Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta dates are disappointing for Xbox players

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s beta test dates have been revealed, giving PlayStation fans something to get excited about but leaving Xbox players a little cold.

Ahead of its October release date, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will available to play as part of two open beta weekends. According to Activision, the preview will let players try out a handful of maps, modes, and weapons, as well as other “innovations and surprises”. Several rewards can also be unlocked, which will carry over to the full game at launch.

The first beta test will run from September 18 to September 20, but is only available to PS5 and PS4 players. If you pre-order the game on a PlayStation system, you’ll be able to dip in even earlier, on September 16. Activision has confirmed that you won’t need to have an active PS Plus subscription to take part.

The second beta test runs from September 24 to September 26, and is open to PlayStation, Xbox, and PC gamers. PlayStation players can dive in early on September 22, as can anyone who’s pre-ordered the game for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, or PC. If you’re on Xbox, an Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass subscription will be required to participate. The playtest will support crossplay, however, so you can play with your buddies across systems.

We've rounded up all the beta tests' dates and start times below. The end times for each preview session haven't yet been announced.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta – weekend one, PlayStation exclusive 

  • Pre-order early access 
    • Start date: September 16
    • Start times: 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm BST / September 17, 4am AEDT
    • End date: September 17
  • Open beta
    • Start date: September 18
    • Start times: 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm BST / September 19, 4am AEDT
    • End date: September 20

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 beta: weekend two

  • PlayStation open beta
    • Start date: September 22
    • Start times: 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm BST / September 23, 4am AEDT
    • End date: September 26
  • Xbox and PC pre-order early access
    • Start date: September 22
    • Start times: 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm BST / September 23, 4am AEDT
    • End date: September 26
  • Xbox and PC open beta
    • Start date: September 24
    • Start times: 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm BST / September 25, 4am AEDT
    • End date: September 26

How to sign up to the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta

Ghost holding a gun

(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

The easiest way of nabbing a spot in the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta tests is to pre-order the game. Once you do that, Activision will email you a beta code to be redeemed at this online portal

But you don’t need to splash the cash just yet. Activision previously gave away beta codes during its Call of Duty Championship stream on August 7, and says it will continue to roll out “more opportunities to receive Early Access beta code drops” in the coming weeks.

We expect more codes will be given away on September 15, when Activision is set to hold its Call of Duty: Next showcase. Billed as a major franchise event during which “the future of Call of Duty will be revealed”, we can expect to hear more details about Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Warzone 2, and the battle royale’s mobile spin-off.

PlayStation players are getting special treatment for Modern Warfare 2’s upcoming beta because of Sony and Activision’s longstanding exclusivity agreement. Sony won’t enjoy that exclusivity deal forever, though. If Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard successfully passes, the Xbox owner will swoop up the Call of Duty license for itself. 

Microsoft says it will honor any existing agreements between Activision and Sony, but it’s likely some content will be made exclusive to Xbox players in the future, just as Starfield was made Xbox-only after Microsoft bought Bethesda.

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