How To Play Competitive Mode in Overwatch 2

To find out how to unlock Overwatch 2’s competitive mode, or discover how it now works, continue reading.

Updated on Aug 04, 2023
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How To Play Competitive Mode in Overwatch 2

How to unlock Overwatch 2 Competitive Mode?

For all the new players joining the forces of Overwatch 2, Blizzard has created a system to prepare rookies for the competitive grind, the First Time User Experience (or FTUE).

This system has set upon new accounts a path to unlocking heroes and modes for OW 2. That means to be equally wealthy in characters as original players, these accounts must grind their way through casual gamemodes to develop a slow understanding of the game as well as its characters.

Along with the matches necessary to unlock all of Overwatch 2’s complex and growing roster, Blizzard requires 50 Quick Play wins for a fresh account to unlock competitive play and rank up. If you would like to find out the reasoning behind the system, what modes will contribute to these wins, and how to get wins fast, continue below.

To conclude, here is a quick summary of how to play competitive mode in Overwatch 2:

  1. Launch up Overwatch 2.
  2. Grab some friends if you can.
  3. Head over to Quick Play, choosing Role Queue or Open Queue.
  4. Play the strongest characters if it fits you.
  5. Win 50 Quick Play matches and complete the competitive play challenge.

After unlocking competitive play, you check out our rank up guide to climb in competitive much easier.

Why do you need 50 wins to unlock Competitive Play?

50 wins is an extremely slow process for players. Whilst you may avoid certain gamemode restrictions by teaming up with a veteran, Competitive is completely blocked until the 50 wins requirement has been met.

Blizzard enacted this FTUE to counteract the stream of fresh recruits invading and sullying the competitive experience. Players must first explore each character before they can take them on at the competitive level. After the 50 wins, the developers believe players should have a strong enough understanding of the game's mechanics and diverse roster.

Alongside counteracting the new players’ lack of knowledge, this also helps prevent the abuse of smurfs (new accounts made by high ranked players to ‘bully’ lower ranks). In my opinion, it works well, but I can understand if players tire out before they can even reach competitive play.

What modes contribute to the 50 wins?

To put it simply, Quick Play. It is composed of two modes. Open Queue, the original Overwatch experience, is a 5v5 mode where you can play any role or character, swapping when you see fit. Role Queue is a newer addition and lets you pre-select your role (Tank, Damage or Support) and keeps a consistent team composition in your game at all times. Both of these modes, and only these modes, will contribute to the 50 wins. Arcade and Custom Games will not help you unlock competitive play.


How can you win games faster?

Overwatch 2 is before everything a team-based video game, and joining friends will aid your grind immensely. If you have friends that have already played the original Overwatch, or rookies that have tagged along for the free-to-play experience, queueing up with them ensures multiple things. 

  • You will have better communication and synergy.
  • You will have faster queue times.
  • You will probably have more fun.

Better communication, synergy, and faster queues translates directly to better games, victories, as well as a smaller wait between those wins.

Friends in Overwatch 2 may grant you easier wins, but your characters mean a whole lot more than your skill at the start of the game. As your mechanics and aim evolve during your matches, a solid character to main will ease you into Overwatch 2's intense gameplay. Following and playing the meta picks as it evolves with various buffs and nerfs is a sure-fire way to win quickly.

Finally, watching YouTube guides can help you out. Overwatch has been out for many years, and players have increased the characters' capabilities far more than you could know starting out. If you found your special main, guides out there can further improve your understanding and skill with them. They may also guide you on aiming, team coordination, objective taking, etc. With more knowledge than your fellow rookies, you are certain to unlock competitive mode in no time.

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