Many of you have been anxiously awaiting further news on our Sea of Thieves Windows 10 Technical Alpha, and here to quench your thirst for more information and to make a very exciting announcement is PC Design Lead Ted “Red Rage” Timmins! Take it away, Ted…

 

We are excited to announce that we’re kicking off the Sea of Thieves Technical Alpha on Windows 10!

Starting this Saturday, May 20th, we’ll be inviting a small initial batch of players to test this first PC release on Windows 10.

This test will run from 7 – 10 p.m. BST, and it will be open for these 1,000 invited PC players only.

And when we say small, we mean it: this won’t be an armada of PC players just yet. We’re looking to invite around 1,000 Windows 10 Technical Alpha testers to start. Invites are being sent today, so keep an un-patched eye on your email!

So, what can these first 1,000 players expect?

First and foremost, our focus for this test is to validate our new auto-detect settings. Now you might be asking, “what on Earth is ‘auto-detect’?!”, so we shall tell you! When players first load into the game we have some clever technology that detects the GPU and CPU capabilities and will set the graphics settings accordingly. We therefore want to see how effectively the game analyses and assigns low, medium, high, or ultra settings. We also want to see how well those settings perform on players’ machines.  

We’ll be inviting a range of PC specs in this first batch, including a few absolute MONSTERS we found in our PC survey. The exciting thing here is that there are a load of higher-end settings that we hope will work correctly based on our implementation of auto-detect: features like 4K and 60 FPS support should work on capable machines. Because we need to validate that our auto-detect settings are working as intended, we’re not giving players access to video settings just yet. There are millions of different PCs out there but once we’re happy with the results of this first test, we’ll hoist anchor on the video settings for everyone to be able to tinker to their heart’s content!

Secondly, we want to get feedback from YOU on our default keyboard and mouse control scheme. As we progress through Technical Alpha we’ll be implementing custom keyboard bindings, but before then we want you to help shape what the default keyboard and mouse control scheme should be. If you receive an invite into the PC Technical Alpha, you can find the control layout in the ESC menu. Please remember to visit the Forums to send us your feedback!

This first PC release will contain the same game features that players might have seen in our Xbox One Technical Alpha or on our YouTube channel already. As we’ve mentioned before both versions of the game are being created in parallel so all of our recently-added features – such as limited resources, cursed chests and our first implementation of sword combat – will be available here too. And of course as mentioned above, you can enjoy the game with full mouse and keyboard support!

Similarly to our Technical Alpha on Xbox One, we’ll be starting slowly but gradually building up our audience. One thing to keep in mind: invites to the PC Technical Alpha are separate to invites to the Technical Alpha on Xbox One. To play on PC, you will have to be invited on PC specifically. Down the road, we’ll be opening the game up to more players, and testing some exciting new features (#SeaOfTease). Until then, we’re looking forward to this first round of testing with our initial PC players and seeing you on the Ultra-seas!

Last but not least, a huge THANK YOU to all of our PC players who have patiently waited these past few months to get their hooks sunk into the game. From participating in our Forums to responding to our PC survey, your support and contributions have helped us reach this exciting milestone. Here’s looking forward to more PC goodness coming soon!