Games

Escape From Tarkov Arena beta dates confirmed for the spin-off Call of Duty rival

The Escape From Tarkov Arena beta is about to begin. The spin-off to one of the games that has defined the extraction shooter genre is a return to the more traditional style of “session-based multiplayer FPS” that promises to rival the likes of Call of Duty, Counter-Strike 2, and The Finals, and developer Battlestate Games is about to kick off its first round of beta testing. Taking to the stage at Dreamhack Hannover, COO Nikita Buyanov confirms that the first round of beta invites are set to roll out following its ongoing tournament, with more to follow.

Bringing its hardcore first-person shooter mechanics to a more round-based format, Escape From Tarkov Arena promises to offer both PvP and PvE game modes. Where the original Tarkov was instrumental in popularizing the ‘extraction shooter’ format seen in games such as Call of Duty Warzone, Marauders, and Hunt: Showdown, EFT Arena is a much more small-scale, round-based FPS game.

We’ve had a good look at the new game in action during Dreamhack Hannover, where six professional esports teams are competing in its first-ever tournament for a €100,000 (~$109,000) prize pool. In between sessions, Buyanov appears on stage to show off a new trailer for the game, which he then reveals is the ‘closed beta testing launch trailer.’

“So tomorrow, right after the tournament ends, we will start the beta testing with the first waves,” Buyanov confirms, “So tomorrow is the launch of Arena.” You can watch his message at the 3:01:30 mark in the stream VOD. That’s Sunday, December 17, for the first wave. Although Buyanov doesn’t yet give details as to who will be included in that first round of invites, he is set to answer additional questions during a Q&A at Dreamhack, so we’ll update this story if more details are revealed there.

Escape From Tarkov Arena beta start date

The Escape From Tarkov Arena closed beta begins Sunday December 17, 2024, following the conclusion of its tournament at Dreamhack Hannover. Invites are set to go out in waves, but Battlestate Games hasn’t yet clarified how many players will be included in the first wave, or what the prerequisites to be considered will be.

If you’re wondering, “Is Escape from Tarkov Arena free,” you’ll only get it for nothing if you already own the Edge of Darkness limited edition of EFT. For everyone else, you can currently preorder it from the Escape From Tarkov website, where it’s priced at $40 / €37. You can even get it as a standalone game if you don’t own the original Escape From Tarkov.

Alternatively, fire up your competitive edge with the best multiplayer games on PC right now, or round up some friends for the best co-op games if that’s more your speed.

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