Accessing the new Empires beta is easier than before. 1. Backup Empires If you have custom content in your Empires directory, you should make a backup of your current Empires folder before proceeding. Empires is usually installed at C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Empires. This is just a precaution since you're running a beta version. You don't need to use this backup to return to regular Empires once you're done testing, and you only need this backup at all for your custom models, scripts, or (text) files that you consciously added; otherwise, you can skip this step. 2. Opt Into the Beta In your Steam library, right-click Empires and click Properties. Click the Betas tab and choose Beta - Empires Beta Test. Close the properties window. Steam will now update Empires to the beta version. Click Play to launch Empires beta. 3. Join the Test Server Once Empires is running, connect to the testing server; this should be listed in the forum announcement, but the server name will also contain "beta". Alternatively, you can host your own. If so, after starting you should open the console (set "Multiplayer options > Developer console" on, then press ~ left of the number keys) and do "exec testing" so that you can cheat; see "How to speed up singleplayer testing" for more information. 4. Opt Out of the Beta Follow the same steps in the opt-in section above, but choose NONE - Opt out of all beta programs instead. Steam will update Empires back to the regular version. FAQ How large is the update? Usually it will be 10-100 MB. Steam will only download what has changed between the regular version and the beta version. The downloaded files are not cached however. This means the difference has to be re-downloaded each time when switching between regular and beta. How do I know if I'm running regular or beta? In the steam games list, Empires ends with [beta] when you are opted in to beta. Also, from the main menu, the version identifier in the bottom right will end in "beta". Will opting into beta overwrite my custom content? Only if we add an updated file that conflicts with your custom content. You can restore your custom content with your backup after you're done testing and have opted out of the beta. Steam will not overwrite any controls or config files. These directories and files are safe and will never be overwritten: scripts\presets\ cfg\ mapcycle.txt maplist.txt motd.txt pure_server_whitelist.txt serverconfig.vdf Can I continue to use Empires SVN? No. We've stopped using SVN entirely; you should update through steam.