How to Join the Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR)

With a new character hitting the Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR) servers, some may be wondering how to get in on that action. Shacknews is here to help.


Whenever there's new content for one of Blizzard's games, there's usually a rush to try it out via the Public Test Region (PTR). This is especially true for Overwatch, which as of this posting just debuted a new character on the PTR. But for newcomers to the gaming world or those who are uninitiated, there's sometimes the question of "How exactly do I join the PTR servers?"

Fortunately, the answer is a simple one. Blizzard makes it a simple matter of jumping on directly from the Blizzard App (formerly the launcher).

  • Step 1: Open the Blizzard App on your desktop, laptop, or Mac.
  • Step 2: Find your Region/Account setting. It's sitting right above the giant 'PLAY' button.
  • Step 3: Switch to the 'In Development' Public Test Realm selection. It should be sitting along the top.
  • Step 4: Download the necessary files to play on the PTR server. It should be roughly a 12GB update. (As of 2/28/18)

(Please note that the process is the same for any other Blizzard game, so you're welcome to repeat these steps on games like Heroes of the Storm or World of Warcraft to try out any of their new content.)

And that's it! You should be done and ready to play on the PTR. Just remember that the PTR isn't always active, so be sure to switch back to your respective region whenever you're done with it. Blizzard will reveal the dates of any new PTR updates on the Overwatch PTR forums. You can also keep it here on Shacknews, as we'll endeavor to keep our readers updated whenever a new PTR patch goes live.

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Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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