Go on, let the Anno 1800 open beta dominate your whole weekend


I know myself too well to fall into this trap, and yet…

I just can’t trust myself with some games, and simulation and strategy titles definitely fall into that category. The open beta for Anno 1800 is up and running on PC, but I’m afraid of what’ll happen if I start playing. A “few minutes” turns into “one more hour” and, next thing I know, it’s Sunday night.

It’s the reason why I can’t casually stroll into a peaceful game of Civilization. It’s why I don’t dare check in to see how my farm is doing in Stardew Valley unless I’m prepared to let the next few hours fly by me. City builders, in particular, fall into the danger zone. I can’t resist making incremental improvements for the sake of it, whether that’s only a side activity in a game or the entire point of the experience.

Still, Anno 1800 looks and sounds wonderful in that comfy brain-massaging way. For once, you don’t need to pre-order to try the open beta. Ubisoft is running the beta via the Epic Games Launcher and Uplay until April 14, and then the city-builder will launch just a couple days later on April 16. (Reminder: If you want to own Anno 1800 on Steam, unfortunately, your window of opportunity is closing fast.)

In this entry, your empire-raising exploits will take place in the 19th century, so industrialization is largely the name of the game. As Ubisoft sums it up, Anno 1800 provides players ample opportunity to prove their skills as a ruler as they create huge metropolises, plan efficient logistic networks, explore, settle new lands, and dominate their opponents by diplomacy, trade, or warfare.”

There are a few things to note. This beta is a “near-final version of the game” with a sample of Anno‘s story mode and progression that caps out at Tier 3. Notably, your save file won’t work in the full game (due to potential issues related to the AI), and the beta is always online (though the full game won’t be).

In terms of system requirements, Ubisoft recommends:

1080p at 60 frames per second on Low Settings

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, or 10 (64-bit only)
  • CPU: Intel i5-4460 3.2 GHz or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB or AMD Radeon R9 270X 2GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11 or 12

1080p at 60 frames per second on High Settings

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, or 10 (64-bit only)
  • CPU: Intel i5-4690K 3.5 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB or AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB
  • DirectX: DirectX 11 or 12

If I do end up downloading Anno 1800, I am absolutely setting an alarm. A loud one, too!