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Overwatch 2 battle pass explained: characters, boosts, cost, and more

The transition between Overwatch and Overwatch 2 has been a rocky road for players. We first had to come to terms with a sequel to the ongoing game, which felt odd on its own, only to be further confused as more details came out. Overwatch 2 would be free but also replace the original, meaning that even those who preferred the balance and systems of the original would have no choice but to upgrade. On top of that, Overwatch 2 would implement a new battle pass model for unlocks instead of the old system of loot boxes for cosmetics and all heroes being available for free.

By now, most players should be familiar with how battle pass systems work. However, due to this being brand new to Overwatch 2 and directly opposing how certain things worked in the previous game, it is leaving a lot of fans concerned, to say the least. To clear up all the questions Blizzard has left ambiguous or simply hidden, here is a full explanation for how the Overwatch 2 battle pass works.

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Why does Overwatch 2 have a battle pass?

Overwatch 2 Junker Queen
Image used with permission by copyright holder

First of all, we have to address the question of why Blizzard decided to implement a battle pass in Overwatch 2 at all. After all, the first game was a huge hit without one, although the loot boxes did cause quite a bit of controversy on their own. This may be one of the reasons for switching to a battle pass system, but Blizzard has stated a few direct reasons for the change.

The main reason the team cites for implementing a battle pass is to better deliver a constant stream of content over a long period of time. By spacing out unlocks through a battle pass, players can continue to earn rewards over weeks rather than simply get everything at once.

Of course, another major reason for using a battle pass is that it has become the standard monetization model for all major free-to-play games in the current gaming landscape. Battle passes have proven to be a lucrative and enticing system for keeping players invested in these types of games over long periods of time.

What does the battle pass unlock?

Overwatch 2's battle pass shows Kiriko at tier 55.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A battle pass is only as valuable as what it gives players, which begs the question of what Overwatch 2 is offering in its battle pass. This battle pass will include numerous unlocks, some of which will be familiar from the first game, and some new. These include skins, weapon charms, intros, emotes, victory poses, sprays, icons, and name cards, but also new additions like souvenirs, Mystic skins, XP boosters, and, most importantly, new heroes.

Starting with Kiriko, unless you owned the original Overwatch, players will no longer simply receive new heroes once they’re released. Instead, they will be part of the battle pass and need to be unlocked to play. Kiriko, for example, requires players to reach tier 55 of the season 1 battle pass to unlock. Thankfully, new heroes will always be available to earn in the free battle pass (more on that later).

Souvenirs are new to Overwatch 2 and are essentially little collectible models that you can equip to your character to unlock an emote that incorporates it into the animation.

While the entire 80-plus-tier season 1 battle pass hasn’t been fully detailed, Blizzard did share some of the rewards that will be earned in both the free battle pass:

  • Newest support hero, Kiriko (for new players who won’t have her already)
  • Two Epic Skins
  • One Weapon Charm
  • Two Souvenirs
  • One Highlight Intro
  • 14 additional items (emotes, victory poses, name cards, sprays, player icons, etc.)
  • Prestige Tier Titles (eight earnable titles available only after completing the entire pass)

And the premium battle pass (which also includes all items in the free version):

  • Immediate access to Kiriko
  • 20% XP Battle Pass Boost
  • One Mythic Skin
  • Five Legendary Skins and 1 Epic Skin
  • Three Play of the Game Intros
  • Four Weapon Charms
  • Three Emotes
  • Three Souvenirs
  • Six Poses
  • Six Name Cards
  • 30-plus additional cosmetic rewards

Can you still purchase items directly?

A still of Tracer in Overwatch 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yes. Despite there being a battle pass, you will still be able to purchase plenty of items in Overwatch 2 by purchasing the new currency called Overwatch Coins. These include individual skins, as well as bundles that contain voice lines, sprays, and more. Each cosmetic or pack will range in cost, with lower-end prices being around 500 Overwatch Coins (which converts to $5) all the way up to the Watchpoint Pack for $40, which includes 2,000 Overwatch Coins, 15 skins, and the premium battle pass.

You can also use Overwatch Coins to buy your way through the battle pass rather than play, with each tier costing 200 coins to unlock.

You are not required to purchase Overwatch Coins with real money, though. If you complete in-game challenges, you can also earn a small amount of coins over time. There are daily, weekly, and seasonal challenges, but only weekly ones contribute toward earning coins. Challenges themselves just reward battle pass experience, with milestones to complete multiple weekly challenges paying out 30 coins for completing four, 20 coins for eight, and just 10 for doing 11.

At just 60 coins per week, at least based on the initial challenges, unlocking anything for free will be very time-consuming.

Is it a seasonal battle pass?

The overwatch 2 content roadmap.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yes, Overwatch 2 will feature seasonal battle passes. Blizzard plans for every Overwatch 2 season to last about nine weeks, at which point a new battle pass will be introduced that includes all new items themed around that season.

Since battle passes will end after nine weeks, and heroes are now unlocked through battle passes, you might be wondering what happens if you miss out on unlocking a hero before that season is over and the battle pass expires. Blizzard has stated that there will always be a way to unlock past heroes, either through hero challenges or by purchasing them with Overwatch Coins.

The current roadmap details season one and two. Season one will add:

  • Three new heroes
  • Six new maps
  • 30-plus new skins
  • New game mode
  • New battle pass
  • New Mythic skin

Season two, which is scheduled to launch on December 6, 2022, will introduce:

  • New Tank class hero
  • New map
  • 30-plus new skins
  • New battle pass
  • New Mythic skin

Future seasons will begin introducing new modes and PvE, along with more of everything listed in the first two seasons.

Is there a paid battle pass?

Kiriko throws items in Overwatch 2.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Yes, there will both be a free and paid battle pass in Overwatch 2. The premium battle pass will cost 1,000 Overwatch Coins ($10) and includes 60 more tiers to unlock over the free version with exclusive rewards, such as the Mythic skin, as well as immediate access to the new hero for that season.

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