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Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War beta system requirements and other details revealed

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The Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War (opens in new tab) multiplayer beta won't come to PC until October 15, but it will kick off later this week—October 8, to be specific—on the PlayStation 4. With the start just a couple of days away, Activision has shared details (opens in new tab) on what's coming, including how to get in and what you can expect once the digital bullets start flying.

The dates have already been confirmed (opens in new tab): This week's round of testing is PS4 only, while PC and Xbox players who have preordered the game can start blasting on October 15. Everyone else can jump in on October 17, when the beta goes fully open. A Battle.net (opens in new tab) account will be required to get in on the action, which will be accessible via the "Partner Games" listing in the Battle.net client, and beta preloading on PC will begin at 8 am PT/11 am ET on October 13.

Activision said the beta will include "a mix of maps, modes, and playlists," and a progression system that will enable unlocks for weapons, equipment, Create-a-Class slots, and Scorestreaks. It also half-warned, half-teased that there will be frequent updates over the course of the beta periods, and "a few surprises" as well. Players who reach level 10 in the beta will receive a blueprint for the Mutual Animosity SMG when the full game goes live.

(Image credit: Activision)

And here's what you'll need to play it:

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (1803 or later)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent.
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB / GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950.
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Audio: DirectX compatible, requires DirectX 12 compatible system

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
  • Video: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB / GTX 1660 Super 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Audio: DirectX compatible, requires DirectX 12 compatible system

There's not much to see just yet, but Activision said that more details on game modes and loadouts in the multiplayer beta will be posted at callofduty.com (opens in new tab). Last week, it also revealed our first look at Cold War's all-new Zombies mode (opens in new tab), and before that teased a new approach to character customization based on "psychological profiles (opens in new tab)."

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.