Skin: Genji‘s Suzaku skin with color-changing VFX.
Legendary Skins: Epic new looks for heroes like Junker Queen, Sojourn, and more.
Epic Skins: Cool rare skins for diverse heroes.
Weapon Charms: Premium decorative cosmetics for your guns and gear.
Souvenirs: High quality profile customizations like banners.
Highlight Intros: New unique highlight intros for showing off your best plays.
Emotes: Additional exotic emotes to express yourself during matches.
Overwatch Coins: Earn up to 1300 coins from premium pass rewards.
The premium pass delivers a ton of cosmetic value in each season. Players looking to get the most out of Overwatch 2‘s customization should consider purchasing it.
Will Overwatch 1 Players Get Future Battle Passes for Free?
Many Overwatch veterans are also wondering if they will get future seasonal Battle Passes for free in later seasons. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Each new season‘s Battle Pass needs to be purchased, even by existing players. No Battle Passes carry over across seasons – your progress resets at the end of each one.
So while Blizzard provided some launch bonuses for OW1 players, they will need to buy the premium pass like new players for all future seasons. Unlocking those 80 tiers of fresh content each season requires purchasing the pass.
What Other Free Items Can Old Players Unlock?
In addition to the Founder‘s Pack rewards, there are also some other free item unlocks old Overwatch players can take advantage of:
Seasonal Hero Challenges: Complete challenges to earn new hero skins, available to all players each season.
Twitch Drops: Link your Blizzard and Twitch accounts to get free drops for watching streams.
Giveaways & Promotions: Keep an eye out for limited-time giveaways, contests, and promotions.
Special Events: Events like Halloween bring free earnable cosmetics through special challenges.
So while the Battle Pass itself isn‘t free, Blizzard does provide other opportunities such as seasonal challenges or Twitch Drops to get free cosmetics and items.
Common Questions on the Battle Pass for Old Players
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from returning Overwatch players about the new Battle Pass system:
Do you keep the Battle Pass rewards after the season ends?
No, the Battle Pass resets each season. You lose access to those cosmetics when the season ends and the pass resets.
Can I use Overwatch credits to buy the Battle Pass?
No, OW credits can only be used to unlock existing OW1 content. You need the new Overwatch Coins currency to purchase passes.
If I buy the pass mid-season, do I get the premium rewards from earlier tiers?
Yes! If you decide to upgrade to premium mid-season, you retroactively unlock all prior premium rewards.
Can I go back and buy an old season‘s Battle Pass that I missed?
Unfortunately, no. Battle Passes can only be purchased during their active season, not in the future.
Is the Battle Pass System Better for Players Overall?
The shift to free-to-play and seasonal Battle Passes has been controversial among some Overwatch players. But overall, this new system provides some major benefits:
Lower Barrier to Entry: The F2P model allows more players to try Overwatch 2 freely.
Rewarding Engagement: The Pass provides tangible rewards for playing and engaging each season.
More Frequent Content: New heroes, maps, skins, and other content will release more frequently.
Still Optional: All gameplay content is unlockable for free by playing. Passes offer cosmetics/customization.
While the premium pass now costs money, the tradeoff is that we get much more ongoing content and rewards added to the game. Overall the Pass should provide more consistent engagement and enjoyment.
Will Overwatch 1 Be Shut Down?
Yes, with the launch of Overwatch 2, the servers for the original Overwatch will be shut down. Overwatch 1 is essentially being upgraded and replaced fully by the free-to-play Overwatch 2.
So if you want to play Overwatch going forward, you‘ll need to transition to playing OW2. All your progress does carry over. But Overwatch 1 itself will no longer be playable as a separate game after October 2nd, 2022.
The launch of Overwatch 2 brings some big changes with the new free-to-play model and seasonal Battle Pass system. While old Overwatch players don‘t get the premium pass for free, there are some nice founder‘s bonuses for veterans making the transition.
Everyone can unlock new heroes and plenty of rewards through the free track by just playing. And purchasing the pass unlocks 80 tiers of premium cosmetic content. Overall the pass should provide more frequent and rewarding content updates.
So while it isn‘t free, hopefully the new Overwatch 2 Battle Pass system will provide all players, both new and old, with plenty of great content and motivation to jump into each season!