Paragon's free beta weekends begin later this week


The first beta test of Epic's upcoming MOBA Paragon will begin on April 28—that's Thursday—and run until May 1. It's a closed beta but the first 500,000 registrants will all be invited, so if you've signed up to get in, the odds are probably pretty good that you will. And if you don't, that's OK, because the following weekend, May 5-8, will be open to everyone.

Paragon has been available in Early Access since mid-March, but only to people who spring for one of the Founder's Packs, which run from $20 to $100 and include various skins, boosts and other such goodies. To encourage those paid-up players to keep on keeping on (and, ideally, “help us guide new players”), Epic is offering double experience for everyone, which will stack with boosts, during both weekends.

Epic also announced a retail version of Paragon called the Essentials Edition, which will come with all sorts of goodies including an Essentials Edition exclusive (for now) Wasteland Twinblast skin, 6,000 Paragon Coins, and of course a nice box, which will sell for $60. That package has thus far only been announced for the PS4, but the studio confirmed that the beta test weekends will be multiplatform.

Bear in mind that this is a beta, intended to “see how our servers hold up when hundreds of thousands of players conquer the battlefields of Agora at the same time,” and so there may encounter some wonkiness as you play. But it's free, which I think is a pretty convincing counterpoint to that caution. Sign up for the fun at

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.