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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's beta starts today - all your questions answered

The Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare beta is at hand. Players will begin pouring into the game to try out their next year's worth of killstreaks and 360-no-scopes within hours, and it's bound to be a good time - assuming Activision can keep the servers online. Here's how you can give the two-weekend event a try and what all you can do once you get there.

You can only play the Infinite Warfare beta if you've pre-ordered the game for PS4 or Xbox One from participating retailers. Your pre-order should come with a code that you can use to download the beta client.

If you pre-ordered Infinite Warfare on PS4, you should be able to start playing in the first beta weekend event on Friday, October 14 at 10 am PDT / 6 pm BST. The weekend event will conclude on Monday, October 17 at 10 am PDT / 6 pm BST.

If you pre-ordered Infinite Warfare on PS4 or Xbox One, you can participate in the second beta weekend starting on October 21 at 10 am PDT / 6 pm BST. The servers will shut down on October 24 at 10 am PDT / 6 pm BST.

At least three maps from the full game are playable in the Infinite Warfare beta. Here are their official synopses from Activision:

Frontier is a small section of a giant space station that is in orbit around the planet Neptune. The action is funneled down a long, central corridor with side paths offering an element of strategy and a constricted lower lane for players craving chaos.

A research facility set atop the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Ample opportunities for vertical combat and rapid encounters around sleek modular elements highlight this frozen battleground.

This throwback 1950’s ‘Main Street USA’ locale sits on a giant, rotating, torus-shaped space station. A large circular lane rings the perimeter, while a large center square with multiple avenues of approach and two opposing windows offers a wide range of engagement opportunities.

I wouldn't be surprised if more maps join the rotation as the beta goes on.

We currently have four modes confirmed for the beta, three of which are returning from previous Call of Duty games: Team Deathmatch, which is self explanatory; Domination, a control-point capturing mode; and Kill Confirmed, which is like Team Deathmatch but you only get points if you pick up your fallen enemies' dog tags. The new mode is called Defender. Two teams compete to grab and defend a single drone somewhere on the map, earning points for however long they can retain control of it. The drone will eventually reset, giving the other team a chance for a comeback as everyone scrambles to find it again. Other unannounced modes may also appear in the beta.

Infinite Warfare's new take on class-style customization starts with Combat Rigs. The full game will feature six different Rigs but the beta will only let players choose from three: the "mid-range assault style" Warfighter; the "heavy defense and suppressive fire" equipped Merc; and the "speed and close quarters combat" optimized Synaptic (which is actually an android drone). Each one has a set of three unlockable payloads and three unlockable traits. Payloads are helpful abilities that can be activated once you earn them in a match (like a speed-boosting Overdrive for the Warfighter) and Traits provide persistent benefits (like the Propulsion jump pack for Synaptics). You can only equip one payload and one trait at a time, but you can switch Rigs in the middle of a match.

You'll unlock weapons the usual Call of Duty way in the Infinite Warfare beta - by leveling up and spending Unlock Tokens on whichever piece of equipment you want. But once you unlock the base version of that weapon, you'll also be able to use salvage earned in-game to create "prototype" versions with the crafting system. These new weapon variants use a color-coded rarity system to denote what kind of Perks they can have. One example of a high-end Weapon Perk is Nuclear, which lets players call down a tactical nuke if they rack up a 25-player kill streak.

Mission Teams introduce a new form of persistent progression that isn't tied to your XP level, and they even have unique commander characters. Each commander will give you different meta-objectives to accomplish in standard multiplayer matche. Succeed and you'll get kudos from the commander and advance through the ranks of the Mission Team, fail and you might get chewed out. Most of the stuff you'll unlock is cosmetic, but the Mission Teams also award access to exclusive prototype weapons for high-level operatives. The full game will feature four Mission Teams but you can only choose from two in the beta: the JTF Wolverines, who favor direct assaults, and The Orion Initiative, who prefer a more tactical approach.

Play lots. Aside from that, I dunno. Drink more promotional soft drinks?

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