Overwatch 2: How to unlock heroes

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Overwatch 2 is here, and it represents the dawn of a new era for Blizzard's award-winning hero shooter. It moves Overwatch to a 5v5 PvP format and overhauls the game with a brand new free-to-play model with Battle Passes, a revamped Competitive play system, and more.

One of the biggest changes Overwatch 2 brings to the table is the addition of the First-Time User Experience, a tutorial-like system that slowly introduces new players to the game by limiting which heroes they can play. The majority of the game's cast can be unlocked as players get some experience under their belt.

In this guide, we'll go over exactly how you can do that so you know what to do. Additionally, we'll also explain how unlocking newer characters like Sojourn, Junker Queen, Kiriko, and Ramattra works, which is especially relevant to new and veteran players alike.

How to unlock all Overwatch 2 heroes

(Image credit: Windows Central / Brendan Lowry)

As a new player, you'll only get access to 13 heroes right away. This is meant to ease you into the Overwatch experience and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with choices. These characters are listed below:

  • Tank: Reinhardt, Winston, Orisa, Zarya
  • Damage: Soldier: 76, Reaper, Pharah, Torbjorn, Tracer, Widowmaker
  • Support: Mercy, Lucio, Moira

As you get comfortable with the game and familiarize yourself with how it works, you will no doubt be interesting in trying out other characters as well.

To unlock the majority of the rest of the roster, you'll need to spend time completing plenty of unranked Quick Play games. As you do, the rest of Overwatch 2's heroes will become available to use. Specifically, you'll need to play 150 matches in order to have every single character from the original game unlocked, though you'll begin unlocking heroes way before that threshold, too.

The table below details how many Quick Play games you'll need to finish to unlock every hero, with Genji being the easiest character to get access to and Echo being the most difficult.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
HeroHow to unlock
GenjiPlay 1 game
D.VaPlay 2 games
CassidyPlay 3 games
AnaPlay 4 games
HanzoPlay 9 games
JunkratPlay 12 games
RoadhogPlay 15 games
SymmetraPlay 20 games
ZenyattaPlay 25 games
BastionPlay 30 games
SigmaPlay 40 games
AshePlay 50 games
BrigittePlay 60 games
MeiPlay 70 games
DoomfistPlay 85 games
BaptistePlay 100 games
SombraPlay 115 games
Wrecking BallPlay 130 games
EchoPlay 150 games
SojournComplete special challenge or buy from the Shop. Players of the original Overwatch can unlock by logging in before Season 2 ends
Junker QueenComplete special challenge or buy from the Shop. Players of the original Overwatch can unlock by logging in before Season 2 ends
KirikoComplete special challenge or buy from the Shop. Players of the original Overwatch can unlock by logging in before Season 2 ends
RamattraReach Tier 45 on the Overwatch 2 Season 2 Battle Pass or buy the Premium Battle Pass

Note that Overwatch 2's new heroes like Kiriko are unlocked in different ways, which we'll go over below.

How to unlock new Overwatch 2 heroes

Kiriko is one of the newer heroes that isn't quite as simple to unlock as members of the original Overwatch cast. (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Unlocking Overwatch 2's new heroes works differently than unlocking the traditional Overwatch cast. To get access to "current" new heroes, players will need to reach Tier 45 on the seasonal Overwatch 2 Battle Pass that corresponds to the season that the new hero came out on. For example, you'll have to reach Tier 45 on the Season 2 Battle Pass if you want to unlock Ramattra.

Ranking up the Battle Pass requires you to accrue XP and level up, which is done by completing matches and finishing daily and weekly gameplay challenges. Note that you can boost your XP gains by 20% by grouping up with other players, so it's highly recommended to do so. Alternatively, you can also purchase the Premium Battle Pass reward track to instantly access the new hero that's on it.

If you're late to the party and weren't able to unlock a new hero before the season they released in ends, don't worry. It's possible to unlock past characters, such as Kiriko and Junker Queen, by completing special gameplay challenges attached to them. These task you with learning the hero's abilities in the Practice Range and challenge you to win matches. Alternatively, you also have the option of buying heroes in the Shop

Note that if you're a veteran of the original Overwatch, you'll get access to Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko if you log into the game before Season 2 ends on February 7. Make sure you do this, as you'll have to unlock these heroes with the above methods if you don't play the game before then.

Overwatch 2 is available now on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch. It's arguably one of the best Xbox shooters available, and since it's free-to-play, it doesn't cost anything to check it out. Alternatively, players can purchase the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack that provides access to the current Premium Battle Pass, 2,000 Overwatch Coins, and a bundle of unique Legendary skins.


Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

The $40 Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack offers fans a variety of benefits that will allow them to get guaranteed access to the latest Premium Battle Pass track, unlock some unique rewards, provides some in-game currency to use, and more.

See at Microsoft | See at Battle.net

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.