Overwatch 2 Will Not Allow Players to Play the Game Without a Phone Number
Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play but with it comes the risk of smurfs and boosters ruining the ranked experience. Blizzard Entertainment is trying to stay one step ahead of possible complications that may hamper player experience by introducing SMS (Short Message Service) Protect. Players will not be able to play the game without enabling SMS Protect and temporary numbers or virtual phone numbers (VoIP apps) will not work either.
Blizzard Entertainment cracks down on smurfs in Overwatch 2
Players who have multiple accounts will also need access to multiple legitimate phone numbers to access the game. The developers revealed in a that SMS protect seeks to crack down on disruptive play, implying that they do not want to enable smurfing. Blizzard stated that an additional layer of security is an industry-proven solution in combating both cheating and disruptive behavior, further protecting your Overwatch 2 experience from bad actors.
SMS Protect helps verify ownership of your account in the unforeseen event of an account compromise. Similarly, if a disruptive player has been suspended or banned, SMS Protect makes it more difficult for them to return to the game.
Starting 4th October all players across all platforms, including consoles, are required to have a phone number attached to their battle.net account to launch Overwatch 2. The same phone number cannot be used on multiple accounts at the same time, and players can’t use the same phone number to create multiple accounts. A phone number can only be used once when making a new account, and certain types of numbers, including pre-paid and VOIP, cannot be used for SMS Protect.
Even if you purchased a copy of Overwatch in the past you will be required to enable SMS Protect to play Overwatch 2. This has led to some pushback from players but the developers are unlikely to make any changes to the system. If you have multiple accounts to play with friends who are in different ranks, you have no option but to get access to multiple phone numbers.