The Nintendo Switch has had great success since its launch a couple of weeks ago, and that's mainly thanks to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Now you can nab yourself some playtime with another top Nintendo first-party title - in beta form anyway. And what's more, it won't cost you a penny.

Nintendo has released a Testfire beta version of Splatoon 2 that will be available to play online for three days at the end of March. You can download the 410MB file for free now ahead of the servers going live.

Free open betas is not a new thing in gaming, with online multiplayer games often offering testing phases for PS4, Xbox One and PC, but it's a first for Nintendo. It also marks a new dawn for online gaming for the company, with a more open ecosystem rather than the walled garden approach adopted in the past.

Splatoon 2 and the preview build can also be played over a LAN network on up to 10 docked Switch consoles, with eight playing and two onlookers in a new Private Battle Spectator mode. It allows for professional style local tournaments.

Eight player matches can be played wirelessly too.

Splatoon 2 sessions will run in one hour intervals at the following times:

Friday 24 March

  • From 7pm GMT

Saturday 25 March

  • From 4am GMT
  • From 12pm GMT
  • From 8pm GMT

Sunday 26 March

  • From 5am BST
  • From 1pm BST
Sections Nintendo Games