Black Ops 4 Blackout beta: Start times, how to access, and everything you need to know

If you're a PS4 player who pre-ordered Blacks Ops 4, you're in luck - the Blackout beta is now live a few days early exclusively on Sony's console. It may feel like the multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 only took place just a few weeks ago (hint: it did!), but Treyarch using this week as the testing ground for the Blackout beta, the sequel's much promoted battle royale mode inspired by games like Fortnite and PlayUnknown's Battlegrounds. Victory royale awaits those brave enough to take part.

As these limited time previews take place over multiple regions, at multiple times, and with various terms and conditions attached, the process of jumping into the Blackout beta won't be as straightforward as downloading to your favored platform and jumping in right away. Instead, you'll find all the information you need to play Blackout as quickly as possible, including details on start times, download sizes, and more. 

What's in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout beta? 

Simple: full access to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode, a battle royale multiplayer match in which a large number of players fight it out to the death in an ever enclosing arena. Treyarch has confirmed that Blackout will include separate Solos, Duos, and Squads mode, where players can either compete as lone wolves or in teams of two to four, while air, land, and sea vehicles have all been announced as part of the experience. 

How many players does Blackout support? Well, it's kind of in the air, hence this being a beta. Here's what Treyarch co-studio head Dan Bunting told Game Informer: "What’s really more important to us than a number is that the gameplay experience is as refined as it can be, that’s it the ideal perfect format for what players are going to play. ... So we’re starting with 80 players, but we’ve gone higher than that. Whenever we launch a game as a beta or whatever, that’s the beginning of something. We’re going to actively be participating in the community and taking feedback, making changes and adapting, evolving the game as feedback rolls in. So there’s a lot that can go on that can happen beyond that first impact of the game going out there."

But yes, the short answer to "how many players in Black Ops 4 Blackout mode" is 80. For now.

You can get a taste of Blackout via our footage up top or the gameplay trailer above, which also reveals that key locations, characters, weapons, and even zombies from previous Call of Duty games will feature in the battle royale mode, alongside other gadgets like wingsuits and gun mods.

When does the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta start? 

If you're a PlayStation 4 owner, you'll have four days early access to an exclusive preview of the Blackout beta from September 10 (10:00 PST/18:00 BST) to September 14 (10:00 PST/18:00 BST)

The beta will then open up to the PC and Xbox One community alongside PS4 players from September 14 (10:00 PST/18:00 BST) to September 17 (10:00 PST/18:00 BST). For the PC crowd, the beta will be open to everyone - and not just those who pre-ordered the game - from September 15 (10:00 PST/18:00 BST) until that aforementioned end time two days later. 

How do I get into the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta? 

This Blackout beta is private, meaning that you'll have to pre-order Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 if you want to gain access to it. If you already played the multiplayer beta, then you don't need to do anything; just keep that file saved on your system, or redownload it, as this will be the same application you'll use to play Blackout. For those yet to gain access, you can pre-purchase the game digitally through the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, or Blizzard's (where the PC version will be distributed). Digital customers won't need to do anything else, as you'll be automatically signed up for the beta, ready for when it goes live. 

If you pre-order the game from an actual shop, with actual humans, or from an online retailer like Amazon, you'll find a beta redemption code on your receipt or email confirmation. Once you've got the code, head over to the Black Ops 4 website and log in (or create) a Call of Duty account to redeem it, picking your platform of choice for playing the beta. This will get you registered, and Activision will email you a Beta Token, which can then be used to access the game itself once everything's up and running. 

Can I pre-load the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta? 

Yes, and you can do it right now. The app has been available to download from the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and since the the multiplayer beta took place in July, so start pumping those GBs into your console of choice if you haven't already. 

Any other outstanding questions you might have about the Black Ops 4 Blackout beta can hopefully be answered by Activision's own support page, which has a detailed FAQ for any more specific queries. 

For more updates about the biggest titles on the way, read up on our guide to the best new games for 2018 and beyond. 

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!