When Monitor 2 replaces the original Surveillance on October 4, players will need to link a phone number to their Battle.net accounts. If you don’t, you won’t be able to play Overwatch 2 — even if you have already purchased Surveillance. The same two-factor step, called SMS Protect, will also be used on all Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 accounts when launching this game, and new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare accounts.
Blizzard Entertainment announced SMS Protect and other security measures before Surveillance 2the exit. Blizzard said it implemented these controls because it wanted to “protect gameplay integrity and promote positive behavior in Monitor 2.”
Monitor 2 is free, unlike its predecessor. Without SMS Protect, Blizzard felt there was no impediment to toxic players or trolls creating a new account if an existing account was sanctioned. SMS Protect therefore associates this account with something valuable – in this case, a player’s mobile phone.
Why does Blizzard need my phone number?
SMS Protect is a security feature that serves two purposes: to hold players accountable for what Blizzard calls “disruptive behavior” and to protect accounts if they are hacked. It requires everything Monitor 2 players to attach a unique phone number to their account. Blizzard said SMS Protect will target cheaters and stalkers; if an account is banned, it will be harder for them to get back on Monitor 2. You can’t just enter any old phone number – you actually need to have access to a phone receiving text messages at that number to access your account.
Monitor 2 Bill Warnecke, chief software engineer, told Forbes that while the accounts are no longer linked to Surveillance‘s box price – because the game is now free – Blizzard still wants players to make an “investment” in maintaining safe gameplay.
“The key idea behind SMS Protect is to have an investment in the name of the owner of that account and to add limitations or restrictions to how you could have an account,” Warnecke said. “There are no exclusions or loopholes around the system.”
What kind of phone number can I use?
Blizzard said its Battle.net notifications, as part of SMS Protect, are only for “text-enabled mobile phones.” This means that messaging apps like WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage cannot be used. Likewise, (some) prepaid phones will not work, nor will VoIP numbers (which use IP networks to make calls or send SMS). Similarly, a landline number will not work either.
A phone number can only be used once; players cannot have multiple accounts linked to a single number.
Can I get a refund if I can’t add my phone number?
Blizzard Support allegedly refunded the $39.99 spent by a player for the Watchpoint Overwatch 2 Bundle, after this player contacted Blizzard customer service and pointed out that he did not have a cell phone that met SMS Protect requirements. But this is only one case. We have contacted Blizzard for more information on their refund policy regarding Surveillance, Monitor 2 and SMS Protect compatibility.
Where do I add my phone number?
On the Battle.net account page, you will need to head to the Account Details in the sidebar, just under Account Overview. The third box down is where you enter your number. You can do this by clicking Add a phone number. Blizzard will send a verification number to the phone associated with your number. Enter it in the box and you should be good to go.
If you change your phone number, you can also adjust it here later.
Can I still have multiple accounts?
Of course, if they are linked to individual phone numbers that connect to an active mobile phone.
Does it actually improve security?
Blizzard said these phone notifications will be used to approve password resets, meaning someone else won’t be able to change your password without the notification code they send to your mobile phone. Blizzard said it will also text you if your account is locked out after a “suspicious login attempt,” or if your password or security features are changed.
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