Quake Champions hits Steam Early Access, but it's not free yet

Right on schedule, Bethesda's arena FPS Quake Champions is now available to anyone and everyone on Steam Early Access. It will be a free-to-play game when it goes into full release, but for now if you want to play you'll have to pay: Access is restricted to people who purchase the $30/£20/€30 Champions Pack. 

The Early Access release brings with it the new Doom Slayer Champion, whose "extreme rage and increased strength" give him the power to pulverize enemies with his bare hands, and Lore Scrolls that can be used to unlock new Legendary Skins. There's also a new Rune Codex feature with its own unlockable cosmetics and rewards, new Champion and weapon skins, a "Continuous Play" option that lets players stick together to continue playing rather than being returned to the main menu at the end of a match, two new maps, four new training maps, and a pile of other upgrades and fixes. 

Paying for access to a game that will eventually be free might initially feel a little off-putting, but the Champions Pack will remain available when Quake Champions goes into full launch, and in fact will be priced a good bit higher: $40 instead of $30.

Quake Champions still doesn't have a release date, but Bethesda said it should be ready to go into full launch "in the coming months." A detailed breakdown of what's been added for the Early Access release can be had on 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.