Overwatch 2 is making huge changes for first-time players and Competitive play

Overwatch 2 new player changesBlizzard Entertainment

Overwatch 2 is completely revamping its experience for first-time players with a series of massive changes coming when the game launches.

Fans of the highly-anticipated hero shooter have been waiting a long time for Overwatch 2 and to try out all the new heroes, maps and gameplay, but the experience is going to be wildly different for newcomers.

While veteran players will begin with access to mostly everything Overwatch 2 has to offer right off the bat, Blizzard has revealed it’s creating a more welcoming environment for new players.

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In a new blog post, Blizzard revealed that there will be some big changes to how new users play the game and what returning gamers can expect to see with Competitive play.

First-time Overwatch players will need to unlock old heroes

Overwatch 2 will be creating a unique first-time user experience to prevent newcomers to the franchise from getting overwhelmed with all the heroes and modes.

According to the devs, new users will begin with access to a limited set of heroes, modes, and other restrictions that they will need gradually unlock. This is different, however, from new heroes, which will be unlocked right away with a premium Battle Pass or by leaving up the free route.

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The first phase of the process will see first-time users unlock game modes and the ability to chat in-game while the second will have them unlocking each of the game’s heroes over time.

Overwatch 2 Winston MercyBlizzard Entertainment
New Overwatch players will need to unlock old heroes in OW2.

Blizzard says that new users will be able to unlock all the heroes over the course of 100 matches, but the restrictions are lifted if the player is in a group.

However, Competitive play will still be off limits for new users until those 100 games are completed, but that’s not all. Everyone will still need to complete a very specific goal in order to even queue up for a ladder match.

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New Overwatch 2 Competitive details revealed

Blizzard states that because Overwatch 2 is doing away with levels and will instead be using a Battle Pass, the requirements to be eligible for Competitive have changed.

Going forward, players will need to win 50 quick play matches in order to unlock the Competitive mode option.

“This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive, while long-term players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience. In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone,” the devs said.

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OW2 ranks explainedBlizzard Entertainment
Overwatch players need to win 50 matches to unlock Competitive.

Additionally, when queuing in Competitive, players will no longer be able to see their teammates’ or opponents’ SR tier before a match.

As Dexerto previously reported, OW2 is doing away with numbered SR and instead is implementing multiple sub-tiers such as “Gold 2.”

“We found this to be a pain point for Competitive as some players were passing judgement on their teammates before the match began, causing either explicit or implicit bias to occur immediately,” Blizzard explained.

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This is part of a larger plan by the developers to combat toxicity with other elements including transcribed audio of chat logs and phone verification for all players.

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