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While Steam remains the biggest name in PC gaming, an increasing number of video game publishers are finding success with their own digital distribution platforms. None have managed to shake Steam's iron grip on the PC games marketplace just yet, but if one's come close, it's Battle.net. Built by Blizzard, the studio renowned for World of Warcraft, Diablo III and most recently, Overwatch, Battle.net is both a platform for playing Blizzard's games online and a digital store selling those games along with their DLC.
In late 2016, Blizzard officially retired the Battle.net name in favour of the umbrella term "Blizzard". However, backlash to the name change caused the company to reverse its decision and return to the Battle.net branding in 2017. Because of this, you may see Blizzard's digital storefront referred to as Blizzard Store, Blizzard Shop, Battle.net store, Battlenet store or a number of other confusingly similar labels. Despite this, they all refer to the same service. For the sake of simplicity, we'll refer to it as Battle.net from here on out.
Battle.net deals primarily in Blizzard's range of PC games. The biggest titles are all accounted for: World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft II. A few of Blizzard's older games are available, too, such as Warcraft III and Diablo II.
Along with Blizzard's games, Battle.net sells plenty of in-game content and services for each of the studio's titles. From Hearthstone card packs and World of Warcraft pets to Overwatch loot boxes and StarCraft II announcer voice packs, there's more DLC on Battle.net's digital shelves than you can poke a legendary sword at.
The Blizzard logo isn't the only one you'll see on Battle.net, either. Following the company's merger with fellow publisher Activision, the PC version of Destiny 2 became the first non-Blizzard game sold through Battle.net when it was released in September 2017.
When you purchase a game or a piece of in-game content through Battle.net, it gets permanently tied to your Battle.net account. Provided it's not a single-use item, you'll have indefinite access to your purchase on any device you log into Battle.net with. For games, that means you can download and play them as many times as you want on different computers without having to hunt down an old install disc.
As a trade-off, you'll need to download a client program to launch your purchased games from. Previously called the Battle.net Launcher, this program is now known as the Blizzard Battle.net App and serves as an all-in-one interface for patching and purchasing games, chatting with your Battle.net friends, and keeping up-to-date with the latest Blizzard news. Bear in mind that you'll need a constant Internet connection to play most games through the Battle.net App, even if you're just playing the single-player campaign. Certain games do support an offline mode, but you will need to play the game online first to activate it.
As stipulated in Blizzard's Terms of Sale, all Battle.net sales involving digital content and services are final. While this means that you technically have no right to a refund through Battle.net, you can still contact customer support if you believe your situation warrants extra consideration. You may still be rejected, but it's worth a shot.
Q:What currency does Battle.net use?
A:The Battle.net Australia website lists all prices in AUD.
Q: What is the WoW Armory?
A: The WoW Armory is a comprehensive online database of information for World of Warcraft. By logging into the WoW Armory with your Battle.net account, you can view any character, item, guild or Arena team in the game from your web browser or the WoW Armory mobile app. Characters are represented as fully 3D models kitted out in their current gear, and you can rotate and examine them from any angle you wish.
Q: What are WoW tokens and can I use them in the Battle.net store?
A: WoW tokens are items in World of Warcraft that can be exchanged for additional WoW game time or in-game gold. Players can purchase WoW tokens from World of Warcraft's Auction House. As of February 2017, Blizzard added the ability to exchange WoW tokens for Battle.net store credit, making it possible to use gold collected in World of Warcraft to buy other Blizzard games or in-game content like Hearthstone card packs.
Q: Why are there so many different names for Battle.net?
A: Battlenet, Blizzard Shop, Battle.net Store, Battlenet Australia – there are more names for Blizzard's services than there are WoW expansions. It doesn't help that Blizzard went and rebranded the multiplayer component of Battle.net as "Blizzard Tech" and the Battle.net Launcher as the "Blizzard App" in 2016 before flip-flopping in 2017 to reinstate the Battle.net name. Hopefully this will be the last name change for the foreseeable future.
Q: What payment methods does Battle.net accept?
A: Battle.net accepts the following payment methods:
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