Correction: We blew the dates in a big way. This beta is over. March 11 is Sunday, not Tuesday. We’ve revised the post to acknowledge this.
Sea of Thieves, the massively multipirate online game coming in 10 days from Rare, is staging its last beta. This one, unlike past betas, is open to the general public. The beta is available in the Xbox One and Windows 10 stores for those who wish to play.
The beta requires an Xbox Live account for Windows PC or Xbox One, with Xbox Live Gold required for Xbox One. The beta is underway now and lasts a little more than a day, going to 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, March 11.
In this video update published yesterday, Joe Neate, Sea of Thieves’ executive producer explained some of the new features and concepts Rare is testing out in the last beta run. Most importantly, this is going to be Sea of Thieves’ biggest test prior to lanch, so Rare is seeing how its servers manage player load.
That may necessitate placing a hold on players joining if it gets crowded at peak times. This status page will be updated with whatever Rare is up to presently.
The final open beta will introduce a new faction, the Merchant Alliance, whose members capture and exchange animals for rewards. Skeleton Forts, in which the undead skeleton horde can now occupy a fort (instead of spawning out in the open) will also present a challenge for players to clear out for big rewards.
However, other rival players may be in there fighting, too, creating cooperative opportunities, but also maybe a free-for-all of human sides trying to prevail. Skeleton Forts are visible to all players as a fort with big storm clouds above them.
Sea of Thieves launches March 20 and is a Windows PC and Xbox One exclusive. It’s the first new game to launch on the same day in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass program, a $9.99 monthly subscription that gives users access to a library of about 200 games right now. A $59.99, six-month subscription card will be available from certain retailers beginning March 20. There’s also a 14-day trial offered to new subscribers.