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Is Overwatch 2 fully free?

Yes, Overwatch 2 is completely free-to-play for anyone who wants to jump in and start playing. When Blizzard Entertainment launched the sequel on October 4th, 2022, they shifted the game to a free-to-play model after the original Overwatch required an upfront purchase. This freed up the barriers to entry and opened the game to a wider audience.

Do you get Overwatch 2 for free?

As mentioned above, yes – Overwatch 2 is free to download and play on Windows PC, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. There is no upfront cost required to install the game and start playing the various multiplayer modes.

The free-to-play shift was a strategic decision by Blizzard to remove the initial $40-$60 price tag that was required to purchase Overwatch 1. By removing this cost, it allows new players to try the game out without any financial commitment. It also smooths the transition for existing Overwatch 1 players, who now get to continue playing the sequel without paying anything additional.

How long until Overwatch 2 is free?

Overwatch 2 is already free as of its launch on October 4th, 2022. There was no waiting period – it became a free-to-download title globally on all supported platforms right when it was released.

So if you‘ve been holding off on trying Overwatch 2, it is already free and available now on PC and consoles. No need to wait any longer!

Do you have to pay for everything in Overwatch 2?

While the core Overwatch 2 gameplay is free, there are still optional paid cosmetic items and the game‘s seasonal Battle Pass. So players who want to customize the look of their characters or unlock premium rewards will need to spend real money. Here‘s a quick overview:

  • Skins – Skin unlocks are now primarily paid items, ranging from $5 for simple recolors up to $20 for more elaborate legendary skins. There are very few skins that can be earned for free by playing.

  • Battle Pass – Each season has a premium Battle Pass with exclusive unlocks like skins, emotes, highlight intros, etc. The paid pass costs 1000 Overwatch Coins (~$10).

  • Overwatch Coins – These premium virtual currencies are used to purchase cosmetics. 100 coins are ~$1.

So in summary, all heroes, maps and core gameplay content are free. But players will need to spend money on Overwatch Coins if they want cosmetic items like skins or the seasonal Battle Pass rewards.

How much would it cost to buy every item in Overwatch 2?

Buying every single cosmetic item available in Overwatch 2 at launch would cost a staggering total of over $12,000 USD!

According to calculations, the price to purchase all legacy Overwatch 1 skins now available in Overwatch 2 plus all the new Overwatch 2 cosmetics comes out to $12,080.69.

Here‘s a breakdown of those totally costs:

  • All Overwatch 1 Skins – $8,118.03
  • All Overwatch 2 Launch Skins – $2,668.25
  • All Overwatch 2 Souvenirs – $1,050
  • Other Items (emotes, intros, etc.) – $244.41

Total: $12,080.69

Of course, this doesn‘t include future cosmetics that will be added over time post-launch. But it gives an idea of just how expensive it would be to try and immediately unlock the entire catalog of current cosmetic items.

How to get FREE Legendary Skins

While most skins now require purchasing with real money, there are still a few ways to earn some premium legendary skins for free just by playing:

  • Launch Legendary Skins – New players who log in during Season 1 get 2 free legendary hero skins of their choice by completing challenges.

  • Twitch Drops – Linking your account to Twitch allows you to get free skin drops from watching eligible streamers.

  • Weekly Challenges – Occasionally legendary skins are included in the free track of the weekly challenges.

  • Battle Pass – The free track of the seasonal Battle Passes will include a legendary skin around Tier 45.

So new players in particular can unlock a handful of legendary skins without spending money, which helps add customization. But the majority of skins will still require purchasing.

What characters are free in Overwatch 2?

All 35 heroes in Overwatch 2’s launch roster are free to play from the start, including:

  • Tank: Reinhardt, Roadhog, Winston, Wrecking Ball, Zarya, Orisa, Doomfist, Junker Queen

  • Damage: Ashe, Bastion, Cassidy, Echo, Genji, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Pharah, Reaper, Soldier: 76, Sombra, Symmetra, Torbjörn, Tracer, Widowmaker, Sojourn

  • Support: Brigitte, Lúcio, Mercy, Moira, Ana, Baptiste, Kiriko, Zenyatta

New heroes Sojourn (Damage) and Junker Queen (Tank) are immediately playable without needing to unlock them. And the new Support hero Kiriko is also free for all Overwatch 1 owners.

So Blizzard has ensured the entire launch roster is free with no paywalls around any characters. New heroes in future seasons will need to be earned or purchased (see Battle Pass section above). But all existing heroes can be played at no cost.

Will Overwatch 1 be shut down/unplayable?

Yes, with the launch of Overwatch 2, the original Overwatch 1 game has been taken offline and is no longer playable. This was done for a few reasons:

  • Smooth transition for players to move to the new shared multiplayer environment in Overwatch 2.

  • Avoid splitting the player base across two separate games.

  • Focus development on Overwatch 2 and its live service model going forward.

So as of October 4th, 2022, it is no longer possible to play Overwatch 1. When you log in, you will automatically be playing Overwatch 2 (with all your unlocked cosmetics carried over if you had the original game).

This shutdown of the previous game may be disappointing for some longtime fans. But it was necessary based on Blizzard‘s content plans and desire to provide a unified ecosystem moving forward.

What do Overwatch 1 owners get in Overwatch 2?

Players who owned and played the original Overwatch receive several rewards and bonuses when transitioning to the free-to-play sequel:

  • All skins, emotes, sprays, etc you previously unlocked carry over at no cost. So you keep all existing cosmetics.

  • Automatic access to the new Support hero Kiriko without needing to earn her through the Battle Pass.

  • 2 Epic & 2 Legendary skins for free through completing launch challenges.

  • Founder‘s Pack with 2 skins, Overwatch 2 icon, and banners for OW1 ownership

So while Overwatch 2 is now free for everyone, existing players get veteran bonuses like immediately unlocking Kiriko, exclusive skins, and carrying over all their unlocks from OW1 to OW2.

Do you have to pay for heroes in Overwatch 2?

Currently all 35 launch heroes are free for everyone, with no paywalls or unlocks required. However, for future post-launch heroes added through seasonal Battle Passes, players will need to either complete challenges to earn them for free, or pay to unlock them instantly.

Here‘s a quick rundown on how new hero unlocks will work in OW2:

  • New heroes will be included on the free track of the seasonal Battle Pass around Tier 55. This allows players to earn the hero for free by leveling up over multiple weeks.

  • Purchasing premium Battle Pass immediately unlocks that season‘s new hero at Tier 0. So paying skips the longer grind.

  • Heroes from past seasons can be unlocked through challenges or purchased directly with Overwatch Coins.

So while the 35 launch heroes are all free, Blizzard will be monetizing new post-release heroes through premium unlocks and currency purchases if you don‘t want to complete the full 55 tiers of the Battle Pass.

Is Overwatch 2 pay-to-win?

Overwatch 2 is not considered a fully pay-to-win game, but there are some elements of being able to spend money to progress faster:

Advantages for paying players:

  • Instantly unlock new heroes each season without grinding Battle Pass tiers

  • Buy legacy skins that provide gameplay advantages like being harder to see

  • Buy account XP boosts to level up and earn rewards quicker

Neutral for non-paying players:

  • All gameplay content (heroes, maps, modes) is fully accessible for free

  • In-match performance is 100% based on skill – not influenced by paid items

So in summary, spending money allows faster hero unlocks, visual customization, and account progression. But the core gameplay and viable hero options remain fairly balanced whether you pay or not. Paying provides some advantages but not insurmountable ones.

Is Overwatch 2 just an update to Overwatch 1?

While the two games share a lot of DNA in terms of heroes, abilities, and maps, Overwatch 2 includes some fundamental shifts that set it apart as a full sequel rather than just an update:

  • 5v5 team format (down from 6v6)
  • Major hero reworks and new abilities
  • 4 new maps at launch, with more in development
  • New game modes like Push
  • Updated engine with enhanced graphics, physics, lighting
  • Shift to free-to-play with seasonal model
  • Introduction of the Battle Pass system

So there are significant enough changes to core gameplay, heroes, modes, monetization, and presentation to consider OW2 a separate new entry in the franchise rather than an upgrade to the existing OW1. It remains recognizably Overwatch, but with an overhaul befitting a full sequel.

Why did I have to pay $40 for the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack?

Many players who wanted to participate in the OW2 beta leading up to launch had to purchase the $40 Watchpoint Pack, which then granted beta access. Here‘s what the Pack provided:

  • Guaranteed beta access (the only way to play before launch)

  • 2 Legendary skins (Soldier 76 & Cassidy)

  • Overwatch 2 Season 1 Premium Battle Pass

  • 2000 Overwatch Coins (~$20 value)

So while the Pack was pricey, it did offer at least $40+ worth of skins, currency, and early playtime value. It essentially allowed buying into the beta while pre-ordering bonuses for the full launch.

Why did I lose all my stuff in Overwatch 2?

A few common reasons you may have temporarily lost your skins and progress carrying over from Overwatch 1 into 2:

  • You logged into the wrong account that didn‘t have your OW1 progress

  • Your console account was not properly merged with your ID ahead of launch

  • Server issues at launch caused cosmetic glitches (usually fixed by relogging)

So make sure you are logged into the correct BNet account that is linked to your platform, and retry loading into OW2. Your prior unlocks should then be restored. Contact Blizzard support if items continue to be missing.

How long would it take to unlock everything as a free player?

Based on calculations by players in the community, it‘s estimated that unlocking all cosmetic content in Overwatch 2 through free gameplay alone would take over 450 years without ever spending money!

This is based on the typical pace of earning 60 Overwatch Coins per week from arcade mode wins. At that rate, the $12,000+ worth of cosmetics in the game would take nearly half a millennium to obtain as a totally free player.

Of course, this is an unrealistic scenario, as players will typically only unlock cosmetics selectively for their favorite heroes. But it illustrates how strongly Blizzard now incentivizes spending real money to speed up unlocks, compared to the original Overwatch.

Most players will never get close to unlocking the full catalog without paying. Expect to play for many months just to earn legendaries for your main hero.

What do you get with the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass?

Overwatch 2’s Battle Pass systems offers both a free track and paid premium track. Here are some of the key unlocks included:

Free Track

  • New hero unlocked around Tier 55
  • Legendary & epic skins
  • Emotes, highlight intros, souvenirs
  • XP boosts
  • Overwatch Coins

Premium Track

  • Instant unlock for new hero at Tier 0
  • Additional legendary skins
  • More emotes, intros, souvenirs
  • Added XP boosts
  • Overwatch Coins (~1300 per season)

The paid premium Battle Pass runs 1000 Overwatch Coins (~$10) per season. But paying immediately unlocks the headline new hero and other cosmetics faster through the 80 tiers.

Both tracks offer good rewards, but the premium pass is strongly encouraged by Blizzard to access new heroes and cosmetics quicker each season.

What happens when you finish the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass?

After completing all 80 tiers of the seasonal Battle Pass, Overwatch 2 introduces a Prestige system that allows players to continue earning unique rewards past Tier 80:

  • Each season has 80 normal tiers and up to 100 Prestige tiers

  • Prestige tiers require way more XP but offer new nameplates, titles, and variants of existing cosmetics

  • Maxing out all 180 tiers earns an exclusive mythic skin

So the Prestige system adds another few weeks of progression for the most dedicated players each season. It offers bragging rights and unique cosmetic flair.

Completing it requires significant playtime or purchasing XP boosts. But it extends the life of each season beyond the initial 80 Battle Pass tiers.

How many copies did Overwatch 1 sell?

As of April 2019, Blizzard announced the original Overwatch had sold over 50 million copies since launch! This makes it one of the best selling new IP in the past decade.

Some key sales milestones:

  • 7 million copies in first week of release

  • 30 million copies after first year

  • 40+ million by the end of 2018

  • 50+ million by early 2019

For comparison, Call of Duty sells 20-30 million units annually. So Overwatch quickly joined the 50 million club usually reserved for juggernauts like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, and Minecraft.

Its strong sales and ongoing revenue through loot boxes allowed Blizzard to fund years of new heroes, maps, events, and media around the IP. Now Overwatch 2 will transition to a free-to-play model fueled by Battle Pass sales and attract an even wider audience.

Do I keep my Overwatch 1 skins in Overwatch 2?

Yes, all cosmetic items like skins that players unlocked in the original Overwatch carry over to the sequel at launch. As long as you play Overwatch 2 on the same console account or ID, you retain all your skins, emotes, highlight intros, sprays, and voice lines.

Blizzard specifically wanted to reward Overwatch 1 veterans by allowing them to maintain all the cool skins and cosmetics they had earned previously. So don’t worry about losing your collection during the transition.

The only exceptions are if you created a brand new account or switch platforms without properly merging your progress. As long as you carry over your main OW1 account, all earned cosmetics will still be available in Overwatch 2.


While Overwatch 2 is entirely free-to-play, there are still plenty of paid cosmetics, season passes, and unlockable heroes that incentivize spending money within the in-game shop. But the core experience of playing and competing in matches is accessible for free to all players on PC and consoles.

For existing Overwatch players, the shift to a F2P model maintains all your existing progress and cosmetics. And new players can jump in to try out one of the most stylistic and polished team-based shooters without any paywalls restricting access to classes, maps or competitive multiplayer game modes.

So while the original purchase price is gone, expect to invest money if you want the coolest skins, seasonal heroes, and time-saving account upgrades. But at its heart, Overwatch 2 delivers the same fun and balanced 5v5 team combat in a free package for all.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.