The Destiny 2 PC beta is live

The Destiny 2 early access PC beta got off to a bit of a rough start yesterday, but it sounds like Bungie managed to get it smoothed out quickly—and more relevant to our immediate interests, it's now open to everyone.   

Those of you who have been playing in the early access beta will need to update, which may require a restart. For everyone else, just fire up the client, select "Destiny 2" from the games list, and hit the "Install" button. 

It's a 16GB download, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially if you're on a slow or capped connection. On the good news side, it's apparently running very well: We've got a breakdown of what you'll need to run it at 4K/60fps right here, but even mid-range hardware seems able to keep it flowing fast and pretty.   

We'll have a full performance analysis coming to you soon, and in the meantime you can avoid unnecessary hassles by ensuring that you've got the latest video drivers installed—AMD here, and Nvidia here. As for getting the most, here are few recommendations from our inhouse expert/junkie.

  • To replay the initial story mission, which is called Homecoming, just create a second character. You should do this anyway in order to get a taste of all three classes: Warlock, Titan and Hunter.
  • Each class also has a choice of two subclasses, Dawnbreaker or Voidwalker for Warlocks, Sentinel or Striker for Titans, and Arcstrider or Gunslinger for Hunters. To change subclass, just go into your character menu and look for the diamond icon in the top left.
  • Whenever you restart the beta your character's perks are reset to the default selection. Tinker around with different builds (pay particular attention to the grenades and jumps on offer) to get a taste for your preferred play style.
  • Don't worry too much about loot. There's only a very limited selection of weapons on offer in the beta, and the way it drops in-game (engrams don't actually fall during the Strike mission in this build) isn't representative of the final game.
  • Do however check out the exotic weapon you pick up from the Homecoming mission. It's the one with the yellow icon you receive from Shaxx's armoury at the start. Depending on which class you're playing, it'll be different too—Hunter's get the Sunshot hand cannon, Titans get the Sweet Business auto rifle (which is a freaking primary minigun), and Warlocks get the Riskrunner SMG.
  • If you're looking to play PvP, look for the Nightshade or Nergal PR4 pulse rifles. They're dominant in the current sandbox.
  • Do try to play with friends. Destiny 2 uses Blizzard's launcher, so there's a good chance you already have some chums checking the game out. It's a game that's at it's best shooting the shit (and the aliens) over voice comms.

As for more general impressions, Tim says he's impressed. As hoped, the PC version, aside from being something of a technical marvel, extracting superb performance from even low-end rigs, has addressed a lot of the issues we had with the previous PS4 beta. The ammo economy is better balanced, player movement feels substantially more responsive, and the recharge rate and power level of supers and other abilities have been tuned to better reflect the idea that we're space magic-slinging warrior gods. So, given it's open to all, there's little reason not to jump in and see what the fuss is about. 

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.