Blizzard to Remove Phone Number Requirement for "Majority" of Overwatch 2 Players

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard has revealed that they will be removing phone number requirements for a large portion of Overwatch 2 players, a feature that saw many left unable to play the game.

Today, Blizzard released an update discussing some of the issues players have faced with the launch of Overwatch 2. Since its release on Oct. 4, players have faced numerous server and stability issues, as well as lengthy queues. A controversial requirement saw players needing SMS Protect in order to play the game, meaning that players needed to provide a phone number. The feature also locked out many who owned prepaid phones.

Blizzard now plans to remove this requirement, saying in a blog post, "We have made the decision to remove phone number requirements for a majority of existing Overwatch players."

The post explains that any Overwatch player with a connected account, which includes players who have played since June 9, 2021, will no longer have to provide a phone number to play. The change is expected to go live on Friday, Oct. 7.

"We remain committed to combating disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2—accounts that were not connected to as well as new accounts will still have to meet SMS Protect requirements, which helps to ensure we’re protecting our community against cheating," the post read. "If a player is caught engaging in disruptive behavior, their account may be banned whether they have a new account or not."

The blog post also went on to say that Blizzard have addressed some issues, and are in the process of addressing others, in regards to queue lengths and server instability. However, players should still anticipate queues.