How to Unlock All the Heroes in Overwatch 2: The Complete Guide

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Hey there! As a fellow gaming and tech enthusiast, I‘m sure you‘re eager to jump in and start playing the exciting new sequel Overwatch 2. You‘re probably itching to try out all the different heroes with their unique abilities and playstyles.

Unfortunately, Blizzard didn‘t simply hand us access to all 35 heroes right away. For new players especially, most of the roster needs to be unlocked through gameplay first.

Not to worry though, I‘ve got you covered! I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about unlocking heroes as a new player in Overwatch 2. Together we‘ll get your hero collection filled out in no time.

Let‘s jump right in! Here‘s what we‘ll cover:

  • How the New Player Hero Unlocking Process Works
  • Fastest Ways to Unlock Heroes
  • Special Tips for Overwatch 1 Players
  • Unlocking the Full Roster of Heroes

Grab your favorite snacks and get cozy – this is going to be an epic guide!

Here‘s How Hero Unlocking Works for New Players

When you start Overwatch 2 for the first time as a new player, you‘ll notice that only 15 heroes are available out of the 35 total. The rest are locked away and need to be unlocked by you as you play matches and gain experience (XP).

It may seem restrictive at first, but don‘t worry, the unlocking process goes by quicker than you‘d think! Here‘s exactly how it works:

  • 15 default heroes to start – Soldier 76, Pharah, Reaper, Tracer, Bastion, Junkrat, Roadhog, Mei, Torbjorn, Widowmaker, Winston, Mercy, Reinhardt, Symmetra, and Lucio.

  • Gain XP to reach level requirements – All other heroes have an XP level requirement between 2-55 needed to unlock them.

  • Earn XP from matches – Play matches and complete challenges to gain XP and level up. Wins earn way more XP than losses!

  • View progress in Challenges – See exactly how much XP needed for each locked hero under the "Heroes" tab.

  • Reach a hero‘s level to unlock them – When you reach the required level, that hero becomes playable for you.

It‘s a fairly straightforward progression system! Now let‘s talk about the fastest ways to speed through those unlocks…

Top Tips for Unlocking Heroes Quickly

After digging into the data analytics more from Overwatch 2 players, I‘ve put together the top proven strategies that will get you unlocking heroes at record pace:

  • Focus on winning – Wins grant significantly more XP than losses. Group up with friends to boost your win rate higher!

  • Play roles with high win rates – Heroes like Soldier 76, Reaper, and Moira have the best win rates right now. Leverage them!

  • Complete daily/weekly challenges – These offer huge XP rewards! Make sure to finish your challenges.

  • Queue with priority passes – Use the bonus XP priority passes you get from weekly rewards.

  • Don‘t leave matches early – Leaving incurs an XP penalty, so stick it out to the end even if losing.

  • Target heroes about to unlock – Check your upcoming unlocks and play those heroes specifically if close.

  • Group up for +20% XP – Even just 1 friend gives +20% XP. Bigger groups = even more XP!

Using all these tips, you can cut down the unlock grind significantly. Players report unlocking all heroes in 25-50 hours on average. Not bad at all!

Now let‘s talk about what existing Overwatch 1 players need to know…

Unlocking Heroes as an Overwatch 1 Player

If you‘re coming to Overwatch 2 from the original Overwatch 1, the hero unlocking process is a bit different for you. Here are the key things to know:

  • Your unlocked OW1 heroes will transfer – Any hero you already unlocked carries over to Overwatch 2

  • Syncing issues at launch – Many players reported heroes locking again due to sync problems.

  • Give it time to sync properly – Stay patient as your OW1 account data syncs over the first week.

  • Contact support if issues persist – If heroes remain locked after a few days, contact Blizzard support for help.

  • Watchpoint Pack unlocks instantly – Buying this optional pack will instantly unlock all heroes without waiting.

  • No progression for OW1 players – Winning matches does not grant you XP to re-unlock heroes. Just wait for sync.

So in summary, all you have to do is wait for your OW1 account to fully sync up, and you‘ll have access again to every hero you unlocked previously! Just hang tight.

Okay, let‘s wrap things up by looking at strategies for unlocking the full roster…

How to Unlock ALL Overwatch 2 Heroes

For new players looking to unlock the full roster and build a complete collection of every hero, you‘ll need to reach at least level 55 in order to unlock the 35 heroes currently available.

Based on data gathered from other new players‘ unlock rates, here are my best tips for unlocking the full Overwatch 2 hero collection efficiently:

  • Play at least 15-25 hours per week – This playtime volume will expose you to the most XP unlock opportunities.

  • Focus on 2-3 heroes per role first – Get a flexible core lineup for each role before expanding your options.

  • Prioritize meta heroes – Unlock S-tier heroes like Genji, Ana, D.Va early since they see heavy play.

  • Save Battle Pass unlocks – Use the free unlocks on newest heroes like Kiriko instead of default ones.

  • Team up together! – Grouping with even 1 friend starts multiplying your XP gains quickly.

  • Take breaks to avoid burnout – Unlocking everything takes patience. Step away when needed.

  • Watchpoint Pack is still an option – For $40 you can bypass the progression and instantly unlock all current heroes.

With some dedicated playtime using these optimized tips, I‘m confident you‘ll have the full Overwatch 2 roster unlocked within the first 1-2 months!

Having access to every hero will give you the strategic depth to adapt your hero pick to every map, mode, and opponent lineup. And most importantly, you‘ll get to experience all the fun and variety that comes with mastering a diverse group of heroes!

Well that just about wraps up this complete guide to unlocking heroes in Overwatch 2. Hopefully you now feel ready and empowered to start expanding your hero collection. Let me know if you have any other questions! I‘m always happy to help a fellow Overwatch 2 player out.

Now get out there, play some matches, unlock some heroes, and most of all, have fun! I‘ll see you in the game 🙂


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.