'Overwatch 2' Requires All Players to Link an Active Phone Number

Overwatch 2 will ask players to link a phone number to their Battle.net accounts, despite having existing access to the original Overwatch game. This is effective when the game arrives on Oct. 4 and will affect all platforms, including consoles.

Gamers will not be allowed to link the same number and launch multiple accounts at the same time. A phone number can only be used once to open a new account.

Thus, if a player would like to create several accounts, each must be linked to different numbers that are connected to active mobile phones.

Pre-paid, landline, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) numbers will not be accepted.

The SMS Protect

Game creator Blizzard Entertainment confirmed that this mandatory course of action is part of the engineered SMS Protect system and other safety measures ahead of the release of Overwatch 2.

This will be an additional layer of security for players to maximize their game experience, striving against disruptive behavior and cheating.

“The security of your account is important, and SMS Protect helps verify ownership of your account in the unforeseen event of an account compromise. Similarly, if a disruptive gamer has been suspended or banned, SMS Protect makes it more difficult for them to return to the game,” the video game developer stated in a recent blog post.

Since the game is not free to play, Blizzard still wants to give its players a safe, enjoyable experience.

The same two-factor verification step will be utilized for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 games.

How Players Can Add Their Phone Number

Go to the Battle.net website, and head to the Account Details tab on the sidebar. It can be seen under Account Overview. The third box is the field where they can type in their phone number. Click the Add button.

Blizzard will send a verification number to the mobile phone used to register. Copy and paste the number on the website screen to proceed.

In-game Audio Transcriptions

The original Overwatch game used machine learning to detect cheating and disruptive behavior. The structure controls several systems in the software, including the in-game reports sent by players.

To further detect disruptive and cheating players, aside from the SMS Protect, Blizzard is introducing audio transcriptions. It will be used in the following weeks after the new game has launched.

The technology will collect a temporary voice chat recording of the reported gamer, then transcribe it through a speech-to-text program. The system has chat review tools that can analyze the recording to come up with the final decision, whether to ban the said player or not.

Blizzard assures that it will be deleted immediately from its system after transcribing the audio. No later than 30 days after the transcription, the text file will also be eradicated.

The game’s structure is not meant to store voice chat data long-term, so the game creator encourages gamers to report disruptive behavior as soon as they can.

Written by Trisha Kae Andrada

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