The Halo Wars 2 Blitz Beta kicks off this weekend. Anyone with online access to an Xbox One or Windows 10 PC can download the beta and jump into multiplayer matches to test out the unique new gameplay mode. Note that you’ll need to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to play online on the Xbox One. On PC, Halo Wars 2 can be found in the Windows Store.

Blitz is an all-new multiplayer mode for Halo Wars 2. It’s designed to streamline and speed up online matches by incorporating a unique deck-building mechanic found in collectible card games. Blitz can be played 1v1 as well as with teams in 2v2 and 3v3.

Instead of the usual management of strategy games such as base-building and resource gathering, Blitz gathers everything into a single Energy resource, which you spend by playing cards. Each card represents either a unit you can bring forth onto the battlefield or a special ability you can activate. Cards have different energy costs, with large powerful vehicles and game-changing abilities costing the most. Energy is gained slowly throughout a match and by gathering energy cells on the map.

Before a Blitz match each player chooses and customizes their 12 card deck. Each deck has a leader from the campaign who offer different playstyles and card types. You can save up to three custom decks for each leader. In a team match, partners can build their decks together to compliment each other’s armies.

New cards can be earned from winning matches and completing daily challenges. While none of the cards you earn during the Blitz Beta will carry over to the final game, Beta participants can earn two free card packs when Halo Wars 2 releases. Log in during the beta for one free card pack, and complete your first match for the second.

You can find more information on the breakdown of card stats and abilities and map features at the official Halo Wars 2 Blitz Beta post, and in the tutorial video above.

The Halo Wars 2 Blitz Beta ends January 30. Halo Wars 2 launches February 21 for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

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Eric has been writing for over eight years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.