Blizzard Entertainment has recently revealed that Overwatch 2 will require all players to link a phone number to their Battle.net account. There is no way around it. Starting October 4, 2022, you will need to link a phone number to your Battle.net to play Overwatch 2. Though this does seem odd and a very strange request, there is a decent explanation for it. Here is why Overwatch 2 requires a phone number.
What is SMS Protect in Overwatch 2?
Though you can already start pre-loading Overwatch 2 on PC and consoles without a phone number, once Overwatch 2 goes live on October 4, 2022, you need to connect a phone number to your account. Why is Blizzard Entertainment requiring this?
Based on their recent blog post, Overwatch 2 is launching a Defense Matrix Initiative. Though the Defense Matrix Initiative has a lot of layers to it, the main objective is to ensure competitive integrity and create a positive gaming community for all. One aspect of the Defense Matrix Initiative is SMS Protect.
SMS Protect is the reason why phone numbers are required for Overwatch 2. SMS Protect is a protective measure to keep each and every Battle.net account more secure. the rule is one phone number for one account—you can’t use one number for multiple accounts. also, pre-paid and VOIP phone numbers don’t work for SMS Protect.
To summarize, Overwatch 2 requires a phone number because SMS Protect. SMS Protect’s only objective is to make sure that only you are able to access your Overwatch 2 account. They aim to accomplish this by requiring a phone number for each Battle.net account.
Though this already has the Overwatch community outraged, hopefully, SMS Protect will prove to be a good thing instead of a hindrance.
Overwatch 2 will be available on October 4, 2022, on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.