With Overwatch 2 completely overtaking the first game, players have a limited time to play the game as they know it. Once the sequel releases into early access on October 4, the first Overwatch with its 6v6 gameplay, loot boxes, and other features you have played with since 2016 will no longer be available. Of course, some of those features return in the sequel, but not everything. So, when do Overwatch 1’s servers go down for good?
When is Overwatch 1 being shut down for Overwatch 2?
Your last chance to play Overwatch as it is now will be on October 3 at about 9 AM PT. If you have to work, you will want to get your last few matches under the 6v6 format on the previous night. Because Overwatch 2 is completely taking over the client for the first game, Blizzard needs to shut everything down and make sure it is running as smoothly as possible when the sequel launches on October 4 at around 12 PM PT.
Once Overwatch 1’s servers go down, you will not be able to get past the opening loading screen — not even for Practice Range or to look at your Hero Gallery. Everything in the game is connected to Blizzard’s servers, so you might as well delete the game’s files from your system, but be sure to set up your Battle.net account merger before then.
When Overwatch 2 releases on October 4 in its free-to-play model, that will be the only way to play Overwatch. It will be a separate download that you will be able to pre-install before that launch time. At that point, it will adopt the 5v5 style, launch the first battle pass for Overwatch, and include new heroes Sojourn, Junker Queen, and Kiriko. The PvE content, including story and Hero Missions, will be coming at a later date, hopefully sometime in 2023.