This month Treyarch will be holding the multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. The test sounds like it's going to be quite a bit larger than betas for other shooters.

Here are all the basic facts you'll need to know for the Black Ops 3 beta:

Start and end dates
Black Ops 3's beta will debut on PS4 on August 19th and run until the 23rd. Xbox One and PC gamers can access it starting on the 26th. Those players will have until the 30th to play the beta. There won't be a test on the Xbox 360 or PS3.

How to get in
Beta keys will be given out to players who pre-order on PS4, Xbox One or PC through participating retailers. Activision notes that these chains will have a limited supply of keys, though. Alternately, you can pre-purchase the game through Xbox Live or PSN for an automatic invite to the test.

Maps and modes
Black Ops 3's beta lets players try out three maps and seven modes from the full game. Here's the full list of each:

  • Hunted: This big game hunting lodge is situated beneath a waterfall in the lush mountains of Ethiopia, where rugged terrain opens up to long sightlines and a stealthy underwater pathway.
  • Combine: Set in the remote Egyptian Sahara, this vertical farming and sustainability research facility plays fast and frenetic with tight interiors, an open middle and a dangerous flank path.
  • Evac: An abandoned emergency evacuation zone atop an overgrown rooftop in the middle of Singapore’s flooded quarantine zone.
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Domination
  • Demolition
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Hardpoint
  • Capture the Flag
  • Search & Destroy
The official beta trailer actually mentions that the test will include "7+ modes" and "3+ maps," though, so it's possible they'll introduce other content later on in the beta.

Black Ops 3 differs from past games in that players can become specialists, characters with distinct weapons and abilities. These default specialists will be available at the start of the test:

  • Weapon: Gravity Spikes – Creates a devastating area of effect shockwave in the surrounding area.
  • Ability: Overdrive – Initiates a burst of speed that accelerates all movement for a short period of time.
  • Weapon: Sparrow – Compound bow w/explosive bolts and variable range.
  • Ability: Vision Pulse – Pulses the surrounding area to reveal the location of all enemies within range.
  • Weapon: Tempest – Charge-shot weapon that fires an arc of electricity, shocking targets and chaining to all nearby enemies.
  • Ability: Glitch – Flash back to a previous position with this system mod that hacks the battlefield simulation grid.
  • Weapon: War Machine – Grenade launcher that fires bouncing grenades which detonate after a short time or by hitting an enemy directly.
  • Ability: Kinetic Armor – Reactive armor that deflects enemy bullets away from the body. Still vulnerable to headshots and non-bullet damage while active.
You'll also gain access to these two characters upon hitting level 22 and 28, respectively:

  • Weapon: Annihilator – Massive high-caliber revolver that fires devastating rounds with increased bullet penetration.
  • Ability: Combat Focus – Triggers a bonus multiplier to score earned towards Scorestreaks for a period of time.
  • Weapon: H.I.V.E. – Deploys pod traps which release a deadly swarm of nano drones when triggered.
  • Ability: Rejack – Recover from near death by injecting a nanoparticle serum into the bloodstream.
Toward the end of the beta, Treyarch will then open up these two specialists:

  • Weapon: Scythe – Robotic arm that transforms into a high power Mini-Gun.
  • Ability: Psychosis – Infiltrate enemy DNI systems to simulate three decoy clones.
  • Weapon: Ripper – Spectre deploys mono-edged twin blades before gracefully dissecting victims with lethal, surgical precision.
  • Ability: Active Camo: Advanced meta-materials rapidly change their properties, guiding photons over their surfaces instead of reflecting them, rendering Spectre temporarily invisible.
Weapon Paintshop
During the beta, players will be able to use a new customization tool called the Weapon Paintshop. The Paintshop allows them to add up to 64 layers of artwork to three sides of their weapons.
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