Overwatch 2 has been a long time coming. The game was announced years ago and suffered multiple delays. However, it now seems that Blizzard is starting to prepare for the game's full launch in earnest by rolling out the first-ever beta test for the highly anticipated hero shooter. This isn't an open beta, however, which is one in which anyone and everyone would be able to download it and test the game out. Instead, Blizzard is only allowing a limited number of people access to this limited-time test, though there are various ways in which you can earn a spot.
The Overwatch 2 beta is already underway, kicking off on April 26. However, there are still plenty of time and opportunities to get an invitation before this first test ends on May 17. That being said, the earlier you start trying to get in, the better your odds will be. If you're keen on giving this early version of Overwatch 2 a shot, here's everything you need to know on how to play the very first beta test.
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As mentioned above, the only way to get into the Overwatch 2 beta is to be invited. There are two ways Blizzard is distributing these invitations: Via signups on its website or as drops in sponsored Twitch streams. We'll go over the former method first.
Note that this beta is only for PC players who own the original Overwatch. However, if you don't own the original game, you can install it as a free trial for the beta period and not have a problem.
Step 1: To try your luck in a random drawing to earn a spot in the Overwatch 2 beta, head over to the official Overwatch site and choose Opt-in now.
Step 2: Sign in with your Battle.net account and follow the instructions on signing up.
Step 3: Cross your fingers and hope you get an email confirming you can participate. They haven't mentioned how many people will gain access via this method.
The other way Blizzard is dishing out beta invites is through Twitch drops from featured streamers who will be playing the game between 10 a.m. PT and 6 p.m. PT on April 27. Here's how to try your luck getting one of these drops.
Step 1: Select one of the featured Twitch streamers from Blizzard's announced list of partners that will be streaming the game.
Step 2: Watch the streamer during their Overwatch 2 campaign time frame for at least four hours. These four hours can be spread across multiple streamers.
Step 3: Make sure your Battle.net and Twitch accounts are linked.
Step 4: Once again, cross your fingers and hope you are the lucky viewer to win the random drop.
Step 5: If you do get a drop, click the Overwatch icon at the top of your launcher, open the Game version drop-down, and select Overwatch 2 Technical Beta.
Step 6: Once installed, just hit Play and you're good to go!
Because the vast majority of us won't make it into this beta, Blizzard has at least confirmed that this won't be our only opportunity to get our hands on Overwatch 2 early. While there are no details on when future betas will be held or if they will also be invite-only, we can at least say that this isn't your only shot.
The first Overwatch 2 beta will have a few exciting features. Some things that won't carry over in this first test include any competitive modes, profiles, or endorsements. What is new, and most exciting, has to be the new playable hero, Sojourn, plus all the changes made to the existing cast. This beta will also be the first time we get to see the new 5v5 format and how that changes the flow of the game.
No progress from this initial beta will carry over into future betas or the final version of the game, so if you don't get in, you won't be at a disadvantage in the future.
The Overwatch 2 beta is exclusive to the Windows PC. That means that no console or even MAC users can run this test version of the game. Later betas may include more platforms, but this one, at least, is only for the PC. If you're curious if you will be able to run this beta, Blizzard has outlined the system requirements here.
You need to be located in one of the following regions to be eligible to play this version of the beta:
- North America
- Latin America
- New Zealand
- Southeast Asia
For now, English is the only language confirmed to be fully supported, with some others having partial support.
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