Tribes: Ascend open beta launches Friday

After a few months of closed beta testing, Hi-Rez Studios is ready to share Tribes: Ascend with the hoi polloi. Its free-to-play take on the much-loved jetpacking PC shooter series will enter open beta on Friday.

All and sundry will be able to download the client without a beta key from 5pm on Friday on the official site. Characters from the closed beta will carry over, with players' progress and unlocks intact.

Ahead of the launch, Hi-Rez is rolling out a hefty patch with new modes, maps, items, and more.

"The Tribes: Ascend Closed Beta has exceeded our expectations," Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris said in today's announcement. "Over 300,000 players participated in the closed beta and the game has improved greatly based on community feedback. We are now excited to launch Open Beta this Friday. We have expanded capacity in North America, Europe, and Australia and added new local servers to support growing communities in Brazil and Asia."

Tribes: Ascend is slated to officially launch some time this year. As one would expect from a free-to-play shooter, you'll be able to slap down cash money for instant loadout unlocks, experience gain boosts, and other gubbins.