What you need to know about the Marvel's Avengers beta

Marvel Avengers beta
(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

The Marvel Avengers beta is coming soon, and you've got a few chances to get involved if you're happy to try it out on console? With various betas rapidly approaching, it's important to know what Crystal Dynamics has in store so you don't miss anything. There are a lot of missions to test, and plenty of hero skills to try out across each weekend.

Co-op support is a nice addition to the upcoming betas, but playing solo should feel just as exciting. Whether you're primed and ready to hop into the preorder beta, or want to satisfy your curiosity in the open session, here's a breakdown of everything we know about the Marvel's Avengers beta.

When does the Marvel Avengers beta start?

Marvel's Avengers will host a preorder beta, followed by an open beta. These are only available to PlayStation players at first, extending to Xbox and PC players a week later. Every beta begins and ends at 9pm in each time zone. You can also preload each one the day before its due to begin. 

Here's when you can play the Marvel's Avengers beta:

  • PlayStation preorder beta: 9pm August 7 to 9pm August 9
  • Xbox and PC preorder beta, plus PlayStation open beta: 9pm August 14 to 9pm August 16 
  • Open beta: 9pm August 21 to 9pm August 23

How to get into the Marvel's Avengers beta

If you've preordered a digital version of Marvel's Avengers, you should automatically have access to the preorder beta however, some online stores may send you a code via email, so keep an eye on your inbox. If you've preordered a physical copy of the game, the code will be sent to the email that's linked to your Square Enix account. 

Redeeming a beta code on Steam is the same as activating a regular code. Open Steam, click on Add a game, and choose Activate a product on Steam.

(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

Marvel's Avengers beta impressions

Emma spent a bunch of time in the Marvel's Avengers beta and wasn't especially thrilled with the game. She pointed out that, at least early on, the almighty Avengers don't feel very powerful at all.

"In movies and comics, seeing the Incredible Hulk steaming towards regular humans means they're pretty much done for, but in Marvel's Avengers, they're somehow able to withstand multiple slashes from the furious gamma-guzzling brute. If the Marvel's Avengers beta has taught me anything, it's that the squad of unstoppable heroes that have assembled to protect Earth aren't all that super after all."

Which modes can you play in the Marvel's Avengers beta?

Golden Gate Bridge hero mission 

This demo lasts roughly 25 minutes and will introduce you to the heroes and their movesets. It'll be the only time during the beta period where you'll get to play as Thor and Captain America, so make the most of your time with them. Expect a few set pieces, lots of combat, and some level traversal as you get to grips with each Avenger's style. There's even a Taskmaster boss battle to see how quickly you've acclimated to their skills.  

Other hero missions

There will be four hero missions to try in the Marvel's Avengers beta:

  • The Light that Failed
  • To Find Olympia
  • Missing Links
  • Help Dr. Banner

At least one of the missions focuses on Hulk and Kamala Khan, which should give us some time to get a feel for their individual styles. Smashing through enemies as Hulk looks especially fun, as does leaping around like a giant frog. Two of the missions also feature boss fights against iconic Marvel villains, including gamma radiation-guzzling meany, The Abomination.

Once you complete the single-player story stuff, there will be four playable heroes to choose between when taking on War Zones, Drop Zones, and HARM Rooms:

  • Black Widow
  • Hulk
  • Iron Man
  • Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel)

(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

War Zones

The beta offers five War Zones, which are large missions that can be played with a team of AI, or with a squad of four players. As well as taking out swarms of enemies, these missions incorporate puzzle elements to access bunkers that contain collectibles, resources, and gear. 

While there's no set duration on these levels, Crystal Dynamics has outlined that some War Zones in the final game will take as long as two hours to complete. Full-release War Zones will also be split into sub-categories including 'Iconic Missions' that concentrate on hero stories, and 'Faction Missions' that see the Avengers helping out their allies.  

Drop Zones

Drop Zones can be as short as ten minutes. These quickfire missions focus on a specific objective, such as defending a point. Crystal Dynamics has baked five of these into the beta. So, they're perfect to boot up if you've got a few minutes to spare.     

HARM Rooms 

HARM (Holographic Augmented Reality Machine) Rooms are essentially training rooms that let you experiment with each Avenger's powers against waves of enemies. There will be three HARM Challenge Rooms to test your skills solo with AI companions, or with up to three friends. As you'd expect, these get increasingly harder the longer you survive, but there's a shiny nameplate reward in it for you if you beat them all.

(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

How progression works in the beta

The beta gives players a glimpse at one of each of the hero's three skill trees. We'll also be able to take a peek at some of the Avenger's powers, such as Grab and Ranged Attacks, as well as Intrinsic Abilities. 

Over the course of the beta, you can earn gear and level up your heroes to unlock better perks. Both Hero and Power levels will be capped at 15 and 45, though. Thankfully, you'll still be able to team up with a buddy, even if your levels differ wildly, but there's no crossplay support during these sessions.

Progression carries over between the preorder and open betas, but you'll have to start afresh when the game releases in September. You'll have to unlock gear and resources again, too.

(Image credit: Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics)

Marvel's Avengers beta rewards

There are two nameplates up for grabs and these will carry over to the full game in September. Here are the beta rewards you can earn:

  • Beta participation nameplate: login and play during the betas
  • HARM Challenge Rooms nameplate: complete all three

It's possible to bag yourself a few cosmetics for the duration of the beta period, but you won't be able to buy any of these with real cash. Items purchased in the beta cannot be transferred into the full release, either. You can unlock these as you progress, or buy them using gifted in-game currency.

You can try out Iron Man's Hulkbuster ultimate

If you have a soft spot for Tony Stark, you'll be happy to hear that the beta will give you the opportunity to test Iron Man's ultimate move, the Hulkbuster. This expands Iron Man's regular suit into a big, stocky robot that can barrel into enemies, and pull rocket-powered punches on just about whoever gets in his way.

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.