Overwatch Heroes Locked Issue: What Does it Mean?

Players are seeing many Overwatch 2 heroes locked, with a message that says "Unlock via Special Challenge, Battle Pass, or in-game Shop."

Overwatch 2 had a bit of a rocky launch this past week, with server issues and long queue times. Those problems have since been resolved, but now there are some new ones plaguing users. If all of your Overwatch heroes are locked with a message that says, “Unlock via Special Challenge, Battle Pass, or in-game Shop,” here’s what you need to know.

Overwatch Heroes Locked Issue

Many players are experiencing an issue that is locking most of the Overwatch 2 hero roster. The issue causes most characters to say, “Locked: Unlock via Special Challenge, Battle Pass, or in-game Shop.” Before this, all of the characters were unlocked and playable.

Seeing as how 20 characters are locked, that leaves only about a dozen playable characters while this issue is ongoing. Obviously, this presents a big problem for competitive play, where many players cannot play their main heroes. 

The bug has been around since launch, but it appears the most recent update to remove Bastion and Torbjörn from the game has caused an unanticipated issue. While these two characters have indeed been removed, as confirmed by the “Hero is currently disabled in ranked games” message, lots of other heroes are also now locked.

These locked heroes include popular characters from the original Overwatch, including Cassidy, Genji, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Zenyatta, Ana, and many others. Unfortunately, it looks like this bug is widespread at the moment, as several users are tweeting about it in response to one of Overwatch 2’s official tweets.

Before you read something about restarting your game, you may want to think twice about that. There are still long queue times in the evenings, and restarting the game and the Battle.net client does not appear to resolve the locked hero problem.

Keep an eye out on the official Overwatch 2 and Blizzard Customer Support Twitters for more updates.