Overwatch 2 is eliminating the phone number requirement for a big portion of its player population, but there appears to be a catch to this circumvention of the SMS Protect service. In particular, in order to play Blizzard’s latest flagship game, users must presently own a text-enabled mobile phone, which is stated to be in place to help safeguard the community from cheats and other bad elements.
The problem with Overwatch 2’s SMS Protect service is that it does not accept prepaid phone plans or VoIP lines, therefore customers cannot finish this part of the activation procedure using iMessage or WhatsApp. This sparked substantial criticism from players whose mobile handsets might not support the precise SMS protection mechanism envisioned by Blizzard for the game.
Blizzard has now indicated that a large proportion of former Overwatch players would not need to enable SMS Protect in Overwatch 2. Blizzard has stated that any current Overwatch player with a Battle.net account will no longer be required to provide a phone number. According to Blizzard, this means that everyone who played Overwatch before June 9 will no longer need to activate SMS Protect to access Overwatch 2 services, with the change taking effect on Friday, October 7.
The game’s implementation of SMS Protect was a huge issue for Overwatch 2, since not only did many players not meet its requirements, but it also didn’t appear to operate in certain cases, denying players entry to a game they had hoped to play. The drawback is that new accounts will still be required to use SMS Protect in its present configuration, which may deter some gamers from joining the fray.
Blizzard appears to be highly responsive and on top of most of the current issues with its newest release. This vigilance is justified, given that Overwatch 2 premiered to a DDoS assault, which left many gamers disappointed as most of the game’s functionality was rendered inaccessible. When combined with SMS Protect’s stringent criteria and a slew of other issues, first impressions may not have been favourable.
Overwatch 2 replaced the original Overwatch, modifying numerous progression details and the gameplay loop along the way, putting people who loved the old game but dislike the current one in an awkward situation. Overwatch 2’s greatest differences from Overwatch are the replacement of whole game modes and character skill packages. However, with concerns like SMS Protect generally rectified, gamers should have a better experience while attempting to play the game to evaluate if it’s a suitable match.
Overwatch 2 is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.