First-time Overwatch 2 players will be missing out on some of the FPS game's most popular characters

(Image credit: Blizzard)

You’ve likely heard that new Overwatch 2 players will have to play 100 matches to unlock every character and mode on offer. Now, though, Blizzard has confirmed who will be available for first-time user experience players from the word go.

Unless you’ve bought and played Overwatch 1, you’ll be without fan-favourites such as Genji, D.Va, and Hanzo. The Shimada brothers are some of Overwatch’s most popular characters, but they're also among the more difficult heroes to play, so it somewhat makes sense to have people start with the easier ones to learn the basics. That said, you’re likely to be more engaged when playing someone you like, and are likely to find a cheese around it anyway. 

Thankfully, you won’t be waiting long to unlock Genji as he’s the first unlockable character, followed by D.Va, Cassidy, and Hanzo. As for heroes you can start your Overwatch 2 journey with, you’ve got traditional tanks, healers, and DPS characters like Reinhardt, Mercy, Soldier 76, and more. You've also got more intermediate options like Zarya and Tracer, so you do have some flair picks if you fancy it. 

After that initial drop, first-time players will unlock new characters one-by-one. As a general rule, you'll be unlocking long-time heroes first, with more recent arrivals available further down the list.

Looking for the full Overwatch 2 hero list? Check it out below:

Overwatch 2 hero list

  •  Orisa
  •  Reinhardt
  • Winston
  • Zarya
  • Pharah
  • Reaper
  • Soldier 76
  • Torbjorn
  • Tracer
  • Widowmaker
  • Lucio
  • Mercy
  • Moira

 Overwatch 2 hero unlock order

  • Genji
  • D.Va
  • Cassidy
  • Ana
  • Hanzo
  • Junkrat
  • Roadhog
  • Symmetra
  • Zenyatta
  • Bastion
  • Sigma
  • Ashe
  • Brigitte
  • Mei
  • Doomfist
  • Baptiste
  • Sombra
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Echo

You can also check out all the Overwatch 2 Hero changes to get caught up on all the new reworks and balance adjustments before launch.

In other news, Overwatch 2 players seem to favour the new incremental hero-unlocking rules, which is nice. 

Ahead of Overwatch 2, we wrote a eulogy for the Overwatch we once knew.

Deputy News Editor

Iain joins the GamesRadar team as Deputy News Editor following stints at PCGamesN and PocketGamer.Biz, with some freelance for Kotaku UK, RockPaperShotgun, and VG24/7 thrown in for good measure. When not helping Ali run the news team, he can be found digging into communities for stories – the sillier the better. When he isn’t pillaging the depths of Final Fantasy 14 for a swanky new hat, you’ll find him amassing an army of Pokemon plushies.