The closed beta for Microsoft's upcoming pirate game, Sea of Thieves, is set to begin tomorrow, January 24, and players can now start preparing for it ahead of time. The beta is available to pre-load on both Xbox One and PC, though only certain players will be able to participate in it.
Like the Sea of Thieves technical alpha back in December, tomorrow's beta is restricted to those who either joined the Sea of Thieves Insider Program prior to December 1, 2017 or have pre-ordered the title. Xbox One players who reserved Sea of Thieves digitally from the Xbox Store will find the beta waiting in the My Games and Apps section of their console's dashboard, while those who pre-ordered the game on PC via the Microsoft Store will find it in their Library. If you reserved the game at retail, you'll need to redeem the code you received for the Black Dog cosmetic pack on the Microsoft Store (PC) or Xbox Store (Xbox One) before installing the beta. You can read more about how to install the beta on the official Sea of Thieves website.
The Sea of Thieves closed beta begins at 4 AM PT / 7 AM ET / 12 PM GMT on January 24 and runs until 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET / 8 AM GMT on January 29. Developer Rare hasn't detailed what players could expect from the beta, but the studio did confirm it won't be a portion of the full game but rather a tailored experience "that offers a true taste of the pirate life."
Sea of Thieves is slated to release for Xbox One and PC on March 20, and it will allow cross-play between the two platforms. It's also the first Xbox One-exclusive that will be available on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on the same day it launches. Before then, Microsoft is releasing a beautiful Sea of Thieves-themed Xbox One controller that comes with a Ferryman Clothing DLC set, as well as 14-day trials for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass.
Beyond the game itself, a Sea of Thieves art book is being published by Dark Horse later this year. Titan Comics is also releasing a Sea of Thieves graphic novel series around the game's launch in March.