Players are now able to sign up to the Phantasy Star Online 2 closed beta if you are in America or Canda. I’m UK based and can confirm that the beta is not open for sign-ups here.
But, if you are in North America or Canda then here is how you do it: Install the Xbox Insider Hub either on your Xbox One, or Windows 10 device. Hit insider content, then games, and you should see Phantasy Star Online 2. The game is currently available on PlayStation 4, Switch, PS Vita and PC — in Japan. The game is apparently exclusive in the west to Xbox One and PC. And is slotted in for release next year.
Phantasy Star Online 2 features:
“Get ready for the ultimate online Free-to-Play experience and go out on missions with a party of up to four players or explore exclusive multiparty areas where up to twelve players can play simultaneously!”
“Phantasy Star Online 2 features one of the most responsive action combat systems among online RPGs. Combo your way through multiple enemies at once and engage in unforgettable boss fights armed with highly customizable skillsets, each unique to one of nine classes and eighteen distinct weapon types.”
Instantly swap classes, and gameplay style:
“Switch character classes at any time to find your ideal playstyle: hack-and-slash through missions with melee-based roles or take a step back and eliminate foes by using ranged or elemental attacks! You can also customize the way you play by selecting different camera settings, including an over-the-shoulder view to aim at enemies with better precision.”
Procedurally generated areas:
“Choose from multiple difficulty settings catered to your skill and character level. Jump into procedurally generated environments that reshape your adventures whenever you play and experience unexpected events and random monsters spawning with every mission!”
“Discover one of gaming’s most powerful character creators and design the ultimate ARKS Operative. Choose from one of four distinct races and fully customize your character’s appearance with a robust yet easy-to-use system.
Take your character customization to the next level with PSO2’s ever-expanding catalog of editable accessories and layered outfits to mix and match, resulting in countless possibilities for creating a one-of-a-kind character.”
Phantasy Star Online gained a lot of traction as being the first Online RPG for home consoles, with the likes of Monster Hunter having quite similar gameplay. Fans have been waiting a while for a western release date of Phantasy Star Online 2; it was a featured game at the Tokyo Games Show way back in 2015.
I’ve worked in the gaming industry for around 10 years, in journalism and QA. I also run Hampshire’s biggest charity gaming event, the Southampton Game Fest.