Overwatch 2 phone requirement being removed for 'majority' of players, Blizzard provides launch issues update

Overwatch 2
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

What you need to know

  • Overwatch 2 launched on Oct. 4, 2022, replacing the original Overwatch and moving to a free-to-play model. 
  • Players have faced numerous issues at launch, including server connection errors and problems with merging their accounts, while some players have also criticized Blizzard's decision to require a phone number in order to play. 
  • Blizzard Entertainment has provided a launch update, outlining the steps being taken to fix certain issues. 
  • Blizzard Entertainment is also removing the phone number requirement for a "majority" of players, with any player accounts that have connected to a Battle.net account no longer required to provide a number.

While Overwatch 2 has launched, that launch has been accompanied by different issues and complaints, which developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment is working to address. 

Blizzard Entertainment outlined a launch update (opens in new tab) on Wednesday, addressing some of the launch issues and bugs in Overwatch 2. Among the issues mentioned, Blizzard noted that many players are still having problems getting into queues or finding matches. 

Blizzard states that the reason players have seen their queue number increase is because there are actually two queues used by Overwatch 2, with one being handled directly by the game and the other by Battle.net. Backend changes are being implemented so players will only see one queue when trying to enter the game. The developers are also working to improve general server stability and reduce crashes.

Blizzard has also faced criticism for the decision to require a phone number in order to play Overwatch 2, as a means of reducing cheating and unwanted player behavior. Blizzard is removing this requirement for any accounts connected to Battle.net, which includes anyone that played the original Overwatch after June 9, 2021. A phone number will now only be required for new accounts that aren't yet connected to Battle.net.

Some players are also reporting issues with merging their accounts for Overwatch 2, with heroes not unlocked or items missing. Blizzard claims there are multiple reasons this could be happening, with bugs incorrectly labelling players as completely new or the launch build of the game not correctly merging accounts, but Blizzard insists that no player data has been lost, and while a client-side fix can't take place until next week, the developers are looking at other options.

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Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play game, so everyone can jump in once the launch issues are resolved. If you want some more extras, you can grab the Watchpoint Pack, which includes some bonuses like premium currency and the battle pass for the game's first season.

Buy from: Xbox (opens in new tab)

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.