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How to Unlock Kiriko for Free in Overwatch 2: The Ultimate Guide

As an avid Overwatch fan, I‘ve done the math and it will take approximately 15-20 hours of gameplay to unlock Kiriko for free by reaching tier 55 in the Season 1 battle pass. Let me walk you through everything you need to know.

Kiriko – Overwatch‘s New Ninja Support Hero

For those who might not know, Kiriko is the new support hero added in the launch of free-to-play Overwatch 2. She has ninja-like abilities that enable swift combat healing and mobility. Kiriko brings a high skill cap to support roles.

I don‘t need to tell you how exciting it is have Kiriko in the roster! But how can you get her without paying?

How the Overwatch 2 Battle Pass Works

Overwatch 2 introduced a new Battle Pass system for hero unlocks and progression. There are free and premium versions:

  • Free Track – Earn XP to progress through tiers unlocking heroes, cosmetics and more. Kiriko unlocks at tier 55.
  • Premium Track – 1000 Overwatch Coins to unlock premium rewards. Instantly unlocks Kiriko at tier 0.

This is a major change from Overwatch 1, where new heroes unlocked immediately for all players. The Battle Pass adds more progression for free players.

Battle Pass XP Requirements

Here are the XP requirements to reach each tier in the Season 1 Battle Pass:

Tier Total XP Required
55 (Kiriko) 44,000 XP
80 (Mythic Cyberdemon Genji Skin) 88,000 XP
100 (Maximum) 112,000 XP

As you can see, we need 44,000 XP to hit tier 55 and unlock Kiriko.

How Much Time It Takes to Unlock Kiriko

Based on average XP gains per match, we can estimate how long it will take to earn 44,000 XP and unlock Kiriko:

  • Quick Play: 600 XP per win average. Around 75 matches = 15 hours.
  • Competitive: 1200 XP per win average. Around 35 matches = 10 hours.

So by playing Quick Play only, it will take about 15-20 hours to unlock Kiriko for free. Keep in mind this factors in weekly XP bonuses and grouped play too.

Competitive speeds this up down to around 10 hours. But competitive is harder to grind!

Comparison to Overwatch 1 New Hero Unlocks

For comparison, new heroes unlocked immediately for all players in Overwatch 1. So Kiriko‘s unlock requirement adds a new layer of progression for free players.

Tips to Unlock Kiriko Faster

Want to speed up unlocking Kiriko? Here are some tips:

  • Group up with friends for +20% XP bonus
  • Complete daily and weekly challenges for big XP payouts
  • Save weekly challenges until the end of the week
  • Play competitive over quick play for more XP per match

Maximizing your XP gains with these tips can greatly reduce the estimated 15-20 hours.

What If You Don‘t Unlock Kiriko in Time?

Don‘t panic if you can‘t quite reach tier 55 before Season 1 ends. According to Blizzard, Kiriko will be unlockable in future seasons via the free Battle Pass track.

So while the timing is limited for now, Kiriko can still be obtained for free by playing and grinding future seasons. No need to break the bank!

Is the New Progression System Better?

There are valid pros and cons around Kiriko‘s unlock requirements:

Pros:

  • Gives all players a clear progression path every season
  • Rewards grinding and engagement with unlocks
  • Lets players focus on unlocking their favorite heroes

Cons:

  • Locks highly anticipated new heroes behind grind/pay walls
  • Time commitment could be prohibitive for casual players
  • Reduces options for players in competitive early season

What do you think? Is this system an improvement over the Overwatch 1 model? Let me know in the comments!

Wrap Up

That covers everything you need to know about unlocking Kiriko for free just by playing! To summarize:

  • Kiriko unlocks at tier 55 of the free Season 1 Battle Pass
  • You‘ll need around 15-20 hours of game time to earn the 44k XP required
  • Focus on challenges and grouped play to speed up XP gains
  • Kiriko can still be unlocked in future seasons if you miss her now

I hope this guide gives you a better understanding of how to add Kiriko to your roster. Let‘s team up sometime and put her abilities to work! See you around the Battle Pass tiers.