The Overwatch beta is the beta test phase of Overwatch, and the current phase of the game's development, beginning on October 27, 2015. The beta is currently a closed beta, with a small number of players invited to participate. Further invite waves are planned, as well as special beta test weekends featuring larger numbers of players (see below).
Following the in-house alpha test, the beta test is the phase in which the game is opened up to a select number of invited players outside Blizzard for testing and feedback purposes. The beta temporarily closed by the end of 2015. The beta will re-open on February 9, 2016, with an all-new progression system, two new maps, one new game mode, several hero balance updates, and the introduction of bots.
As of November, 2015, 7 million people have signed up for the beta.
The game's public beta began on October 27, 2015, shortly after 5pm UT. The beta started simultaneously in the Americas and Europe regions, with Asia to be added later. Upon the start of the beta, Overwatch swiftly became top game on Twitch.tv, quickly reaching more than 200,000 viewers in total.
While the main closed beta pool will be very limited, special stress test weekends will allow larger numbers of players to participate:
- Closed Beta: The closed beta will be composed of a small number of testers who will have regular access to the public beta test. Feedback is based solely around gameplay. The number of beta testers in the closed beta will be very limited, in order to ensure succinct feedback.
- Beta Test Weekends: This feedback is based primarily around hardware and tech. The number of maps and heroes available will be limited. The purpose of these surges is to stress test the game's servers.
- PlayOverwatch on Twitter. (2015-10-27).
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- 2015-11-03, Over 7 Million Players signed up for Overwatch Beta. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2015-11-06
- 2015-10-15, Overwatch Beta Coming Soon. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2015-10-16
- Developer Update | Welcome to Beta! | Overwatch (2015-10-27)