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Overwatch 2’s closed beta starts April 26th

It’s PVP only, but there’s new maps, a new character, and hero reworks

Overwatch 2 may have been delayed, but it’s finally, almost, here in a playable form! It’ll be available from April 26th in a closed beta, and Blizzard are still taking sign-ups over on their site right now. According to an earlier post on the Blizzard website, this’ll be the first of many betas, with players getting access to the game in phases. Earlier this month it was announced that Overwatch 2 was splitting up the PVP and PVE sections of the game, and this beta only includes the PVP half.

The beta’s focused on Overwatch 2’s 5v5 style of gameplay, the inclusion of a new hero called Sojourn, a new mode called Push, and a brand-new ping system (presumably to give info to your team, like in CSGO or Rainbow Six Siege). There are hero reworks mentioned for Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion and Sombra too. The beta also features several Overwatch 1 maps, as well as four new maps to try out. There's an Escort map titled Circuit Royal, a Hybrid map called Midtown, and two Push maps called Toronto and Rome.

The Overwatch team have also posted a handy FAQ that helps clear up some of the questions you might have surrounding the beta. “Beta testers are chosen based on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) your Battle.net region, when you signed up, and your computer hardware specifications,” according to the FAQ. And to get access to the first closed beta, you’ll already need to own a copy of the original Overwatch.

The FAQ also includes a list of minimum and recommended system requirements. To achieve 30fps, they suggest a GTX 600 series or AMD HD 7000 series graphics card, with 6 GB of RAM. On the other hand, their recommended settings target 60fps at Medium settings, and include a GTX 1060 or an AMD R9 380, with 8 GB of RAM. It also says it’ll take up 50 GB of space on your hard drive.

Earlier this month, Overwatch 2’s game director Aaron Keller announced in a video statement that moving forward the team would be “committed to more continual updates on all things Overwatch 2. Despite the good news, it’s hard to not think about the future of Overwatch without also considering the numerous lawsuits that Blizzard’s parent company, Activision Blizzard, are currently involved in, or Microsoft's recent plans to acquire the company, or ActiBlizz's refusal to recognise Raven Software’s QA team's union.

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