As part of its concerted effort to "disincentivize disruptive behavior and gameplay" once Overwatch 2 launches as a free-to-play title, Blizzard has revealed that its requirements for newer players to queue up for Competitive games will be changing drastically as well.
For those wondering what the changes are and who they will affect, here's a breakdown of how to unlock the Competitive mode in Overwatch 2.
How to Unlock Competitive Mode in Overwatch 2
To enter the Competitive mode in Overwatch 2, players will have to complete the game's First Time User Experience (FTUE) and win 50 Quick Play matches.
This only affects accounts made on or after OW2's Oct. 4 release date. Anyone who has unlocked Competitive in the OG Overwatch will have access to Competitive immediately in Overwatch 2.
In the original Overwatch, players simply needed to reach Level 25 to unlock Competitive mode. Since Overwatch 2 will not have portrait levels, with match experience instead going towards players' battle pass progress, this new process has been established.
Blizzard identified three main ways in which this stricter policy should benefit the Overwatch community:
- This gives new players time to prepare for the higher expectations that come with Competitive.
- Longtime players don’t feel discouraged by teammates who have less experience.
- Disruptive players are unable to immediately affect the larger community, with things like voice chat and match chat. Brand-new accounts made by cheaters or disruptive players will all have to complete the specific challenge, giving Blizzard the chance to identify suspicious accounts before they enter other game modes.
In the process of unlocking Competitive, we analyze new player skill levels to optimize matchmaking in a way that feels good to everyone.- Blizzard
Aside from the Competitive challenge requirement, the FTUE is an all-new system that aims to welcome new players more gradually to the world of Overwatch and its modes, rules and other high-level aspects in an approachable way.
New players begin with access to a limited set of game modes, heroes and some other restrictions to onboard them. The first phase of the FTUE rapidly unlocks all the game modes and the ability to chat in-game, and the second phase is said to unlock all the original Overwatch heroes over the course of approximately 100 matches.
Most FTUE restrictions are lifted while in a group, so new players can team up with their friends at any time to play almost any game mode except for Competitive.
Overwatch 2 is set to release worldwide for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and Windows PC (via Battle.net) on Oct. 4, 2022.
For more, feel free to check out our guide on how to pre-load Overwatch 2.