Overwatch 2 launch details: SMS verification, pre-download, more

Josh Tyler
Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 launches in a week and Blizzard has announced the requirements for players who want to jump into the game.

Since Overwatch 2 will be a free-to-play game, you won’t have needed to pre-ordered or done anything other than download the game once it becomes available. But that doesn’t mean you can just load into the game straight away.

To prepare for the worldwide launch, players will have to make sure that their battle.net accounts are all set and ready.

Here are all the steps you need to take in order to be ready to play Overwatch 2 the second it launches on October 4.

How to merge or create an Overwatch 2 account for launch

Before you can play Overwatch, you’ll need to make sure your account is up to snuff. For new players, you’ll have to go through the process of creating an account on the platform of your choosing by going to battle.net.

For existing Overwatch players, you may have to merge your accounts if you have played on multiple platforms.

Overwatch 2 Arisa
Make sure your account is up to date before launch.

With the introduction of cross progression and the fact that cosmetics from Overwatch will carry over to Overwatch 2, players with multiple accounts must merge them to make sure that all cosmetics end up in the single account.

If you have an existing account on just one platform, there’s no need to merge and your account’s cosmetics will carry over to Overwatch 2.

How to register for SMS protection

For new and returning players, Overwatch 2 requires players to set up SMS protection before they can jump into game.

This means that you will have to register an eligible cell phone number with your battle.net account. This is as part of a system to combat “disruptive in-game behavior” and prevent players from creating a bunch of smurf accounts.

Junker Queen female representation
Junker Queen is one of the new characters arriving at the launch of Overwatch 2.

To do so, Overwatch recommends players take the following steps:

  1. Visit https://account.battle.net/ and log in. Navigate to “Account Details”.
  2. Add your phone number, including the area code, where prompted. Note that the country code must match the designated country listed on your Blizzard account and certain types of phone numbers (like pre-paid and VOIP), cannot be used.
  3. Click “Continue”. You’ll receive an incoming SMS text message prompting you with a verification code. Enter this code in the field and click “Continue” to activate SMS protection.

How to pre-download Overwatch 2 before launch

Luckily for eager players, you’ll be able to pre-download the game so that you’re ready to go right when the servers come online October 4.

Pre-download will be available beginning September 30 at 1:30 P.M. PDT for all existing Overwatch PC players and those who purchased the Watchpoint Pack. The download is approximately 50 GB and will download in the background so long as you have automatic updates enabled on your account. If not, you can manually download by checking for updates.

If you’re a console player, the pre-download will not be available until October 4 at 9:00 A.M. PDT. The download will be 30 GB but does not require any other steps.

About The Author

Josh Tyler is Dexerto's US Editor, focused on TV and movies as well as all things gaming. Formerly of Fansided and Screen Rant. Tips welcome at josh.tyler@dexerto.com