Are you missing the Overwatch 2 Beta? Watch the Overwatch League next week

It is here. It’s finally, really here. We now have our hands on the Overwatch 2 beta, just over 900 days since the sequel to the hero-based team first-person shooter was announced. It’s been a long wait for those of us who have begged for significant new content – there have been no new heroes released in the last two years, and balance updates have been few and far between.

But the Overwatch 2 beta is here to breathe life back into the franchise. And Blizzard still offers ways to access the beta.

The game was first announced at 2019’s BlizzCon, but news about the game has been hard to come by. Granted, since then there has been a pandemic and one major lawsuit on workplace culturenot to mention Microsoft acquires Activision Blizzard. But past and present fans have twisted after several glimpses of the upcoming sequel.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch 2 beta.

How do I get Overwatch 2 PVP beta?

You may have already accessed the beta by signing up for the beta selection process on the official Overwatch website. If you were selected, you should receive an email from Blizzard with instructions on how to access the beta. Overwatch developers have said they will release access in waves so you can still access this way later.

If you were not selected, do not panic – you still have other chances to get into Overwatch 2. For the opening weekend of the Overwatch League, Blizzard is giving away beta tokens to people who watch at least 1 hour of selected play:

  • Los Angeles Gladiators Vs. New York Excel – May 5 at 12 PT
  • Vancouver Titans vs. Boston Uprising – May 6 at. 13:30 PT
  • Washington Justice Vs. Toronto Defiant – May 7 at. dinner PT
  • Florida Mayhem Vs. Paris Eternal – May 8 at 13:30 PT

Overwatch League (more commonly called OWL) matches are streamed on YouTube and you need to link your Blizzard account to your YouTube account to be eligible. Blizzard is giving away 1,500 beta tokens every hour, but you need to look at a computer, the YouTube mobile app or the YouTube mobile site.

You can also email Blizzard to enter yourself for beta access. You get put in the same pool as people watching Overwatch League. To participate, send an email with the subject “OWL Beta Sweepstakes Entry” to and include:

  • First and last name
  • Date of birth
  • Residence jurisdiction (eg US)
  • Blizzard Battle Tag

If you miss this round, keep an eye out for future beta tests.

When is the Overwatch 2 beta release date?

The beta opened at 11.00 PT on Tuesday 26 April and runs until and including Tuesday 17 May. Blizzard provides access throughout the beta, so if you do not get in on day 1, keep an eye on your email for the next few weeks – you may get access later.

How do I download Overwatch 2 beta?

First, you need a copy of Overwatch to access the beta. If you do not 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 are just steps away from downloading the beta:

1. Log in to your account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. Click on the bottom left Game version drop-down.

3. choose Overwatch 2 Tech Beta to install.

4. When the transfer is complete, tap the blue one Game button to start.

Screenshot of Overwatch launcher Install button

If you were selected for the beta, you can change the game version to Overwatch 2 Tech Beta and download the game.

Screenshot / Adam Benjamin

Is Overwatch 2 beta for PC only?

Sorry, console players: The first Overwatch 2 beta is exclusive to PC. However, Blizzard has said that future beta versions will include consoles.

What’s in the Overwatch 2 beta?

The beta is our first chance to check out the new 5v5 gameplay, which features a tank, two damage heroes and two supports. It’s also the debut of Sojourn, the new rail-wielding injury hero and Overwatch’s first black female character. Players will get to try the new Push game mode on the Rome and Toronto cards, and new payload cards like Circuit Royale and Midtown.

In addition to new content, the Overwatch 2 beta will feature reworks of older Overwatch heroes. For example, Sombra gets new hack and EMP mechanics, Orisa swaps its deployable shield with a spear, and Doomfist is moved from the damage category to tank.

What’s not particularly in the beta for Overwatch 2: Assault Cards. The much-maligned game mode has been removed from the sequel. Sayonara, Hanamura.

And that’s it! Keep in mind that this is a test build, so not everything will be polished, not everything will be included, and not all changes to the beta will be final. Good luck to everyone who is hoping for access and may the beta be even better than we had hoped.