Gamescom is Europe's answer to E3. It is a similarly huge event for gamers, with the biggest forthcoming titles on display for press, trade visitors and the public alike.

And now it's underway.

We are currently trudging its halls in order to bring you the latest on the games and hardware to keep an eye on. So join us here for our regularly updated guide on Gamescom 2018.

Gamescom started in 2009 and is held annually at the Koelnmesse convention centre in Cologne, Germany. It generally runs in mid to late-August.

The first day (Tuesday 21 August) is for trade and media only, the show will then open to the public from Wednesday 22 August. It'll run until Saturday 25 August.

Some companies hold press conferences and showcases at Gamescom but these have shrunk in number over the years.

All times are listed in Central European Summer Time (CEST), as relevant to local time in Cologne.

  • Tuesday 21 August - 9am to 7pm (business centre and public halls)
  • Wednesday 22 August - 9am to 8pm (business centre and public halls)
  • Thursday 23 August - 9am to 8pm (business centre and public halls)
  • Friday 24 August - 9am to 8pm (public halls only)
  • Saturday 25 August - 9am to 8pm (public halls only)
  • Wednesday 22 August - 10am to 8pm (public halls only)
  • Thursday 23 August - 10am to 8pm (public halls only)
  • Friday 24 August - 9am to 8pm (public halls only)
  • Saturday 25 August - 9am to 8pm (public halls only)

There were several press conferences held by publishers last year but they have diminished in 2018. There are still a couple to keep an eye on though.

Nvidia held a special event for press and some members of the public on Monday 20 August, before the main show started. It used the occasion to unveil a trio of new, Turing-based graphics cards: the GeForce RTX 2070, GeForce RTX 2080 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

You can find out more about them here: Nvidia's new RTX 2080 cards: Your PC games will never be the same.

And check out what the RTX cards are capable of in the demo video below...

Microsoft will not host an actual press conference this year, but it will host a special Inside Xbox livestream from its Gamescom booth today, Tuesday 21 August.

The company will showcase its forthcoming games for 2018, plus new hardware (including the Elite 2 controller, we hope) and a "few surprises". Here's when you should check out the announcements:

  • UK: 3.30pm BST
  • Central Europe: 4.30pm CEST
  • East Coast USA: 10.30am EDT
  • West Coast USA: 7.30am PDT

It will be broadcast through Microsoft's own Mixer service.

There are plenty of gaming companies at the show. Here are the biggest so far:

Xboxgamescom 2018 image 2

As well as its Inside Xbox live show from the stand, Microsoft is hosting an Xbox FanFest evening on the Thursday night of the show.

There are many playable Xbox One and Windows 10 PC games at the show, including Forza Horizon 4 (above).

We're hoping we see something more substantial on Crackdown 3, but not sure yet. But we'll definitely get a chance to look at the two major DLC packs for Sea of Thieves: Cursed Sails and Forsaken Shores.

PlayStationGamescom 2018 image 3

Sony hasn't done much at Gamescom over the last couple of years, opting to focus on October's Paris Games Week instead.

It does have a booth on the show floor though, maintained by PlayStation Germany, so there are still several games to play.

Marvel's Spider-Man (above) is perhaps the biggest deal considering it is coming out on 7 September - soon after Gamescom's doors shut. There is also a big focus on PlayStation VR, if that's your sort of thing.

EAGamescom 2018 image 4

EA opted not to host a preview event before the show this year.

But, it does have a lounge at Gamescom where a range of its latest games are playable.

We will be getting some playtime with the latest build of FIFA 19 for starters. And we have some time with Battlefield V too.

ActivisionGamescom 2018 image 5

Activision has a few titles that'll be a bit more advanced - nearer release - at Gamescom so is offering new demo experiences.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is arguably its main title. It's not got a single-player campaign this year but the much-talked about Blackout Battle Royale mode could be a real show-stopper.

Then there is the Destiny 2 DLC everyone is talking about: Forsaken. It features a new campaign, Raid and team multiplayer mode called Gambit. And Cayde-6 dies at the start. No, really.

Finally, Activision is showing the amazing job it has done on remastering Spyro in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

UbisoftGamescom 2018 image 6

Ubisoft had a stack of stuff to show at E3 2018 and similarly has plenty at Gamescom too, albeit behind closed doors for the press mainly.

The public can play Assassin's Creed Odyssey, though, which is shaping up to be even better than Origins, if that was indeed possible. And its toys-to-life new IP, Starlink, is looking stunning.

The Division 2 is also at Gamescom, albeit in hands-off form rather than playable. The new Rainbow Six Siege content is a highlight too.

BethesdaGamescom 2018 image 8

There are some Fallout 76 shenanigans at Gamescom, including free Reclamation Day party hats and horns for visitors, but Bethesda's main focus in terms of hands-on play is Rage 2.

It is also showing more on the forthcoming mobile game Elder Scrolls: Blades - its first outing in Europe. And VR fans can get a taste of Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot on the HTC Vive. It is playable on the show floor.

NintendoGamescom 2018 image 7

Nintendo's undisputed star of E3 is its focus at Gamescom too. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is playable on its booth and we fully expect queues to run out of the hall on all days.

We're hoping to get some game time with Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let's Go, Eevee!. As well as Super Mario Party and several third-party games coming to Nintendo Switch.

Apart from the big boys above, there are 100s of other publishers and exhibitors at Gamescom. Here are some of the bigger names:

  • 1C Company
  • 505 games
  • Amazon
  • Asus
  • Bandai Namco
  • Blizzard
  • Capcom
  • CD Projekt
  • Deep Silver (Koch Media)
  • Epic Games
  • Focus Home Interactive
  • Frontier
  • Gameloft
  • Google
  • Green Man Gaming
  • HP
  • Intel
  • Kalypso
  • Konami
  • Logitech
  • MSI
  • Nvidia
  • Plantronics
  • Razer
  • Samsung
  • Sega
  • Square Enix
  • Team 17
  • Techland
  • Turtle Beach
  • Wargaming
  • Warner