The long-awaited pirate multiplayer game Sea of Thieves is set for launch this March on Xbox One and PC, but the closed beta means select players can get their hands on it sooner.
Following a technical alpha in December, developer Rare has announced the dates for its Sea of Thieves closed beta, which is scheduled to take place later this month. The closed beta begins at 4 AM PT / 7 AM ET / 12 PM GMT on January 24th and runs until 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET / 8 AM GMT on January 29th.
The closed beta is available to players who either pre-ordered the game or joined the game's "Insider Program" prior to December 1, 2017. Rare says the beta isn't necessarily reflective of the full game -- as is so often the case with these betas -- but a tailored experience "that offers a true taste of the pirate life."
If you pre-ordered from the Xbox Store, the beta will automatically appear in your game library 24 hours before it starts. If you reserved the game at retail, you'll first need to redeem the code you received for the Black Dog cosmetic pack. Once you've done that, the beta will appear in your library in the above mentioned time frame.
In both cases, you'll still need to download and install the beta because duh. Sea of Thieves is an open-world, co-op adventure in which players can form pirate crews and plunder treasure, and increasing your reputation with various trading companies to become a "Pirate Legend."
In addition to being playable on PC or Xbox One, Sea of Thieves will support cross-play between both platforms.