If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Activision Blizzard eases SMS verification requirements for Call of Duty and Overwatch

Over and out.

Activision Blizzard has relaxed its SMS verification rules, and now allows players to now link their Battle.net accounts with a prepaid (pay-as-you-go) mobile phone number.

SMS Protect is a system first rolled out in Overwatch 2 that is designed to stop banned players from creating new accounts and continuing to play. It was later extended to Call of Duty.

The system was controversial at launch as players with prepaid phone numbers were unable to enroll. This disproportionately affected those on the lower end of the income scale who are unable to, or simply cannot afford a pay monthly phone contract.

Blizzard later backtracked on this requirement for legacy players of the original Overwatch, but new players still required a pay monthly phone number.

Now, prepaid numbers will be accepted globally for both Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2/Warzone 2.0.

Eurogamer Newscast: Should you peek at Pokémon Scarlet and Violet leaks?

While this move will be welcome by many, it isn't without its drawbacks. Prepaid numbers were restricted from the system in the first place, as in much of the world, it is trivial for anyone to get their hands on a new prepaid phone number. A determined cheater could simply pick up a new SIM card if they are banned and create a new account.

Both of Activision Blizzard's respective brands have been quick to reassure players that it is committed towards combating cheating. Time will tell how effective its measures are.

Topics in this article

Follow topics and we'll email you when we publish something new about them.  Manage your notification settings.

About the Author
Ishraq Subhan avatar

Ishraq Subhan


Ishraq is a freelance games journalist. His first ever console was the PlayStation, where he found his love of games through Ridge Racer. He likes to think he’s really into story-driven games, but spends most of his time on the latest yearly Call of Duty release.

Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Explore our store
Eurogamer.net Merch