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Overwatch 2 Doesn't Work With All Prepaid Phone Plans, And Blizzard Will Address This Soon [UPDATE]

Not all prepaid phone plans meet the phone registration requirement for Overwatch 2.


[Update: Blizzard has removed the phone requirement for most Overwatch 2 accounts]

The original story follows below.

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To play Overwatch 2, you need to register a mobile phone number, but prepaid phones do not work in all instances. This situation has caused frustration amongst some in the community, and Blizzard will talk to fans about the situation very soon.

A spokesperson for Blizzard told GameSpot that the company will "address this situation soon." This could happen as soon as this afternoon, the spokesperson said.

Whether or not Overwatch 2 will actually change its policy regarding the prepaid phone situation, however, is unknown. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

It appears Cricket Wireless is one of the prepaid phone companies affected by this Overwatch 2 requirement, as documented across Reddit and social media. Users of another popular pre-paid phone company, Mint Mobile, are reporting that their phone numbers are working.

In another post, a father of four teenagers said it's a shame that Blizzard is requiring players to register a mobile phone number to play Overwatch 2. "They were really excited about [Overwatch 2], but due to the SMS number requirement, they can't play," this person said.

Overwatch 2 requires a phone number to play to help prevent bad actors from being able to use cheats and cycle through multiple additional accounts that all share the same phone number.

"We pretty actively are trying to detect and find users who have anomalous gameplay, with standout gameplay behavior, or are detected by the cheat fingerprints that we might make," Overwatch 2 lead software engineer Bill Warnecke said. "But if that player gets that account banned and is able to immediately just rejoin with a new account, then all of the detection in the world won't stop us from keeping bad actors out of the game. We need to make the cost for being willing to cheat a little bit higher for those players. Losing an account in Overwatch 2 is a much more significant penalty than it was in Overwatch 1."

In addition to the phone number requirement causing headaches for some, not everyone who has Overwatch 2 can play it. The game is facing widespread server issues and "mass" DDoS attacks that are ruining the experience for many.

The Overwatch 1 servers were shut down on October 2 to prepare for the sequel's launch.

In our Overwatch 2 review-in-progress, critic Jessica Howard mostly enjoyed her early hours with the game, though she questioned if it's a true successor to the iconic original. "Where it counts, Overwatch 2 feels like a fantastic update to a multiplayer game with mechanics that enable thrilling skirmishes between teams of heroes," she wrote. "However, as a separate entity and sequel, it stumbles."

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