With the beta for Overwatch prepping to wrap up ahead of its release at the end of the month, it might be a good time to actually learn how to level up in the game and how to unlock and earn rewards in the title. Thankfully there's a quick rundown explaining how leveling up works in Overwatch.
VG 24/7 has a list of the different ways to level up in Overwatch. So how exactly do you level up? Simple:
• For every second you play a match in Overwatch you gain 4.01XP
• For every match you finish you gain 300XP
• For every match you win you gain 500XP
• For every group match you play earns you 20% additional XP
For every level gained the XP requirements increase. Meaning that players will have to spend more time playing to earn more XP in order to unlock more stuff. And given that they don't show the kill/death ratio at the end of each match, players are always encouraged to use teamwork and encouraged to play the characters to the best of their abilities as opposed to always going for the kill, such as using shields and guarding the team with Reinhardt or healing teammates with Mercy.
You can see how the XP scales with the levels below.
• Level 01 – 1500
• Level 02 – 3000
• Level 03 – 4500
• Level 04 – 6000
• Level 05 – 7500
• Level 06 – 8500
• Level 07 – 9500
• Level 08 – 10500
• Level 09 – 11500
• Level 10 – 12500
• Level 11 – 13500
• Level 12 – 14500
• Level 13 – 15500
• Level 14 – 16500
• Level 15 – 17500
• Level 16 – 18500
• Level 17 – 19000
• Level 18 – 19500
• Level 19 – 20000
• Level 20 – 20500
• Level 21 – 21000
• Level 22 – 21500
• Level 23+ – 22000
As explained in the VG 24/7 article, Overwatch doesn't have performance-altering unlocks. You can't unlock bigger and better guns or equipment to help give you an edge during a match. Only skill will help you in the performance department. What you do earn from level ups includes loot crates and credits. You can use the loot crates to unlock new stickers, poses, voice lines that you can use during the game, as well as emotes and skins.
The skins for the different characters are fairly rare and hard to come by in Overwatch. Sometimes the skins are just alternate color palettes, where-as other times the skins offer completely different costumes that radically change how the characters look.
The different skins can be accessed from within the Hero's Gallery, a section on the main menu where players can go to check out the achievements, unlocks and gear for each hero. Under the portrait of each hero is a percentage of showing how much of that particular hero's gear and items have been unlocked.
One of the neat things about Overwatch is that you'll never unlock the same thing twice. This means that there's always something to unlock and always a reason to keep playing in order to unlock everything.
Additionally, if the loot roll decides that the item you're unlocking has already been unlocked, you'll earn credits. The credits that are earned in the game can then be used to purchase items for heroes directly from their profile. So additional taunts, victory poses and skins can be earned by paying for them with credits you've racked up over a course of various matches.
If you think there won't be a lot to unlock or that unlocking things will be done rather quickly, keep in mind that after you reach level level 23, the XP scale to unlock new levels becomes 22,000 as the standard. While the good part is that the XP doesn't scale higher than 22,000, at the same time that's a heck of a lot of XP required to reach any new level beyond 23. This also means rewards and loot boxes will slow down by a drastic amount the more you play, so Overwatch may become a bit grindy as you really get into it.
Then again, I found that earning XP was no issue. Within the span of half an hour I hit level 4 in just a few matches, and since everyone earns XP just for participating it won't be hard for hardcore players to breeze through the levels with a bit of time, dedication and teamwork.
Overwatch is due for release on the Xbox One, PS4 and PC starting May 24th.