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Modern Warfare 2 beta start and end times, pre-load, download size and more

We're getting our hands on Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer yet again this weekend, and we've rounded up everything you need to know in this story.

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta is already done with its first weekend. Some of us went hands-on with various bits of multiplayer gameplay; tested out the new gunplay; tinkered with weapon customisation in the revamped Gunsmith system, and even earned some rewards to use in the full game.

This page will answer any question you might have about the Modern Warfare 2 beta, as far as platforms, early access, download sizes, pre-load and content. Before we get into it, know that the beta schedule this year is similar to recent Call of Duty beta tests.

The PlayStation-exclusive weekend is behind us now, as we look forward to the second weekend when PC, Xbox - and PlayStation can all play together.

Low-key one of the most interesting features in the beta.

Modern Warfare 2 beta start times and schedule

As we outlined above, the Modern Warfare 2 beta takes place over two weekends, with each weekend itself split into two stages. The first weekend was exclusive to PlayStation, and it's already over. The second (coming) weekend opens up on PC, and Xbox - while giving PlayStation players another go.

The beta start times are the same across both weekends, but differ by region because of time differences:

  • 10am PDT
  • 1pm EDT
  • 6pm BST
  • 7pm CEST

Here's the schedule for the remaining portion of the beta.

Modern Warfare 2 beta start and end times - weekend two - (PC, Xbox, PlayStation cross-play)

  • Early access: Thursday, September 22 to Friday, September 23.
  • Open beta: Saturday, September 24 to Monday, September 26.

How to access the Modern Warfare 2 beta

The early access portion of the weekend is available only to players who pre-ordered the game. If you made the pre-order digitally, directly on your console/PC's store, you'll be automatically granted access.

If you instead made it through a retailer, like Amazon, you'll be emailed a code that you'll need to enter on this beta website. Pick your platform, and keep an eye on your email afterwards because you'll be sent your actual beta code - which is what will allow you to download the beta. If you didn't get that email, check the same page again for your code.

If you'd rather wait for the open portion of the beta, you'll be able to download it freely through your console/PC's store and enjoy it without having to pre-order - but you won't be able to pre-load it.

That said, Activision itself and content creators/media usually give away codes on their social media accounts, so keep an eye out for that if you're eager to play early.

The full Modern Warfare 2 beta schedule.

Modern Warfare 2 beta pre-load

The pre-load is available now on PlayStation consoles, considering it's open for all PlayStation players in the next weekend. Simply navigate to the game's page on the PlayStation Store, hit the three dots and select the beta to download.

The PC and Xbox pre-loads are live, too - but only for players who pre-ordered the game, or have acquired a beta code through any other means.

If you're waiting for the open portion of the beta on either PC or Xbox, you'll be able to download when the beta goes live for you on Saturday, September 24 at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT, 6pm BST, and 7pm CEST.

Modern Warfare 2 beta download size

The Modern Warfare 2 beta comes in at 27.9GB on PlayStation 5, and 34.4GB on PlayStation 4. For Xbox, that's 35.4GB on Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. PC players only need to download around 18GB.

Modern Warfare 2 beta PC specs

If you're playing on PC, make sure you system meets or exceeds the specs below. That said, it's not clear whether those requirements remain the same for the final version of the game.

Modern Warfare 2 beta minimum PC specs

  • OS: Windows 10 - 64 Bit (latest update).
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470.
  • GPU Memory: 3GB.
  • RAM: 8GB.
  • Storage space: 25GB.
  • Recommended drivers: Nvidia: 516.79, AMD: 21.9.1.

Modern Warfare 2 beta recommended PC specs

  • OS: Windows 10 - 64 Bit (latest update).
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K or AMD Ryzen 7 1800X.
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580.
  • GPU Memory: 3GB.
  • RAM: 16GB.
  • Storage space: 25GB.
  • Recommended drivers: Nvidia: 516.79, AMD: 21.9.1.

Modern Warfare 2 beta content

The Modern Warfare 2 beta includes a host of varied content for players to sample some of what the full game has to offer. Both standard 6v6 action on small maps, as well as the bigger Battle Maps, will be available to play. Battle Maps is what Infinity Ward is calling Ground War maps, considering their sheer scale.

In terms of modes, you're looking at six different 6v6 modes: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Search and Destroy, as well as the two new arrivals - Knock Out, and Prisoner Rescue. For those who prefer the bigger maps, Ground War in the beta offers the new Invasion sub-mode, which is more of a TDM.

The 6v6 modes will be available to play on four maps: Valderas Museum, Mercado Las Almas, Breenbergh Hotel, and Farm 18. Ground War's is accessible on one map: Sarrif Bay.

With that in mind, don't expect all modes and maps to be available at the same time. It's common for developers to gradually roll out new maps and modes over the course of the beta. For instance, third-person mode was added late into the PlayStation beta.

Outside of maps and modes, a lot of players are looking forward to Gunsmith 2.0, and the Weapon Platforms system, which looks to have a lot of depth.

You'll also be happy to know that Infinity Ward has made several gameplay changes and fixed a few bugs from the first weekend.

Modern Warfare 2 beta rewards

Activision is offering more rewards than ever before to players who jump into the Modern Warfare 2 beta. The good news is that whatever rewards you unlock will be available for use in the beta itself, as well as at launch when you get the full game.

There are ten rewards in total to be earned, simply unlocked by reaching the appropriate account level. The first weekend had a level 15 level cap, but the level cap rises to 30 in the coming weekend.

Here they are:

Two weapon blueprints and a bunch of cosmetics.
  • Level 2: 'Smashed It' emblem.
  • Level 4: 'Buckle Up' charm.
  • Level 6: 'Passed the Test' player card.
  • Level 10: 'Operation First Blood' sticker.
  • Level 15: 'Side Impact' weapon blueprint.
  • Level 18: 'Collision' operator skin.
  • Level 19: 'No Competition' vinyl.
  • Level 21: 'Safety First' sticker.
  • Level 26" 'Floor It' vehicle skin.
  • Level 30: 'Frontal Impact' weapon blueprint.
Whether you're completely new to Call of Duty, a lapsed player or someone who buys it every year - we've put together a breakdown of the new perk system, tweaked mechanics and everything else the game doesn't teach you.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is out October 28 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

About the Author
Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed

Staff Writer

Whether it's news, reviews, or interviews - Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He plays shooters more than a sane person should, and occasionally has the skills to show for it.

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