In Overwatch 2, the free-to-play title replacing the original Overwatch, all original heroes will be free for new players--but unlocking all of them requires hitting certain milestones. According to Blizzard's blog post, new players are those who are making their accounts post-Overwatch 2 launch and aren't those who already have an account in Overwatch.

New players will first begin with a restricted pool of modes and heroes. In the first half of Overwatch 2's First Time User Experience (FTUE), they'll unlock all the modes. In the second half, players will progressively obtain original Overwatch heroes. It will take 100 matches to unlock the full original roster.

FTUE will not apply to players entering in a group, so new players can play any mode--with the exception of Competitive--that they so desire with friends. Access to Competitive requires new players to first win 50 Quick Play matches. This is to make sure players are ready for the higher skill level required of Competitive and to not discourage veteran Overwatch players who have new players on their team, according to Blizzard. Requiring players to first win matches in order to get into Competitive will also make it harder for griefers and cheaters to jump into Competitive matches.

An introductory experience for new players is hardly unusual for first-person shooter games. Valorant also sets up new players on a progressive path to unlock characters.

Overwatch 2 goes live on October 4 and will replace Overwatch, the original game going offline on October 2. For unlocking future new heroes, Overwatch 2 has a new battle-pass system. If players pay, they can immediately obtain the new character, otherwise they'll have to complete the pass. Blizzard recently announced new character Kiriko's arrival in Overwatch 2. Returning players will obtain Kiriko, Junker Queen, and Sojourn.

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