Overwatch 2 SMS Protect: What is it? Why does Blizzard require my phone number?
When Overwatch 2 replaces the original Overwatch On October 4th, players must link a phone number to their Battle.net accounts. If you don’t, you won’t be able to play Overwatch 2 — even if you have already purchased Overwatch. The same two-factor step, called SMS Protect, will also be applied to everyone Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 accounts when the game launches, and new ones Call of Duty Modern Warfare accounts.
Blizzard Entertainment announced SMS Protect and other security measures ahead of time Overwatch 2its publication. Blizzard said it implemented these controls because it wanted to “protect the integrity of gameplay and promote positive behavior in Overwatch 2.”
Overwatch 2 is free to play, unlike its predecessor. Without SMS Protect, Blizzard reasoned, there is no barrier to toxic players or trolls creating a new account if an existing one is sanctioned. SMS Protect therefore links the account to something valuable – in this case a player’s mobile phone.
Why does Blizzard require my phone number?
SMS Protect is a security feature that serves two purposes: to hold players accountable for what Blizzard calls “disruptive behavior,” and to protect accounts if they are hacked. It takes everything Overwatch 2 players to attach a unique phone number to their account. Blizzard said SMS Protect will target cheaters and harassers; if an account gets banned, it will be more difficult for them to get back to it Overwatch 2. You can’t just type in any old phone number—you actually have to have access to a phone that receives text messages to that number to get into your account.
Overwatch 2 lead software engineer Bill Warnecke told Forbes that, although accounts are no longer linked Overwatchits box price – because the game is now free to play – Blizzard still wants players to make an “investment” in maintaining a safe game.
“The key idea behind SMS Protect is to have an investment on behalf of the owner of that account and add some restrictions or limitations behind how you can have an account,” Warnecke said. “There are no exclusions or any kind of loopholes around the system.”
What kind of phone number can I use?
Blizzard said its Battle.net notifications, as part of SMS Protect, are only for “text-enabled mobile phones.” This means that messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage cannot be used. Similarly, (some) prepaid phones will not work, nor will VoIP numbers (which use IP networks to make calls or send text messages). Likewise, a landline number will not work either.
A phone number can only be used once; players cannot have multiple accounts linked to a single number.
Can I get a refund if I can’t add my phone number?
Blizzard support has reportedly refunded the $39.99 a player spent on Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack, after the player contacted Blizzard support and pointed out that they did not have a mobile phone that met SMS Protect’s requirements. But that’s just one case. We have contacted Blizzard for more information on the refund policy regarding Overwatch, Overwatch 2 and SMS Protect’s compatibility.
Where do I add my phone number?
On your Battle.net account page, go to account details tab on the sidebar, just below Account overview. The third box down is where you enter your number. You can do that by clicking Add phone number. Blizzard will send a verification number to the phone associated with your number. Type it in the box and you should be good to go.
If you change your phone number, you can also adjust it here later.
Can I still have multiple accounts?
Sure – if they are linked to individual phone numbers that connect to an active mobile phone.
Does this actually improve security?
Blizzard said these phone notifications will be used to authorize password resets — meaning someone else won’t be able to change your password without the notification code it sends to your mobile phone. Blizzard said it will also send you a text message if your account is locked out after a “suspicious login attempt” or if your password or security features are changed.