New Overwatch 2 heroes will now be available for everyone, no Battle Pass required

 Overwatch 2 promotional screenshot.
Overwatch 2 promotional screenshot.

What you need to know

  • During the first Overwatch 2 developer update of 2024, game director Aaron Keller outlined changes players could expect to see soon.

  • New Overwatch 2 heroes will now be available for everyone, without being locked behind a Battle Pass or having to complete extensive challenges.

  • Blizzard Entertainment is also planning on reworking some maps after Season 12.

  • Overwatch 2 is currently in Season 9, with Season 10 expected to kick off mid-April 2024.

Some big changes are coming to Blizzard Entertainment's team shooter.

In the first Overwatch 2 developer update for 2024, game director Aaron Keller explained that starting with the upcoming hero Venture, Overwatch 2 heroes will no longer be behind a Battle Pass at launch. Instead, new heroes will be available for everyone to play at the same time.

Additionally, while several new maps are in development, with some slated to launch in the coming seasons, Blizzard Entertainment is taking feedback on a number of existing maps like Havana, with the intent of focusing on some map reworks at some point past Season 12. You can check out the full developer update below:

Overwatch 2 has had a long road since launch

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Keller also noted in the update that the Overwatch community is on track to cross 100 million players by next season. Previously, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed that Overwatch 2 crossed 25 million players just a few days after launch in October 2022.

While the multiplayer side of Overwatch 2 has continually grown, the promised single-player mode was eventually canceled, with the developers instead opting to provide PvE (player vs. environment) co-op missions as part of the game's live service moving forward.

Analysis: A solid decision to welcome newcomers

While I doubt this move will mean much for regular players who are likely completing the challenges for the various heroes at a steady clip, this is certainly appealing for anyone that's been thinking about playing but hasn't hopped in yet, as well as players like me who enjoyed Overwatch 2 for a while but then took a long break for months at a time.

I'm looking forward to the next season of Overwatch 2, and I'm also curious to see just how the arrival of Venture shakes up the playing field of available heroes, especially since Venture will be available for everyone at launch.

Overwatch 2 is currently available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch as a free-to-play game.