How to unlock new Overwatch 2 heroes for free without Battle Pass

Michael Gwilliam
kiriko in ow2

New heroes in Overwatch 2 are going to be available right away for Battle Pass owners, but players can unlock them without spending a cent on the game. Here’s how to do it.

Overwatch 2 will be released on October 4 with three new heroes in the form of Sojourn, Junker Queen and Kiriko, but only the latter will be hidden behind a Battle Pass at launch.

In order to play as Overwatch 2’s newest support hero right away, players can pay $10 USD for the Premium Battle Pass, but there are some other methods to unlock her and future characters that won’t cost you anything.

It may take some grinding, especially for those who want to play the newest hero within the season, but determined fans should be able to get it done and will have ample opportunity to do so.

kiriko unlocked
New heroes can be unlocked by grinding to level 55 on the free track.

How to unlock new OW2 heroes without a Battle Pass

Starting with Season one, players who grind the free track of the Battle Pass can unlock Kiriko at level 55.

It’s not clear how long it will take to level up a Battle Pass just yet, but players will be getting a bit of a boost by queuing with a friend, so finding someone to join in on your quest will be a big help.

Additionally, you can also use Overwatch Coins, a currency new to the sequel, to unlock heroes outright. Overwatch Coins can be earned by completing weekly and daily challenges.

Plus, if you have 1,000 Overwatch Coins saved up, you can even decide to just purchase a Battle Pass and get the new hero right away, plus all sorts of other rewards.

overwatch 3 coins challenges
Players can earn Overwatch Coins to unlock heroes.

That said, not everyone may be able to grind to level 55 on the free track of the Battle Pass. Fear not, however, because even if the season ends, you can still unlock new heroes through a bit of work.

How to unlock Overwatch 2 heroes from past seasons

Heroes from past seasons will be available in Overwatch 2 – even if you missed your chance to unlock them early – in the form of weekly challenges.

Completing these challenges will get you access to characters and might be a bit easier to grind for when compared to getting to level 55 on the free track when the hero is just released.

The Overwatch devs have said they want to make unlocking heroes a simple process so someone jumping into the game a year from now will be able to naturally and easily have more characters at their disposal before they’re eligible for ranked.

Be sure to take advantage of all these tips and your hero roster will be able to grow in no time without spending a dime.

How to play as new Overwatch 2 heroes before unlocking them

While unlocking new heroes permanently gives you widespread access across all game modes, players can actually test locked characters before earning them. This can be done in a number of ways.

First up, all heroes are available to use in both the Practice Range and Custom Games. If you’re just looking to try some of the new abilities in a quick warm-up or kicking back with a friendly custom lobby, you can all enjoy the newest heroes.

Similarly, locked heroes will also be accessible in Arcade modes like No Limits, Mystery Heroes, Mystery Deathmatch, and more. This includes select special event modes down the line too, so you won’t miss out there.