The first 'The Wild Update' pre-release snapshot is here for Minecraft

The Wild Update is inching closer to a full release.

What you need to know

Mojang Studios has been working on The Wild Update, Minecraft’s next content update, for many months.
On Wednesday, the studio officially began to test pre-release builds of The Wild Update with Minecraft: Java Edition players.
This means The Wild Update is nearing completion, with only bug fixes and general improvements planned from this point.
Minecraft: Java Edition 1.19 Pre-Release 1 is now available for players to test with a host of changes and other fixes.

Minecraft players regularly enjoy injections of fresh content through successive updates, and the next release is arriving later this year in the form of The Wild Update. Mojang Studios has been actively developing The Wild Update in tandem with the Minecraft community for months, but the update is now rapidly approaching an official release to all players.

Mojang Studios is now testing Minecraft: Java Edition 1.19 Pre-Release 1, which includes a fresh batch of bug fixes, changes, and technical updates for players to explore. As The Wild Update is now officially in the “pre-release” era of development, don’t expect any major changes or feature additions from this point forward. The release is now more-or-less feature locked, with only minor fixes and improvements to occur until completion.

The Wild Update is the next content update for one of PC’s greatest games, and will bring new biomes, mobs, gameplay mechanics, and more to Minecraft. Players will be able to discover the terrifying Deep Dark and Ancient Cities, guarded by powerful Wardens, or explore idyllic mangrove swamps populated by frogs and mud. The Wild Update still doesn’t have an exact release date, but we should learn more in the next few weeks or months.

The full changelog for Minecraft: Java Edition 1.19 Pre-Release 1 includes:


Slightly reduced the number of Mangrove trees in Mangrove Swamps
Endermen, Skeletons, Wither Skeletons, and Piglins now spawn in a wider range of light levels in the Nether (from light level 0 to 11)
Item interaction vibrations are now emitted when you start or finish “using” an item with a start and finish state (such as Bows, Crossbows, Goat Horns, Shields, Food)
Item interaction vibrations are now ignored when sneaking
Placing items that aren’t armor (such as Pumpkins and Skulls) in your headwear slot now plays a generic equip sound

Technical updates

Auto-completion is now available for the template argument to place template
Custom servers can now enable or disable chat preview for certain clients by sending a new network packet
Now, a chat preview is also shown for chat-related commands, such as /say and /msg
test-rainbow-chat has been removed from

Added game events

note_block_play with a vibration frequency of 6
instrument_play with a vibration frequency of 15

Fixed bugs

Equipping armor / elytra through inventory or dispenser doesn’t play sounds
PacketBuffer.writeString’s max length is in bytes, while readString is in characters
Attempting to open the Minecraft Realms menu claims that the client is outdated, even if the snapshot may be newer than the release
Sculk sensors are not activated upon entities being summoned by a spawner
Equipping armor through the inventory does not count as a vibration
Distance value for Sculk Sensors is limited to integers
Goats don’t panic when tempted with their favorite food
“FOV Effects” setting description is inaccurate
No subtitles are produced upon frogs stepping
The entity.frog.tounge sound is misspelled
Frogs don’t panic when tempted with their favorite food
Tadpoles are not tempted by slime balls
Frogs can jump around while being tempted with slimeballs
Tadpoles drop experience, unlike other baby mobs
The comparator frequency of sculk sensors when you are stepping on it is the last frequency it heard
Items collected off the ground by allays travel too high above their hitboxes
‘It Spreads’ advancement is not a child of ‘Monster Hunter’
Swapping items to the player’s off-hand can generate vibrations
The Birthday Song advancement description doesn’t capitalise the word Cake
ID of the British cat doesn’t match texture name
Sculk catalyst triggers when a villager converts into zombie villager by a zombie
The subtitle for picking up a Tadpole with a bucket is the generic “Bucket fills” subtitle
/tp “argument” duplicated on the tab options
The server crashes when attempting to load chunks that contain command blocks that consist of large numbers of characters within the previous output field
Goat horn subtitles are improperly capitalized
Goat horn playing isn’t detected as a vibration
Server logs “Game test server” messages
Entity selectors in /say commands are no longer evaluated
Potted mangrove propagule model is incorrect
Structure Block messages are formatted as chat
Duplicate object key [lang file]
Failed to launch the game on 32-bit operating system
io.netty.handler.codec.EncoderException when using special characters in chat message
Game crash regarding warden anger
Chat closes itself if the control for Open Chat is set to Enter
Clicking “incomplete command” message removes / in chat
Iron golems can spawn on nonspawnable blocks such as leaves, glass, sea lanterns, etc
Warden emerge / roar / sonic charge / dig animation (and possibly other similar animations) don’t start unless the player looks at the Warden first
/say command fails to apply server message styling when sent from a command block, server console, or RCON, unlike /msg
Wardens can spawn on any non-full block, as long as it’s solid
Reflected ghast fireball cannot hit the ghast
You can run commands with double slash prefix
The –dev argument for the data generators no longer converts NBT to SNBT properly

A catalog of games

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

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All your gaming needs, in one subscription

Is the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate the best value in all of gaming? It’s possible. Ultimate bundles your Xbox Live Gold subscription, Xbox Game Pass for Xbox consoles and PC Game Pass for Windows devices, and Xbox Cloud Gaming for on-the-go fun. The Wild Update is rapidly approaching, with the first pre-release snapshot now available (even through PC Game Pass).

The first 'The Wild Update' pre-release snapshot is here for Minecraft

Need to change your account name on Windows 10? Here's how to do it.

If you want to change your account name, in this guide, we’ll show you how on Windows 10.

On Windows 10, you can change the account name for any reason. For example, you may need to update your personal information because you recently changed your name. The computer has a local account, and you prefer showing the actual name instead of the nickname. Or you want to update the name to make it a little more private.

Whatever the reason, Windows 10 includes different settings to change the name on the Sign-in screen and across the desktop, but it is not a straightforward process. Depending on the account type, the instructions will be entirely different.

In this Windows 10 guide, we will walk you through the steps to change the account name on the Sign-in screen for a local or Microsoft account on your computer.

How to change account name with Settings on Windows 10
How to change account name using Control Panel on Windows 10

How to change account name with Settings on Windows 10

Windows 10 displays the account name from the cloud when the computer is configured with a Microsoft account. As a result, you have to change the settings online if you want to change the account name.

To change the name of the Windows 10 account, use these steps:

Open Settings.
Click on Accounts.
Click on Your info.
Click the Manage my Microsoft account option.

Quick tip: You can always access your account settings online on this Microsoft page.
Sign in with your credentials (if applicable).
Click the Your Info tab.

Under the current name of the account, click the Edit name option.

Change the new account name as necessary.

Quick tip: To make your information a little more private, use the first six letters of your name and the first two letters of your last name (often known as “six-by-two” by administrators).
Confirm the challenge to verify that a robot is not making the changes in the account.
Click the Save button.
Restart the computer.

Once you complete the steps, the Sign-in screen should reflect the new name change but allow some time for the device to sync the latest information.

While changing the account name is a straightforward process, renaming the account online also changes the first and last name of any services connected to your account, including Xbox Live, Outlook, OneDrive, Microsoft 365, and others.

How to change account name using Control Panel on Windows 10

When using a local account on Windows 10, you have several ways to modify the account’s name through Control Panel.

Change account name with User Accounts

To change the account name using the User Accounts settings on Windows 10, use these steps:

Open Control Panel.
Under the “User Accounts” section, click the Change account type option.

Select the local account to change its name.

Click the Change the account name option.

Confirm the new account name for the Sign-in screen.

Click the Change Name button.

After you complete the steps, sign out of the current session, and the Sign-in screen should now display the new name.

Change account name with netplwiz

You can also use the legacy account management tool (netplwiz) to complete the same task on your computer.

To update the account name with netplwiz, use these steps:

Open Start.
Search for netplwiz and click the top result to open the legacy account management tool.
Click the Users tab.
Select the account to change its name.
Click the Properties button.

(Optional) Update the “User name” field to change the account nickname.
Confirm the new name in the “Full Name” field – for example, “John Smith.”

Quick tip: If you want to display a nickname instead of your real name, leave the “Full Name” field empty.
Click the Apply button.
Click the OK button.
Click the OK button again.

Once you complete the steps, sign out, and the Sign-in screen will show the name in the “Full Name” field.

You can also edit the accounts linked to a Microsoft account with the legacy tool. However, the cloud settings will overwrite the information again, thus making this option only available for local profiles.

Change account name with Computer Management

To use a different name on your Windows 10 account, use these steps:

Open Start.
Search for Computer Management and click the top result to open the app.
Double-click to expand the System Tools branch.
Double-click the Local Users and Groups branch.
Click on Users.
Right-click the account to edit and select the Properties option.

Quick tip: You can use the Rename option to change the profile nickname from the context menu.
Click the General tab.
In the “Full name” field, confirm a new name for the account.

Click the Apply button.
Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, the sign-in screen will show the local account’s new name when you sign in to the account.

On Windows 10, you have several methods to change the account name, but none of the available options will change the name of the profile folder in the “Users” folder. You might find some workarounds online, but it is not recommended to use those instructions, as you may create other issues.

If you want to change the account name everywhere on Windows 10, you should create a new account with the name you wish to use, and then transfer all your settings and files to the newly created account.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:

Windows 11 on Windows Central — All you need to know
Windows 11 help, tips, and tricks
Windows 10 on Windows Central — All you need to know

Need to change your account name on Windows 10? Here's how to do it.

Teams finally makes its way to Microsoft Store on Windows 11 and 10

Years after its launch, Microsoft Teams has finally made its way to the Microsoft Store.

What you need to know

Microsoft Teams is now available through the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 and Windows 10.
Windows 10 users will have full access to Teams through the app, including using personal, work, or school accounts.
The version of Teams available through the Microsoft Store will only support work or school accounts on Windows 11.

Microsoft Teams has finally arrived in the Microsoft Store. PC users can now grab the popular communication app directly through the Microsoft Store on either Windows 11 or Windows 10. Teams was already available on Windows, but it is now a bit easier to find since it’s in the Microsoft Store.

Users on Windows 11 and Windows 10 will have different Teams experiences after downloading it through the Microsoft Store. Those on Windows 10 will be able to use Teams with personal, work, or school accounts. Windows 11’s version of Teams only supports work and school accounts. The difference is likely due to the fact that Windows 11 has a built-in Chat app powered by the personal version of Teams. You can still download Teams for personal use through Microsoft’s website.

Other than the difference in account types that are supported, users shouldn’t see any difference between the Microsoft Store version of Teams and the version they’ve used previously on PCs. The app will still use its own method of automatically updating and has the same feature set as the version available through Microsoft’s website.

The addition of Teams to the Microsoft Store should make the app easier to find, though the service’s 270 million monthly active users suggest that people don’t struggle to download the application. The move also shows a commitment to the store by Microsoft. Many considered it strange that one of Microsoft’s most popular apps was not available through the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Teams

Free at Microsoft
Free at App Store
Free at Google Play Store

Microsoft Teams is a popular communication platform for messaging, calls, and video calls. You can now download it through the Microsoft Store on Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Teams finally makes its way to Microsoft Store on Windows 11 and 10

Microsoft's new web-based Outlook client officially launches in preview

Office Insiders can try out the future of Outlook now.

What you need to know

Microsoft’s new web-based Outlook client is now official.
It’s available today for Insiders in the Office Beta Channel.
The preview is only for commercial accounts; personal coming later.

Microsoft has officially announced its new Outlook client, which is now available in preview for Office Insiders in the Beta Channel. The new app is accessible via a “preview” toggle in the Outlook desktop app. Enabling the toggle will transform the legacy Office app into a new web-based one, featuring new features and a new UI.

The new Outlook client leaked a handful of weeks ago as a standalone client, but today’s official preview is only available within the legacy Outlook client. It’s likely that Microsoft will release a standalone beta of the new Office app soon, likely when support for personal email accounts is introduced.

New features include an updated Outlook Web interface design, built-in support for Microsoft To Do and Loop Components, and much more. Microsoft has also handily provided a list of features that aren’t yet available, but are expected to come soon. These include:

Multi-account support
Offline support
Personal support
Third party email account support (Gmail, iCloud, etc.)
Continuous Access Evaluation support
Quick Steps
Search Folders

Additionally, Microsoft says it’s investigating support for POP email accounts, a feature that’s presently not available with the new Outlook app. Because the new Outlook is based on Outlook Web, many of Outlook’s COM/VSTO plugins are no longer supported, but developers will be able to build new web-based add-ins if needed.

Unfortunately, the new email client is not yet available for users with personal Microsoft account emails. This preview is only for those using commercial or education accounts. The company says it plans to roll out the preview to personal accounts in the future.

MIcrosoft has been working on this new Outlook client for well over a year at this point. Windows Central revealed the project back in January 2021, and it’s now available in preview for the first time. Microsoft wants to eventually replace the built-in Windows 11 Mail & Calendar apps with this new client, but it appears we’re a long way from that happening.

Microsoft's new web-based Outlook client officially launches in preview

Grab the lightweight SteelSeries Aerox 3 gaming mouse and save up to $40

Save on both versions of the SteelSeries Aerox 3 gaming mouse today. You can get the wired version of the Aerox 3 for just $35.99 in Onyx black (or $38.99 in Snow white). That’s down from a street price of $60 and a match for the lowest we have ever seen. You can also get the wireless version for just $59.99 in either color, which is again a match for the lowest price we’ve ever seen. The wireless Aerox 3 normally sells for around $100. We have only seen these price drops once before, during a brief period at the beginning of March. If you missed the last price drop, today is your lucky day. It won’t last long because the last one didn’t last long. Grab your choice while you can.

SteelSeries Aerox 3 wired mouse | $24 off

The main feature of this mouse is how lightweight it is, but it also has a great 200-hour battery life, RGB lighting, spill resistance and more. The wired version means paying less and worrying about a charge less, too.

$35.99 at Amazon

SteelSeries Aerox 3 wireless mouse | $40 off

Get all the same features as the wired version without the hassle of an annoying cable. Plus it does have a battery life that can last for up to 200 hours, which means it’s not dying on you in the middle of your work or game.

$59.99 at Amazon

The 2022 update offers some marked improvements over the older mice. Read more about this mouse in our full review that looked specifically at the wireless version and gave it 4 stars out of 5.

The feature of the Aerox 3 is its super lightweight design. It only weighs 66 grams (59 grams for the wired version), which is perfect for fast gameplay. A light mouse means you can depend on your own reflexes even more without being held back by a heavy device.

But it also has a lot of other great features. For example, as a wireless mouse it has a 200-hour battery life. That’s a long time to not have to worry about charging it. You can also connect via 2.4GHz Wi-Fi or through Bluetooth 5.0. If you choose to go with the wired version, you’ll get a Super Mesh cable that allows for rapid movement, less drag, and a lighter feel.

The gaming sensor uses TrueMove Air for perfect accuracy, and the AquaBarrier tech helps with dust and water resistance so you don’t have to worry about spilling anything or getting it wet accidentally.

Grab the lightweight SteelSeries Aerox 3 gaming mouse and save up to

Grab one of these great CPUs for your next custom PC build or upgrade

The best CPU for your custom PC is one that matches your needs, doesn’t bottleneck the rest of your hardware, and doesn’t cost more than what you’ve budgeted. When looking for a new processor, it’s easy to automatically go for the more expensive option expecting a return in performance, and in most cases, you’d be correct in that assumption. However, the question is whether you need that kind of power and whether you really need to pay that much.

For most people, the Intel Core i5-12600K should be an ideal mix of performance and price. This CPU is from Intel’s 12th Gen family of processors and is one of the most affordable SKUs. If it’s not quite what you’re looking for, there are plenty of other CPU options that we’ve rounded up here.

Best overall: Intel Core i5-12600K

Intel worked some magic with its Alder Lake processors. The company struggled to keep up with the performance gains AMD was making through its Ryzen CPUs, but all that changed with its move to a 10nm process. Although considered one of the entry-level choices, the Intel Core i5-12600K is one of the best processors to come out of this generation.

The Core i5-12600K has 10 cores and 16 threads. This uneven configuration is due to Intel making use of a hybrid core design. There are eight high-performance cores with hyperthreading and two more efficient cores for handling smaller processes. For frequencies, we’re looking at 3.7GHz and 2.8GHz (4.9GHz and 3.6GHz for boost speeds), respectively.

There’s little reason to go above the 12600K unless you truly require the additional performance (and don’t mind paying for it). This processor is more than capable of heavy gaming, as well as running intense software like video editing suites. This is the processor that made it much more difficult to recommend even the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X.


Great gaming performance
Decent TDP and thermals
Can be overclocked
Offers excellent value
Supports DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0


No included cooler
Requires a new motherboard

Best overall

Intel Core i5-12600K

Rocking 10 cores and 16 threads, the Core i5-12600K from Intel is a serious processor for gamers and content creators.

$329 at Amazon

$278 at Best Buy

$278 at Newegg

Runner-up: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X is part of the Zen 3 microarchitecture and uses a 7nm process. This CPU utilizes 8 cores and 16 threads for strong multitasking performance, and its base clock of 3.8GHz can be boosted up to 4.7GHz when needed. Its 105W thermal design point (TDP) is higher than the previous gen Ryzen 7 3700X, but the newer CPU puts out a lot more performance no matter the task at hand.

This CPU is unlocked and ready for overclocking. It doesn’t include a stock cooler, so be sure to get something up to the task, especially if you plan on overclocking. Note that this CPU does not include integrated graphics, so you will need to add a dedicated GPU to your PC build. Our collection of the best graphics card options will get you started.

The best motherboards for the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X will land you PCIe 4.0 and Wi-Fi 6 support, though if you’re upgrading a PC that’s still using an X470 or B450 motherboard, rest assured it will be compatible.

If you’re in search of a well-rounded, high-performance CPU for just about any task, the Ryzen 7 5800X should prove to be a wise investment for most people. Our AMD Ryzen 7 5800X review has a lot more information about this CPU.


8 cores, 16 threads
Awesome gaming power
Unlocked for overclocking
Zen 3 architecture
PCIe 4.0


No cooler included
Intel Core i5-12600K is a better value
No DDR5 RAM or PCIe 5.0
Ryzen 9 has better performance


AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

$310 at Amazon

$359 at Best Buy

$310 at Newegg

The Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 9 CPUs are attractive options, but for a middle-ground the Ryzen 7 5800X excels.

Best Intel CPU: Intel Core i9-12900K

Like the Intel Core i5-12600K, the Intel Core i9-12900K is part of the Alder Lake family of processors. That’s about where the similarities end since this is an entirely different CPU. It has 8 performance and 8 efficiency cores with a total thread count of 16.

This processor was designed for intense gaming and heavy workloads. Should you be a video editor or some other professional, a workstation with an Intel Core i9-12900K would be incredibly powerful. All this performance comes at a cost and that’s in heat. The 12900K can output a considerable amount of heat, requiring an AIO liquid cooler for best results.

While you will need a new motherboard even if you’re using an existing 11th Gen Intel CPU, this does bring with it some notable benefits. Most Z690 motherboards come with support for DDR5 RAM and PCIe 5.0. The former allows for super-fast memory modules to be installed and PCIe 5.0 unlocks even faster SSD storage. We’ve rounded up the best motherboards for Intel Core i9-12900K.


Exceptional performance
125W TDP at stock
PCIe 5.0 support
DDR5 RAM support
Great price


No bundled cooler
Requires a new motherboard
Can get real hot loaded/overclocked

Best Intel CPU

Intel Core i9-12900K

The Core i9-12900K delivers outstanding gaming performance and holds its own in single-core workloads.

$595 at Amazon

$600 at Best Buy

$610 at Newegg

Best AMD CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Without getting into the truly overpowered Threadripper CPUs, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X is the company’s most powerful offering to date. If you’re going all-out on a new PC and want to stick with Team Red, this is where you should spend your money. Sure, the Ryzen 9 5900X is a better value for a lot of people, but it won’t match up to the performance here.

This Zen 3 CPU has a whopping 16 cores, 32 threads, and a boost speed up to 4.9GHz from the base 3.4GHz. All this at a 105W TDP. To compare, Intel’s Core i9-10900K has 10 cores and 20 threads at a 125W TDP. The Ryzen 9 5950X is expensive, but if you have the budget it’s certainly a great way to go. Pair it up with the best motherboard for the Ryzen 9 5950X for best results, including PCIe 4.0 and Wi-Fi 6.

If you want to learn more, our AMD Ryzen 9 5950X review has way more information about this impressive CPU.


16 cores, 32 threads
PCIe 4.0
Can be overclocked
Great performance
Zen 3 with 105W TDP


No cooler included


AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X is ridiculously fast with plenty of headroom for gaming and enthusiast applications.

$600 at Amazon

$549 at Best Buy

$600 at Newegg

Best enthusiast CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors are absolute monsters. The Threadripper 3990X is the flagship CPU with a hefty price tag. While being more expensive than most desktop PC builds, the processor is simply unmatched in the specifications department by anything else offered by AMD or Intel.

Let’s start with the core and thread count, which clocks in at 64 cores and a whopping 128 threads. To put that into perspective, our favorite CPU in this collection is the excellent Intel Core i5-12600K, which has just 10 cores and 16 threads. Because of the numbers we’re talking about here, the 3990X is only capable of hitting a boost clock speed of 4.3GHz.

You will require some decent cooling to help keep this CPU safe, and I’d recommend at least a 360mm AIO cooler or a custom loop for the best results. Check out our list of best motherboards for AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X to help you make the right decision on boards.


64 cores, 128 threads
PCIe 4.0
Insane performance
Up to 4.3GHz boost


No cooler included
Super expensive
280W TDP

Best enthusiast CPU

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

This is about as good as you can get for an enthusiast-grade CPU, just make sure you deploy adequate cooling.

$7,000 at Amazon

Bottom line

When building a custom PC, most people aren’t going to need (or want) to spend the money on overkill CPUs like Intel’s Core i9-12900K or AMD’s Ryzen 9 5950X.

That’s why we recommend overall the Intel Core i5-12900K as the top pick for most people. It delivers 10 cores, 16 threads, and a clock speed that can boost up to 4.9GHz. Thanks to Intel’s Alder Lake microarchitecture and a 10nm process, the TDP sits at just 125W despite the impressive specs.

Paired up with the right motherboard, this CPU will introduce PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 RAM to your custom build to keep it relevant long into the future. Overall this is a well-rounded chip that will handle just about anything you throw its way, including gaming, design, and productivity.

Those looking for some less-expensive hardware can check out our picks for best budget CPUs.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, and accessory coverage, as well as the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

Grab one of these great CPUs for your next custom PC build or upgrade

Upcoming Overwatch 2 event to reveal plans for the next beta

Come mid-June, we’ll know more about the future of Overwatch 2.

What you need to know

Developer Blizzard has announced that an Overwatch 2 event is coming on Jun. 16, and that it will reveal its plans for Overwatch 2 in the coming months.
Details about the next Overwatch 2 PvP beta will be revealed in this update as well.
Overwatch 2 is radically changing Overwatch’s PvP by moving the game to a 5v5 format and reworking several heroes.

Following the conclusion of the recent Overwatch 2 beta test, developer Blizzard Entertainment has announced that a special Overwatch 2 event will be hosted on Jun. 16. During this event, the developers will share their plans for the next several months of 2022, and will also provide information regarding the next Overwatch 2 beta.

The Overwatch 2 beta introduced some of the earthshattering changes the sequel will introduce to the original game’s PvP — namely, the move to a 5v5 format with one less tank and radical balance adjustments to many heroes — and it will be interesting to see how the developers at Blizzard continue to tweak and rework the game’s heroes. During the event, it’s likely that we’ll get a closer look at some of these changes ahead of their implementation in a future beta test. Overwatch 2 has several heroes that need help, so hopefully Blizzard has plans to help these characters fit better into the 5v5 era.

We also haven’t seen anything from the paid PvE campaign side of Overwatch 2 since it was announced in 2019, so there’s a chance that the developers will show off their progress on that front as well. However, it’s fairly unlikely, as the developers have committed to releasing the PvE and PvP separately and appear to be entirely committed to perfecting Overwatch 2’s PvP first.

Now that the first beta has concluded, the question on everyone’s mind is “When will the next beta start?” Blizzard will probably reveal the release date of the second Overwatch 2 beta during this event as well, though it’s also possible that the studio may not want to commit to a hard launch date for it yet. Hopefully the second beta arrives sooner rather than later so that players can continue rigorously testing the new direction Blizzard is taking its popular hero shooter in.

The Overwatch 2 beta represented the Overwatch community’s first taste of Overwatch 2, a massive (and free) overhaul to the original Overwatch that will rework many of the game’s characters and shift the PvP to a 5v5 format by removing a tank from each team. If you’d like to try out future Overwatch 2 betas, you’ll need to own a copy of the original game and then sign up for it. Overwatch is one of the best PC games available, so you should definitely pick it up if you don’t have it already.

Get the game


$40 at Best Buy (PC)
$39 at Amazon (Xbox)
$60 at Xbox Store (Xbox)

The cavalry’s here!

Overwatch is a competitive team-based shooter set in a futuristic world of cybernetics and robotics. All of your progress and cosmetics from Overwatch will carry forward into Overwatch 2, and you’ll also need the game to be able to play the Overwatch 2 beta.

Upcoming Overwatch 2 event to reveal plans for the next beta

Need a new laptop to run VR? Here are the best devices out there now.

The best laptops for VR offer the right blend of modern performance and generous port selection that’s needed to get a head-mounted display running properly. With that in mind, we recommend checking out the Dell Alienware m15 R7 with 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs. If it isn’t quite what you’re looking for, there are some other suitable laptops that we’ve rounded up right here, some of which also appear on our list of the very best Windows laptops available today.

Best overall: Dell Alienware m15 R7

Dell’s Alienware m15 R7 is an excellent pick for a laptop to power VR. It’s expensive, but it includes the latest performance hardware including NVIDIA RTX 30-series graphics cards and 12th Gen Intel Core mobile CPUs.

Get a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, up to 64GB of DDR5-4800MHz RAM, dual 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs, and a NVIDIA RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU for insane performance, with plenty of lesser hardware options also available. The 15.6-inch non-touch G-Sync display comes in three flavors, with FHD at 165Hz or 360Hz and QHD at 240Hz. Get an IR camera for Windows Hello, as well as Wi-Fi 6 for fast, reliable wireless internet.

Ports include three USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1), Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, RJ45 Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio. You should be able to connect any head-mounted display (HMD) with, at most, a DisplayPort adapter for newer VR systems. All this in a chassis that measures just 0.5 inches (12.9mm) at its thinnest point and weighs just 5.34 pounds (2.42kg).


Impressive performance
Plenty of configurations available
Varied port selection
Multiple display options
Sharp design


No AMD option
Chunkier than some laptops

Best overall

Dell Alienware m15 R7

From $1,470 at Dell

High performance at a high price

The new Alienware m15 R7 has a bunch of different modern hardware configs from which to choose. If you need a lot of performance and an aggressive style, this is the one.

Runner-up: Razer Blade 15

The Razer Blade 15 is our pick for best gaming laptop, and it just keeps getting better with each new refresh. Most recently, Razer announced new Blade 15 models at CES 2022 with 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs, NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs (with up to an RTX 3080 Ti Laptop card), DDR5 RAM, and PCIe 4.0 SSD storage.

Display options have also been overhauled. There’s an FHD model with a blistering 360Hz refresh rate, a QHD model with 240Hz refresh rate, and a UHD model with 144Hz refresh rate. These will make superb 2D gaming displays when you aren’t connected to an HMD. Hardware is all contained in a svelte aluminum chassis with squared edges and thin build.

Despite the thin size, the Blade 15 offers three USB-A, two Thunderbolt 4, HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio jack, and microSD card reader. You shouldn’t have issues connecting your VR headset. Older models are still available, and though the hardware isn’t quite as new they are generally more affordable. Check out our Razer Blade 15 2019 review for a closer look at the previous model.


Thin, premium chassis
Right ports for VR
High-end display options available
RGB keyboard and enormous Precision touchpad
Huge performance


Runs a bit hot
Models are expensive


Razer Blade 15 gaming laptop

From $1,800 at Razer

$2,299 at Amazon

$2,948 at Best Buy

Expensive but exceptional

If you don’t mind dropping big money alongside a VR system, the Blade 15 is going to please.

Best value: HP Omen 15

The HP Omen 15, with its selection of Intel or AMD hardware and NVIDIA 30-series GPUs, is possibly the best value in portable gaming right now. In my HP Omen 15 (2020) review, I tested a model with a stunning 4K AMOLED HDR display with 100% sRGB, 95% AdobeRGB, and 100% DCI-P3 color reproduction, as well as more than 500 nits brightness. It’s one of the nicest 4K displays I’ve ever seen.

Models normally come with up to an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX or Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, as well as up to an NVIDIA RTX 3070 Laptop GPU. Even with the Ryzen 9 and RTX 3070 in a configuration, you’re looking at a very competitive price. Configs are becoming a bit harder to find, but you should still get what you’re looking for.

The cooling system works well without getting loud, and you shouldn’t see any thermal throttling even when stress testing hardware at 100%. The aggressive design has been toned down a lot for a mature look, and though the chassis is a bit thicker than some popular options, it has a great look that can fit into casual and professional environments. If you’re looking to maximize your dollar, this is where you should start.


Near-perfect 4K AMOLED display
Value pricing
Unthrottled gaming performance
Lots of ports
Good camera and speakers


Keyboard on the mushy side

Best value

HP Omen 15 gaming laptop

From $1,300 (Intel) at HP

From $1,150 (AMD) at HP

One of the best 4K displays out there

Those who want to get the most performance for their buck should check out the HP Omen 15, refreshed for 2020 and 2021.

AMD power: Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

Lenovo’s Legion 5 Pro (Gen 6) is one of my favorite laptops from 2021. It was one of the first gaming laptops with a taller 16:10 aspect ratio, 16-inch display with 2560×1600 (QHD+) resolution, modern Legion design, and powerful AMD Ryzen 5000 Mobile CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPUs.

It’s still a potent pick in 2022, with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, 32GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, dual 1TB M.2 PCIe SSDs, and up to an NVIDIA RTX 3070 Laptop GPU. The 16-inch display has those extra QHD+ pixels, plus HDR 400 support, Dolby Vision, 500 nits brightness, and 165Hz refresh rate.

The laptop has tons of ports, with the majority spread out along the back edge for easy cable management. The keyboard is comfortable, the touchpad is huge, and you can get the laptop in two different colors. If you’re a fan of AMD, this is one of the better gaming laptops for VR you’ll find.


Beautiful 16-inch QHD+ 165Hz display
Performance to crush VR
Smart layout for ports
Improved keyboard and touchpad
Stable performance


Runs hot
Battery performance suffers
Short battery life

AMD power

Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

From $1,040 at Lenovo

From $1,760 at Amazon

$1,585 at Walmart

Those on Team Red who want a new laptop for VR won’t want to miss out on the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro with 16-inch QHD+ display and sharp design.

Best 17-inch: MSI GS76 Stealth

Part of the reason to buy a VR laptop is for portability, but you also might not want to game on a display that’s any smaller than 15 inches. Enter the MSI GS76 Stealth. This 17.3-inch laptop is just 0.71 inches thin and weighs in at 5.4 pounds, specs usually reserved for a smaller 15-inch laptop. The huge display comes with up to a 360Hz refresh rate at FHD, 240Hz at QHD, or 120Hz at 4K, making it suitable for standard gaming when you’re not wearing a VR headset.

Models come with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 CPU, 64GB of DDR4-3200MHz RAM, PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3080 Laptop GPU for extreme performance. You’ll also now get an IR camera for Windows Hello, Killer Wi-Fi 6, and Thunderbolt 4. The keyboard has customizable RGB lighting, and there’s an enormous touchpad.


Huge display with multiple configurations
Right ports for VR
Relatively thin and light for form factor
Excellent performance hardware options
RGB keyboard and huge touchpad


Quite expensive
Larger size makes it harder to carry around

Best 17-inch

MSI GS76 Stealth

$1,399 at Amazon

$2,200 at Best Buy

Big but thin

If you can’t live with anything less than a 17-inch display, the MSI GS76 Stealth keeps things relatively thin and light.

Bottom line

There are plenty of great gaming laptops on the market, with some of them making the cut for our collection of the overall best Windows laptops. But if you’re looking for the best laptop for VR, there’s one we can certainly recommend. Thanks to an aggressive design, plenty of ports, and high-end performance, Dell’s Alienware m15 R7 sits at the top. Its price might put it out of reach for casual users, but enthusiasts should feel right at home with the available hardware.

The Alienware m15 is stocked with ports, though newer headsets will likely require a DisplayPort adapter. Be sure to check system requirements for the VR system as well as the games you’d like to play, and keep the future in mind as required specs seem only to go up.

If you’d rather stick with a desktop PC, have a look at our roundup of the best desktop PCs for VR. And if you’re working with Oculus/Meta hardware, the best PCs for Oculus Quest 2 and Oculus Link collection has more options.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Cale Hunt is a senior editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, accessory coverage, and the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Sean Endicott is an app enthusiast even though he used Windows Phone for years. He’s on an eternal quest to convert every element of his home into something he can control from his phone. Oh, yeah. He’s also fanatic about VR, especially the Oculus Quest.

Need a new laptop to run VR? Here are the best devices out there now.

Chivalry 2 is finally coming to Steam alongside a bunch of new content

The Tenosian Invasion update brings horses to Chivalry 2, and brings Chivalry 2 to Steam.

What you need to know

Chivalry 2, from Torn Banner Studios and Tripwire Interactive, is nearing its one-year anniversary after its release.
To celebrate, the game is launching on Steam alongside a major new content update dubbed “Tenosian Invasion.”
The update brings a ton of new content, including new maps, cosmetics, gameplay objectives, and mounted combat with horses.
Players will be able to gallop onto the battlefield after Chivalry 2 gallops onto Steam on June 12, 2022.

One of the most memorable game launches of 2021 was Chivalry 2, which managed to deliver brutal, challenging, and surprisingly fun (and funny) medieval-inspired combat through an expansive online multiplayer experience. Since its launch, Torn Banner Studios and Tripwire Interactive have released a multitude of content updates and patches, improving the fantastic foundation upon which Chivalry 2 is built. Next month, the title is gaining even more new content — and is launching on a new platform.

As reported by PC Gamer, Chivalry 2 players are about to experience the Tenosian Invasion update, which will add a ton of fresh content to the title. Most notably, Torn Banner Studios is finally delivering on its pre-launch promises by adding horses (and mounted combat) to the game. Here’s a quick rundown of what players can expect from Chivalry 2’s Tenosian Invasion update:

Mounted combat. Horses are coming to Chivalry 2, adding a new degree of absurdity to the gore-filled online multiplayer title. Torn Banner Studios put a lot of work into ensuring horses weave in with the rest of Chivalry 2’s gameplay, including:

The full might of Chivalry’s combat, but on horse, including reworked special attacks, mounted archery, and anything else you can imagine, including being able to kick with your horse
Jousting, which utilizes lances (a new, horse-specific weapon) to knock enemy players from their mounts or decimate ground forces
Increased functionality for barriers and defensive fortifications, which restrict horse movement
And much more

New faction. A new faction is joining Chivalry 2, Tenosia, which features unique styles and a new color scheme players can explore and customize.
New cosmetics. A ton of new cosmetics are being added to the expanding Chivalry 2 library, with inspirations from the Ottoman Empire (represented by in-game Tenosia), The Crusades, and more.
Four new maps. Two brand-new maps are coming to Chivalry 2 with the update, one of the new maps includes an alternative variant, and an existing map is also gaining a new variant. These maps include:

The Razing of Askandir, a new objective map featuring a massive library
The Breach of Baudwyn, a new objective map featuring lots of explosions and gunpowder
Desert, a Team Deathmatch variant of The Breach of Baudwyn
The Charge of Wardenglade, which incorporates horses into a Team Deathmatch variant of The Battle of Wardenglade

Console server browsers. Console players on Xbox and PlayStation can rejoice, as the upcoming update brings PC-exclusive features to both platforms: server browsers and dueling servers.

Tenosian Invasion is clearly a sizeable update for Chivalry 2, but many potential players will undoubtedly be more excited by the other piece of Chivalry news from Torn Banner Studios. After a year of Epic Games Store exclusivity, Chivalry 2 is coming to Steam. Chivalry 2 is already one of the best PC games, but its player base has been somewhat limited by its absence on the largest PC platform. Now, Steam players will be able to experience Chivalry 2 at its very best, after enjoying a year of content updates and improvements.

The “Tenosian Invasion” update for Chivalry 2 will arrive on June 12, 2022, launching simultaneously on every platform on which the game is available, including Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation, and PC through the Epic Games Store and Steam. If it has been a while since you’ve played, or you’re considering jumping in for the first time, our Chivalry 2 beginner’s guide has everything you need to hack and slash your way through the battlefield.

Steamy equestrians

Chivalry 2

$40 at Xbox (Xbox, Standard Edition)
$50 at Xbox (Xbox, Special Edition)
See at Steam (PC)

New content and new players.

Chivalry 2 is an epic online multiplayer game pitting players against each other in brutal, often-hilarious medieval-inspired combat. After a year of consistent post-launch support, Chivalry 2 is finally launching on Steam, alongside the game’s largest, horse-themed update yet: Tenosian Invasion.

Chivalry 2 is finally coming to Steam alongside a bunch of new content

Total War: Warhammer 3 Update 1.2 adds free DLC units, numerous bug fixes

New improved units alongside a long list of bug fixes.

What you need to know

Total War: Warhammer 3 first launched on Feb. 17, 2022.
Update 1.2 is now available, adding several bug fixes to the game, including improving AI behavior.
This update also adds the first free DLC units with new Regiments of Renown.

Total War: Warhammer 3 is an ongoing game, and developer Creative Assembly just dropped a massive patch for the game that also adds some free DLC.

The developer detailed Update 1.2 on Tuesday, sharing a long, long list of bug fixes for Total War: Warhammer 3, including unit responsiveness, having mounts unlock automatically for characters without spending points, technology improvements, and more.

As previously shared, this update is also adding in the first Regiments of Renown as free DLC for the game. Instead of adding all the units for a particular faction, the developers are instead opting to add one unit at a time for every faction, growing the forces on the map equally. Here’s a list of the Regiments of Renown added in Update 1.2:

The Dune Dragons – Celestial Dragon Guard – Grand Cathay
Hellforged Host – Exalted Bloodletters – Khorne
Dazh’s Hearth-Blades – Hearth-Guard – Kislev
Festering Stooges – Exalted Plaguebearers – Nurgle
Powder Guts – Maneaters (Ogre Pistols) – Ogre Kingdoms
Bringers of Beguilement – Exalted Daemonettes – Slaanesh
Blazing Squealers – Exalted Pink Horrors – Tzeentch

Creative Assembly recently shared a roadmap for Total War: Warhammer 3 through the rest of 2022, giving details on when players can roughly expect different patches and features to arrive. This means that the list of factions in Total War: Warhammer 3 will grow, it’s just going to take longer than for past games in the franchise.

Update 1.2 is available now on Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Microsoft Store, so you’re good to go regardless of where you’re playing your PC games.

Dark gods rising

Total War: Warhammer 3

$60 at Microsoft
$60 at Steam
From $1/month with PC Game Pass

It’ll only get better

Total War: Warhammer 3 promises an incredible amount of content for players to enjoy, and the game is only going to grow more over time.

Total War: Warhammer 3 Update 1.2 adds free DLC units, numerous bug fixes