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the ship's crew gathers in mass effect andromeda

If you were hoping to try out the multiplayer features in Mass Effect: Andromeda before the game launches later this month, then you might want to book a trip to PAX East next week. That's the only place any sort of "beta" will be held, as BioWare recently announced the planned test period for the game has been canceled.

Over on the BioWare blog, they've started laying out the details for their PAX East presence. We'll get to those details in a moment but, for now, the most important piece of info for folks who aren't planning on attending the convention is that the multiplayer beta will no longer be happening.

Back in November, BioWare announced that not only would Andromeda be getting an online component that has some sort of impact on the full game, but they also opened up registration for folks who wanted to give the mode a spin. That beta was expected to occur sometime in the next few weeks, as Andromeda is less than a month out from launching. On the blog, though, it is announced that the "multiplayer tech test for players at home," or what we like to call a beta, will no longer happen. They thanked everyone who signed up and said simply that they hope they are still looking forward to Andromeda.

That's a bit of a bummer, especially since the developer offered no insight into why, exactly, they decided to call the whole thing off. Maybe they were just too crunched for time. Maybe the multiplayer isn't as substantial as we assumed and they no longer feel a beta is needed. Or maybe they're just that confident that it'll hit the ground running.

Either way, at least the multiplayer features won't be a mystery for much longer. PAX East is set to run through next weekend, and BioWare plans on attending from March 10-12. During that time, they'll be showing off new footage from the game, and folks who stop by their booth will have the ability to actually go hands-on with the multiplayer mode. They've got a further breakdown of the planned events at the BioWare Base for PAX East on that same blog post, along with information on when you can tune into Twitch streams or catch the team presenting on the main stage and at the Logitech or Xbox booths.

So yes, it's a bummer that the multiplayer beta has been canceled, but we're still super close to the Andromeda launch, so we're not too concerned. As a reminder to folks with EA Access or Origin Access, you'll get to play a portion of the game starting March 16, with progress to carry over into the final build. For everyone else, we'll see you in Andromeda on March 21.

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