It's been a little while since the last Street Fighter V beta concluded on PS4 after serious connectivity issues delayed it. Now the next round (bet I'm the first one to think that hilarious joke up) is ready to begin and this time both platforms will get to be involved. The PS4 portion will begin on October 22nd, but Capcom won't be enabling the PC beta and cross-play until the 24th. It's due to end at some point on the 25th, but no times have been specified and dates are subject to change based on how things go. You can expect at least two full days of hadoukens, shoryukens and butt-slams.
Not sure who to play? Check out our full list of Street Fighter V characters.
As was originally planned for the previous beta, there will be four characters selectable to begin with, and then the content-distribution system will be tested by adding two more. The cast has totally switched this time around, with Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy, Birdie, Nash and M. Bison not available and replaced with Ken, Necalli, Vega and R. Mika to begin with. Rashid and Karin will be added on the 23rd and 24th respectively, meaning all six should have shown up when PC players get in.
Also new this time around will be leaderboards and, crucially, ranked matchmaking. While a lot of games of Street Fighter got played in the first beta, there was often a large skill gap between participants as the matchmaking algorithm was lax at best, non-existant at worst. That should be fixed now and gives us lots more exciting footage come the 22nd. With access to leaderboards comes what Capcom are calling Player Search - allowing you to find and spectate on games by the best players.
Capcom will also be testing the in-game currency and microtransaction systems by putting some titles and a stage up for sale through the in-game store. All purchases will be non-permanent (deleted once the beta is over) and the prices and acquisition rate of Fight Money - SF5's ingeniously named game-dosh - are non-final. The top of the official announcement post also makes it clear that they're unsure how well the servers will cope with the number of players once again and that, as a beta, players should expect problems. Hopefully it's not quite as bad as last time.
Want in? The only way on PC is to pre-order the game via Steam for a hefty £44.99/$59.99/€59.99 but does 100% guarantee access. Check the Street Fighter V system requirements before you drop your cash. If you're a PS4 owner, you can use the same beta sign-up link as last time, as detailed here. If you were in the first, don't bother - you're already enrolled automatically.