As Overwatch 2 pivots to free heroes for all, Blizzard confirms you won't get anything back if you already bought heroes through battle passes

Junker Queen in Overwatch 2.
(Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

It's a great day for free-to-play Overwatch 2 players, but not so much for those who've been spending money on the first-person shooter to get access to new heroes as soon as possible. Blizzard has confirmed that from Season 10 onwards, new playable characters will be distributed to everyone instantly, preventing paying players from accessing new heroes faster than free-to-play users.

Overall, there's no doubt this is a phenomenal change. Until now, it was possible to unlock every hero in Overwatch 2 without paying, but without buying the Premium Battle Pass, you had to grind through tiers of the Free Battle Pass before being able to play as the newbies when they were released. This took much longer than being able to grab them with the tap of a button, which gave paying players more time to practice as them and potentially gain an edge over free-to-play players. The upcoming change doesn't just affect upcoming heroes, either, as older ones will also be instantly unlocked for everyone who hasn't already got them (although new players will still need to complete the first-time user experience first). 

So, what's not to love? Well, those who previously paid for the Premium Battle Passes in order to unlock heroes faster might be disappointed, as Blizzard has confirmed that it's not planning to give players anything in exchange for spending their money on a distribution model that's now considered out of date. In a roundtable interview attended by GamesRadar+, game director Aaron Keller says: "We're not currently planning on gifts or on refunds for players that bought previous battle passes."

To be fair, buying the Premium Battle Pass was never a requirement to unlock heroes, it just ensured you got them faster – something which can't be taken away from those who made the most of those quick unlocks as they happened. The Premium Battle Pass also allows you to unlock more cosmetics and rewards than the free one, so it's not that the heroes were the only selling point. 

Even so, you can understand the disappointment of anyone who felt the heroes were the main draw before. The upcoming change will be rolled out from Season 10 onwards, with the next new hero, Venture, set to be the first fresh face handed out to everyone immediately.

While you're here, be sure to check out our ranking of the 25 best FPS games. 

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.