With Overwatch 2 set to release in exactly one week, fans can begin to say their goodbyes to the original Overwatch. As part of the shift to the upcoming sequel, Blizzard will be shutting down the original Overwatch servers next week.
The current version of Overwatch will be taken offline at approximately 9:00 a.m. PDT on October 3, meaning October 2nd will be your last full day to play the original Overwatch. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long before we jump back into the action as Overwatch 2 will launch and go live worldwide at approximately 12:00 p.m. PDT on October 4. If you’re already an existing Overwatch player, you can get a jump start by pre-downloading Overwatch 2 early.
There are some additional things to take note of prior to Overwatch 2’s launch. For starters, all players, whether new or returning, will need to activate SMS protection. This involves linking an eligible cell phone number to your Battle.net account.
Overwatch 2 is basically a continuation of Overwatch featuring all of the original characters plus three new ones at launch. But between all the balance adjustments, gameplay tweaks (especially the move to a 5v5 format), and general systems changes, it should feel like a new experience. Familiar yet different at the same time.
Perhaps the biggest and most welcomed change is the shift to a free-to-play model. Whereas the original Overwatch required you to purchase the game, Overwatch 2 will be completely free to download and play. However, there are some restrictions on new players, such as limited access to game modes and original heroes until you’ve played enough games to unlock them.
Additionally, newly released heroes will be gated behind Overwatch 2’s battle pass, although you can acquire them through the free track once you reach tier 55. Alternatively, you can unlock them immediately by purchasing the premium track.
So there are some drawbacks of Overwatch 2 being free-to-play, but honestly, it’s not a bad trade-off.