Yesterday Capcom intended to launch the first closed beta for Street Fighter 5. While the launch was a bit rough and the beta has been delayed for the time being, there's still some information you should know about the beta before it comes back online. First and foremost, this is not your typical public beta tests. In modern gaming it seems the term "beta test" just means "early access" to most people. Want to play Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 early, pre-order and you can access the multiplayer beta. That isn't the case with Street Fighter 5.
Going back to the original meaning of the term beta, Capcom is actually testing the online servers for Street Fighter 5 with the first beta test period. It's actually a very good thing that the beta launched so poorly because it means Capcom didn't anticipate the demand or simply weren't prepared for the onslaught of players that ravaged the PS4 servers last night. With this beta test and the next one that follows, Capcom should have enough information to have a smooth launch when the game hits in early 2016.
How to Register
If you live in the US, you don't need to register for the beta. You can simply pre-order the game from any retailer or the PlayStation Store and gain access to the PlayStation 4 beta. At the moment there's no word on a PC beta, but we imagine that will happen at some point before the release of the game.
For Street Fighter fans who live in Europe, you need to register at the Street Fighter 5 site with your PSN handle. You can access the site here and cross your fingers that you get in. Once you have access to the Street Fighter 5 beta, you will be able to get into all beta periods between now and the launch of the game.
The original dates for the Street Fighter 5 beta were July 23 at 6pm PT to July 28 at 6pm PT. However, with the delayed launch of the beta, those dates are going to change. Capcom has promised the beta period will be extended to make sure everyone has time to play the game. Keep your eyes peeled to this post as we'll be sure to update it as soon as the new dates and times are announced.
In addition to the beginning and end dates, there's a scheduled maintenance that will occur daily from 11pm to 1am PT during the beta. During this time players will not be able to access the beta.
When the beta starts, only four characters will be available to play: Ryu, Chun-Li, Nash and M. Bison. Originally, Cammy and Birdie were set to be released on July 25 to test the character load out system, but with the delay of the beta that date could change as well. Ken and Necalli will not be available during the first beta test period. This is essentially the E3 build of the game, so anything announced or changed after E3 will not be included in the beta.
The first beta period is meant to be a test of online functionality. This means that you will not be able to play the game offline at all. When you load up the game you will connect to the servers, select your character, then enter the training mode. You will stay in the training mode until the game finds a random opponent for you. At the moment you could be matched up with anyone around the world. This will change for the final product so you can fight people close by with lower latency, but for the purposes of this beta test you may fight someone in Japan, Australia or anywhere else in the world.
Next Beta Opportunity
There will be another beta, but Capcom has not yet announced any details. We know it's currently scheduled to take place sometime this Fall, but no further information is available. If we had to guess, you'll be able to play Ken and Necalli in the next beta, as well as one or two additional characters that will likely be announced between now and then. You'll also probably be able to play against specific opponents (like your friends) instead of random online matchmaking.