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Overwatch 2 players furious as pre-paid phone issues lock them out of game

Overwatch 2’s new SMS Protect feature has completely locked out players who are using a pre-paid phone plan, even if they bought Overwatch 1.



Sojourn and Tracer in Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2 requires players to register with a mobile number before they can play the game, but some have been left furious as having a pre-paid phone contract blocks them from playing.

With Overwatch 2 finally here, you’ll need to connect a mobile number to your Blizzard account to play — even if you had bought the now-defunct original game. The main reason for this change is to combat cheaters, with Blizzard explaining to Forbes that cheaters would cycle through multiple accounts that all shared the same phone number.

However, Blizzard don’t accept pre-paid or VOIP numbers in the account linking, and these players are angry and upset after being left behind.

Social media has been ablaze with players complaining that it’s impossible to play Overwatch 2 as they must have a “post-paid phone number.” It appears that anyone using a pre-paid service such as Cricket Wireless simply can’t play.

“Never thought I would be disqualified from playing Overwatch based on my ability afford a phone contract, but here we are,” said Reddit user RLmclovin, who feels “ashamed” that they can only afford Cricket pre-paid. “Blizzard is the first company to make me feel too poor to play a game.”

Another user claims that their friends have been locked out because of a pre-paid contract and when they contacted Blizzard, they were told “to tell their carrier to change the way they handle phone numbers or buy a new phone.”

Players who paid for Overwatch 1 and their skins are especially furious. “I love that I paid for Overwatch, they make it into Overwatch 2 and because I have cricket I can’t play at all,” sarcastically explained lizrdchikin.

These players are only a few of the hundreds that have reported the issue since Overwatch 2’s launch on October 4, with several Reddit posts chock-full of reports. But, it appears that there’s no way of predicting which numbers will work.

Another user said that their “Cricket isn’t even pre-paid” and they’ve still been locked out, so it appears the whole provider has been blocked. “What’s weird is that I have Mint Mobile which is also prepaid and it worked just fine for me,” claimed another.

Blizzard told Forbes that how their SMS Protect affects legitimate players is something “we took really seriously and deliberated a lot on,” but they may feel compelled to respond as more and more players report they’ve been locked out because of their phone contract.

If your mobile number was accepted but you still can’t play, be sure to check out the latest on Overwatch 2’s server status.

Image Credit: Blizzard