If you’re an Xbox One owner, the Sea of Thieves Beta starting this January should have you very excited. It’s the first game from game developer Rare in years. It’s also your first opportunity to play a Microsoft exclusive game in 2018.
Rare revealed the Sea of Thieves Beta release date and other details only days ago, but Microsoft has spent years teasing the game at trade shows and public events. Sea of Thieves is an online role-playing game that lets you become a pirate, complete with your own ship and your own crew. You and your friends sail from place to place. Anything you can steal or plunder is yours. You can even board ships belonging to other crews.
The Sea of Thieves Beta is Rare and Microsoft’s chance to make sure the game works correctly ahead of launch. It’s also your opportunity to try 2018’s first Xbox only game before it arrives. Here’s everything that you need to know about the Sea of Thieves Beta release.
The Sea of Thieves Beta Release Date & Time
The Sea of Thieves Beta release date is January 24th. On that day, you can create your character, piece together your crew and begin plundering treasures on land and sea. The game’s servers will open at 7 AM Eastern Standard Time. That is 4 AM Pacific Time.
You have until January 29th at 3 AM Eastern Time to try the game before the beta client stops connecting to the game’s servers. Microsoft and Rare haven’t announced another beta yet, so this window is your only chance to play, that we know of.
How You Can Get in the Sea of Thieves Beta
There are only two ways to get into the Sea of Thieves Beta because it’s not open to everyone with an Xbox One or Windows PC.
Sea of Thieves has an insider testing program that lets players try new features that may end up in the final game. If you signed up for this program before December 1st, search for the Sea of Thieves Beta download in the My Games and Apps area on your console. You can download the game now, but it still won’t work until the beta’s official release date and time.
The second way to get into the Sea of Thieves Beta is to place a Sea of Thieves pre-order. You can buy the game through the Xbox Store today and unlock access to the beta. If you purchase a physical copy of the game, be sure to redeem the code on the bottom of your receipt for the Black Dog pack to get beta access.
A physical or digital version of Sea of Thieves costs $59.99. There aren’t any enhanced versions with a season pass or extra content.
How to Download the Sea of Thieves Beta
Once you qualify for the Sea of Thieves Beta, it’s time to download it to your console or PC.
For the best experience, download the files you need early. The beta doesn’t start until January 24th, but you can add the files you need for it to your Windows PC or Xbox One on January 23rd.
If you’re ready for the beta, you should see the download for it in the My Games and Apps are on your Xbox One and in your games library on your Windows 10 PC. Use Rare’s Sea of Thieves Beta installation guide to fix your broken download if it doesn’t automatically appear.
Everything That’s in the Sea of Thieves Beta Release
Rare says that the Sea of Thieves Beta release will give gamers just a taste of what the final game is like. Expect to create a character and to battle other players and their crews, for example. That might be enough to decide whether you want to keep your physical pre-order or not.
Do both those things knowing that what you get in the beta release is not everything that’s in the final game. In an FAQ posted about the testing period, Rare says that it wants to keep a “good selection” of things the final game will have secret until release.
Other Sea of Thieves Beta Release Tips
Keep these things in mind as you install and play the Sea of Thieves beta.
If you have trouble installing Sea of Thieves, confirm that you have enough free space on your console for the files it needs to run. To do this, open the My Games and Apps area and look at the circular storage meter in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Create more storage space by deleting old games or buying an Xbox One hard drive for extra storage.
Expect the Sea of Thieves Beta download to take a long time to download. Lots of gamers are trying to get the files at the same time and that typically makes Windows Store downloads very slow on the first day of any beta.
Third, don’t expect any of your character progression to make it to the final version of the game. Typically, changes made after a beta and before a game’s release force developers to reset everyone’s progress. This could happen with Sea of Thieves.
Sea of Thieves – March 20th
If you’ve ever thought a pirate’s life seemed exciting, Sea of Thieves is a must-buy in 2018.
Developed by Rare, Sea of Thieves is an online role-playing game. You create your own pirate and act as captain or crew of a pirate ship. You’re free to explore islands and uncover lost treasures when you aren’t firing on or under fire from enemy ships. If you and your crew prefer structure, Sea of Thieves offers that too. Completing quests helps you improve your pirate and ship.
Sea of Thieves launches on Xbox One on March 20th. Because it’s an Xbox Play Anywhere game, buying a digital copy unlocks a copy on Xbox for Windows.