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What to know about the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta

Before Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War launches in November, like every other year, the game will be hosting a series of open betas for players to go hands-on with the game to test server load and provide feedback to the development team for last-minute tweaks. Here’s everything to know about when, how, and what to play in the Black Ops Cold War beta.

When are the betas happening?

The betas are happening on two separate weekends, one starting October 8, and the other starting October 15. However, access to the beta is split in half both weekends, with different stipulations required for access. Here’s a complete breakdown.

  • October 8 to October 9: The beta is open to PlayStation 4 players that have pre-ordered the game.
  • October 10 to October 12: The beta is open to all PlayStation 4 players.
  • October 15 to October 16: The beta is open to all PlayStation 4 players, and those who have pre-ordered on Xbox One and PC.
  • October 17 to October 19: The beta is open to all players across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

As you can see, those who pre-order the game on PlayStation 4 will have access to the beta at all times, while those that are playing on Xbox One and PC who haven’t pre-ordered will receive the least amount of playtime.

Players on PlayStation and Xbox will be able to download the beta through each console’s respective storefront, as usual. PC players can access the beta through the Blizzard app.

What’s included in the beta?

The beta will be multiplayer only. Activision has confirmed that five different game modes will be available in the beta.

  • Team Deathmatch
  • Domination
  • VIP Escort
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Combined Arms

While Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Kill Confirmed are staples of Call of Duty, VIP Escort, and Combined Arms are new game modes being introduced in Black Ops Cold War.

VIP Escort features six players on either side, much like Team Deathmatch, but one player on one team is dubbed the VIP. That means they are simply equipped with a pistol, smoke grenade, and a UAV to deploy and highlight enemy positions on the map. The rest of the VIP’s team must escort the VIP to an extraction point, and it is the enemy’s job to take out the VIP before they can do so.

Combined Arms are bigger conflicts that take place in game modes custom tailored to the map they exist in. For example, the map Armada takes place in is a warship graveyard, with players ziplining and using small boats to move between three large destroyers among a sea of sunken ships, all the while trying to capture five different points on the map.

Impressions of the alpha for Black Ops Cold War that dropped last month likened its gameplay to the early days of the Black Ops series. With the beta weekends, even more players will get a chance to check the game out for themselves, and see if that’s what they’re looking for.

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Tom Caswell
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