Modern Warfare 2 beta is coming in September with a frustratingly complicated schedule

Gamers will get their first crack at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 over the course of two public playtests that have been confirmed for September. The schedule, which frankly I feel is unnecessarily convoluted and confusing (but maybe I'm just envious because I have to wait), begins at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on September 16 for PlayStation owners who have preordered the game. The beta will then open to all PlayStation owners at the same time, 10 am PT/1 pm ET, on September 18. Both sessions will run until September 20.

Everyone gets to join the party in the second playtest: Xbox and PC owners who have preordered can start shooting at 10 am PT/1 pm ET on September 22, and all players can jump in, regardless of platform or preorder status, on September 24. That test weekend will wrap up on September 26, and naturally PlayStation owners will have full access throughout.

(Image credit: Activision)

So, what have you got to look forward to? Activision promises "a robust multiplayer experience going beyond the Core 6v6 experience with a variety of meticulously designed maps of various sizes, and an equally impressive set of Modes, Progression experiences, and other aspects." 

In-game rewards will be up for grabs during the beta (but they'll also be available to everyone when the game launches, so no need to worry about missing out), and players who have preordered the Vault Edition of Modern Warfare 2 will also have access to all four Red Team 141 Operators during the beta—Ghost, Farah, Price, and Soap—each of them in a special masked outfit. The Marina map, showcased in the flyover video above, will be one of the maps available in the test.

More information on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta will be revealed during the Call of Duty: Next showcase, which will also feature a full Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer reveal and updates on Call of Duty: Warzone. That's set to take place on September 15—the start time will presumably be announced later. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set to launch on October 28 and will be available for PC on and (finally!) Steam.

Andy Chalk

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.