Overwatch 2 Removes SMS Protect Requirements

Players will no longer need a phone number to play their favorite team shooter

The Overwatch 2 launch did not go as smoothly as was planned by Blizzard Entertainment. In the midst of DDOS attacks, frequent server issues, and other technical problems, players were becoming a bit impatient. To top things off, Blizzard also recently implemented an SMS Protect requirement for Overwatch 2, which was meant to help with two-factor authentication, as well as to help keep lobbies more fair. 

However, there were multiple issues with the SMS requirements that did not sit well with players, including that they could not use pre-paid or VOIP numbers to pair with their accounts. This led some players who had played since the release of Overwatch in 2016 to be locked out of their own accounts.

Details on SMS Protect Removal in Overwatch 2

Though Blizzard created the SMS requirement with the best intentions of keeping accounts secure and preventing “smurfing,” it locked honest players out of their own accounts. 

To combat the backlash of the many players affected by the requirement, Blizzard has reversed their decision to require phone numbers for all accounts. 

The newest change to Overwatch 2’s SMS Protect makes it so that players who have played Overwatch since June 9, 2021, to the present will no longer need to provide a phone number to play. The change will still affect new accounts to prevent smurfing, but it should cover most players coming from the previous installment of the game.

When Do the Overwatch 2 SMS Protect Requirements Lift?

According to a post by Blizzard, the SMS changes will be going into effect on Friday, October 7, 2022. Until then, players who are affected will ultimately have to wait. 

However, Blizzard is also working on implementing fixes to the login issues, which should make players affected by the SMS issue have a much smoother experience when they can log in this Friday.

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