Capcom is bringing Street Fighter V to all PC gamers for free from March 28 through April 3, complete with all of the game’s characters. The free trial period for Steam users offers a slew of new features for the Capcom Fighters Network online experience for Street Fighter V, including enhanced matchmaking, faster loading times, improved friend management options, and updates to the rage quit penalty system.
The free week of online play unlocks all fighters including the newcomer Kolin. More significantly, the free week marks the start of an open beta that will test the CFN updates and the balance changes made for the upcoming season two of Street Fighter V. Capcom explained the details in a blog post:
We understand that Street Fighter V’s server performance has been a less than optimal experience for many of our players. The improved CFN experience is the result of rebuilding it from the ground up to address the most pressing issues that will ultimately result in a better online experience.
That said, we want to collect feedback and ensure everything is optimized for launch. We will be giving PC players a sneak peek of what’s to come while putting the new CFN through its paces with an official PC Beta Test.
While the beta test is separate from the base PC client, existing players can still carry their CFN username, rank, standing, and other information over to the beta client. On the other hand, new players must set up a new CFN profile for the entire test period. All player information such as Fight Money, replays, and character progress will disappear right after the test.
Capcom vows to make additional adjustments to enhance the new CFN once the beta is complete. The free online play is available to Steam players and online modes only.
New improvements to the new CFN
Here’s the full list of the season two balance update:
- Rage Quit Penalty System Back in December, we implemented an update to the Rage Quit System which displayed a special Player Profile Icon for the worst offenders and the most honorable players. These icons are working correctly now and matchmaking logic now takes into account your online behavior and frequent disconnectors will be matched with similar opponents.
- Ranked and Casual Match Loading Times We understand many players were not happy with the load times when entering online matches. There will now be a shorter transition when going into a Ranked or Casual Match.
- Battle Lounge Country Flags. Country flags should now properly load in Battle Lounges, allowing players to locate competition in their region.
- Training Mode – User Settings Saved Training Mode settings are now saved and will carry over to the next time the mode is accessed. Since the PC beta will only feature online modes, Training Mode will not be testable at this time.
- Matchmaking Improvements It should now take less time to find an opponent in online matches. We’ve also added logic which avoids frequently being matched with the same opponent repeatedly.
- Fighter Profile Stats More detailed stats will be tracked and presented on your Fighter Profile.
- Country / League Based Rankings Players will now be able to filter leaderboards based on Country or League.
- Friend Management System In addition to adding a player to your Favorites, you can now add Friends and follow them on CFN. You can now also Blacklist players.
- Interactive Timeline On the CFN home menu, a live feed of your Friends’ activities is presented on an interactive Timeline. Using the Timeline, you can immediately add a recent match to your Replay List, view a Fighter Profile, manage your Friends, and adjust Timeline display settings.
- In-Game Announcer Voice The in-game announcer will give you stats on both you and your opponent using data pulled from the server.
Capcom added that the new CFN server updates mark a fresh beginning for playing SFV online and encourages players to participate in the PC beta test to see the new improvements Capcom has in store.