Blizzard says it's making progress with Overwatch 2's server woes

Overwatch 2 Mercy
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)
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Update: Blizzard will be taking the Overwatch 2 servers down at 3 pm PDT for one hour "to address some bugs related to account merge, login, and the First Time User Experience." And it will take them down again at 6 pm PDT for three hours to update its servers to reduce queue times.

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Original story: Blizzard is "working to improve stability" for Overwatch 2's servers, reducing queue times and disconnects for everyone trying to play the newly launched sequel (opens in new tab).

The developer put out a blog post (opens in new tab) that addresses the three biggest issues with Overwatch 2's launch: queue times, missing cosmetic items, and mandatory phone numbers on Overwatch 2 accounts..

The Overwatch 2 servers have calmed down a bit since launch day (opens in new tab) when players slammed the servers and Blizzard was hit with two DDoS attacks. But it's still difficult to reliably get into the game in a short amount of time. To reduce the queues, Blizzard patched a login server to better withstand the load of all the players trying to get in. It's also going to update another server to help prevent players from getting disconnected while in the game.

The problems aren't fully solved yet though. Blizzard said the player database is being overloaded, "which cascades and causes a backup in the login system, which eventually leads to some people being dropped out of queues or being unable to log in at all." It's trying to tackle the issue by adding nodes, but doing that also puts more stress on the servers. In order to continue this process without breaking them, Blizzard is throttling queues until there are enough nodes to open it back up, which it said will "greatly improve the experience for players across multiple fronts moving forward."

Some players that have made it into the game have found they're missing cosmetic items, currency, and other account progress. Blizzard said this is only temporary and will implement some fixes for it next week. One big issue is that many players who are coming from the console version of the original Overwatch have failed to go through an account merging process (opens in new tab)—Blizzard said almost half of players reporting cases of missing items haven't done this yet.

Some players have also had their heroes locked behind the First Time User Experience despite having played before. Blizzard said logging out and back into the game can fix this issue, but if it doesn't, to contact its support (opens in new tab).

The final item on the list of issues is the phone number requirement to play the game in the first place. SMS Protect, or SMS verification, was mandatory to help prevent "disruptive behavior," according to Blizzard. After an immense amount of criticism from people, particularly from those who use prepaid numbers from providers like Cricket, Blizzard announced that it will remove (opens in new tab) it on Friday "for a majority of its existing Overwatch players." For all the accounts that still need a phone number, Blizzard hasn't said if it's doing anything about prepaid or VOIP numbers.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.