GUIDE: Enable SMS Protect (required for PC Top 500) - UPDATED

Greetings fellow players of Overwatch. Starting in Season 11, anyone who wishes to compete for the Top 500 on the PC platform will need to have enabled SMS Protect on their Blizzard Account. This guide will walk through the easy steps needed in order to set up this feature on your Blizzard Account.

UPDATE! The steps for setting up SMS Protect has changed. It is no longer displayed as “SMS Protect” but simply as “Add Phone Number” for your Blizzard Account. I am working to learn if this impacts the qualifications for Competitive Top 500 on PC in any way at this time.

When you can’t log in, you can receive texts on your phone that can:

  • Unlock your Blizzard Account
  • Remove a lost authenticator
  • Recover your account name
  • Approve a password reset

How SMS Protect affects Competitive Overwatch

  • Only PC players who have SMS Protect enabled will be eligible to reach Top 500!
  • Once you enable SMS Protect is enabled, you must play a minimum of 25 games for any given role to qualify for Top 500 for that role (or 25 games each in all three roles to get the combined top 500), any games before enabling SMS Protect do not count!!
  • Console players are not required to enable SMS protect to reach Top 500 at this time.
  • The use of the Blizzard Authenticator App or Keychain is NOT required or used to qualify for Top 500

Step 1: Log into your Blizzard Account Management Page

Setting Up SMS Protect
Open your Blizzard Account management page at You may be prompted to sign into your Blizzard account at this time (even if you are signed into the forums or other parts of Blizzard’s websites). When logged into you will find yourself on your Account Management Page. Then click the Account Details link in the left side navigation pane of the webpage.

Step 2: Add a Phone Number

Setting Up SMS Protect
Next simply type in your phone number including area code. Please note, country code is restricted to the designated country listed on your Blizzard account. Click the blue Continue button. At this time, check for an incoming SMS text message prompting you with a verification code. Enter this code on the next webpage dialog and click the blue Continue button to continue.

Step 4: Complete!

Setting Up SMS Protect
You will then be returned to the Account Details page on your Account Management Screen. Your last two digits of your phone number will display on the screen. That’s it!

If you have any problems enabling SMS protect, start a web ticket with Blizzard Customer Service and they can lend a hand!

I hope your progress in Competitive will be a great experience for all of you! Play nice, play fair everyone! (^^)v

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Beautiful guide! I’m not on pc or anywhere near t500 but I’m sure this will be useful for a lot of people :slight_smile:

Thank you. Yep, in two weeks time, a lot of questions about top 500 start showing up in the tech support and bug report forums and this new rule only adds to the madness, so I wanted to be ready for it with this guide.

Not to mention it allowed me to flex my Illustrator design skills for the title header.

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This is absurd, after 10 seasons i finally reach top 500 and i cant be there because it keeps saying my phone number cant be used for sms protect and i should use a different number.


Was there any more specific details than that?

if not start a web ticket with blizzard and they may be able to help you explain what is going on.

In my Opinion this should have been communicated with the Players.

I playd 42 games so far with the same Players went to Rank 3870 (What would be Rank 1 at this Time). The next day i tried out the LFG System and another Person told me that there is an SMS Protect that is required for Top 500. What is really hard for me cause my Queue Times went up to over an Hour.

RATM im just a little disappointed that i got this Information from another Player Ingame and not from Blizzard like an E-Mail or even an Ingame notification. I gonna try my hardest to play this 50 games now.


Blizzard always posts changes to the rules of Competitive Play in each new season’s news blog on the official website. I don’t think Top 500 would be unlocked yet, because the leaderboards would not be unlocked yet anyways (which I believe is two weeks after launch of a Competitive Season). Correct me if I am wrong though.

I like the concept of this, but my phone number isn’t eligible to be used with sms protect. Live support couldn’t add it, and my back up number won’t work either. Can you just not add Canadian numbers?

So they do not communicate this with any of the players. I personally don’t look at notes nor their website because I don’t care what they add. I just want to play the game. I play 50 comp games and am curious why I am not top 500. I later found out i have to activate SMS from a FRIEND. Thanks Blizzard.


Blizzard disallows my Google Voice number (which can receive SMS just fine) from being used for SMS protect. :laughing:

If not the patch notes, where were you expecting this to be announced? And please don’t say directly in the game. Patch notes in video games always are intended to cover changes like this.

This is not surprising, the purpose of SMS protect is to protect account access from unauthorized access, it is extremely easy to create a Google Account or an account for any VOiP service, therefore non-cellular numbers are considered not eligible in order to prevent a terrible situation where an account gets stolen and then falsely protected by a VOiP account.

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Chicken and the egg. An unprotected account can be stolen and SMS locked by a legacy phone number as well so I don’t follow that logic. If you don’t allow people to protect their own accounts with their SMS number, be it a VoIP, pre-paid, or contract phone number…?

I’m trying to protect/lock my account with the phone number I’ve used for the past 6 years. Blizzard says I can’t do that.

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Will you apply SMS protect to console as well? The smurf problem on console is so much bigger than pc.

This is not likely to happen, it is already a pain in the butt for console players to even link their BattleNet account to consoles, and there is more players not capable of running SMS protect in the console community. Besides, this new feature only prevents players from having multiple accounts in the top 500, but they can still run multiple accounts for Overwatch and as it has been made clear by the Overwatch team, owning multiple accounts is not considered a violation of the Code of Conduct.

Do you have to enable alerts too?

Lol yeah. very nice guide. That’s how i got my player icon.

They need to make this for the entire Completive ladder. And then also show everyone’s name on the ladder, not just the Top500.

2 years of constant playing the game, dreaming for the top500 position, being Grandmaster in multiple seasons. Been playing my butt off and FINALLY reached my goal of a top 500 rating, yet not to receive it. I had to google in order to find this post, which honestly just left me devastated. YES, OFCOURSE this should be written INSIDE THE GAME. IN. THE. GAME.

Just this 1 thing, is making me consider quitting.
You are climbing freaking mount everast, you reach the top, and yet, you can’t mark it.

I am so done. Seriously.


I am actually surprised that this is the fifth search result in Google if you searched “top 500 overwatch”.

Please note, assuming you have activated SMS protect, if you can get 50 games in (which there is plenty of time in the season to do so), you can still qualify for top 500.

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