Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer beta will include the 'Blackout' battle royale mode

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Activision and Treyarch have revealed the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer beta schedule, which will in fact see two different test sessions held: A "multiplayer beta" in August, and then a Blackout battle royale beta in September. 

The "multiplayer beta" will be available first on the PlayStation 4 on August 3-6, but will come to the PC on Battle.net—not Steam—the following weekend. The "early access" beta for people who have preordered the game will begin at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on August 10, while the doors will open to everyone at the same time on August 11. In both cases, the beta will end at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on August 13.

The dates for the Blackout beta in September will be announced later. 

"This is an exciting opportunity for us at Treyarch because—not only are we putting more content into players’ hands earlier than ever before—we get to break new ground by hosting two separate Beta experiences," studio co-head Dan Bunting said. "Games are better when they’re a result of a dialogue with our community. Not only does it improve the game’s quality, but it allows us to respond to player feedback and custom-craft the experience to how players engage most with the game."

Beta participants will earn "a unique, one-of-a-kind calling card that they can proudly display," and those who reach maximum rank in the test will also get a "permanent unlock token" that can be applied to any piece of Create-a-Class content after the game goes live. Full details on the Black Ops 4 beta are available on the Treyarch blog.

We checked out Black Ops 4 last month, and while going multiplayer-only is obviously a risk, it actually looks pretty promising—as long as you're not committed to the campaign. It comes out on October 12.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.