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How to get into Overwatch 2’s beta

Test will run through May and show new hero Sojourn in action

Overwatch heroes rally behind a large robot slowly pushing a huge device up a hill.
“Push” is a new game type coming in Overwatch 2. Players will see it during the first beta test this week.
Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Overwatch 2’s PvP beta begins on Tuesday, April 26. It’s a closed beta, which means players get in by invitation only, and they’ve been signing up for access since March 10. Blizzard is still taking requests, if you haven’t gotten yours in yet, by the way.

The beta test is the first stage of what will be a multi-step launch for the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 2016 hero shooter. Blizzard last month announced that it was “decoupling” the game’s PvP and first-ever PvE modes in order to get the game onto players’ screens sooner.

Though Overwatch 2, announced at BlizzCon 2019, still has no launch date or window, parent company Activision told investors back in November that the game was planned for a later-than-expected launch.

In any event, Tuesday will be the first taste many get of this long anticipated sequel. Here’s what to expect:

When will Overwatch 2 beta emails go out?

An FAQ posted Monday afternoon said beta emails will be sent beginning at 11 a.m. PDT on Tuesday. “While players selected initially should all receive access on the first day, we may extend invitations to more players at later periods in this test,” Blizzard says.

Appearing on Twitch content creator Flats’ stream on Thursday, Overwatch community manager Andy Belford told fans that Blizzard will be sending out invitations in a gradual process, too.

Can I still sign up for a beta invite?

The beta page on Overwatch’s official website was still taking opt-in requests as of Monday afternoon, so, why not? You need a account.

In an FAQ posted on Thursday, Blizzard said that beta testers will be chosen “based on a variety of factors,” including “when you signed up.” So even though this is called an opt-in, there is no guarantee that requests will be granted, even now.

If you’re reading this and you didn’t make the opt-in cutoff, or didn’t get an invitation, Blizzard will be doling out access under a Twitch Drops promotion with several featured streamers during the beta period, beginning April 27 at 10 a.m. PDT. “You will be eligible for Twitch drops after watching any participating channel for four hours.” The FAQ has a list of all streamers participating in the promotion.

Overwatch heroes defending in front of the Push robot in the new Push gametype for Overwatch 2 Image: Blizzard Entertainment

How will I access the beta?

The first closed beta is a Windows PC-only test and players will need to own a copy of Overwatch on PC to participate. They’ll access the Overwatch 2 beta client through — which can report PC specifications back to Blizzard. PC specs are one area Blizzard will evaluate when sending out invitations.

How long will the beta run?

The beta will run from April 26 at 11 a.m. PDT (2 p.m. EDT) through May 17, with time and date subject to change, Blizzard said. Additionally, players may stream their gameplay.

What will players see in the Overwatch 2 beta?

Sojourn, for starters. She is the newest hero joining the Overwatch canon. Sojourn is the first playable Black woman on the game’s roster, and she packs a railgun with both rapid-fire and charged-fire capabilities. Her Overclock ultimate keeps her weapon auto-charged for a short duration, and charged up shots will go through multiple enemies.

Players will also see a ping system to call out tactical items and areas, reworks of current heroes Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion, and Sombra, and four new maps: Circuit Royal, Midtown, Toronto (Sojourn is from Canada), and Rome. Maps from the first Overwatch will also be playable.

A new playlist, “Push” will also feature in the beta. Push takes place on symmetrical maps (Toronto and Rome in this case) and features a robot, in a central location, that players will push toward the enemy team’s base. The team that pushes the robot furthest at the match’s end wins.

Overwatch 2’s public beta will also show what 5v5 games look and play like. The original game involves two teams of six only.

Will there be another beta?

“Yes, we are planning additional tests beyond this first PvP Beta,” Blizzard said on Monday.