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Destiny 2 beta: launch time and details (update)

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Do you have a beta key?

Destiny 2 - The Inverted Spire strike Bungie/Activision

The Destiny 2 beta goes live this week — hopefully you’ve prepared for the party by preloading the beta.

While Activision will eventually open up the Destiny 2 beta to all PS4 and Xbox One owners, you’ll only be able to preload it if you have a code. There are only two ways to obtain a beta key: pre-ordering the game, or receiving a code from a third party — like, say, a gaming publication such as Polygon! (We’ve got a bunch of codes from Activision, and we’ll be doing a giveaway soon.) The download weighs in at 15 GB on PS4 and 13 GB on Xbox One.

When can I play the Destiny 2 beta?

The Destiny 2 beta will be available first for people who have pre-ordered the game on PS4, starting at 10 a.m. PDT next Tuesday, July 18. It will expand to include Xbox One pre-order customers 24 hours later, at 10 a.m. on July 19. Two days afterward, at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 21, the beta will open up to all PS4 and Xbox One owners. The beta will end 4.25 days later, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Activision is also planning to run a beta for Destiny 2’s Windows PC version. However, the company has not given a time frame more specific than “late August” for that.

What’s in the Destiny 2 beta?

The beta will feature the same content that Bungie showed off at E3 2017: the campaign’s opening mission, “Homecoming”; a strike called The Inverted Spire; and two Crucible gametypes, Countdown and Control, on the Midtown (Earth) and Endless Vale (Nessus) maps. Everybody will be able to play the story mission, but the rest of the beta will require an active PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Destiny 2 offers three new subclasses — the Arcstrider Hunter, Sentinel Titan and Dawnblade Warlock — and they’ll all be playable in the beta, along with the original game’s Striker Titan, Gunslinger Hunter and Voidwalker Warlock. The latter three subclasses will have all of their grenades and melee attacks unlocked, plus the top paths of their respective skill trees.

In addition, beta testers will be able to check out Destiny 2’s new social space, The Farm — but only for an hour starting at 10 a.m. on the last day of the beta.

When can I play Destiny 2?

Destiny 2 will be released Sept. 6 on PS4 and Xbox One. The PC version, which is being developed by Bungie and Vicarious Visions, won’t launch until Oct. 24.

Update (July 13): Bungie announced today that three subclasses returning from the original Destiny will also be playable in the beta. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.

Update (July 18): We’ve added some details about file size, content and online subscription services, and updated the story for the beta’s impending launch.

Correction: The open beta will run for 59 hours, not 35 hours. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.

Update (July 24): Bungie announced yesterday that it has extended the beta for two additional days. It will now end at 6 p.m. PT on Tuesday, July 25. We’ve edited the article to reflect this.