Blizzard has completely upended how buying stuff works in Overwatch 2, and the transition has not been smooth. The hero shooter's switch to free-to-play coincides with its move away from loot boxes to battle passes and a cosmetic shop that only accepts a new paid currency: Overwatch Coins. For a studio that used to give away loot boxes at a breezy pace, Blizzard is being incredibly stingy with its premium currency.
Overwatch Coins are the new way to unlock just about everything in Overwatch 2. You can buy Overwatch Coins in bundles starting at $5 for 500 coins or buy more at once to get a better value. It's a nearly identical setup to a bunch of other live service games, but what's less common is how Overwatch Coins can also be earned.
The only way to get Overwatch Coins without simply buying them is to complete weekly challenges. That sounded neat when I first heard about it, but then I realized how hilariously low the payouts are. Here's how it breaks down:
- Complete 4 weekly challenges: 30 Overwatch Coins
- Complete 8 weekly challenges: 20 Overwatch Coins
- Complete 11 weekly challenges: 10 Overwatch Coins
That's a total of 60 possible Overwatch Coins you can earn in a week, equivalent to exactly $0.60. To give you a sense of exactly how little 60 cents is worth in Overwatch 2, legendary skin bundles go for around 2,000 coins, or $20. If I were determined to unlock Sojourn's cool detective outfit with only weekly Overwatch Coins, I'd have to complete every challenge, every week, for about nine months.
That's an insulting earn rate, right? 60 coins is a borderline useless number of coins. It's pocket change—I could find more money diving between my couch cushions than by playing Overwatch 2 for a week. The math is so unfavorable to players that I have to believe nobody at Blizzard crunched the numbers and determined that 60 coins is a cool and gracious reward for playing a lot of Overwatch.
I do mean a lot of Overwatch. I've averaged 2-3 hours of Overwatch per night and I've yet to earn all 60 coins in a week. Most challenges are doable, but there's typically one I'm not willing to grind for, like winning a bunch of Arcade games (snooze) or Competitive matches (no thanks), so I'm locked out of the final 10 coins. Another 40 weeks or so and that Sojourn skin is mine!
Seems like I'm not alone in my bewilderment, either. "This is appalling. I get they have to rework their payment model to better support the game, but this is garbage," wrote Reddit user BlynxInx.
"The battle pass is fine. The fact that buying a single skin costs double the amount of a battle pass is crazy," added Specific-Moose8094.
Overwatch 2's weekly coins compare even less favorably to other battle passes. In every other shooter I play, a substantial chunk of premium currency can be earned back by progressing through the $10 premium battle pass. In Fortnite, Apex Legends, and even Overwatch's corporate cousin Call of Duty: Warzone, it's possible to earn enough credits over a season to pay for your next battle pass (or buy a bundle or two in the store). Overwatch 2's battle pass includes zero Overwatch Coins.
It's weird how bad Overwatch 2 is where it concerns currency, because the battle pass itself is reasonably paced. After a few weeks of nightly sessions, I'm at tier 48 out of 80. It helps that Overwatch 2 has some of the easiest daily challenges I've ever seen (I've had one that simply asked me to wave to a support hero), and the 20% XP boost for having the premium pass helps a lot too.
Throwing some currency into the battle pass progression as most other games do would probably go a long way, but barring his, I think I'd actually be less annoyed earning zero coins (or some extra battle pass XP) than a measly 60 cents.