Overwatch 2 isn’t a new video game by any means, having been initially released in 2016 under the title Overwatch. However, Blizzard recently re-released it under the name Overwatch 2.
Alongside the new name came some changes to the game, notably in balance and monetization. That being said, the core gameplay and point of the game remain.
So, how safe is Overwatch 2 for your children? Let’s break down what you need to know about Overwatch 2!
What Do You Do in Overwatch 2? Is There Violence?
Overwatch 2 is a team-based hero shooter game. The game is primarily player vs. player, with two teams of 5 working against each other to complete an objective. The teams will attempt to stop each other through violence committed by weapons and powers. Occasionally, there will be limited-time events where players do not have to fight each other.
As previously mentioned, shooting guns are a major theme of Overwatch 2. Some characters, like Kiriko, will attack with knives and other non-gun weapons. The vast majority, however, use guns and gun-like weaponry.
The characters are also equipped with individual abilities, such as the ability to teleport or throw grenades. These different abilities range in being used for offensive or defensive purposes, with some being more violent than others.
Overwatch 2 has a very cartoony style, and as such, many parents and children may be drawn to it. Due to this, the violence is relative to cartoon violence. However, there is some slight cartoonish blood when characters are injured. It’s also possible to see characters with arrows sticking out of them, but it’s not graphic by any means. Further, while many of the characters are cartoon humans, some are animals and robots.
When it comes to the dialogue in Overwatch 2, there are occasional words that you may not want your children to hear. The characters will occasionally banter amongst each other or have ability voice lines. The words in question are mostly limited to “damn” and “bastards,” with nothing worse being present. There are unfortunately zero ways to filter these words out, so keep that in mind. Alcohol and tobacco are also occasionally mentioned or depicted.
It is also important for parents to keep in mind that Overwatch 2 is a fully online and multiplayer experience. Despite bad words not being present in the game’s dialogue, they will likely be present in other places like text and voice chat.
Fortunately for parents, both text and voice chat can be fully disabled in the game’s settings. If kept on, players can also block and report other players for being rude or saying bad words. Upon a report being made, the chat log of the match will be provided to Blizzard to determine wrongdoing.
As previously mentioned, characters in the game will occasionally banter with each other with no input from the players. Some of these voice lines may be flirty, as the characters will occasionally have established relationships. No affectionate actions are displayed in the game outside of dialogue.
When it comes to character design, there are characters who are designed for sex appeal. This is also seen in optional skins that can be bought for characters. Male characters are sometimes shirtless, and female characters will occasionally wear form-fitting or otherwise showy outfits. Fortunately, cleavage is not prevalent and undergarments are generally not shown.
We want to take a moment of our Overwatch 2 parents’ guide to mention the positives of the game for children, of which there are some. Firstly, the game is based on teamwork and collaboration. Many of the character dialogues will be based on teamwork and positivity, encouraging cooperation between players. There are also ways for players to communicate important messages, such as that they need assistance, without any form of chat enabled.
The second positive influence that Overwatch 2 offers is that the game is built around diversity. There are characters of many different ethnicities, races, sexualities, genders, and body shapes. The characters are well-written with fleshed-out backgrounds in comics and videos, should you seek those avenues out. While there are some comically evil characters, the bulk of them are good role models with pasts that center themes of acceptance, perseverance, and unity.
What is Overwatch 2‘s Age Rating?
Anyone in the United States and Canada will be familiar with ESRB ratings printed on video games. These ratings, as set by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, range from “E” for “Everyone” to “M” for “Mature.” Overwatch 2 has a rating of “T” for “Teen,” due to its blood, mild language, violence, and the usage of tobacco. The ESRB also mentions that Overwatch 2 has purchases in-game and allows players to interact with each other.
Parents elsewhere will generally see PEGI ratings instead, which come from the Interactive Software Federation of Europe. PEGI ratings generally go from 3 to 18, with the former being appropriate for all ages and the latter being appropriate for mature audiences. PEGI rates Overwatch 2 at a 12, indicating the game is for players 12 years of age and older. The PEGI rating references moderate violence, bad language, and in-game purchases as the logic behind 12 and older.
The takeaway of these ratings is that Overwatch 2 is likely not appropriate for children under the age of 12. This is a takeaway that we would personally agree with and it is a good rule of thumb for the game. That being said, the game is not likely to harm kids younger than 12, though they may struggle to play due to the game’s difficulty.
How Much Does Overwatch 2 Cost? Is It Free?
When Overwatch was initially released in 2016, the game cost $39.99 to play. However, as of the 2022 release of Overwatch 2, the game is now completely free to play. As a free game, Overwatch 2 offers in-game purchases for cosmetic skins and a battle pass system.
Playing Overwatch 2 also does not require a PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold membership for PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Due to the online nature of the game, all you need to play is an internet connection.
Since Overwatch 2 is a free game, it offers similar in-game purchases as many other free-to-play titles. Much like Fortnite and other multiplayer titles, Overwatch 2 offers a battle pass system where players pay a fee every 9 months to grind towards a ton of unlockable cosmetics. The battle pass only lasts for a limited amount of time, so the grind has a time limit attached to it.
On top of this, players can pay to skip levels of the battle pass, as well as pay to buy separate cosmetics not included in the battle pass.
To ensure parents have all of the information upfront, we’ll list below the in-game purchase choices and respective prices in U.S. dollars.
- 500 Coins: $4.99
- 1,000 Coins: $9.99
- 2,200 Coins: $19.99
- 5,700 Coins: $49.99
- 11,600 Coins: $99.99
In addition to the standard Coins above, which are used to purchase cosmetics and the battle pass (1,000 Coins), there is also a second currency. The second currency is called League Tokens, and League Tokens are used to purchase cosmetics related to the Overwatch 2 esports league.
The following list is the offerings and their respective prices in USD for Overwatch 2 league tokens.
- 100 League Tokens: $5.99
- 200 League Tokens: $11.99
- 400 League Tokens: $23.99
- 900 League Tokens: $47.99
These two currencies are not the only in-game purchases available. Overwatch 2 also offers a method to directly pay for characters as opposed to grinding to unlock them. They also offer direct purchase cosmetic bundles that range in price from $14.99 to $39.99.
The available bundles are always subject to change and change approximately every 9 weeks, so covering them in detail would be pointless.
Luckily for parents, the various platforms that sell Overwatch 2 also provide a means to limit how much children can spend. Whether your child is playing on PC, Xbox, or PlayStation, you can limit their spending. Generally, parental controls will require creating a family or parent account, but it is very much recommended to do this.
For additional information about what to do to set parental controls, take a look at the console manufacturer’s website or contact the company’s support team.
Below, you can find different manufacturers’ and storefronts’ parental control information.
|Console||Parental Control Information|
|PlayStation||Parental Controls on PlayStation|
|Xbox||Xbox Family Settings App|
|PC (Steam Store)||Steam Support Family View|
|PC (Battle.net Store)||Blizzard Parental Control Settings|
Despite being a cartoony game, Overwatch 2 has its fair share of violence. At its core, it is a player vs. player gun game, and that might be enough for some parents to not want their children playing it. That being said, the violence never goes too far, remaining mostly cartoonish in nature.
If parents can get past the hiccups that Overwatch 2 has, such as its monetization policy, the game could potentially be a positive influence on children. Not many multiplayer games have as much focus on diversity and positive messaging as Overwatch 2 does.
At the end of the day, we would recommend Overwatch 2 for players over the age of 12 years old.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©amirraizat/Shutterstock.com.