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Destiny 2’s beta sounds like an actual beta

Expect some jank, Guardians

Destiny 2 campaign - three Guardians attacking Bungie/Activision

If you’re one of the many people who are excited to try Destiny 2’s beta, you should know that — as a slice of a game that’s still in development — it may not run as smoothly as you’d expect the final game to run.

The beta arrives next week, less than two months before Destiny 2 launches on consoles on Sept. 6. (A beta for the Windows PC version is coming in “late August,” so there will be a similar gap between it and the PC version’s Oct. 24 debut.) Major publishers have made something of a mockery of the word “beta” in recent years. We’ve often seen the term used to describe an experience going live so soon before a game’s release date that it’s hard to believe it’s anything more than a glorified demo, or a stress test of servers.

Destiny 2 publisher Activision will open up the beta to all PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, so it stands to reason that a test of the game’s new network infrastructure is part of the plan for Bungie. But the studio said in a blog post yesterday that “as this is a beta build, some issues will be present and may impact gameplay.” Here’s the full list from Bungie of known problems that beta testers may run into:

  • Players may experience a variety of networking error codes when attempting to play the Beta
  • Bungie will be testing server stability throughout the Beta, which may cause error codes to appear periodically
  • Location names sometimes do not appear during Crucible gameplay
  • Players sometimes are Kicked to Orbit after witnessing a black screen when entering a Countdown match
  • Players may sometimes be placed at the beginning of the Inverted Spire Strike Activity when joining in progress
  • Sandbox balancing is still taking place: Some weapons or abilities may have higher or lower damage than intended
  • Not all content has been localized in all languages

Bungie added that anyone who encounters an issue not listed above should post about it on the studio’s Help forum.

Anybody who has a beta key can preload the Destiny 2 beta right now on PS4 or Xbox One. The 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 35 hours later, at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 23.

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