Hey friend! As a fellow Overwatch fan and gaming enthusiast, I know you‘re probably wondering – should I update from Overwatch 1 to 2? What does the upgrade get me? Will I lose all my cool skins and progression?
Not to worry. I‘ve got you covered with this complete guide to upgrading from the original Overwatch to the next-gen Overwatch 2. As an avid gamer and techie, I‘ve dug into all the details so you don‘t have to!
Here‘s the quick rundown:
- Overwatch 2 replaces the original game with new maps, heroes, graphics, and more.
- The upgrade is 100% free for existing players – no purchase required!
- You keep all your skins, ranks, and stats after upgrading.
- Plus you get free bonus rewards like new heroes and the Founder‘s Pack.
Let‘s dive into the specifics so you know exactly what to expect when Overwatch evolves into its exciting next chapter.
Say Goodbye to Overwatch 1, Hello to 2!
On October 4th, 2022, the original Overwatch rides off into the sunset as Overwatch 2 takes the stage.
Rather than a full-fledged sequel, Blizzard envisions Overwatch 2 as a "reimagining" of the original – upgrading the graphics, engine, sounds, and more. It replaces Overwatch 1 as the new live service with regular content updates.
Some key changes in Overwatch 2:
- 5v5 matches – Teams reduced from 6v6 to put more focus on each player‘s impact.
- New heroes – Exciting characters like Kiriko, Sojourn and Junker Queen expand the roster.
- New maps & modes – Fresh locations and objective types like Push shake up gameplay.
- Mythic skin tier – New ultra-rare cosmetic quality for the most dedicated collectors.
- Improved graphics – Visuals get a next-gen overhaul with better lighting, details and fluidity.
But the core of what made Overwatch great stays intact – the heroes, humor, and fun team-based action!
Now let‘s get into the specifics around upgrading your copy of the original game…
The Upgrade to Overwatch 2 is 100% Free!
As an Overwatch 1 owner, I know you‘ve probably got one big question – is Overwatch 2 going to cost me money?
The great news is you get all of the multiplayer content completely free!
When Overwatch 2 launches on October 4th, your game will automatically update to the new version. No purchase required.
You still have ongoing access to:
- All original heroes, maps and modes
- Brand new heroes, maps, and modes
- Major engine and graphics enhancements
You‘re basically getting what amounts to a giant, next-gen polish pass for free!
The only part that isn‘t free is the PvE content like story missions – but the core PvP experience many fans care about transfers over at $0 cost. Pretty awesome!
Okay, But What About My Hard-Earned Loot?
Another common concern is – will I lose all my unlocked cosmetics, progression and stats after updating?
Thankfully, the answer is no! Here‘s what carries over:
- Skins, emotes, sprays – You retain all customization unlocks and options.
- Progression – Player levels, competitive ranks and other stats remain.
- Achievements – No need to re-earn them in the new game!
- Hero unlocks – Any playable heroes transfer over.
Blizzard put care into making sure your time investment isn‘t lost when moving from Overwatch 1 to 2.
I know how satisfying it is to finally unlock that legendary skin you‘ve been chasing! Rest assured, all that cosmetic swag comes with you into the next generation.
Bonus Freebies & Rewards for Loyal Players
On top of the free update, existing players also get some sweet bonuses:
Just for owning the original game, you receive the Overwatch 2 Founder‘s Pack which includes:
- 2 unique Legendary skins – Doomfist Soldier and Sombra Hacked
- Overwatch 2 player icon
- Founder‘s profile banner
These are exclusive rewards only available to early adopters!
Instant Kiriko Unlock
Kiriko is the new support hero in Overwatch 2. Normally new characters need to be earned through the battle pass system.
But as an OW1 player, you‘ll gain instant access to Kiriko right from launch! You can start playing her immediately to try out her slick teleporting and healing abilities.
Guaranteed Beta Access
Leading up to release, all Overwatch 1 players were granted early beta access to try new content and provide feedback.
So you got a sneak peek at characters like Sojourn plus map reworks like New Queen Street months before launch!
Smooth as Silk Transition on Launch Day
When Overwatch 2 launch day arrives on October 4th, upgrading is seamless.
Here‘s how it works:
- Open the Blizzard launcher on PC or Overwatch on console.
- Install the big ~30GB Overwatch 2 patch.
- Done! The original game is now upgraded.
Once the update finishes, you‘ll be able to jump right into Overwatch 2 directly from the original game‘s icon and shortcut.
The transition is designed to be low-effort for existing players. Outside re-downloading the game, you don‘t have to take any complex account migration steps.
Why Overhaul the Original Game?
At its core, Overwatch is still thriving with a dedicated player base years after launch. So why go through this overhaul at all?
Blizzard realized continual improvement is needed to keep a live online game feeling fresh. Some key motivations:
- Clean up clutter: With 30+ heroes added over time, the gameplay started to feel cluttered rather than strategic. 5v5 helps refocus the competitive scene.
- Expand the audience: The original game required an upfront purchase. Moving to free-to-play opens the doors to millions more potential players.
- Increase engagement: More frequent seasonal updates with battle passes provides players exciting new content and goals.
- Enhance graphics: The original Overwatch began development in 2013. After 9+ years, an engine and visuals revamp was overdue.
- Build a long-term platform: With a solid technical foundation, Overwatch 2 can evolve for many years to come.
While saying goodbye to the original game is bittersweet, the overhaul provides meaningful improvements across the board.
Some Final Words of Reassurance!
If you‘ve spent hundreds or even thousands of hours playing the original Overwatch, it‘s totally understandable to feel anxious about such a major change.
But Blizzard built Overwatch 2 with care specifically to avoid disrupting the existing player base:
- It‘s 100% free – you don‘t need to re-buy the game.
- All your progression and unlocks carry forward.
- Familiar heroes, maps, and modes aren‘t going anywhere.
- Exciting new content expands the experience rather than altering the core.
Consider it like upgrading your gaming PC to the latest graphics card. Sure, change can be scary, but once you‘ve experienced the improvement firsthand you‘ll quickly realize it‘s for the best!
The same DNA that made you fall in love with Overwatch still flows strongly through Overwatch 2. Only now, the experience is modernized and poised to grow even stronger in the years ahead.
So get ready to grind up those seasonal battle passes, collect flashy new skins, and make more memories with your favorite heroes – in Overwatch 2!
Let me know if you have any other questions at all about the upgrade process or what awaits in Overwatch 2. I‘m happy to chat more fellow gamer to gamer!