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Is Overwatch 2 Battle Pass Free for Old Players? The Ultimate Guide

Hey there Overwatch fan! I know you‘ve probably been wondering: is the new Overwatch 2 Battle Pass free for me since I already played the original?

It‘s a great question. As a fellow long-time player myself, I was also curious if I‘d get the new Battle Pass for free. So I did some deep research into exactly what old players like us get with Overwatch 2‘s shift to free-to-play.

The short answer is: we get some nice bonuses just for being OG fans, but the brand new Season 1 Battle Pass itself still costs money if we want the premium version.

While that‘s a bummer, I totally get why Blizzard can‘t just give it all away. Developing new heroes, maps and cinematics isn‘t cheap! The good news is old players like us do get a few nice perks compared to brand new players.

Let me break it all down for you…

Here‘s What We Get for Free:

  • All original heroes unlocked: No grinding needed to play our faves! I‘m so glad I can still flex Mercy/Reinhardt without the slog.
  • All existing cosmetics: Blizzard is letting us keep all the skins, emotes, intros etc we unlocked previously. Our collections carry over, phew!
  • Founder‘s Pack: This freebie pack has 2 epic Overwatch 2 skins, 2 OWL skins and a cute little icon. Not bad for supporting the OG!
  • Instant Kiriko Unlock: We get the new support hero Kiriko right away for free. New players need to grind to level 55 of the free Battle Pass track first.

So in summary, we keep all our stuff, get some minor free cosmetics, and can play Kiriko immediately. That‘s a nice gesture from Blizzard recognizing us OG fans. But sadly, most of the Battle Pass goodies aren‘t outright free.

Here‘s How the New Battle Pass System Works:

Moving to a seasonal model with Battle Passes is a big shift. Here are the key things we need to know:

  • There‘s a free track and a premium track – premium contains way more.
  • It costs ~$10 for the premium pass, 1000 Overwatch Coins to be exact. Not negligible!
  • A new paid pass is released every 9 weeks alongside a new hero and content.
  • You level up by gaining XP and completing weekly challenges to unlock heroes, skins, emotes etc.
  • The free track unlocks rewards every few levels only. Premium unlocks ALL of them through level 80.
  • Heroes unlock at level 55 free, instantly with premium. We want instant access don‘t we?
  • Old players do NOT get the Season 1 premium pass for free automatically. We need to buy it.

I know, I wish we got the premium track free too! But unfortunately we don‘t get that just for being loyal fans. We have to pay each season.

Do Old Players Get the Premium Pass Free? The Hard Truth:

I see this question a lot from fellow OG Overwatch players:

"Hey, I paid $60+ for Overwatch 1 back in the day and have been playing for years. Do I at least get the Season 1 Battle Pass premium rewards for free?"

I feel this frustration. Dropping a lump sum only to be asked for $10 every couple months can sting.

But the hard truth is: we don‘t get Overwatch 2‘s first premium Battle Pass free automatically.

And believe me, I looked hard for evidence we‘d get it gratis! But Blizzard nowhere says existing players get the Season 1 pass complimentary. We have to buy it like new players.

I get why that‘s disappointing. Other hero shooters like Apex Legends DID give the first battle pass free to early adopters. That would‘ve been a nice gesture given what we paid already.

But Overwatch 2‘s entire multiplayer is now 100% free. And all our OG stuff carries over. So from Blizzard‘s perspective, further rewards may not have felt totally necessary.

Still, after years of support and hundreds invested, being asked to pay AGAIN for new heroes doesn‘t feel great. But that‘s the F2P reality now.

Tips to Unlock Heroes Faster as an Old Player

Since we don‘t get new heroes like Kiriko instantly, here are some tips to optimize leveling up the free track:

  • Group up – we get 20% more match XP this way! Huge for progression.
  • Complete challenges – this is where BIG chunks of XP come from. Great for fast levels.
  • Play modes with long match times like Push or Escort. More time = more XP per match!
  • Flex roles not just one role – this speeds up queue times so we can fit in more matches and XP.
  • Play well consistently – medals, wins, solid play = more XP. Performance matters now!
  • Consider buying the Watchpoint Pack – it includes premium Season 1 access and instant Kiriko unlock.

Doing all this will help us level up the free track ASAP. But note the only way to unlock heroes immediately at launch is still buying that premium pass upfront.

To Buy or Not to Buy? The Premium Pass Pros & Cons:

So should we cave and pay the $10 for premium Season 1 access? Let‘s weigh the pros and cons:

Pros of Buying It

  • Instant hero unlocks instead of 55+ level grind
  • Way more skins, emotes, highlight intros etc. The cosmetics are awesome!
  • Provides that feeling of frequent progression and unlocks again
  • Supports the devs monetarily through the F2P transition

Cons of Buying It

  • Have to pay real money when unlocks used to be free
  • Doesn‘t feel especially rewarding as a longtime player
  • Less motivation to play without caring about cosmetics

For me personally, I‘m leaning towards getting it. The new heroes alone are worth it so I can play comp without disadvantage. And who can resist those sick cyberpunk/gothic skin sets?

But I totally get not wanting to pay again when we already paid upfront. You really have to care about cosmetics for it to be worthwhile. Think it through!

Can You Unlock Everything Without Paying? Short Answer: No

A fair question is whether we can unlock all the new heroes and cosmetics without ever spending by just grinding the free track each season.

The technical answer is yes, but the time required makes it unrealistic.

See, the only things we‘d miss as free players are select premium-exclusive cosmetics. But all heroes will eventually unlock through grinding.

The problem? Unlocking each new hero requires reaching at least level 55, which takes a ton of playtime. I‘m talking 100+ hours PER season! And that‘s with focused daily play, not casual.

That means we‘d get new heroes several weeks or months late compared to premium players. And we‘d have to treat OW2 like a part-time job! No thanks.

Free unlocking is technically possible, but extremely time prohibitive. Buying premium passes realistically is the only feasible way to keep up.

Does Buying Now Mean Future Passes Are Free?

You might be wondering:

"If I buy the Season 1 Pass now, will that mean I get future Season 2, 3 etc passes for free?"

This would be amazing, but sadly is not how it works. Every season‘s Battle Pass must be purchased individually – they‘re not connected.

The only way to earn future passes free is accumulating enough Overwatch Coins through premium rewards to afford the next one.

But that requires heavy grinding to earn the ~1500 coins. Nearly impossible for most working adults like us!

So if you buy Season 1 now, you‘ll almost certainly have to buy Season 2 later. They want us paying each time!

The Takeaway as an Old Player:

Let‘s sum up everything for Overwatch veterans:

While we get to carry over our collections and unlock heroes like Kiriko instantly, the hard truth is we don‘t get future seasons‘ Battle Passes or premium tracks for free.

And with new heroes now locked behind Battle Pass progression, that means we have to grind a ton or open our wallets again if we want early, unimpeded access.

As someone who paid full-price years ago, this leaves a slightly sour taste in my mouth too. But games are more expensive to develop than ever, and Overwatch 2 PVP is fully free, so I understand the business reality.

At the end of the day, we old players have to make our own choice on whether instant unlocks are worth paying for again. There are reasonable pros and cons to each approach.

But now you‘ve got all the key facts straight to make an informed decision! Hope this guide helped explain things clearly for Overwatch veterans like us. Stay tuned for more OW2 tips!