The Overwatch 2 Beta Starts Today. Here’s How to Get In

Overwatch heroes Brigitte, Zenyatta and Sojourn

Sojourn is in, one tank is out and more changes await in the Overwatch 2 beta.

Blizzard Entertainment

It’s here. It’s finally, really here. We get our hands on the Overwatch 2 beta today, just over 900 days since the hero-based, first-person shooter sequel was announced. It’s been a long wait for those of us who have been begging for substantial new content — there have been no new heroes released in the past two years, and balance updates have been few and far between.

As a result, players are eying the Overwatch 2 beta to breathe life back into the franchise.

The game was first announced at 2019’s BlizzCon, but news about the game has been hard to come by. Granted, since then, there’s been a pandemic, a major lawsuit about workplace culture, not to mention the Microsoft expands gaming and Xbox further, buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. But past and current fans have been ravenous for more glimpses of the upcoming sequel.

Today, we sate that hunger. Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch 2 beta.

How do I get the Overwatch 2 beta?

You may have already earned access to the beta by opting into the beta selection process on the official Overwatch website. If you were selected, you should get an email from Blizzard with instructions on how to access the beta. 

If you weren’t selected, don’t panic — you can earn access to the beta by watching one of the almost 200 featured streamers mentioned toward the bottom of Blizzard’s welcome post. Note that beta access will only be distributed to people who watch for four hours between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 27. That means you have an eight-hour window to watch four hours of Overwatch 2 streams if you want access. 

If you miss out on the stream drops, look out for future beta tests.

What time is the Overwatch 2 beta coming out?

The beta opens at 11 a.m. PT on Tuesday, April 26 and runs for three weeks through Tuesday, May 17th. Blizzard will be granting access throughout the beta, so if you don’t get in on day one, keep an eye on your email over the next few weeks — you might get access later.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

First, you’ll need a copy of Overwatch to access the beta. If you don’t already have one, Blizzard has said that players invited to the beta will be able to download a free trial of Overwatch. From there, you’re just a few steps away from downloading the beta:

1. Log into your account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version dropdown.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Technical Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Screenshot of Overwatch launcher

If you’re ready to download, the game launcher should say “Overwatch 2 Technical Beta” instead of “Overwatch.”

Screenshot/Adam Benjamin

Is the Overwatch 2 beta PC only?

Sorry, console players, the first Overwatch 2 beta is exclusive to PC. However, Blizzard has stated that future betas will include consoles.

What’s in the Overwatch 2 beta?

The beta is our first chance to check out the new 5v5 gameplay, featuring one tank, two damage heroes and two supports. It’s also the debut of Sojourn, the new railgun-wielding damage hero and Overwatch’s first black female character. Players will get to try out the new Push game mode on the maps Rome and Toronto, and new payload maps like Circuit Royale and Midtown.

In addition to new content, the Overwatch 2 beta will show off reworks of older Overwatch heroes. For instance, Sombra gets new hack and EMP mechanics, Orisa trades in her deployable shield for a javelin, and Doomfist gets moved from the damage category into tank. 

What’s notably not in the beta for Overwatch 2: assault maps. The much-maligned game mode has been removed from the sequel. Sayonara, Hanamura. 

And that’s it! Remember that this is a test build, so not everything will be polished, not everything will be included and not all changes in the beta will be final. Good luck to everyone hoping for access, and may the beta be even better than we’ve hoped.

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