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Overwatch 2 Beta: How to Download, Junker Queen Abilities and More

If you've gotten access to the second PvP beta, here's how to get started and what to expect.

Sojourn, Doomfist and Junker Queen standing under Overwatch 2 logo
Junker Queen joins the roster in the second Overwatch 2 Beta.

Overwatch 2 is here with its second PvP beta. This time, both PC and console players are getting access, giving us time with the long-awaited Junker Queen and a new map, Paraiso. The beta runs through July 18, giving players two more weeks to try out the 5v5 format and new hero skins. The developers have laid out their goals for the beta, which include testing server capacity and hero balance. Players can also expect a balance patch at some point during the beta.

If you signed up for the closed beta but haven't gotten an invitation yet, don't panic. The developers said they'd start with a small group of players getting access, and then the first waves of larger access grants are scheduled to start July 5, according to the beta FAQ blog post. That same post says the goal is to get all players into the beta by July 14, but if you want immediate access, you can pick up the Watchpoint Pack for $40 (on PC, PlayStation and Xbox) and get some extra skins, the first season premium battle pass and enough currency to buy premium battle passes for the next two seasons.

This beta adds new tank hero Junker Queen, who was first teased in-game in 2017. Fans have been hoping to play her ever since, and five years later, we're finally getting the chance. This beta also adds a new hybrid map, Paraiso. This time, players will get the chance to play a game mode that mirrors traditional competitive games -- meaning teams will both attack and defend on payload maps -- while still allowing backfills for players who leave matches. 

Overwatch 2 is the sequel to Blizzard's class-based shooter, featuring two teams of five players fighting over objectives. Overwatch devs announced in June that the game will be free to play and will launch in early access on Oct. 4. The first beta injected a frantic pace into the game, which was a welcome change from the slower, more grinding pacing that's plagued Overwatch in recent years. The free-to-play PvP element will bring the game more in line with other competitive shooters, like Valorant and Apex Legends.

How do I download the Overwatch 2 beta?

If you got in, you just need to download the beta client. Console players should get a code to download the beta. PC players will be able to download the beta directly from the launcher. Here's how that works:

1. Log in to your account and navigate to Overwatch on the game launcher.

2. In the bottom left, click the Game Version drop-down.

3. Select Overwatch 2 Beta to install.

4. When the download is complete, hit the blue Play button to start.

Overwatch 2 version dropdown in Blizzard launcher

If you got into the beta, you'll see "Overwatch 2 Beta" as a selectable version in the Blizzard launcher.

Blizzard/Screenshot by Adam Benjamin/CNET

Junker Queen abilities

The new beta finally gives fans a chance to play as Junker Queen, a hero we've all been excited about and/or thirsting over since she was first teased on the Junkertown map. Here's what we know about Junker Queen's abilities, from the Overwatch Twitter account:

New Hybrid Map: Paraiso

The beta also adds Paraiso, a new hybrid map that explores Lucio's home, including the DJ's Clube Sinestesia. As with all hybrid maps, players will start by attacking or defending a control point, and if the attackers succeed, players will spend the rest of the map attacking or defending a payload. 

An underground club with light-up floor

Clube Sinestesia is where support hero Lucio found fame as a DJ.


How to get into the Overwatch 2 beta

Signups for the beta are now closed, but players have the option to purchase the Watchpoint Pack ($40) for guaranteed access. In addition to beta access, you'll also get two legendary character skins, a unique player icon and enough digital currency to buy the first two battle passes.

For more Overwatch 2 news, check out everything we learned from the Overwatch 2 reveal event.