When the original Overwatch launched in 2016, the game required a one-time purchase to play. After that, you had access to all sorts of gameplay and cosmetics for characters, acquired primarily through loot boxes. With Overwatch 2, Blizzard has made quite a lot of changes, one of which impacts players before they even launch the game. If you want to check out all of the new characters, modes, and everything else Blizzard has put together, you’ll need to first have a specific type of phone number.
New account requirements
In order to play Overwatch 2, the Battle.net account associated with the game must have a phone number attached. Typically, this would be as easy as logging in to the Battle.net site and editing account details, but not every phone number will pass Blizzard’s carefully considered standards. In fact, if your phone is a pre-paid one, then it’s likely you’ll see a red error message upon attempting to enter. This is likely the first error new players will run into, though some are also encountering server or connection errors. To get around this, you’ll need a post-paid number. Here’s what that means.
What is a post-paid number?
If you’ve got a phone that bills you monthly through a contract, then congratulations. You’ve likely got a post-paid phone number. These are the only types that seem to consistently work when associated with a Battle.net account. Blizzard has stated that with Overwatch 2 swapping to being a free-to-play game, they wanted some level of security against players using multiple accounts or other cheats to game the system. With no alternative investment from players, they turned to a phone number requirement to meet their new “Defense Matrix” standards.
Having the phone number attached to the account not only makes it harder for disruptive or cheating players to return to games, but also assists in account recovery. In the event that your account is compromised in some way, SMS protection helps verify account ownership. SMS protection, of course, cannot be used with pre-paid phone numbers or VOIP numbers.