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Will Diablo 4 open beta be free?

Yes, the upcoming Diablo 4 open beta running from March 24-26 will be completely free for all players on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox! There is no need to pre-order or make any purchase to download and access the open beta. This gives everyone a chance to try out Diablo 4 prior to launch and see if the game is right for them.

As an avid gamer and streaming enthusiast, I‘ve dug deep into all the details on the Diablo 4 open beta to provide the most comprehensive guide possible. Keep reading for key info on start dates, content, class changes, download sizes, and more so you‘re fully prepared to jump in!

When Does the Free Open Beta Start?

The Diablo 4 open beta weekend will run from:

  • Start: March 24th at 9AM Pacific Time
  • End: March 26th at 9AM Pacific Time

So from the morning of Thursday March 24th until the morning of Saturday March 26th, the Diablo 4 open beta will be playable for all.

Early Access vs Open Beta Dates

It‘s important to note that early access beta ran from March 17th-19th but was only available to those who pre-ordered Diablo 4. Now the open beta gives free access to everyone for a 48 hour period.

Mark those dates on your calendar and be ready to download the beta the moment it unlocks!

What‘s Included in the Open Beta?

Based on details from Blizzard, here‘s what you can expect in the Diablo 4 open beta:

  • The full prologue section
  • The entire first act called "The Dry Steppes"
  • 5 playable classes (Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, Rogue, Necromancer)
  • Level cap of 25 (Takes ~8-10 hours to reach)
  • Early game systems like talent trees, loot, crafting
  • A tour of the starting town called Sanctuary

So while you won‘t experience the entire game, there‘s plenty of content and features included to get a great feel for Diablo 4. The open beta essentially provides a demo of roughly the first 10 hours.

Notable Exclusions

However, the open beta does limit or exclude:

  • Endgame systems like Paragon levels
  • All remaining classes and specializations
  • The full breadth of legendary gear
  • Most of the world map and story

But this is expected from a beta demo. You‘ll get enough to make an informed purchasing decision without spoiling the whole game.

How Many Classes Are Playable in the Open Beta?

Five total character classes will be available in the Diablo 4 open beta:

Barbarian Furious frontline tank specializing in melee carnage.
Sorceress Ranged elemental spellcaster with flashy lightning and fire magic.
Druid Morphs between human, wolf, and bear forms calling on nature‘s power.
Rogue Agile combatant that stealthily eliminates foes with bows, bombs, and blades.
Necromancer Summons undead minions and siphons life energy from corpses.

Each has completely unique skill trees, mechanics, and playstyles to suit different preferences. I‘d recommend trying all five during the open beta to see which clicks with you before launch.

The Necromancer class is brand new for the open beta, so this will be the first chance to try out summoning the dead to fight by your side.

Other Classes Coming at Launch

Two additional classes will be playable at release but remain unavailable in the open beta:

  • Paladin
  • Amazon

These fan favorite classes return in Diablo 4, so the open beta offers a glimpse of the new gameplay tweaks coming to Barbarian, Sorceress, Druid, and Rogue.

What is the Level Cap in the Open Beta?

Blizzard has confirmed characters can reach level 25 during the Diablo 4 open beta test. This provides more than enough time to unlock multiple skills and experiment with different build paths.

Here‘s an overview of leveling and progression in the open beta:

  • Takes ~8-10 hours to reach level 25
  • Unlocks early runes and skill augmentations
  • Gives you access to all primary class tools
  • Lets you assemble a functional build
  • Doesn‘t reveal ultra late game powers

Reaching the level cap should be very achievable over the 48 hour open beta period, even for casual players. Dedicated players may be able to hit 25 on multiple classes to compare them.

But capping at level 25 means the most advanced class synergies and itemization remains hidden for full launch.

How Does Crossplay Work in the Open Beta?

Diablo 4 fully supports crossplay and cross-progression, meaning you can group up and share progress with friends on other platforms.

Here are the crossplay details for the open beta:

  • Play on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Seamless multiplayer across all platforms
  • Sync progress via linked Battle.net account
  • No restrictions on crossplay

This makes it easy to party up with real life friends who own different systems. Blizzard has confirmed no content or features will be limited by crossplay.

The only limitation is that Nintendo Switch is not included due to technical constraints porting such a graphically intensive game. Crossplay works great between Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

Pro Tip

Take advantage of crossplay to have platforms for solo and group play. For example, play solo on PC then join friends on console for co-op monster slaying!

How Large is the Open Beta Download Size?

Since the Diablo 4 open beta includes the full first act, it clocks in as a hefty download between 70-90GB depending on platform:

  • PC (max settings) – ~80GB
  • PC (medium settings) – ~65GB
  • PlayStation 4 – ~70GB
  • PlayStation 5 – ~70GB
  • Xbox One – ~70GB
  • Xbox Series X|S – ~70GB

Make sure you have enough disk space before attempting to install the open beta, especially on PC where ultra texture settings push the file size higher.

You may need to clear room by uninstalling unplayed games from your library. The download may also take a while with so many users flooding the servers on launch day.

Pre-Load the Beta

Pre-loading before the beta starts will let you play instantly rather than waiting for downloads. So jump in as soon as pre-load is available!

Do Your Characters and Progress Carry Over?

All progress made during the Diablo 4 open beta will NOT carry over to the full game. Here‘s an overview:

  • Characters wiped after beta ends
  • Loot, gold, materials erased
  • Levels and skills reset to 1
  • Must fully restart at launch

So enjoy your time in the open beta and experiment freely knowing you‘ll start fresh at release. Use the opportunity to learn which class fits you best.

Blizzard wants a complete reset so tuning during the beta doesn‘t affect launch balance. And it puts all players on equal footing when the game goes live.

Preview Your Main

A benefit is being able to plan out your "main" class ahead of time after testing in the open beta. Also, Blizzard can tune underperforming classes based on beta feedback.

Are Beta Rewards Available at Launch?

By participating in the open beta, you will unlock the following rewards:

  • Early Voyager Transmog – A banner sigil
  • Beta Wolf Pet – An exclusive wolf companion
  • Initial Casualty Title – Shown by your name

These rewards may only be cosmetic, but they provide some nice souvenirs from being part of the open beta test. Activate your beta participation gifts at launch!

Exclusive Early Access

You also get bragging rights for experiencing Diablo 4 prior to release! Only a fraction of fans will play before launch.

How is Diablo 4 Shaping Up?

As an avid Diablo fan, I‘m excited by the improvements Diablo 4 shows over previous entries:

  • Massive open world with dynamic weather
  • Mounted exploration across zones
  • Return to gothic horror aesthetic
  • 150+ dungeons integrated into landscape
  • Revamped skill trees and rune words
  • No auction house or real money trading
  • Local itemization emphasizes unique builds

The world feels more immersive with smarter loot and impactful player choices defining builds. Major steps forward from Diablo 3.

The art and sound also excel at delivering a dark, ominous atmosphere. I already feel the urge to slay hundreds of demons!

The Beta Sold Me

I‘m pre-ordering the Ultimate Edition after being blown away by the open beta. This is a must play!

How Much Does Diablo 4 Cost?

Diablo 4 launches on June 6, 2023 for $59.99 as a Standard Edition. Here are all pricing options:

Standard Edition $59.99
Digital Deluxe Edition $79.99
Ultimate Edition $99.99

The open beta is completely free and does not require any purchase. Fans just have to download and enjoy!

I believe the Digital Deluxe Edition provides the best value with the included season pass bundled in at a discount. But the base game still packs tons of content even for frugal buyers.

Free to Try

Thanks to the open beta, you can demo before you buy to ensure your money is well spent!

How Long Will Diablo 4 Receive Post-Launch Support?

In quarterly developer updates, Blizzard has confirmed plans to support Diablo 4 as an evolving "live service" game rather than quickly releasing sequels:

  • New story chapters, zones, and classes added via yearly expansions
  • Seasonal content drops every ~3 months
  • Regular patches with balance changes and QOL improvements
  • Goal is 5-10 years of ongoing development

This follows the approach taken by other service games like Overwatch, Destiny 2, Warframe, and Fortnite. Blizzard aims to continually expand the world of Diablo versus doing quick sequels.

The only downside is introducing microtransactions to fund development, albeit purely for cosmetics based on Blizzard‘s statements.

The New Model

This live service approach means Diablo 4 could still be thriving with updates for the rest of the decade!