Overwatch 2 Release Time: When Will the Free-to-Play Sequel Launch?

Overwatch 2 is nearly here, but does that sequel have a chance of restoring the hero shooter to its former glory? Here's what you need to know about the game's scheduled release time.

Overwatch 2
Photo: Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard is currently under investigation following accusations of harassment, discrimination, and fostering a hostile work environment. You can read more about the investigation here.

By the time you read this, Overwatch will officially be a dead game. While there is much to be said about the legacy of that game and the decision to shut its servers down for good, Blizzard hopes that conversation will be drowned out by the release of the free-to-play Overwatch 2.

Yes, after some back and forward decision-making regarding what, exactly, Overwatch 2 will be, Blizzard has decided to turn their often controversial and confusing project into the only official way to play Overwatch from now on. It remains to be seen if Overwatch 2 can recapture the magic of its predecessor’s golden age, but that conversation can’t even start until the next Overwatch is officially released. So when does that happen?

Overwatch 2 will be released for PC and all compatible consoles (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch) on October 4/5 as part of a global release schedule. That means that Overwatch players everywhere will be able to start playing the sequel at around the same time, despite the fact the game may technically be available for different players on different dates.

Ad – content continues below

At present, here are the currently scheduled Overwatch 2 release times for most major countries and regions:

12 p.m. PDT (October 4th)
3 p.m EDT (October 4th)
9 p.m. CEST (October 4th)
8 p.m BST (October 4th)
4 a.m. JST (October 5th)
5 a.m. AEST (October 5th)
7 a.m. NZST (October 5th)

Again, Overwatch 2 will follow a global release schedule, so there is no need to try any “region hopping” or similar tricks commonly used to play certain new releases early. Furthermore, that means that those who live in a region not listed above can simply use the officially announced release times to figure out when the game will be available in their area.

If you’re planning to play Overwatch 2 on PC, you can start pre-loading the game right now. Console players can start pre-loading the game three hours before the scheduled launch time in their region (9 a.m. PDT, 12 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. BST, etc.). The Overwatch 2 install size is about 50 GB on PC and 30 GB on consoles, so be sure to clear at least that much space in order to ensure a smooth install experience.

Furthermore, please note that Activision Blizzard is requiring all Overwatch 2 players to set up SMS protection (2FA) on their Battle.net accounts. In other words, you will not be able to play the game online unless you register your phone number through your account. While that move has already proven to be controversial among some users, Activision Blizzard has not announced any intentions to deviate from that strategy at this time.

Finally, please note that while Overwatch 2 is a free-to-play game those who are coming into the sequel cold (meaning they did not previously purchase the original Overwatch on their Battle.net account or the premium version of Overwatch 2) will need to unlock much of the game’s content as they go along. Early projections suggest that it will take you quite a while to unlock everything in Overwatch 2, so you’d better prepare for a long journey if that’s the path you’re traveling.

Ad – content continues below

We will surely have much more to say about Overwatch 2 (including more information on its controversial battle pass/unlock system and major gameplay changes) in the coming days. For now, though, I can at least say that the game’s shift to a free-to-play model means that you can at least try it out for yourself. Will Overwatch 2 remind millions why they once fell in love with the series, or will the sequel instead remind many of those same people why they stopped playing the game in the first place? Time will tell.