Here’s what Overwatch 2 looks like for new players

Not all players are going to have the same experience when they flare Overwatch 2 for the first time. Those coming from the original game will have access to more modes, heroes and cosmetics from the jump. During the review period, Blizzard gave me access to a new one Overwatch 2 account. After playing with it for a few hours, I think the onboarding process for new players makes a lot of sense. Let’s go through the nuts and bolts of it.

First, you’ll need to set up your account and download the game. I have a quick guide on how to set them up here:

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When you first load the game, the accessibility settings will appear. That’s good! I think there could be more robust accessibility settings overwatch 2, but I’m glad this is the first thing new players will see so they can adjust the level of camera shake, enable subtitles, and change colorblindness and text-to-speech options. It might also be worth adjusting your audio and video settings at this point.

After that, the game will go to a cinematic. It is essentially the same from Overwatch 1, although I believe it’s a cut version. It was shorter than I remembered from the original game, but it only appeared the first time I launched Overwatch 2 with that account so I couldn’t double check. While it may seem odd to show the cinematic nature of the original game, it’s a solid way to introduce new players to the core lore of the universe and what the Overwatch organization is really about.

Before you start playing any matches, you should read the tutorial, which is the same as the first game. This is not a problem, because it works well.

The tutorial will only take you about five minutes. OverwatchAI narrator Athena takes you through the basics of movement and looking around, before helping you understand the abilities of Soldier: 76, one of the 15 heroes you’ll have access to from the start. (There are 35 heroes available in Season 1, and you’ll unlock most, if not all, over time.) The tutorial will end after explaining what a target is and how to capture it.

There’s one more thing new players should do before playing a match: go to the practice range. Here, you’ll learn how to switch between heroes and see an overview of their abilities at any time. You will also learn how to use the communication wheel and the extremely useful ping system. Before you can progress from the training range, you will need to kill 10 bots.

However, I would suggest spending a little extra time than that on the practice range. Try all the heroes available to you. If you’re ready, get comfortable with a few of these before you start playing a game.

Once you’ve completed the practice range requirement, you’ll see a message indicating that you’ve unlocked more game modes. You can now play Quick Play games in Open Queue (where you will be placed in a Tank, Damage or Support Role as required) and Training against AI (ie bots). Play five games in each and you’ll unlock more features. After 5 more games, you will unlock even more game modes. However, competitive mode will take a little longer to unlock.

As mentioned, for starters, you’ll have access to 15 heroes. However, most of the First User Experience restrictions will be lifted if you play in a group. You will have access to all Overwatch 1 heroes in Quick Play if you play with friends.

The heroes that new players have access to at the start are:


  • Junker Queen (as long as you log in during Season 1)
  • Orisa
  • Reinhardt
  • Winston
  • Dice

Damage (aka DPS)

  • Farah
  • Mower
  • Soldier: 76
  • Stay (if logged in during Season 1)
  • Torbjörn
  • Tracer
  • Surgeon


Again, play around with them and see which ones you feel comfortable with. I’d recommend starting with Soldier: 76 and Sojourn on the DPS side (or Widowmaker if you have great aim) or any of the Supports — but maybe Mercy or Moira instead of Lúcio.

I wouldn’t recommend jumping into the Tank role right away if you can help it, because leading the line can be a difficult task for newcomers, but I think Winston is a solid first choice Tank. Anyway, it’s entirely your call who you play.

If you pay for the Season 1 Premium Battle Pass, you’ll instantly unlock the new support, Kiriko. Otherwise, you’ll need to reach level 55 of the free Battle Pass or unlock it in future seasons through the store or by completing a challenge. More details about this challenge will be revealed later.

As for the other 19 heroes from Overwatch 1, you can permanently add them to your roster by completing a certain number of games. You’ll need to play 150 games in total to get them all, but wins count twice as much. I’ll break down exactly how to unlock them all another time. However, after you’ve completed your first four games, you’ll have four more heroes to choose from.

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I spoke with Blizzard developers about this First User Experience. Their goal was to make things less overwhelming for new players by gradually introducing them to all the heroes and giving them a solid team to start with. It seems like a much smoother, guided path into the ecosystem than Overwatch 1 the players got.

All heroes have their strengths and weaknesses and it will take a long time for new players to understand what they can all do. Having a smaller selection at the beginning could make it easier for you to understand each hero, which is really important. Although the developers don’t emphasize the need to switch to a different hero to face an enemy, there will still be an element of this in Overwatch 2.

The more you understand the basics of each character, the better, but it won’t happen overnight. Spend time on First Time User Experience and you may benefit more Overwatch 2 long term.

For more news and updates about Overwatch 2 and other games, please consider following my blog on Forbes! You will receive a consolidated email once a week that includes everything I post. You’d be doing me a favor too — it’s a great way to support me and my work at no cost. Sorry for the Heardle and Quordle posts if you don’t care about those. Also, if you have any questions about Overwatch 2 or anything else I cover, feel free to ask get in touch with me on Twitter.

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