Update, February 23: Yar, mateys, Sea of Thieves be sailin’ out for another scale test. Yoho!
If you’re desperate for more pirate action, you’ll have yet another opportunity to sail with Sea of Thieves this weekend. A second scale test is already underway, lasting until 2:00 PT / 5:00 ET / 10:00 GMT on Sunday.
Sea of Thieves' PC version offers more than just a port.
If you missed it the first time around, bear in mind that the scale test is indeed intended to push the limits of the game’s infrastructure, and there will be plenty of downtime and instability as a result. Still, if you can’t stay away from the lure of booty - the pirate kind - it’s a good opportunity to take a look. Check out full installation instructions here.
You’ll have access if you pre-ordered, or if you’re a member of the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme or Xbox Insider Program (available on Windows, despite the name), both of which are very easy to sign up for and will most likely offer you access even if you’re coming in late. The test still features a limited selection of content and only one faction to sail voyages for.
Rare still plan to launch a proper beta closer to Sea of Thieves’ March 20 release date.
Original story, February 15: If you missed out on the Sea of Thieves closed beta last month, you might have a second chance to set sail. Rare are running a couple of scale tests between now and launch, and you can weigh anchor with the first one very soon.
In an announcement last night, the game’s executive producer Joe Neate said that one of the key goals of the closed beta was to learn what would happen at high concurrent player numbers. Neate says that the team have been working since the beta to ensure it can cope with expected player numbers, and will be running two scale tests ahead of the game’s release next month.
Rare are expecting to see issues from the test, and at times will “purposefully be stressing our services by throttling performance at certain times,” and “simulating deliberate outages.” With that in mind, if you do set sail, expect to see interrupted session, an inability to join the game, and issues with in-game shops. The test will feature a similar set of features as the beta, and Rare say they’re not seeking feedback on the game experience.
The first scale test is available to Xbox Insiders and anyone who had access to the closed beta, and will run from 10am GMT on Friday, February 16 until 10am GMT on Sunday, February 18. There’ll be another scale test at some point after that, and Rare say that they “do plan on running another beta closer to the launch of the game.”