'Overwatch' news: How to play for free this weekend on PC, Xbox One and PS4

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard is opening up access to its multiplayer shooter Overwatch for a few days starting on Nov. 18 for anyone who owns a PS4, Xbox One or PC. As an added bonus, any progress you make during the free weekend will carry over if you decide to buy a copy of the game.

It's pretty simple to figure out how to access the free trial on PC, but you might need a little more guidance on consoles — especially PS4.

Here's how to access the game on all platforms, as well as information about exactly when it starts and what kinds of updates have been patched in recently that you can look forward to!

How to play Overwatch free on PC

Here are Blizzard's instructions for how to play Overwatch for free on PC:

Step 1: Download and install the Battle.net desktop app, if you haven't already, and launch it.
Step 2: Create a free Battle.net account, or log in with an existing account. 
Step 3: Click the "Overwatch" icon, located on the left-hand side of the Battle.net desktop app.
Step 4: Select your region from the drop-down menu, then click "Install" to begin the installation process.
Step 5: Once installed, click "Play" to begin!

Unlike on consoles, you don't need to be subscribed to any kind of premium service to access the Overwatch trial on consoles. Hooray!

How to play Overwatch free on Xbox One

On Xbox One, simply go to the online store and select the "Free Trial" option on the page for Overwatch: Origins Edition. Here are Blizzard's full instructions:

Step 1: Turn on your Xbox One and log in to your Xbox Live account.
Step 2: Go to the Xbox One Store, then select "Search."
Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch."
Step 4: Select "Overwatch: Origins Edition" from the search results and then click "Free Trial."
Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Launch" to begin!

It's important to note that because Overwatch is an online game, you need to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to access the free trial.

How to play Overwatch free on PS4

Unlike Xbox One and PC, to access the free trial on PS4 you won't navigate to the game's main page to play the free trial. You can access the free trial on PS4 by downloading a specific title called "Overwatch Free Weekend." Here are the full instructions:

Step 1: Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user. 
Step 2: Go to PlayStation Store and select "Search" from the top menu. 
Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch."
Step 4: Select "Overwatch Free Weekend" from the search results and then click "Download."
Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Start" to begin!

Just like on Xbox One, you need to be a subscriber to PlayStation's online service, PlayStation Plus, in order to play the free trial of Overwatch on PS4.

When does the free weekend for Overwatch begin and end?

The free trial for Overwatch will begin on Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern and end on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Here's a map on Blizzard's site that shows exactly when the event will begin at different times around the world:

'Overwatch' free weekend start times around the world
Source: 
Blizzard Entertainment


Will Sombra be available in time for the free weekend?

Yes! Sombra has officially been patched in as of Tuesday afternoon in the PC, Xbox One and PS4 versions of Overwatch. The new Arcade mode and a number of balance changes were included in the patch, too — check out Blizzard's full patch notes to see all the updates.

The newest 'Overwatch' hero, Sombra
Source: 
Blizzard Entertainment

Check out our list of tips and tricks to make sure you're getting the most out of Sombra's complicated abilities.

Nov. 16, 2016, 8:45 a.m.: This story has been updated.

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Tim Mulkerin

Tim Mulkerin writes about video games for Mic. You can reach him at tim@mic.com.

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