Overwatch 2 to no longer lock new heroes behind battle passes

Posted on March 20, 2024

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call many of Overwatch 2‘s changes to the first game’s formula controversial. The game’s locking of new content behind battle passes has faced particular fan ire, forcing fans to grind or pay for a premium pass in order to access new heroes when they are added. This is set to change in the upcoming Season 10 starting on April 16th 2024, with all heroes becoming free to play at launch.

In a developer update video, Game Director Aaron Keller advises that Overwatch 2 is changing how players can access the game’s playable characters. Starting with the new non-binary Damage hero, Venture, in Season 10, all new heroes will be immediately available to players without having to progress through the season’s battle pass or shell out any money. The only prerequisite is that the player has completed the game’s tutorial. This change will be retroactive as well, meaning that any previously-released heroes will become available to any players who have yet to unlock them.

Another shift away from the battle pass model is a change to how Mythic Skins are acquired. Previously, Mythic Skins were special cosmetics exclusively available as part of a seasonal battle pass. As described in an accompanying blog post, Season 10 will introduce the Mythic Shop, in which players can purchase specific Mythic Skins from previous seasons which they may have missed, or focus on purchasing specific Skins for their favourite heroes. Seasonal Mythic hero skins will be available two seasons after their debut, meaning skins from up to Season 7 will be available in the Mythic Shop when it is introduced in Season 10.

Overwatch 2 has made many fairly notable changes in the last few weeks. Whether it be a substantial overhaul to how in-game healing works or a crossover with Cowboy Bebop of all things, one cannot accuse Blizzard of not at least trying to rectify the game’s image problems. Making all heroes available to all players is a change that should make the game more enjoyable and accessible; hopefully for Blizzard’s sake, it’s a not a change made far too late.