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Overwatch 2's First Time User Experience Explained

"Overwatch" is now dead and gone, but "Overwatch 2" has officially launched to take its place. This free-to-play sequel is available on PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, the Nintendo Switch and PC. Early reviews for "Overwatch 2" have all said the same thing with plenty of praise for the fresh, new gameplay improvements but some complaints regarding the new monetization additions. 

Regardless of what critics think, plenty of players are eager to get in and try the game out for themselves as evidenced by some fairly lengthy queue times, with upwards of 20,000 players blocking entry for some. With the title being free-to-play, some of those queued players are likely new to the franchise. Blizzard has planned for first-timers like them, and introduced a feature in "Overwatch 2" called The First Time User Experience (FTUE). The FTUE is designed to gradually introduce different aspects of the game to new players in order to help them feel less overwhelmed, but it can still sound pretty confusing. 

One step at a time

As outlined in a news post on Blizzard's website, the First Time User Experience was created as a result of feedback from new players that continued to feel overwhelmed by the large amount of heroes and modes offered within "Overwatch 2." 35 unique playable characters is an enormous amount when one hasn't been familiarizing themselves with each one over the last six years. So, when new players begin "Overwatch 2," they'll only have access to 15 heroes. 

How are the remaining heroes unlocked? According to Blizzard, they unlock gradually over the course of a player's first 100 matches. That's a pretty big number, but after those 100 games are done and dusted, first-time players will have each base game hero at their disposal. However, if first-time players happen to be playing in a group then those restrictions are lifted.

Similarly, new players won't have access to every game mode right away. As with the heroes, additional modes will gradually unlock over time and some will become available when playing with a group. This isn't the case, however, with the game's competitive mode. In order to play competitively, new players will have to win 50 matches of Quick Play. 

Fan reactions on Twitter are generally positive in response to the FTUE. User thexboxlucio noted the difficulty of explaining "Overwatch" to new players before saying, "I think the first time user experience is a fantastic introduction." With the game's launch still underway, it will be some time before we know exactly how new players feel about the experience. They'll need to get past the game's lengthy queue times first.