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Destiny's beta is back online. Bungie finished the maintenance earlier than expected so gamers on PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 can check out the shared-world shooter.
"This is a great moment for the entire Bungie Community to share in this adventure, and we couldn't be more excited," Bungie said on their website. "Get in there. Break it. Tell us what you think. Share your experiences online."
You can get access to the Destiny beta by pre-ordering through participating retailers. The 9-digit beta code should have been handed to you if you went to a physical store, or emailed to you if you pre-ordered online. Contact customer support if your code's resulting in error messages.
While the second phase of Destiny's beta is available on all four consoles, certain models can't play the game. The Xbox 360 Arcade Console, Xbox 360 4GB Console, Xbox 360 Core System, and PS3 12GB System don't have the hard drive space necessary to run it.
If you're downloading the beta on Xbox One or Xbox 360, note that it's a two-step process. You have to get the installer first, which then gathers all the necessary files. It's a sizable game, even in beta form, so budget your time accordingly.
The Xbox beta requires Xbox Live Gold membership. However, Xbox One owners can get around this requirement. If you've got a Gold trial, you can download and play the beta normally. Xbox 360 owners can't do that, though.
Some Xbox One owners are getting the following error message when they download the beta: "The installed game is corrupted. You must delete the installed game and then reinstall it to play this game." Bungie says on the beta FAQ that the download "likely" isn't corrupted and is downloading in the background normally. Just wait until the download is 100% complete and you should be able to launch the beta without issues.
Xbox One players have experienced stability issues as well. Here's Bungie's fix for that problem:
Destiny's beta lets players play through the opening missions of the campaign. They can go it alone or team up with friends. A small sample of the game's competitive modes (The Crucible) is also available. You could play through all of the beta's content in an afternoon. However, Bungie said that they have some special events in store for the second half of the beta.
"If you’ve already played, you haven’t seen everything yet. We’ve got some surprises in store, and if you play on Saturday, July 26th beginning at 2pm PDT, we’ve got a permanent reward on reserve that will commemorate the experience."
During the first phase of Destiny's beta, Bungie held a special Iron Banner event. This timed PvP event allowed players to try out two more competitive maps and earn special rewards. I expect something similar for this weekend.