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The fastest, coolest multiplayer FPS is back and you can join the beta

Tribes 3 Rivals sees the long-awaited return of the ultra-fast multiplayer FPS, so here’s how you can join its next playtest on Steam.

Tribes 3: Rivals playtests begin again on Steam - A soldier in a red suit of armor with yellow eye visors.

From Quake 3 to Titanfall 2 and Apex Legends, the fastest multiplayer FPS games have a thrill to them that even the likes of Call of Duty, Counter-Strike 2, and Doom Eternal can’t match. But there’s one series that, for my money, is cooler, faster, more pulse-pounding than any other – and, against all odds, it’s coming back, and you can join the next playtest on Steam. This is Tribes 3: Rivals, and it comes from Prophecy Games, a spin-off, independent team formed from Tribes: Ascend developer Hi-Rez Studios.

If Tribes 3: Rivals is your first time encountering the super-fast FPS game, your best bet is probably to watch some clips of it in action, which you can do below courtesy of a community montage by ‘Colonel Blair’ made from footage captured during the game’s recent alpha playtest. Watching it, I’m already taken back to the heady days of Tribes: Ascend and those glorious, awe-inspiring Blue Plate Special montages.

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The core hook of Tribes is just how fast it moves, which is all thanks to a mechanic known as ‘skiing.’ By holding the ski button, you can slide across the game’s rolling hills with almost no friction, allowing you to build up immense momentum and soar through the air at great speed assisted by jetpack flight. Once you get the basics down, it’s exhilarating, and a perfect fit for the game’s core capture the flag mode.

With the free-to-play Tribes: Ascend delisted on Steam in 2018, it always seemed like a long shot for the Tribes games to return. Yet just five years on, here we are. With many of the developers from Ascend now at Prophecy Games, the team is underway on public testing for Tribes 3: Rivals, which is abandoning its free-to-play approach in favor of a game it says will be priced at $20 (approximately £16, although only a US price has been given so far), with gameplay-relevant items such as weapons and perks available to all, and the option to purchase additional cosmetics should you choose to.

The next Tribes 3: Rivals playtest runs Thursday December 7 to Friday December 8 on Steam. If you want to sign up, you’ll be able to request access on the game’s Steam store page while the test is live. Even if you took part in a previous playtest, you’ll still need to go through this process, as the way Prophecy Games is handling its new test has changed.

Alternatively, have a look through the best multiplayer games for plenty more fast-paced action, or get into some throwback action with the best old PC games you can still play today.

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