Why does Overwatch 2 Require a Post Paid Phone Number? Explained

No burner phones allowed.

by J.R. Waugh


Overwatch 2 is here now, and fans have flooded the servers by the tens of thousands and are climbing as they get into the sequel to the hit hero shooter. The game welcomes returning and new players alike with rebalanced mechanics and intents to preserve a friendly, accommodating gaming experience for all players. But one feature you’ll need to use to access the game is linking a phone number to your Battle.net account. Fans are wondering why in particular Overwatch 2 and Blizzard are expecting this, and why they have to be post paid phones.

Why Do You Need a Post paid Phone Number to Play Overwatch 2?

Overwatch 2 requires a post-paid phone number instead of a prepaid one to be able to use your Battle.net account as part of its SMS Protect initiative. This prevents ‘smurf accounts’ and restricts the spread of multiple accounts by individual users that might result in disruptive behavior. This means it can prevent matchmaking from being lopsided due to high-level players using separate accounts to join matches lower on the ladder, and discourages abusive online activity. It is meant to protect the players but can be seen as a bit too restrictive in some circles.

Post-paid Vs. Pre-paid Mobile Numbers

By definition, a post paid phone number is typically a mobile phone that operates on a plan from a provider, where you pay for services such as calling, texting, and data after use every month. This typically is a far more accommodating setup than for pre-paid phones. Pre-paid phones are phones purchased usually for not going on a dedicated plan, but simply for more limited purposes. These purposes include the use of a certain number of call minutes, text messages, and quantities of mobile data, typically on a tighter budget.

Blizzard’s SMS Protect identifies pre-paid phones and restricts them from being an option in the game, likely to prevent users from having a cheap way to build multiple accounts. In particular, smurf accounts are what will likely be most restricted by this protection. This prevents players from making alt accounts to use for abusive online behavior, dishonest ranked play, or even putting them up for sale. This will also protect your Battle.net from hacking and other nefarious activity. It might make matters difficult for some players seeking to return to the game, as some folks genuinely don’t have mobile phones, and even if you owned the original game, you must pass this barrier to play Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

- This article was updated on October 7th, 2022

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