How to play the Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test on Switch this weekend

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Want to take Dark Souls: Remastered for a spin on Nintendo Switch before it arrives on October 19? The Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test is going live this weekend, giving Chosen Undead all around the world a chance to kick the tires and see how it feels to light bonfires at home or on the go. This isn't your typical open beta test, so read on for all the details you need to play. 

How can I play the Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test on Switch?

The Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test itself is free to download on Switch. All you need to do to get it is head to the eShop and search for the test (you can also find it a few rows down in the eShop's "Featured" section) and start the download. Offline play isn't supported in this early version of the game, so you may already know what's coming next...

Do I need a Nintendo Switch Online Service subscription to play?

Yes, you must be a Nintendo Switch Online Service member to participate in the network test. The service went live on September 18, and though Nintendo isn't requiring subscriptions to play certain games like Fortnite online on Switch, the Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test didn't get the same exception. You'll need Nintendo Switch Online Service subscription to access the online multiplayer parts of the full game too, but at least then you'll have the option to play offline and avoid paying extra if you prefer.

Nintendo's currently offering seven-day trial subscriptions for the Switch online service, so you could always activate that if you want to give Dark Souls a try without paying.

When can I play the Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test on Switch?

 The Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test will actually be split into three four-hour periods throughout the weekend - you won't be able to play between them, so hopefully they work with your schedule. Here's when the test will be online in North America and in the UK.

North American session times

September 21: 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT to 9 pm PDT / midnight EDT
September 22: 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT to 9 pm PDT / midnight EDT
September 23: 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT to 9 pm PDT / midnight EDT

UK session times

September 21: 6 pm BST to 10 pm BST
September 22: 6 pm BST to 10 pm BST
September 23: 6 pm BST to 10 pm BST 

What is included in the Dark Souls: Remastered Network Test on Switch?

Only the Undead Burg area is accessible in this test version, but you can try out Dark Souls' various forms of multiplayer (Dark Souls: Remastered supports up to six players in a single session, up from the limit of four in the original Dark Souls). Any progress you make during the test sessions will not carry over to the full game, so go wild.

Afraid to die? Don't be! Check out our Dark Souls: Remastered walkthrough and… well, you'll still die, but it won't be in vain.