The Anthem alpha gives you an early confidential look at BioWare's upcoming space shooter.
What exactly you'll actually be able to see and do is unknown, but if you want to see the game early, this is your best chance ahead of the Anthem release date of February 22nd next year.
Anthem alpha start time and times
The Anthem alpha start date is Saturday, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Meanwhile, Anthem alpha start times see two sessions at the same start and end time each day:
|Session||UK (GMT)||Europe (CEST)||East Coast US (EDT)||Central US (CST)||West Coast US (PDT)|
|1st session start time||3pm||4pm||10am||9am||7am|
|1st session end time||6pm||7pm||1pm||12pm||10am|
|2nd session start time||8pm||9pm||3pm||2pm||12pm|
|2nd session end time||11pm||12am||6pm||5pm||3pm|
How to get Anthem alpha access
To sign up for the Anthem alpha, you have to visit EA's Community Playtest programme - it is not tied to pre-ordering or EA Access / Origin membership.
From there, log into your EA account, agree to the terms then choose a platform. You can only play on one - so choose wisely!
As above, there are multiple sessions, and you will have access to all of them throughout the weekend.
It should be noted signing up won't guarantee beta access. EA hasn't confirmed specifically how invites will work, but signing up nice and early might improve your chances when the time comes.
Either way, remember you only have until Monday, December 3rd to register. Additionally - accounts from the Japan, Asia and Korea regions won't have access to the Anthem alpha test.
What will the Anthem Alpha be like?
Specifics have been few-and-far between, but developer BioWare has said it will be "more limited than what we want to share in the pre-launch demos", so expect it to only have a few features and areas to explore.
That said, BioWare has been showing glimpses of the game as part of community live streams, including the game's hub, NPCs and available missions. Arekkz shows clips of this in his Alpha explainer video below:
It's an online game, so you need an internet connection - and on consoles, Xbox Live and PSN subscriptions - to play.
Additionally, anything you play will be "strictly confidential" - so that's no streams or tweets, if that impacts your decision to get involved at all.
In the meantime, there's plenty to learn about Anthem if you haven't heard about it already. Our video below shows it better than we can but in short - it looks like a cross between Destiny and Titanfall, with traditional BioWare storytelling thrown into the mix.
That's our best guess anyway - whether it lives up to the comparisons remains to be seen. I guess you'll have to play the Anthem alpha to find out!
Will there be an Anthem beta?
BioWare has said there will be a VIP Demo of Anthem coming during the game's release month of February 2018 for pre-order costumers, which is more akin to a traditional demo than a stress test of an alpha or beta - allowing you to play the game ahead of release.
Meanwhile, Anthem will be playable a week early - on February 15th - for EA Access and Origin Access members.
It sounds like there will also be an Anthem beta however, going by the above announcement, but timings and specifics have yet to be announced.