Phantasy Star Online 2: Everything to Know Before the Closed Beta
After nearly eight years, Phantasy Star Online 2 is finally on the verge of releasing in the United States and Canada. Due out this spring, PSO 2 is hitting Xbox One first but will eventually come to other platforms like PC and PS4 as well.
If you're eager to get in early and see what the fuss is all about, then you're in luck. There's a Closed Beta test on Xbox One this coming weekend that's poised to give thousands of players their first taste of the popular MMO, and we've got all of the information you need to know right here.
What Is Phantasy Star Online 2?
Phantasy Star Online 2 is one of Japan's biggest and most popular online RPGs. It's a free-to-play game in which players take on the role of an ARKS member, which is a task force dedicated to exploring planets and defeating Falspawn beasts.
Missions usually take place on instanced maps with party members fighting by your side. The format is similar to Monster Hunter World or the original Guild Wars, but with many more MMO-centric elements. Stylistically, it leans mostly sci-fi with fantasy elements mixed in as well with very flashy and action-packed combat.
If the name Phantasy Star sounds familiar that's because it was previously a high-quality and acclaimed single-player JRPG franchise on the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis. After that, Phantasy Star Online released on the Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, and PC and since then, it's mostly been a string of handheld spin-offs. Phantasy Star Online 2 was only available in Japan for nearly eight long years.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Closed Beta Dates and Times
The Closed Beta runs from Friday, February 7, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PST until Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. PST. It's a very brief time period.
However, all of your progress during the Closed Beta period is saved and will carry over into the forthcoming Open Beta period as well as into the game after launch.
Instead of thinking of the Closed Beta as a test, it's really more like limited-time demo access for a game a couple of months before release.
How to Sign Up for the Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta
Signing up for the PSO2 Closed Beta is a bit trickier than most MMOs. Typically, you'd just fill out a form on a website and that's it, but Sega seems to have partnered very closely with Microsoft for this event.
Instead, you'll have to navigate to a specific app on a Windows 10 PC or on an Xbox One. Here's how you can sign up for the Phantasy Star Online 2 Closed Beta test, according to the official Xbox website:
- Navigate to the Store tab on your Xbox One console, or the Microsoft Store app on your Windows 10 device.
- Select Search and look for “Xbox Insider Hub.”
- Select the Xbox Insider Hub and choose “get” or “install.”
- Launch the Xbox Insider Hub on your Xbox One or Windows 10 device.
- From the main dashboard, select Insider Content.
- Under “Games,” select “Phantasy Star Online 2.”
- Select “Join” to register for early sign-up.
Take note: Even though you can technically sign up in the PC or Xbox version of the Xbox Insider Hub app, the Closed Beta is exclusively for Xbox One only.
When the beta begins, you'll be notified via an Xbox Live message. The game should be available for pre-load already. Once installed, the same client will receive updates automatically for Open Beta and launch without needing to be re-downloaded fully.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Closed Beta Limited Events
During the Closed Beta, there will be limited scheduled events that take place at specific times. In Phantasy Star Online 2, these are called "Urgent Quests" because they are scheduled, timed, and typically not easy. They're large-scale, 12-person events with big boss battles at the end, sort of like a raid you might see in another MMO.
Here's the schedule of Urgent Quests for the Closed Beta:
February 7 Quests
- 8 to 8:30 p.m. PST – Cradle of Darkness
- 10 to 10:30 p.m. PST – Giant Automata: The Awakening
February 8 Quests
- 7 to 7:30 a.m. PST – Cradle of Darkness
- 1 to 1:30 p.m. PST – Giant Automata: The Awakening
- 5 to 5:30 p.m. PST – Cradle of Darkness
- 8:30 to 9 p.m. PST – The Raging Obsidian Arm
- 9 to 9:30 p.m. PST – Elder of the Unfathomable Abyss
If the names of those quests mean nothing to you, don't worry: they'll make more sense once you get into the game and understand the lore more. Even though you're not required to take part in these quests, they are the focus of the Closed Beta period and will offer some exciting rewards (detailed below).
Phantasy Star Online 2 Limited Closed Beta Rewards
All of these limited rewards are available to Beta Testers. The following are available just for logging into the beta itself and are granted immediately:
- First Login – Photon Halo B (Accessory) and Beauty Salon Free Pass (Consumable)
- Daily Rewards – EXP Boost +50% (x3), Rare Drop Boost +50% (x3), Meseta Boost +50% (x3) (Consumables)
Beyond basic login rewards, there are special rewards available as well. These rewards aren't provided to your account until after the game officially launches later this spring. But you need to complete Urgent Quests during the Beta period to unlock them:
- Complete 1 Urgent Quest – Photon Halo C (Accessory), Triboost +100% (Consumable)
- Complete 2 Urgent Quests – Photon Halo A (Accessory), Triboost +100% (Consumable)
- Complete 3 Urgent Quests – Mag Dreamcast (Evolution Device), Triboost +100% (Consumable)
- Complete 4 Urgent Quests – Coated Edge (Weapon Camo), Triboost +100% (x10) (Consumable)
Phantasy Star Online 2 Live Concert In-Game
If you'd really like to get into the spirit of working for ARKS in Phantasy Star Online 2, then you can check out a live in-game concert from the fictional music idol, Quna.
She'll be performing live in the Ship's Shopping Plaza on February 8th from 8:00 p.m. PST until 8:15 p.m. PST. Attending the show will grant buffs that increase rare item drop rate, increase Meseta drop rate, and increase experience point gains.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Release Date
Phantasy Star Online 2 does not have a specific release date for its full launch other than Spring 2020 for Xbox One and other platforms like PC and PS4 sometime after that.
The Closed Beta runs from February 7 at 5:00 p.m. PST until February 8 at 11:59 p.m. PST. An Open Beta period is also planned before launch, but that does not have a date either.
Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Phantasy Star Online 2 as we learn more.