Black Desert Online is coming to Europe. Click here to sign up for the Beta.

If you’re interested in playing the Black Desert Online Beta test available only in the Korean and Japanese regions, you’re in luck. The official Japanese Beta test just opened today [May 8th in Japan] and is much easier to access than the notoriously difficult Korean Beta test.

For those interested, before we get into the guide on how to access content, Black Desert Online is now boosted to level 50 in testing content, up from a level 30 level cap in Black Desert Online’s last testing phase. Where users would formerly use DNS adjustments, as well as have to pay for a Daum account for the Korean Beta, the Japanese Beta doesn’t have the same restrictions with their regional law differences. You can play Black Desert Online for free now.

Moving up from our last official guide, the bulk issue of purchasing a Korean account for Daum is gone entirely in this guide – you’ll be playing for free, which is obviously a great thing. We’ll still have to manipulate our IP addresses to appear to connect from Japan, but aside from a social media account, there’s really very few steps to making this work and getting straight into Black Desert Online. We’ll cover some advanced steps for those who are having trouble, but otherwise things are very straight forward.

The first and most important step for connecting with the Japanese version of Black Desert Online is to get connected with a VPN. This is a Virtual Private Network, and will help you by hiding your computer behind an actual IP address from Japan. While attempting to connect with the official Black Desert Online Japan website, found here, my PC would not load the web page until I had connected with the VPN. Naturally you will need to do so if you wish to play Black Desert Online because you won’t be downloading the client without first accessing the website. The same goes with registration. I chose to download SoftEther VPN Client Manager – found here. Choose a Public VPN Relay Server and get going. As with any VPN things can be a bit slow, but it works out. Connect with a new Japanese VPN if you’re not satisfied with your speed.

Before you can download or access Black Desert Online in Japan you’ll need to link up with Pmang. This is the service this fronts Black Desert to the community, much like Daum in the Korean region. On the home page, you’ll see on the top right inside a thin bar a series of social media icons with two white buttons. These two white buttons represent registering for Pmang and signing back in to Pmang. Click the left white button to register. You’ll see a screen like this:

As you can see the same social media icons are available, allowing you to register using Twitter, Facebook and other services. Use your preferred link to get into the complete registry. You’ll need to be able to type out a “captcha” image in Japanese, which I used this website to assist with. Japanese characters in the captcha image will be sideways on occasion, just refresh as often as you need to be comfortable. Don’t submit failures over and over, because you can refresh as often as you need. If you’re not getting to a point where you can submit your date of birth for your account or a captcha image, you’ll want to look for a different VPN connection to make things work. You’ll know this is true if you get forwarded to a page with five lines of Japanese text, two of the top three lines being red text.

When downloading the client, you’ll want to head over to this webpage – make sure you’re still connected to that VPN. http://www.blackdesertonline.jp/download Scroll down a bit, make sure you just ignore the big red button and click on the two gold buttons just below. the button on the left is a 2 GB download, while the button on the right is a 16.5 GB download. You’ll need to have completed both downloads before you can install the client and you’ll start the installation using the first [2 GB] download. It took my download a total of one hour to complete over a 130 MB/s VPN connection with a local download rate of 100 MB/s. This part will take a while, to say the least. You can skip this portion if you prefer to

After downloading both clients, you’ll be looking at the basic installation client. If you’re interested in moving the installation folder, you’ll need to create a “GameOn” folder in the hard drive location you’re interested in. In my case I chose not to install Black Desert Online in the default drive, but put it into my “G:” drive by creating the “GameOn” folder then selecting it using the button on the installation client highest of the three buttons. Start the installation with the lower left button.

As with the Korean version of Black Desert Online, the title is launched through the official web portal. Get back there using this link if you’ve forgotten it. You will need to use the official Game Start client to get things finalized, up and going. Find that here: http://blackdesert.pmang.jp/gamestart [bookmark this one]. Make sure that you install this client in the same location where you installed the full game as there will be a small patch that must be applied before you can launch after the multiple-step installation is finished. It is unclear whether the installation goes faster with the pre-load of the client. What is clear is that you don’t have to stay connected to the VPN while downloading the updates. Files will be sorted and extracted by the Game Start client if your files are installed in the same GameOn folder. You’re now on your way to playing Black Desert Online and getting into one of the most visually intriguing MMORPG games in the world. Make sure that your pop-up blockers are disabled, and if you’re having any trouble with the internet browser, Daum was more inclined to work with Internet Explorer [for some reason] – Pmang could be the same way. There will be a small browser add-on to download if you want to open Black Desert Online using the browser. This is normal for opening external files, but it’s also required.

[Guide to be edited for functionality, available as needed.]