A Diablo 4 ‘friends-and-family alpha test’ is reportedly underway

Liliith from Diablo 4
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

An “early build” of Diablo 4 is apparently being used for a “friends-and-family alpha test” according to a recent report. 

The report comes from Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier who wrote on Twitter that a “fun but minor Blizzard tidbit” he’s heard is that “a bunch of people are playing an early build of Diablo 4 right now thanks to a friends-and-family alpha test.” 

According to Schreier, the “players are under NDA” and therefore cannot speak publicly about what they’re doing but he adds, “I'm hearing mostly positive buzz”.

When quizzed by another Twitter user on what he means by “positive” and if it’s in regards to gameplay or microtransactions, Schreier notes that he doesn’t think microtransactions are actually in the build being tested so these players won’t be able to get a gauge on the monetization. 

The Diablo 4 development team has previously said that the game’s microstransactions will be restricted to "optional cosmetic items and full story-driven expansions". It’s not surprising, however, that this is being asked given the furore around Diablo Immortal’s approach to microtransactions which, in our review, we noted “compromised some of the most important elements of a Diablo game.”

Beta wait a little longer

For anyone keen to get their hands on Diablo 4 (it feels safe to say that’s probably a lot of people) this will be an excruciating tease. Especially after a beta showed up on Battle.net recently, only for Rod Fergusson to have to clarify that it was for “an internal test only”. 

Fergusson did, at least, add that Diablo 4 “will have more public testing in the future as we continue down the path to shipping in 2023” so, if it's not too un-Diablo to say, don’t give up hope. 

In fact, Blizzard has already opened pre-registration for Diablo 4's beta test. We don't know when it'll actually start but you can "sign up now for a chance to be included in future beta tests" just so you'll be prepared whenever the date is announced. 

If you’re really desperate you can always take a look at Blizzard’s recent offer to give away beta access to dedicated Diablo 4 fans who get permanent tattoos. In the lead-up to Diablo 4’s release next year, the publisher is apparently offering free Diablo-inspired tattoos as part of its Hell’s Ink promotional campaign between now and September 10. 

As Blizzard shared on Twitter, those who took part in the first stop in LA were given a card that promised them access to Diablo 4’s upcoming beta and a free digital copy of the game. It’s a pretty hardcore step to get access to a video game but Diablo is a pretty hardcore game. 

Diablo 4 doesn't have a firm release date just yet but it's still expected to launch sometime in 2023 on PS5Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.