10 Free Betas And Prototypes You Can Play Without Pre-Ordering

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 09, 2016 at 11:30 AM

In the modern gaming world, online connectivity is key and functionality under pressure is hugely important. Because of this, more and more games are opening their doors early to let folks kick the tires before they are quietly escorted away to wait a few months before playing again. Even for games with no online component, we’re seeing more and more protoypes and demos land in the hands of players early so that feedback can be generated immediately. Here are some of the unreleased games that you can play now (or soon) with no investment.

Battleborn recently finished up a closed technical beta and actually shared some of its feedback here. As far as what’s next prior to release, PlayStation 4 players will be able to participate in an open beta for the game, but unfortunately exactly when and how to take part are details that have not yet been released.

The Division
The beta for The Division was recently delayed, but the good news is there is an opportunity to get into the beta without having to put money down for the game. Pre-ordering does guarantee you a beta slot, but if you have your reservations (as opposed to a reserve) you can get on the waiting list here.

This might be one of the easiest betas on this list to join. There’s a button on the game’s website that says, “Play free now.” Click the button, start the download, and you’re on your way. Head here to get started.

Fable Legends
Last month Lionhead opened up its closed beta to more players, and is continuing to do so over the next few weeks. You can head here to sign up, and know that if you don’t make it into the closed beta, it will be opening up soon.

Epic’s shooter/building sim (which was on our cover about two years ago) is currently accepting applications for its alpha. You can sign up here.

The closed beta for Gigantic is getting ready to expand. Developer Motiga sets up specific schedules for when those playing in the beta (usually during the weekend) and is accepting sing-ups here.

The next game from the folks behind Skullgirls isn’t a fighting game. It’s an RPG inspired by games like Valkyrie and Metroid. It’s still early in development, currently actively engaged in crowdfunding for it, but you can head here to download and play a little prototype of the game.

Overwatch has already opened and closed one beta, so you can’t play right now, but you can sign up for the beta by heading here. It will open up again prior to release, so go ahead and opt in now if you’re interested in playing.

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Announced this morning, the sequel to the only online shooter with zombies you wouldn’t mind sharing with your young children, is going into open beta on January 14. Exactly how to get in has not been explained yet, but it sounds like it might be as easy as downloading the game and going from there.

Superhot is an interesting shooter where time only moves forward as the player moves. There is a gun in your hand, you shoot with it, and it takes place from the first-person perspective, but in many ways, it feels more like a puzzle game than a shooter. It’s coming to platforms like PC and Xbox One, but if you want to try out the game’s core mechanic, you can do so right here. You don’t even have to leave your browser.