It’s here. It’s finally, really here. We now have our hands on the Overwatch 2 beta, 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 eyeing the Overwatch 2 beta to breathe life back into the franchise. And Wednesday, you can earn guaranteed access.
The game wasat 2019’s BlizzCon, but news about the game has been hard to come by. Granted, since then, there’s been a pandemic, a not to mention the . 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 — Blizzard has listed a couple hundred streamers whose Twitch streams will be dropping beta access today. Note that beta access will only be distributed to people who watch for four hours between 10 am and 6 pm PT (1 to 9 pm ET) on Wednesday, April 27 — today. That means you have an eight-hour window to watch four hours of Overwatch 2 streams if you want access.
Make sure your Blizzard account is connected to your Twitch account and that you’re signed into Twitch while you’re watching. To connect your Blizzard and Twitch accounts, follow these steps.
1. Go to twitch.tv on a desktop browser and sign into your account.
2. Click on your profile picture and navigate to Settings > Connections.
3. Under Blizzard Battle.net, click Connect.
4. Enter your Battle.net user name and password, then click Allow
Once connected, you should see a green check mark next to your Battle.net ID, and you’ll be eligible for Overwatch 2 beta drops.
If you miss out on the stream drops, look out for future beta tests.
Which streamers should I watch?
Blizzard says that watching any of the designated streams for four cumulative hours will earn you guaranteed beta access. So if your favorite streamer is on that list, just check them out for at least four hours between 10 am and 6 pm PT.
Otherwise, here are a few recommendations if you’re looking for something more specific. Note that players will likely be trying out new heroes and generally approaching the beta experimentally, so past history does not guarantee that anyone will stream a specific character. And some of the former pros mentioned here are from South Korea and France, so they might not stream in English. But they’re great places to turn if you’re looking to see how these heroes handle in experienced hands.
I want to see the reworks.
- Sombra: FitzyHere is a longtime Sombra main and likely to play lots of Sombra in the beta.
- Doomfist: GetQuakedOn is a Doomfist main and a good streamer to check out if you want to see how Doomfist plays in his new tank role.
- Orisa: There aren’t many players known specifically for their Orisa play, but Eviltoaster has brought creative approaches to the hero and has been playing her in the beta already.
I want to see the pros play.
- Tank: Super is a two-time Overwatch League champion, famous for his assertive Reinhardt. Geguri, the first female player in the league, was discovered for her stellar Zarya play.
- Damage (DPS): Jake, a former pro player and current Overwatch League coach will be streaming, presumably on his signature Junkrat. Saebyeolbe was one of the best damage players in the first season of the Overwatch League, particularly on Tracer. Surefour is another player from the league’s inaugural season, known more for his aim with heroes like Cassidy and Widowmaker.
- Support: Ryujehong was one of the original support stars, even before the Overwatch League, known for his precise mechanics on Ana. FDGod is famous in the pro community for his aggressive Lucio gameplay.
When is the Overwatch 2 beta release date?
The beta opened at 11 am PT on Tuesday, April 26 and runs through Tuesday, May 17. Blizzard will be granting access throughout the beta, so if you don’t get in on Day 1, 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 Battle.net account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.
2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version dropdown.
3. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.
4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.
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.