Get the Overwatch 2 beta by watching the pros this week

he is here. It’s finally, really here. We now have our hands on the Overwatch 2 beta, just over 900 days since announcing the sequel to the hero-based team first-person shooter game. It’s been a long wait for those of us who have been begging for substantial new content – no new heroes have been released in the past couple of years, and balance updates have been few and far between.

But the Overwatch 2 beta is here to breathe life back into the franchise. And Blizzard still offers ways to access the beta version.

was the game first announced at BlizzCon 2019, but news of the game was hard to come by. True, since then, there has been a pandemic and a Major lawsuit over workplace cultureBeside that Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard. But former and current fans have been excited for more glimpses of the upcoming sequel.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch 2 beta.

How do I get the Overwatch 2 PVP beta?

You may have already gained access to the beta by signing up for the beta selection process on the official Overwatch website. If you are selected, you will receive an email from Blizzard with instructions on how to access the trial. Overwatch developers said they’ll be releasing access in waves, so you can still access that way later.

If you’re not selected, don’t panic – you still have other chances to get into Overwatch 2. In the opening weekend of the Overwatch League, Blizzard is giving away demo codes to people who watch at least an hour of select games:

  • Los Angeles Gladiators vs. New York Excel: May 5 at noon PT
  • Vancouver Titans vs Boston Uprising: May 6 at 1:30 p.m. PT
  • Washington Justice v Toronto Defiant: May 7 at noon PT
  • Florida Mayhem vs. Paris Eternal: May 8 at 1:30 p.m. PT

Overwatch League matches (more commonly called OWL) matches YouTube broadcasts, and you’ll need to link your Blizzard account to your YouTube account to be eligible. Note that trial access is not guaranteed: Blizzard offers 1,500 trial codes every hour, and you have to watch on a computer, on the YouTube mobile app, or on the YouTube mobile site. Pros had access to an earlier version of Overwatch 2, so it’s also a great opportunity to learn about the game’s high-level early strategies.

You can also email Blizzard to introduce yourself to access the trial. You will be placed in the same group as the people watching the Overwatch League. To enter, send an email with the subject “OWL Beta Sweepstakes Entry” to and include:

  • First name and last name
  • date of Birth
  • Residence jurisdiction (eg USA)
  • Blizzard Battle

If you missed this roundup, look out for future beta tests.

What is the Overwatch 2 beta release date?

The beta opens at 11AM PT on Tuesday, April 26th, and runs through Tuesday, May 17th. Blizzard will give you access throughout the trial, so if you don’t get in on day one, keep an eye on your email around the clock. Next few weeks – you may get access later.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

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

1. Log in to your account and go to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. At the bottom right, tap game version Projection.

3. Choose Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

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

Screenshot of the Overwatch launcher install button

If you are selected for the beta version, you can change the game version to Overwatch 2 Tech Beta and download the game.

Shot by Adam Benjamin/CNET

Is Overwatch 2 beta for PC only?

Sorry, console players: The first Overwatch 2 beta is exclusive to PC. However, Blizzard said that future betas will include consoles.

What’s in the Overwatch 2 beta?

The demo is our first chance to check out the new 5v5 gameplay, which features one tank, two damaged heroes, and two props. It’s also the debut for Sojourn, the new hero who does electromagnetic cannon damage and the first black female character from Overwatch. Players will get to experience the new Push game mode on maps of Rome and Toronto, and new payload maps such as Circuit Royale and Midtown.

In addition to the new content, the Overwatch 2 beta will feature a rework of older Overwatch heroes. For example, Sombra gets new penetration mechanics and EMP mechanics, Orisa trades in her deployable shield for javelin throwing, and the Doomfist is transferred from damage class to the tank.

What’s not particularly present in the Overwatch 2 beta: Attack maps. The game’s Too Bad mode has been removed from the sequel. Sayonara, Hanamura.

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

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