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Overwatch 2 SMS Protect: How Blizzard’s phone number requirement aims to protect players

It’s hard to believe that Overwatch 2 is almost upon us, with the game set to launch on October 4. With that will come the unfortunate demise of OG Overwatch, although given much of that game’s features will be carried over to Overwatch 2, it does not feel more like a step forward than the end of an era. Evidently, with a new era comes new layers of accountability and protection for players, with Blizzard announcing the Overwatch 2 SMS Protect system to help stamp out toxicity.

overwatch 2 sms protect

The Overwatch team yesterday announced some new measures it thinks will enhance Overwatch 2‘s security measures when the game launches on October 4. One of these new measures will be SMS Protect, a digital verification method that prompts players to link their personal phone number with their Blizzard.net account.

Blizzard calls it the Overwatch 2 Defense Matrix, an obvious ode to DVa’s very own in-game defense matrix, and is something the company hopes will “fortify positivity and inclusivity” in Overwatch 2.

overwatch 2 sms protect

The intent? Prevent those that are banned from being able to return with a new Battle.net account, given the likelihood someone has multiple burners on hand is actually quite rare.

Funnily enough, the change has unfortunately created someone of a divide within the Overwatch community, as it reportedly blocks out Prepaid players from being able to verify and play the game at all. “Certain types of numbers, such as Prepaid” can’t be used with SMS Protect, which more or less makes the free-to-play Overwatch 2 not all that free-to-play.

overwatch 2 sms protect

Overwatch 2 SMS Protect – How It Works

From launch day on October 4, all players across all platforms including console will need to have a phone number attached to their battle.net account in order to launch Overwatch 2.

You won’t be able to use the same phone number on multiple accounts at the same time, so if your battle.net account is already linked to another number for whatever reason, you’re going to need to find someone else’s number to use to play.

overwatch 2 sms protect

The most damning part of it all is this part right here: certain types of numbers, including pre-paid and VOIP, cannot be used for SMS Protect

So if you’re a prepaid user, best start saving up for a copy of Overwatch 2 … or, er, a new phone plan.

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