Battlefield 3 beta goes live! What you need to know

Battlefield 3 - run for cover

You can almost hear the CPUs creaking with delight. Battlefield 3 beta keys are getting sent out today! That means there's a chance you'll be playing Battlefield 3 this afternoon. Here's what you need to do to get involved.

You're due to receive a key today if you pre-ordered the PC digital download version of Battlefield 3: Limited Edition on Origin, registered a new copy of Medal of Honor: Limited Edition/Tier 1 Edition, or bought Medal of Honor Limited Edition from Steam before July 16.

To access it, go to the Medal of Honor: Limited Edition/Tier 1 Edition page on Steam and click the "CD Key" link on the right side of the page. You should see a "Battlefield 3 Open Beta early access" key. Load up Origin , click the "gear" icon in the top menu bar and select "redeem product code." Then have a little celebration.

Next, check your drivers are up to date. Both Nvidia and AMD have released new drivers to help Battlefield run as efficiently as possible. Nvidia reckon that the new drivers increase performance by up to 38%. That's the difference between a flash wound and a head pop, people. Click here for the Nvidia drivers and here for the AMD ones.

Don't worry if you haven't received a key yet though. The beta opens up to all Origin users on September 29. You'll receive an email with your personal access code in the next day or two which you can also redeem on Origin in the same way.

The beta is due to run until October 10. If you've got any more questions related to the beta, check out the official Battlefield 3 beta site.

We'll have our first impressions of the Battlefield 3 beta online as soon as possible.