Overwatch 2’s “alienating” phone verification is preventing some fans from playing

Michael Gwilliam
overwatch 2 sms verification

Fans looking forward to playing Overwatch 2 when it launches on October 4 are freaking out over the game’s SMS verification that could keep them from being unable to play the game.

Overwatch 2 is less than ten days away and Blizzard has continued to drip-feed details about the sequel leading up to its launch.

In a matter of days, long-awaited info about Overwatch 2’s Battle Pass, Competitive Play, and its new anti-toxicity system dubbed ‘Defense Matrix’ have been revealed, but fans haven’t been too keen on some of these ideas.

While the Battle Pass hero controversy has been somewhat quelled by Blizzard, revealing how easy it will be to unlock new characters, some fans won’t even get to experience that journey because of their phone plans.

Overwatch 2 gameplay
Anyone without a phone is going to have a hard time playing Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 fans hit out at Blizzard for SMS verification

In order to play Overwatch 2, fans will need to link their phone number with their account. This is designed to help do away with smurfs and make for a less toxic game overall.

Unfortunately, this also means that players with certain phones, and even certain plans, will be unable to verify their accounts and will need to rely on phone numbers provided by friends or family. Good luck to Dr Disrespect and his flip phone!

Across Reddit and the official Overwatch forums, fans have complained about this verification and have even gone as far as refunding their Watchpoint Packs – that is, if they’re able to.

One Xbox player who was on a Cricket phone plan posted how Microsoft had denied their refund request.

Someone else explained how they had to contact Blizzard support in order to request a refund and was only able to do so after speaking with a representative.

Overwatch 2 beta
Overwatch players have been refunding their Watchpoint Packs amid the SMS drama.

Others, however, were furious at the fact they couldn’t play a game they had been looking forward to for so long and voiced their anger.

“I originally thought the phone number was a good idea to combat smurfs, but this is causing more problems for more people than solving them,” wrote one player who said they were stationed in Japan.

“I understand the decision from a security and anti-cheating/smurf perspective, but it’s going to alienate a sizable portion of the player population,” commented another. “As of right now, it is confirmed that many MetroPCS numbers and all Cricket Wireless phone numbers do not work for the two factor authentication system.”

The player went on to add that this will prevent “at least 27 million people from playing the game in the United States alone.”

Blizzard did tell IGN that “[w]e plan to address this sometime soon,” so there may yet be a fix to address these issues.

About The Author

Michael Gwilliam is a senior writer at Dexerto based in Ontario, Canada. He specializes in Overwatch, Smash, influencers, and Twitch culture. Gwilliam has written for sites across Canada including the Toronto Sun. You can contact him at michael.gwilliam@dexerto.com or on Twitter @TheGwilliam