Free-to-play Warner Bros. brawler MultiVersus slams into open beta today at 5pm BST/6pm CEST/9am PST. We’ll be bringing you some thoughts later this week on whether MultiVersus is any good now it’s out of alpha but, for now, here’s a rundown of when and how you can play today. Check out the trailer below for a quick heads-up on how progression and rewards feature in the game.
First things first, today sees the end of MultiVersus’ early access. Early access began on July 19th and was a week-long period when people who played the closed alpha earlier this year could dive back into the game before it soft-launches today. Anyone who wanted to play early but hadn’t been in the alpha could try to bag a code through Twitch drops, while people who bought the Founder’s Pack on Steam for the princely sum of £33/$40/€40 were guaranteed access. The open beta is limited to people who live in the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand for now, but anyone will be able to play it.
Next up is how long the open beta lasts. Well, technically it’s not ending. Devs Player First have said that MultiVersus will continue to be updated with “new characters, maps, seasonal content, and more in the months ahead”. No firm date has been set on when the open beta ends and MultiVersus launches properly. You can think of today as the game’s soft launch. As I reported yesterday, we already know that three new characters – Rick And Morty, and LeBron James – are incoming, with the basketballer supreme arriving with the open beta.
LeBron is the 17th character to arrive in MultiVersus. During the early access week, a preview rotation of four characters was unlocked from the start for people to try out: DC’s Harley Quinn, Shaggy from Scooby Doo, Jake The Dog and Taz the Tasmanian Devil. This changes with the beginning of open beta, so you’ll get a chance to play as Superman, Finn The Human, Steven Universe’s Garnet and MultiVersus original character Reindog instead.
Any character who isn’t in preview can be unlocked through play. There are seven maps to play on, and a fair few modes to try out beyond the standard 2 vs. 2 team co-op. These include 1 vs. 1 matches, 4-player free-for-all, local and online play, AI matches, custom lobbies, a practice mode and tutorials.
MultiVersus is free-to-play but has optional microtransactions. There’s full cross-play and cross-progression across PC and console, so don’t worry if a family member borrows your laptop for online banking research and you’re left with a console to play on. Player First have assured that all progression and unlocks carry through from the early access period into the open beta, and on again when the game exits beta. They’ve also stated that there won’t be loot boxes in MultiVersus. Phew.
Two currencies are available in the game: Gold and Gleamium. Gold is earned through playing the game and can’t be bought with real money. It’s used for unlocking characters, perks and toasts. Gleamium is only attainable by spending actual currency. It’s used to buy characters, skins and cosmetics. Player First have said that Gleamium purchases “do not affect gameplay or game progression and do not provide any advantage in the game”. You can unlock all characters just by playing the game regularly too.
There will be a battle pass with challenges and rewards though. The pass has free and paid options. A preseason battle pass is already live and runs until August 8th. Season one begins on August 9th. Items picked up through battle passes aren’t exclusive, so you’ll be able to have another crack at getting some of those in the future.
Ed had fun with MultiVersus when he played the closed alpha back in May. At the time, he felt it didn’t quite reach the heights of Smash Bros. “Where Smash Bros characters are weighty yet have a distinct crispness to every little thing, MultiVersus doesn't match this seal of quality,” he said. “There's a slight floatiness to jumps, and its aerial moves in particular feel like they have a lot of rough edges that would've been rounded off at camp Nintendo for that smoother finish.”
MultiVersus enters open beta today, July 26th, and is available on Steam, PlayStations and Xboxes. You can read full details of how the open beta works on the official site over here. Oh, and Rebecca’s got you covered with her MultiVersus character tier list.