Skip to main content

Overwatch 2’s heroes will be tied to battle passes. Here’s how it works

Blizzard shared several updates on Overwatch 2 at Tokyo Game Show ahead of the game’s multiplayer beta launch. In addition to unveiling the game’s latest hero, Kiriko, the company gave details on the game’s new seasonal model. As part of the change, new heroes will now be tied to battle pass progression rather than offered unlocked for free.

The first Overwatch game took an organic approach to new content drops, releasing updates on no set time frame. Overwatch 2‘s new model will deliver content to players every nine weeks. Each update will add new content to the game regularly, including maps, modes, and cosmetics. A new hero will be added every other season following season 2. Seasons will bring a purchasable battle pass with over 80 tiers, 20 of which will be free to players who don’t buy the full pass.

The battle pass brings the game’s biggest change. New characters will be placed on the battle pass, so players will need to earn them if they want to get them for free. A screenshot on a Blizzard blog post shows that Kiriko, a new ninja support hero, is unlockable at level 55. Meanwhile, anyone who buys the premium battle pass will unlock a season’s new character right away. Anyone who already owns Overwatch will unlock Kiriko right away for free when Overwatch 2 launches, though they’ll need to redeem the hero before season 2 begins.

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

Not all of Overwatch 2‘s newest heroes will need to be unlocked that way. Anyone who logs into the game during season 1 will unlock Junker Queen and Sojourn automatically. However, it appears that every hero after that will be tied to the battle pass. New heroes will join in seasons 1 and 2, with more planned for seasons 4 and 6.

Its a decision that’s sure to raise some concerns for fans. Seeing as Overwatch is a team-based series where certain heroes are essential to the game’s meta, the decision could be seen as one that gives players who pay for the Premium Battle Pass an unfair advantage over those who don’t. While anyone can unlock new heroes for free, grinding up to tier 55 will likely take a fair amount of time. Previously, Overwatch offered every new character for free to all players, so its a significant shift in business model for Blizzard.

Overwatch 2 goes into multiplayer beta on October 4 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
With PVE mode canceled, Overwatch 2 just isn’t the game for me
Two squads of heroes clash in an Overwatch 2 trailer.

When Overwatch 2 was first announced, I had good reason to be excited. I always enjoyed the series’ first installment, but I always wished there was more to it. As someone who’s not a skilled competitive player, I wanted more ways to interact with the shooter that didn’t just involve me going on big losing streaks. So I was elated when Blizzard announced it would bring a full PVE mode to the sequel. Finally, I’d have a way to get invested in the world and characters of Overwatch and progress through a solo campaign while doing it.

It turns out that dream was a fantasy. In a recent interview with Gamespot, game director Aaron Keller revealed that plans for the mode had been scrapped. Overwatch 2 would still get some story content bundled in with new seasons, but the grand vision for a Hero mode with its own skill trees was no more. Not only that, but plans had changed a year and a half ago -- something that was never communicated to fans when the game’s multiplayer component launched last October.

Read more
Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0’s overpowered new DMZ bundle ignites pay-to-win fears
Character calling in killstreak in Warzone 2.0.

Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 has struggled to retain players due to odd gameplay decisions and controversial mechanics that have divided the community. A new feature, though, has players especially up in arms.

Recently, publisher Activision released an in-game store bundle that some players consider a "pay-to-win" option, stirring up criticism once again. The paid bundle, "Roze and Thorn," gives DMZ players a free unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that temporarily reveals the locations of enemy players at the start of a match, immediately offering an advantage.

Read more
Warzone 2.0’s one-shot snipers are hard to use. Try this weapon instead
Character holding sniper in Warzone 2.0.

Activision finally added the ability to earn one-hit kills with certain snipers as part of Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 Season 3. This was a much-needed update that makes heavy rifles more viable. However, this comes with a major caveat, as the only way to earn a one-hit kill is by utilizing explosive rounds on a small selection of snipers, which absolutely tanks a weapon's bullet velocity.

This makes it extremely difficult to actually hit your shots, so inexperienced players won't really reap the benefits of the newly-added one-shot capabilities. However, there is an alternative solution that everyone should try, as it's a viable option that works well at long distances.

Read more