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Blizzard Entertainment announced tonight that the closed beta of its new Overwatch team shooter will become a little less closed — at least for one weekend.

The company will grant a much larger wave of players access for a stress test starting at 9 a.m. Pacific on Friday and ending 9 a.m. Monday. Notifications will go out when the servers are down for maintenance on Thursday. The stress test will go live in both the Americas and Europe.

For more information about how to play once you have access, check out our hands-on guides:

While the final game will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this spring, the beta test is exclusively for PC players.


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Everyone will have access to all 21 of the game’s heroes, including the three new characters it announced at BlizzCon, but only three maps: Hanamura, King’s Row, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar. Blizzard asked all players who get into the test to give feedback on the game’s performance.

“One of our goals is to push our hardware to the limit, so don’t be surprised if you experience performance issues or run into unexpected downtime—that’s all part of the process,” the blog said.

Players who are selected will receive an email sent to their official email account, and they will also have access to download the game from their Overwatch tab in the app. Players who have not opted in for the Overwatch beta, now’s the time: Visit Blizzard’s beta opt-in page and make sure that Overwatch is checked when you fill out the information there.

Blizzard reps cautioned that no keys will be sent for this beta; all accounts who get in will be flagged directly in the app, so don’t click on anything that promises you access via some other means. Gameplay will be available in English, French, German, Castilian Spanish, Polish, Italian, Russian, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, though not all languages are fully implemented.

After the weekend, those who received access just for the stress test will no longer be able to play; those in the longer-term closed beta will still be able to log in.

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