Overwatch 2 Mercy

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How to unlock all 35 Overwatch 2 characters for new and returning players

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Blizzard

Overwatch 2 is out and brings with it a massive cast of 35 heroes to try out and learn. While there are some significant changes between the first game and its sequel, Blizzard’s hero shooter still delivers a unique experience that other games continue to emulate. With such a massive roster of characters, there is a new process for unlocking each hero due to a new onboarding program for new players. But there are also some glitches that are locking access to some heroes even for veteran players. No matter which camp you’re in, here is how to unlock all 35 heroes in Overwatch 2.

What characters are unlocked for returning players?

If you have spent any time playing Overwatch 1 and your account is merged with your main Battle.net account then you’re in good shape: You will have access to the entire 35-hero roster from the start — unless you don’t.

Returning players won’t have to deal with the new hero-unlocking process.Blizzard

The first-time user experience in Overwatch 2 is very different from the first game, restricting new players to a smaller roster of characters. This takes away some of the strategies that came with countering your opponent's hero choices during matches. For those who don’t want to be limited by the longer unlock process for new players, you can purchase the Watchpoint Pack for $39.99. This will grant access to the entire roster of heroes, in addition to some snazzy cosmetics.

How to fix it if some of your Overwatch 2 characters are locked

The launch of Overwatch 2 has not been smooth. Long log-in queues, DDoS attacks, and many bugs have made the game nearly unplayable for many people wanting to jump in. One of the most prominent issues plaguing players sees previously unlocked heroes and cosmetics being locked upon log-in.

This issue stems from an incorrect flagging of accounts against the first-time user experience when the system believes they should not have access to certain heroes yet. Blizzard has said if this occurs then the best course of action is to log out and exit the game and restart the client. You should also open up a support ticket with Blizzard in case this issue persists.

What Overwatch 2 characters are unlocked for new players?

The starting roster is small in order to ease in new players.Blizzard

The new player experience starts by giving players access to 13 of the game’s 35 heroes to choose from. Blizzard made this decision to ease newcomers into Overwatch 2’s playstyle, giving you time to get accustomed to each hero's kit. The 13 heroes are as follows:

Tank

  • Reinhardt
  • Winston
  • Orisa
  • Zarya

Damage

  • Soldier 76
  • Reaper
  • Pharah
  • Torbjorn
  • Tracer
  • Widowmaker

Support

  • Mercy
  • Lucio
  • Moira

How to unlock Sojourn and Junker Queen

Junker Queen and Sojourn have simple unlock requirements.Blizzard

There are three new heroes introduced in Overwatch 2: Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko. Sojourn and Junker Queen have a very simple unlock process. All you have to do is log in during Overwatch 2’s first season which ends on December 6, 2022.

Junker Queen is a new tank hero that specializes in extremely close-quarters combat, making use of abilities like Carnage. Sojourn is a damage character with high mobility that makes Overwatch 2 feel like a Doom game.

It is unclear if Sojourn and Junker Queen will be made part of the regular starting roster after the first season or if they will become purchasable heroes through the Overwatch 2 shop.

How to unlock Kiriko

Unlocking Kiriko requires either money or time.Blizzard

Kiriko is the most difficult character to unlock in Overwatch 2 as of now. She is unlockable through the game’s battle pass, requiring players to reach tier 55 to get access to the new hero. Kiriko is a support character in name, but like much of Overwatch 2’s new hero designs, she has a high DPS output that can be utilized to great effect without much need to take advantage of her healing abilities.

If you don’t want to put in the many hours reaching tier 55 will take, then you can spend $10 for the premium battle bass which unlocks Kiriko immediately.

How to unlock Overwatch 2 characters another way

The previous unlock method accounts for 15 heroes in Overwatch 2, leaving 20 left to complete the roster. For new players who do not opt for the Watchpoint Pack, the only way to unlock the remaining heroes is to play Overwatch 2. Blizzard stated prior to the game’s release that it would take roughly 100 games for new players to unlock every hero on the roster. In reality, it will actually take 150 games. Characters unlock at set intervals of matches completed. Here is the complete rundown of how many matches you need to play to unlock every character in Overwatch 2:

  • Genji - 1 match
  • D.Va - 2 matches
  • Cassidy - 3 matches
  • Ana - 4 matches
  • Hanzo - 9 matches
  • Junkrat - 12 matches
  • Roadhog - 15 matches
  • Symmetra - 20 matches
  • Zenyatta - 25 matches
  • Bastion - 30 matches
  • Sigma - 40 matches
  • Ashe - 50 matches
  • Brigitte - 60 matches
  • Mei - 70 matches
  • Doomfist - 85 matches
  • Baptiste - 100 matches
  • Sombra - 115 matches
  • Wrecking Ball - 130 matches
  • Echo - 150 matches
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