When Does The Overwatch Open Beta Start?

If you pre-ordered Overwatch [official site] before April 29th, it’s possible you’re already playing its latest multiplayer shooty beta. If you didn’t and you still want to play, you’ll instead be hanging on until the open beta begins on May 5th. In any case, the beta then runs until May 9th. Read on for more exact start and stop times.

When does the Overwatch early access beta start?

If you pre-ordered the Overwatch: Origins Edition of the game, then you’ll have entry to the ‘early access’ beta. That began May 2nd at midnight BST / 4pm PDT / 11pm UTC, which means you can go play right now.

When does the Overwatch open beta start?

For everyone else, you’ll be able to access the game on May 4th at midnight BST / 4pm PDT / 11pm UTC.

When does the Overwatch open beta end?

And your access will end on May 9th at 6pm BST / 10am PDT / 5pm UTC.

In any case, as with all Blizzard games you’ll need a Battle.net account and the client in order to install and play the game. Overwatch should be present on your games list after the beta starts, ready to be downloaded.

This is the last beta before Overwatch is released on May 24th. This feels like it’s been a long time coming, but I’m not sure why. It wasn’t that long ago that the first beta began. Here’s what Pip said at the time, with the caveat that the game will change, and has changed, a lot since. We’ll have more on Overwatch in the coming weeks, natch.


  1. Hideous says:

    Important note – if you preordered before the 30th, you have access to the Early Access beta. So if you buy it now, you still won’t get access until tomorrow. Good to know!

    • Kitsunin says:

      Really frustrated by this — it was basically fine print.

    • c-Row says:

      Even if I would buy it now the download probably wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow anyway. :(

  2. lagiacrux says:

    played it yesterday for the first time through a friends code who preordered the game. we had quite a lot of fun, mostly just screwing around and testing stuff.
    not quite convinced to buy it myself. well keep playing through the beta and then decide.
    one quick question: does the progress reset after the open beta?

    also … mei is bae!

    • c-Row says:

      All Open Beta progress will be reset afterwards.

      link to playoverwatch.com

    • Horg says:

      There’s something of a Hearthstone vibe about Overwatch. It was fun for a few weeks when it was fresh, but once you’ve seen everything it has to offer, the honeymoon period ends and you realise how shallow it is. I don’t regret the few weeks I spent with it, but i’ve no desire to go back to it.

      • sixsixtrample says:

        You think Hearthstone and Overwatch are both shallow?

        Are you saying that about Overwatch because there aren’t too many maps? It’s a team based shooter. It’s the same gameplay loop we’ve had for a long time, but it’s done incredibly well. No game will ever be the same because of the ability to switch heroes.

        Hearthstone is a CCG. Again, same gameplay loop, but done in a far better way than classic CCGs because of it’s digital nature.

        Are you just looking for more story or something?

  3. 4026 says:

    you’ll be able to access the game on May 4th at midnight BST / 4pm PDT / 11pm UTC.

    Took me a while to work this one out, but I assume from context that this actually means “May 5th at midnight BST, or May 4th at 4pm PDT / 11pm UTC”.

  4. shagen454 says:

    I’m a big Blizzard fan so I buy/play all of their games. Although, sometimes their games release with great disappointment (Diablo 3 for instance), Blizzard’s work ethic is impeccable. They continue to work & improve their games… sometimes even this is extremely frustrating (looking at some of HOTS changes in the past, or the over-simplifying of WoW).

    Anyway, I’ve been playing Overwatch for months, it’s a cool game – for like a week. It definitely needs a lot more content though to keep it interesting. Right now I don’t see Overwatch as a necessary purchase. Over time, I think I’ll be happy that I spent $60 on it, but I’m certainly not there yet.

    Heroes of the Storm has consistently seen improvements (some were extremely frustrating) but the current state of the game is really, really great and Hero League is soooooooooooo much fun so I find myself taken by the game; and it’s free to play! I’d definitely recommend people who maybe played HOTS back in 2014 or never played it to give it a few spins.

  5. Viral Frog says:

    I played Overwatch for the first time last night. It was a lot more fun than I was expecting! I also liked that I was able to crank all the settings to max with absolutely no performance hit.

    I played about an equal time in Overwatch as I played the Battleborn beta. Overwatch looks and feels more polished. The character design is far more interesting in Overwatch (IMO) as well. I don’t really see a reason anyone would choose Battleborn over Overwatch. Especially not with the price points they’re launching at.

    • lagiacrux says:

      i dont think you can/should compare both games though.

      battleborn has a lot more dota elements included, and a lot of singleplayer/coop gameplay.

      overwatch on the other hand is a VERY polished tf2-like with an emphasis on characterroles and character switching.

      comparing them both is not fair imho.

  6. uh20 says:

    While I hate to draw the comparison, there are close to no physics engine manipulations like in TF2. Combine that with enormous health/damage discrepancies and Overwatch feels a lot more mechanical than the former.

    Naturally I picked one of the hardest classes: Zarya. who plays like a Pyro had unmitigated exposure to a Heavy. Except I am now drawing comparisons between two different games again!