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Overwatch 2 beta download: How to play on consoles and PC right now

Overwatch 2
Overwatch 2 (Image credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

After several years of relative silence from developer Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch 2 has finally made its way back into the spotlight thanks to the arrival of the Overwatch 2 beta. Offering fans a taste of what's to come when Overwatch 2 eventually releases in full, the beta represents the start of an exciting new era for Overwatch. And now that the beta is live, players around the world can once again get their hands on this long-awaited sequel.

If you signed up to participate in the Overwatch 2 beta before its launch, there's a solid chance you've been selected to play. Here's an overview of everything you need to know about downloading and playing the Overwatch 2 beta, including details on how to check if you can access the beta, how you can potentially get access if you don't currently have it, and how to download and install the beta build once you have access.

Overwatch 2 beta: What to expect

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The Overwatch 2 beta is a pre-release version of the title that its developer, Blizzard Entertainment, is using for testing purposes. Since Overwatch 2 is overhauling the Overwatch experience in several significant ways, the team is looking to use the beta to gather feedback on these changes from the Overwatch community. Blizzard will then assumedly make adjustments to the game accordingly ahead of its full release.

The first Overwatch 2 beta included several of the additions and changes that players can expect to see once Overwatch 2 eventually launches and overtakes the PvP of the original Overwatch. Players got to test the move to a 5v5 format with one less tank hero per team, the new damage hero Sojourn, and extensive hero reworks for Orisa, Doomfist, Bastion, and Sombra. The beta also served as the introduction of the Push game mode in which both teams fight over a robot they need to push to their opponent's home base and four new maps. Additionally, the first beta featured a partial portion of the audio/visual facelift that the sequel is bringing to the original game, enriching the game's environments, characters, and special effects with sharper fidelity, advanced lighting, new sound effects, and more.

The second beta that's currently live includes everything that was in the first test, as well as the new tank hero Junker Queen, a new Hybrid map called Rio, and fresh new default appearances for each character in the Overwatch roster. The second beta also includes further tweaks and balance changes for various heroes. This beta will last until July 18, giving fans several weeks to check out everything it has to offer.

How to get Overwatch 2 beta access

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Source: Activision Blizzard)

Before you can download the Overwatch 2 beta, you have to get access. The primary way to do this is to sign up for the beta with your email and Battle.net account on the official Overwatch 2 PvP beta page. Though the invites for the beta have already been sent out, Blizzard has signaled it will continue to roll out invites in waves until July 15. Even if you don't end up getting an invite to the current beta before it ends, it's very likely you'll get an invite to future betas.

Alternatively, you can also purchase the Overwatch Watchpoint Pack, a special edition of Overwatch 2 that includes instant access to the PvP beta. Additionally, when Overwatch 2 launches in full on Oct. 4, the Watchpoint Pack will unlock the premium track of Overwatch 2's first battle pass, 2,000 of the game's premium currency that you can use to purchase cosmetic items in the in-game store, an exclusive player icon, and a large variety of Epic and Legendary hero skins. 

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Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack

The $40 Overwatch 2: Watchpoint Pack offers fans a variety of benefits that will allow them to get guaranteed access to the game's beta, unlock some unique rewards, provide some in-game currency to use when Overwatch 2 launches, and more.

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Overwatch 2 beta download size

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Source: Activision Blizzard)

Once you have access to the Overwatch 2 beta, you'll need to ensure you have enough storage space on your console or PC to actually download and play it. Here's how much space you'll need to install the Overwatch 2 beta on your system:

  • Xbox: 20.31GB
  • PlayStation: 20.92GB
  • PC: 50GB

Something important to keep in mind is that over the course of the beta test, Blizzard may deploy updates that increase the beta's total file size. Therefore, it's a good idea to make sure that you have some extra space available even after you download and install the Overwatch 2 beta.

How to download the Overwatch 2 beta

Source: Activision Blizzard (Image credit: Source: Activision Blizzard)

Whether you've managed to get invited to access the Overwatch 2 beta or you've obtained guaranteed access from the Overwatch 2 Watchpoint Pack, the process of downloading and installing the beta is very simple. Here's what you need to know:

How to download the Overwatch 2 beta on console

  1. Navigate to your console's Store page.
  2. In the search bar, enter Overwatch 2 Beta.
  3. From the search results, select the Overwatch 2 Beta.
  4. On the Overwatch 2 Beta page, select Download.

How to download the Overwatch 2 beta on PC

  1. Download and install the Battle.net Desktop App here if you haven't done so already.
  2. Log in using the Battle.net account you signed up for the beta with.
  3. Click the Overwatch icon at the top of the launcher.
  4. Click the Game Version drop-down menu located at the bottom-left of the page.
  5. Select Overwatch 2 Tech Beta.
  6. Select Install to download and install the beta.

The second Overwatch 2 beta is here, giving players a chance to try out the new Junker Queen hero, a new Hybrid map, and more. The beta has arrived ahead of the full Overwatch 2 Early Access launch, which is slated for Oct. 4, 2022. With Blizzard shifting its hero shooter to a free-to-play model with frequent seasonal updates and balance adjustments, Overwatch 2 has a serious chance to become one of the best Xbox shooters available.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.