Overwatch 2 Ranking System Explained: How to Unlock Competitive Mode

Overwatch 2: How To Unlock Competitive Mode

In the original Overwatch, players couldn’t participate in Competitive Mode until they reached level 25 (out of 50). Since levels are no longer a thing in Overwatch 2, though, that requirement has been removed. Instead, players now have to overcome a different hurdle that, depending on luck, can either take no time at all or grind their progression to a halt.

According to the Overwatch 2 website, players can’t unlock Competitive Mode until they have won 50 Quick Play (i.e., Unranked) matches. Not play, mind you, but win. If a player teams up with decent, if not especially skilled, allies, they can breeze through that challenge relatively quickly. If not, they might be stuck in Unranked for an unreasonable amount of time.

Competitive Mode is one of many features Overwatch 2 locks behind a progression grind wall, along with pre-existing characters, in what Blizzard calls the “First Time User Experience” (FTUE). But while players can circumvent most of these limitations by teaming up with friends, Competitive Mode is the sole exception. Anyone who is new to Overwatch and wants to climb the ranks with their buddies and random players will have to earn that right. It’s not an ideal system, to say the least.

Overwatch 2’s Ranking System, Explained

For the most part, Overwatch 2‘s Competitive Mode is relatively similar to the competitive mode seen in the game’s predecessor. However, Blizzard inserted a few quality-of-life improvements to make the ranking ladder fairer in Overwatch 2. That doesn’t mean the competition players will face will go easy on them, though. It just means that a few of the game’s lingering annoyances have been smoothed out.

As with Overwatch 2‘s other game modes, Competitive play is split between attacking and defending rounds. The team that attacked one round defends during the next round, and vice versa. Every match continues until one team scores enough points by completing the given objective on a map. Unlike Overwatch 2’s other modes, though, individual ranks determine who players will fight alongside and against.

For Overwatch 2, Blizzard slightly changed how the ranking system works compared to the similar system in the original game. For reference, here is every ranking in Overwatch 2‘s Competitive mode in order of progression:

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