'Destiny 2' Beta: How, When and Why to Play

Everything you need to know to get into Destiny 2's early access

Destiny 2 Credit: Bungie

Tomorrow morning, at 10 a.m. Pacific time, PlayStation 4 users who have pre-ordered Destiny 2 will be granted early access to the game's long-awaited beta. Xbox One users who have the game pre-ordered will be able to join in on the fun the following day, July 19th, at the same. This marks the public's first chance to go hands-on with the eagerly awaited sequel to Bungie's 2014 shared-world shooter, which broke records with its $500 million launch day.

The early-access period will run through July 20th, after which (from July 21st through the morning of the 23rd) the beta will be open to the general public on both consoles.

The beta consists of three components: the game's first campaign mission, "Homecoming"; a cooperative multiplayer Strike ("The Inverted Spire"); and the Crucible, Destiny's online player-versus-player arena. Players won't need a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription to play the story mission, but they'll need it in order to access the Strike or Crucible. The Crucible portion of the beta will showcase "Countdown," a new round-based mode in which players try to arm or disarm a bomb, with teams switching sides after each round – the first team to six points wins.

Destiny 2's story begins with players answering a distress call from the Last City on Earth. The Cabal, a spacefaring race of warmongering "space turtles," have arrived at the gates of humanity's final refuge seeking revenge for all the bloodshed committed by players in the first game over the last few years.

Today, July 17th, is your last chance to pre-order the game on PS4 in time for the early-access beta; Xbox One purchases will still be eligible the following day. After redeeming a beta code, users will need to download and install the Destiny 2 Beta client on their console of choice. Further instructions for pre-loading the beta can be found at the guide on Bungie.net.

A PC beta is planned for August. Destiny 2 is out on PS4 and Xbox One September 6th, with the release of the PC version slated for October 24th.