Looks like my weekend gaming sessions are booked. The first of two Titanfall 2 open multiplayer technical tests starts Friday. Respawn Entertainment is opting for two separate multiplayer tests to see how their backend handles the sudden surge of players. One on August 19 – 21, the other on August 26 – 28.

We already know the developers are changing things up as far as servers go for Titanfall 2. On the first one, they ran everything on Microsoft Azure cloud servers. They are sticking with Azure for Titanfall 2, but also expanding into Amazon and Google cloud servers. Respawn is also using traditional servers located across the world.

What the technical tests are going to tell them is how traditional servers and cloud servers work together as hundreds of thousands of players are allocated to each. They want to make sure whatever bugs pop up do so in August and not October.

Enough about the backend, here’s what you’ll be playing this weekend. First, here’s a new multiplayer gameplay trailer.

Damn, watching that brings back memories of countless nights full of Last Titan Standing matches. Respawn, don’t you dare touch that mode.

Two modes will go live on Friday – Bounty Hunt and Pilots vs. Pilots.

Bounty Hunt pits two teams of five against each other. The Remnant Fleet adds some AI flare to matches. As you kill grunts and enemies, you’ll earn points. You’ll need to deposit these points at the bank between waves without getting killed.

Pilots vs. Pilots keeps the action on foot with two teams of eight facing off. Why the hell someone would want to play Titanfall without Titans is beyond me. But hey, there must be enough fans clamoring for it otherwise, Respawn wouldn’t include it.

We Wanted a Titanfall 2 Campaign and Respawn is Delivering

These two modes will be playable on two maps – Boomtown and Homestead.

I believe we are seeing Homestead in the first half of the trailer. Respawn describes it as having a series of raised, rocky plateaus with a river cutting through the middle.

The second multiplayer technical test weekend keeps all the content from the first but adds a new mode and map.

Amped Hardpoint is a new take on Hardpoint Domination from the original game. A successful defense of a Hardpoint will give your team double score.

The Forward Base Kodai map centers the action around an IMC substation.

You’ll be battling it out with friends in two new Titans – Ion and Scorch.

We see Ion in the first Titan engagement in the trailer. That’s the Titan with the shoulder-mounted laser. Here’s a list of its abilities.

Ion Titan Abilities

Scorch is tailor-made for defending areas. We also see it in action right at the end of the trailer when it Hulk smashes the ground triggering an incendiary trap. Here are the abilities you’ll be using to keep Hardpoints locked down.

Scorch Titan abilities

The first Titanfall was a solid first effort from Respawn Entertainment. Most of the criticism revolved around the lack of a single-player campaign. The developers remedied that. And this weekend, we’ll all know how the multiplayer in Titanfall 2 stacks up.

You can catch some new Titanfall 2 footage later today. Tune into to Titanfall 2’s Factions Livestream starting at 11 am PT (2 pm ET).

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