Blizzard just clarified how Overwatch 2‘s switch to a battle pass system will work in practice. When the team shooter debuts on October 4th, there will be both free and $10 premium battle passes like you see in other free-to-play titles. You’ll similarly deal with a virtual currency, Overwatch Coins, that you use to buy the pass and other items. Unlike some games, though, you can earn those coins for free simply by playing frequently. If you play often enough (grouping and weekly challenges will accelerate this), you can upgrade to the premium track without paying a cent.
The developer also further explained how you’ll unlock heroes. If you want the new support Kiriko (shown above) or other heroes for free, you’ll have to reach tier 55 — a lot of work, but it’s achievable. The catch, of course, is that premium battle pass owners will have immediate access to these characters and can practice with them sooner. New heroes are expected every other season after Season Two, and Blizzard will let you acquire past seasons’ champions by either completing challenges or buying them with Overwatch Coins.
As explained earlier, Blizzard primarily intends to profit from purchases of cosmetic items that now include “Mythic” skins with customizable layers. You’ll get one Mythic skin with every season’s battle pass. Everyone will have access to new maps at no charge, with new playing fields arriving on alternate seasons. PvE (that is, the more story-oriented mode) is still slated for 2023.
The approach might be welcome if you were worried Blizzard might make it too difficult to earn heroes or some desirable cosmetics without spending real money. With that said, there’s still a strong incentive to pay — particularly if you don’t have the time or inclination to grind tiers.