H1Z1: Battle Royale open beta is now live on PS4: Here’s everything you need to know

The battle royale train is still chugging along at full steam, thank you very much, and its latest passenger is a familiar face from the PC scene that's finally made the jump to PS4. 

H1Z1, which originally began life as a zombie survival game on PC, has arrived to Sony's console in open beta form, with the new moniker of H1Z1: Battle Royale. As you've already guessed, it's an online shooter whereby 100 players skydive into a perpetually constricting arena and scramble for loot and gear while fighting each other in a desperate bid to become the last person alive. 

Before your collective sighs of dismay threaten to break the internet, H1Z1 has already proved itself as a hugely popular Battle Royale game on PC, and the early player counts for PS4 suggest that it's got a long life ahead of it on the console too. 

The open beta is totally free for anyone to download and enjoy, and while server issues were preventing many from being able to log in yesterday, developer Daybreak Games seems to have succesfully stabilised everything for now.

And once you do find yourself in a game, you'll soon realise why H1Z1: Battle Royale is quite possibly the next best thing to PUBG until that record-breaker follows its Xbox One launch with a PUBG PS4 release. 

Matches are much snappier than what PS4 players might be used to with Fortnite Battle Royale, lasting around 15 minutes and boasting streamlined controls and a "grab-and-go equipment system" that makes it easy to manage loot and utilise weaponry. This lack of complexity makes it much more accessible than something like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but there's still a fulfilling sense of realism for those who want something less frivolous than Fortnite. 

There are also vehicles to ride around in, and Daybreak has stated that the PC's Auto Royale mode, which is basically a vehicle-only version of Battle Royale, will eventually make its way to the PS4 at some point in the future. At the moment, however, players can jump into three different modes; Solos, Duos, and Squads, all of which are equally fun, with the whole thing running surprisingly well for an open beta.

You can play H1Z1: Battle Royale even if you're not a PS Plus member, but those who are subscribed to Sony's online service will receive "two exclusive Nemesis Crate items –the tactical body armor and explorer backpack" for free. It's win win!

I can't really recommend H1Z1: Battle Royale enough to fans of the genre, especially as there's nothing to lose but a few GBs of storage for PS4 owners. Go on, check it out, and let us know in the comments what you think of Daybreak's battle royale effort.

Otherwise, you can head over to our run down of the best games like PUBG or the best games like Fortnite to see what else you might have been missing out on.

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!