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How and when you can start playing Anthem

Wondering if you can finally play Anthem? We break down how access works

Anthem Hands-on Preview
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A trend has emerged in the video game industry in recent years: Multiple release dates. Singular launch dates have been replaced by early access periods due to pre-orders, special editions, and subscription services.

Anthem, the upcoming live service game from BioWare, is a prime example of this trend. The advertised release date of Anthem is February 22 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. And while that’s the first day you’ll see the game on store shelves, many will get to play it earlier. Some folks have already played Anthem. It’s understandably confusing, and EA even released a chart to detail when and how you can jump into Anthem. But even with a chart, there’s still some confusion because, well, the chart is somewhat misleading.

So, if you’re intrigued by Anthem but cannot figure out when you can actually start playing, let’s break it down for you.

Everyone can play the demo right now

Anthem Hands-on Preview
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While last weekend’s VIP demo locked down the player pool to only those who pre-ordered Anthem, this weekend’s open demo is available to everyone. Starting February 1 at 9 a.m. PT, users can download the Anthem demo from the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and EA Origin. The demo runs until February 3. On consoles, the demo is 26GB and the PC version is 44GB.

The only restriction to the demo is that you need an active Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus subscription to partake in the weekend activities. The demo includes two story missions, a section of the map that you can explore, and a Stronghold event. The Stronghold event is four-player co-op only, but the rest of the demo can be enjoyed solo.

In the demo, you start at level 10 as a Ranger Javelin. When you reach level 12, you can pick one of the three other classes of Javelins to try (Interceptor, Storm, Colossus). The demo caps at level 15.

If you participated in the VIP demo, the can continue where you left off. Demo progress does not transfer to the full game, though.

Origin Access Premier members can play the full game on February 15

Origin Access Premier members gain access to the full Anthem game on February 15. This is a PC only opportunity, though. Origin Access Premier subscriptions cost $15 per month or $100 per year and grant access to a large library of EA games.

Origin Access Basic members can play the first 10 hours starting February 15

Anthem Hands-on Preview
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Origin Access Basic subscribers can play a 10 hour trial of Anthem starting February 15 on both Xbox One and PC. Origin Access Basic costs $5 per month or $30 per year. However, you can get a one month trial for just a buck if you want to give Anthem a go early. You’ll still have to buy Anthem on February 22 like the rest of us, as Origin Access Basic doesn’t give you full access to the game at launch. Progress made during the trial period does transfer to the full game.

Everyone can buy Anthem on February 22

Anthem Hands-on Preview
Image used with permission by copyright holder

February 22, the official launch day of Anthem, is when everyone will be able to buy a regular ‘ole copy from brick and mortar retailers as well as through the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and EA Origin.

We had the chance to check out Anthem at a preview event and came away quite impressed. No matter when you wind up entering your Javelin, it seems like BioWare has cooked up an action experience that will delight many.

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Steven Petite
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven is a writer from Northeast Ohio currently based in Louisiana. He writes about video games and books, and consumes…
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