‘Elden Ring’ Network Test Beta Play-Time Schedule And What To Expect
Finally, some lucky few—including yours truly—will get to play Elden Ring, or at least a slice of the latest open-world action-RPG from the creators of Dark Souls.
The game is getting a beta of sorts. It’s actually called a Closed Network Test and is designed to do just that: Test Elden Ring’s online functionality in a closed environment, though one with significantly more players than FromSoftware and Bandai Namco could gather without enlisting the help of the public.
Some press outlets were granted access to this beta prior to public play times but I was unfortunately not invited (which is weird given my decade-long coverage of all things Dark Souls but sometimes this industry is just inexplicably odd).
I will, however, be playing this weekend whenever I can. I’m tempted to login during the wee hours of the night just to get more play time, especially since I have some classes I’m taking this weekend which is unfortunate timing.
Elden Ring Network Test Schedule
The Elden Ring network test runs from November 12th until November 14th but only during specific time blocks. These are:
- November 12: 3:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. PST
- November 12: 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. PST
- November 13: 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. PST
- November 14: 3:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. PST
- November 14: 7:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. PST
Recommended For You
Convert these times to your local time right here.
That’s a total of 15 hours for players—significantly less than the 23 hours Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson had with the game, and at hours that all but ensure most players will only play a fraction of that amount. (Aoife’s piece is in-depth and worth a read, by the way. I’ll have my own impressions of the Network Test next week, as well as gameplay footage on ye olde YouTube channel).
“The network test is a preliminary verification test that allows those who are selected as testers to play the game prior to the official launch of the service,” writes From Software. “By conducting large-scale network load tests, we will be able to verify various technologies of the online system. This is a test to improve the quality of the product, and playing the network test will be free of charge. We look forward to your cooperation in making ELDEN RING even better.”
Unfortunately, the entry period for the Closed Network Test is over, so you’ll need to have already signed up to play. If you have, and if you were chosen, you should have already received an email from Bandai Namco. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until February 25th, 2022 when the game releases on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. FromSoft really needs to get their games onto the Nintendo Switch as well.
What Content Should We Expect?
It sounds like players were able to explore the entire region of West Limgrave, the starting area of the game. Five classes are available for your Tarnished to choose during the beta:
- Bloody Wolf
- Enchanted Knight
The Warrior looks like a bandit class, or perhaps barbarian. The Enchanted Knight appears to be an armored spellcaster, with garb akin to the Elite Knight set but less bulky. I love the Prophet character’s design, with its cleric robes and the weird wheel around their neck—calling up memories of spinning skeletons. The Champion looks like a gladiator, basically. It’s the Bloody Wolf that really leaps out at me, though. Is this some ancestor of Artorias?
Of course, if this is anything like any other FromSoft game, it doesn’t really matter which class you choose. It will determine your starting stats and equipment but all of those can be altered as you go. Still, depending on whether you want to use a magic-focused build (healing or wizardry) or go in with sword-and-board or a lighter dodge-roll style, a starting class can help tailor the early game to your playstyle. This is especially true with such limited time.
Once in the game, you’ll meet Melina, a “Finger Maiden” who is basically the archetypal female level-up woman each Souls game has (including Bloodborne). She’ll give you some items to get you on your way and you, your trusty steed and your map will do the rest. Yes, there’s a map this time around. And a mount.
In any case, there will be lots to explore and plenty of foes to vanquish.
See you in The Lands Between.
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook. You can support my work on Patreon and sign up for my newsletter on Substack. Subscribe to my YouTube channel here.