A new report by Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed that all Overwatch 2 players, across all platforms, will be required to link their phone number to their Battle Net account in order to play.
Overwatch 2 will be receiving a complete revamp to its online infrastructure, in order to ensure the safety of the players and to identify suspicious account activity. Two of the most important steps being taken towards that goal are SMS Protect (Phone Authentication) and First Time User Experience (Entry Level Restrictions and Monitoring).
SMS protect will not only allow players to add a second layer of protection to their account through mobile verification but will also remove the ability to create an account without the use of your phone. Starting from October 4th this year, players across all platforms will be obligated to attach a phone number to their Battle.net account to launch Overwatch 2.
Only one phone number per account is permitted, and it can only be used once when making a new account. Even previous owners of Overwatch will need to activate SMS protect to play Overwatch 2. This is the first in a series of dedicated choices to elevate the online environment and player experiences. There are also more creative choices that target play sessions and entry barriers, such as FTUE.
FTUE, or First Time User Experience, is a system specifically designed for those who have never played Overwatch before. The system allows new players to get up to shape with a limited number of game modes, heroes and other restrictions to facilitate their gradual learning. Essentially, this means that new players will need to play 100 matches to unlock all original heroes.
Overwatch 2 will also remove player levels from display before competitive matches to encourage safe interactions without any premature biases towards the lower-level teams. Voice chat is also covered with machine learning tools aimed at transcribing and dealing with abusive language in real-time.
All of these features and more will be available when Overwatch 2 releases on October 4th, but the “Defense Matrix” team working on these features promised that there is more to come and they will be constantly working to maintain this healthy approach for a very long time.
NEXT: Overwatch 2 Lead Hero Designer Leaves Blizzard