Overwatch 2 is launching its free early access PvP mode in early October – and bidding farewell to Overwatch.
Blizzard is splitting the release of Overwatch 2, with the long-awaited PvE arriving sometime in 2023. But free-to-play PvP is coming to consoles and PC first, on Tuesday, October 4th.
We’ll see a ton of new features rolling out after launch, like a new guild system, battle pass (which takes a lot of effort to progress) and new characters. But we’ll also see some scrapped stuff, and for the better. Loot boxes are out and the original Overwatch as we know it will be replaced by Overwatch 2 entirely.
Overwatch 2 PvP is coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch. And here’s when you can get stuck.
Overwatch 2 release time
Overwatch 2 free-to-play PvP launches Tuesday, October 4th, and replaces the original Overwatch. There will be a massive 27 hour downtime window between the Overwatch 1 servers going offline and the Overwatch 2 servers going live, so use that however you like.
ONE forum post (opens in new tab) unearthed text in the Overwatch 1 client that shows the approximate time that Overwatch 2 goes live. So, barring anything that goes terribly wrong, here’s when you can expect to start playing in your timezone:
- 11 am PST
- 2 pm EST
- 7pm BST
- 8pm CEST
When does Overwatch 1 end?
Overwatch will be offline before Overwatch 2 is released. So there will be a temporary void where you can use a period of mourning, get some fresh air, or engage in Destiny 2 while you wait.
Blizzard confirmed that Sunday, October 2 it’s the last full day that Overwatch 1 players can enjoy the game. Servers will go offline in Monday, October 3, and thanks to the same forum post that gives the approximate time in the Pacific time zone, we can figure out the rest from there. So here’s when the Overwatch 1 servers go offline in your timezone:
- 8 am PST
- 11 am EST
- 4pm BST
- 5pm CEST
Preparing for Overwatch 2
There are a few things you can do to prepare for the launch of Overwatch 2 before the servers go live – and before the Overwatch 1 servers go offline forever.
Pre-install Overwatch 2
The first is the most obvious: preloading. It’s a best practice to download and install games as soon as you can these days so you don’t waste time waiting when you could be playing. To pre-install Overwatch 2, you must already own Overwatch 1 or have purchased the Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack.
There are different pre-installation dates and times for PC and console players. PC players can pre-load Overwatch 2 from Friday, September 30 at 1:30pm PST / 4:30pm EST / 9:30pm BST / 10:30pm CEST.
If you’re playing on console, you can preload Overwatch 2 a few hours before it launches Tuesday, October 4th from 9am PST / 12pm EST / 5pm BST / 6pm CEST.
Everyone else will have to wait for the Overwatch 2 servers to go live and start installing.
Enable Overwatch 1 and Overwatch 2 cross progression
Overwatch players will be pleased to know that they can transfer all their stats, ranks, and skins to Overwatch 2. To do this, you’ll need to merge your accounts and set everything up, so definitely do this in advance Overwatch 2 Live.
This one is for console players, who can only have one Overwatch account. For Overwatch 2, players on all platforms will need to have a Battle.net account. If you don’t already have one set up, you should get started on it. There are a few things to keep in mind when merging accounts, the most important being that you only have one opportunity to merge console accounts. so give the official frequently asked questions (opens in new tab) a full read before pitching to it.
Link your battle.net account to your phone number
Blizzard’s new anti-cheat system means that all Overwatch 2 players will need to link their phone number to their battle.net account. Not everyone is happy about it, but it’s there to ward off cheaters and stop repeat offenders.
This also goes for players who own the boxed version of Overwatch. There’s no escaping it. It goes into effect on October 4th, so make sure you attach your number to your account before the Overwatch 2 servers go live or you won’t be able to play.