Overwatch 2 Season 1 Battle Pass: Your Questions Answered

Overwatch 2 launches today, following up the original hero shooter with new heroes, new gameplay, new security measures and a brand-new battle pass system. 

Players can unlock items in the battle pass by playing the game and completing challenges. The battle pass will have a free track, accessible to everyone, and a paid track, which offers more unlockables for $10 worth of in-game currency.

The battle pass is a major shift in Overwatch’s monetization structure. The first game used loot boxes to make money — a system that has been heavily criticized and even banned in some countries. Battle passes have their flaws and their critics, but at the very least, they’re a more straightforward system that doesn’t rely on luck of the draw. Instead, players need to play consistently if they want to unlock all of the items in the battle pass, usually logging dozens of hours to reach the final tier. (We break down that math for you below.)

Many shooters have turned to battle passes to help monetize their games over time, including Fortnite, Valorant and Apex Legends. Overwatch is the latest to join them. Here’s everything you need to know about the cyberpunk-themed Overwatch 2 season 1 battle pass.

How do you unlock new Overwatch 2 heroes?

Anyone who played the original Overwatch will get automatic access to the three new heroes — Sojourn, Junker Queen and Kiriko — when they first boot up Overwatch 2. However, new players will have to unlock Kiriko through the battle pass, and all players will have to unlock future heroes. Kiriko unlocks at level 55 of the free battle pass, or immediately with the premium battle pass, which you can purchase for 1,000 coins ($10).

How do you advance the battle pass?

Players are given daily, weekly, seasonal, competitive and lifetime challenges — all of which will help you make progress in your battle pass. Daily challenges are fairly simple, usually involving acts like queuing up for all three roles and healing or dealing damage with weapons or abilities. Sometimes they’re as simple as saying hello or thanking one of your teammates. Players have six daily challenges, and the first three award you 3,000 XP toward your battle pass. The remaining three do not offer XP, but give you some flexibility in which challenges you pursue.

Other challenges are larger undertakings and award various amounts of experience. Weekly challenges award 5,000 XP (half a tier) as well as coins — the in-game currency used to buy cosmetics and premium battle passes. Completing all 11 weekly challenges will earn you 60 coins. 

Seasonal challenges offer anywhere from 500 to 5,000 XP. Competitive challenges don’t advance the battle pass, but they do earn you competitive points (used to buy golden weapons) and titles. Lifetime challenges award anything from 500 XP to new icons or titles.

How long does it take to unlock new Overwatch heroes and complete the battle pass?

Here’s how the math works out: If you complete the maximum number of daily and weekly challenges, you’ll earn 118,000 XP from challenges each week (7 x 9,000 for daily = 63,000 XP, plus 11 x 5,000 for weekly = 55,000 XP). Your first win of the day earns you 1,000 XP, so assuming you win one game each day, that bumps you up to 125,000 XP, which is equivalent to 12 battle pass tiers in a week. That means you’d need a little more than four weeks to unlock a new hero, and you’d reach 80 — the final tier — halfway through your seventh week. Playing and winning games grants you a small amount of experience, so you could reasonably round down on those estimates.

How much play time does that translate to? It’s hard to say. Some days, it took me four or five games to get through my daily challenges because I couldn’t scrounge together a win, or games went too quickly for me to build up healing or damage numbers. Some days, I completed all three daily challenges in one game. 

Overall, I hit tier 20 in the battle pass in two weeks, playing roughly 10 hours per week, without finishing all my weekly challenges. However, I also had the premium pass unlocked, which grants 20% bonus match XP (meaning it doesn’t apply to challenges), so free-to-play players would progress slightly slower than that. 

Can you pay to unlock tiers?

For free-to-play players, the best use of coins will be storing them up to unlock premium battle passes every other season when new heroes are offered. However, those same coins can be used to unlock tiers within the battle pass if something looks like it’s going to be out of reach by the end of the season. You can buy one tier for 200 coins, which is roughly three week’s worth of weekly challenges or the equivalent of $2 in the shop.

Again, if you don’t want to spend money on Overwatch 2, save your coins for the premium battle passes. You can earn 540 coins per season, which means that you’ll theoretically be able to save up the 1,000 coins you need for a premium battle pass to immediately unlock new heroes in even-numbered seasons. (But note that we’re getting another new hero in season 2, so that math won’t quite work until the start of season 3.) By comparison, that same 1,000 coins ($10) only buys you five tiers of the battle pass — one-eleventh of the progress you need for a new hero. 

What’s in the season 1 battle pass for Overwatch 2?

Short answer: a lot! The biggest items are the new support hero, Kiriko, and the badass new Cyberdemon mythic skin for Genji. Mythic skins are a new type of cosmetic for Overwatch 2, with unique animations and the ability to customize appearance. 

Other new additions are souvenirs — a type of cosmetic that your character can equip during certain emotes — and weapon charms, which are small items that hang on your weapon (or for some characters, their hands) for added customization. Players can also unlock name plates — small background banners for your username — and titles.

Here’s the numbers breakdown for the premium battle pass, from Blizzard’s blog post:

  • Immediate access to Kiriko
  • 20% XP Battle Pass Boost
  • 1 Mythic Skin
  • 5 Legendary Skins and 1 Epic Skin
  • 3 Play of the Game Intros
  • 4 Weapon Charms
  • 3 Emotes
  • 3 Souvenirs
  • 6 Poses
  • 6 Name Cards
  • 30+ additional cosmetic rewards

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