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Overwatch will be launching its open beta for everyone on May 5 and the fun will last until May 9. Get ready to annoy the crap out of people with Tracer, terrify people with Hanzo’s ultimate, and drop the bass with Lucio with this need to know info.

If you preorder by April 29, you’ll get to start the open beta early on May 3. Preorder customers will be able to start at 4:00 p.m. PDT on May 2, and everyone else will have a start time of 4:00 p.m. PDT on May 4. The end time for everyone will be May 9 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. If you have preordered the game you will receive an extra beta code that you can give to a friend to let them in early.

For the open beta, all of the content of the full game at launch will be available (except Competitive Play, check out how that works here). Custom Games, AI games, Training, and Weekly Brawl will all be there to play. All Overwatch heroes will be playable, as well as all 12 maps and all four game modes that have been released up to this point. You will also be able to earn Loot Boxes and open them while playing the open beta. Unfortunately none of the progression you earn during the open beta will carry over to the main game when it launches. 

Blizzard says there is no planned downtime or maintenance for the open beta, but if something unexpected happens and they need to perform maintenance keep an eye on @PlayOverwatch on Twitter for any updates. They have also stated that PC and console gamers will not be able to play together for the beta or at launch, but the fact that they are even mentioning it might be a hint that cross-platform play is being talked about. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 cross-platform play would be the most likely if they are going to implement it seeing at both Microsoft and Sony have at least paid lip service to cross-platform play

You will have full capability to stream and/or record Overwatch gameplay during the open beta. So screenshots, livestreams, YouTube videos, even Snapchats are all fair game. Also, if you want to hold a tournament with or without a prize pool that’s all good as well. Although before Overwatch’s official launch they will not be issuing tournament licenses for large events with pools over $10K, so keep it small for now and make sure you check out their Community Tournament Guidelines to keep your tournaments in compliance.

In case you have any questions on how make sure you are ready for the open beta here are instructions for each platform.


  • Download and install the desktop app, if you haven’t already, and launch it.
  • Create a free account, or log in with an existing account.
  • Click the “Overwatch” icon, located on the left-hand side of the desktop app.
  • Select your region from the drop-down menu, then click “Install” to begin the installation process.
  • Once installed, click “Play”.

PlayStation 4:

  • Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user.
  • Go to PlayStation Store and select “Search” from the top menu.
  • In the search field, type in “Overwatch.”
  • Select “Overwatch” Open Beta” from the search results and then click “Download.”
  • Once the download and installation process is complete, click “Start”.

Xbox One:

  • Turn on your Xbox One and log in to your Xbox Live account.
  • Go to the Xbox One Store, select “Games,” then select “Search All Games.”
  • In the search field, type in “Overwatch.”
  • Select “Overwatch” Open Beta” from the search results and then click “Download.”
  • Once the download and installation process is complete, click “Launch”.

Now you know what you need to know for the Overwatch open beta. If you preordered you should have received your extras already, and a new Overwatch comic featuring McCree called “Train Hopper” has just been releasedOverwatch launches on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on May 24.

Are you planning on playing in the open beta? Have you preordered Overwatch? Who is your favorite hero?

More About This Game

Kyle Downey

Staff Writer

Staff Writer looking to keep you both informed and entertained. Favorite games include: Pokemon, Overwatch, Golden Sun, Portal, and Elder Scrolls.