The multiplayer beta for Halo: Reach begins on Monday, May 3, and is open to anyone with a copy of Halo 3: ODST and an Xbox Live Gold account. But if you're wondering how, exactly, you access the new game, or have any other questions, we've got you covered with the everything-you-need-to-know guide to the Halo: Reach beta.
Click the "Read More" tag, and all your Reach questions will be answered.
Q: How long will the beta test last?
A: It starts on May 3, and runs through May 19, so more than two solid weeks of fragging.
Q: Who will be participating in the multiplayer, Halo: Reach Beta?
A: Anyone who bought a copy of Halo 3: ODST and has internet access and a Gold level Xbox Live account. So expect millions of fellow Spartans.
Q: How do I access it?
A: It's easy. Fire up ODST, then go to the "extras" tab, and you should be guided through the process of getting into the beta.
Q: What if I have a rented, borrowed or used copy of ODST?
A: Since there is no code or coupon, and beta access is tied to the disc, you should be fine.
Q: I'm a "Silver" member... am I totally boned?
A: Nope. Everyone will be able to play Halo: Reach (and Halo 3: ODST and Halo 3) during Halo Multiplayer Unlock Weekend which runs from May 14 at 9 AM through May 17 at 9 AM.
Q: I don't own Halo 3: ODST. Can I get entry anyway?
A: Maybe, but there's no guarantee. G4 is holding a sweepstakes for 10 available beta passes. Visit the our contest page and sign up and try your luck!
Q: How about Halo 2 players: What's this I hear about them getting entry?
A: As you may know, Microsoft turned off support for original Live a few weeks ago, so as a severance package for diehard players of Halo 2, Microsoft/Bungie are giving out a Halo: Reach beta key as well as 400 MS Points and three months of free Gold access to Live. Loyalty pays! If that's you, you either already have or shortly will receive an email.
Q: What Game Types will we be playing?
A: Bungie will turn on different modes at different times to optimize testing. It will start with three playlists: New "Arena" mode, (4X4 ranked Team Slayer), "Free-For-All" and "Grab Bag." Starting on May 7, we'll see then new, large-scale Spartan Vs. Elite "Invasion" playlist. Finally, on May 14, we'll be seeing the "Generator Defense" game-type added.
Q: Do I get anything free for helping test the game?
A: You do... or at least your avatar does. Finish a full game of any game type and you will receive a Halo: Reach hoodie for your avatar. You'll be able to get it through the Halo: Waypoint.
Q: Where can I learn more about Halo: Reach?
A: Check out this just-launched site for videos, "interactive experiences" and more from us at G4, Giant Bomb and Machinima's Inside Gaming.
Q: How is actress Aisha Tyler involved?
A: Available starting today is a video introduction to the beta starring the actress, viewable exclusively through the “Halo 3: ODST” game disc. Tyler walks through all of the exciting new game modes and offers her own tips and insider hints for each of the maps while showing off some life-size “Halo” weaponry.
So that about sums it up... unless there's some aspect of the multiplayer beta I haven't covered. If so, leave the question in our comment section, and I'll address it.