Since we launched the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme earlier this week, we've been thrilled to see how many of our fellow mauraders are eagerly joining in this new adventure! Whilst we're still trying to answer all the questions we've received on Facebook, Twitter and our Forums, we thought it'd be helpful if we tackled a few of the more commonly asked questions right here. So here it is, crew: our handy FAQ.

[Q]: What is the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme?
[A]: The Sea of Thieves Insider Programme is a new opportunity for gamers to get an inside look at Sea of Thieves. Insiders will receive email updates and surveys relating to the game’s development, and every Insider will be automatically considered for access to the upcoming Sea of Thieves testing phases!

[Q]: What do I get by signing up to the Insider Programme?
[A]: By signing up to the Insider Programme, you’ll receive a number of perks and bonuses. First, you’ll receive regular email updates from our team providing an inside look at the development of Sea of Thieves. Members will also receive surveys via email asking for feedback about the game, our studio content, and our community. Additionally, Insiders will also receive a unique “Insider” badge on the official Sea of Thieves Forums, as well as access to an exclusive Insider discussion space. Last but certainly not least, all Insiders will be considered for future early testing phases for Sea of Thieves.

[Q]: You mention ‘upcoming testing phases’ in the article. What are these?
[A]: We’re eager to get the game into players’ hands to gain invaluable feedback that will help us shape the game. We’re currently in an NDA-protected Technical Alpha phase, populated by players selected from our Insider Programme.

[Q]: How do I sign up?
[A]: You can sign up to the Insider Programme through our website. The sign-up process takes about ten minutes and will require an Xbox Live account, a contact email address, and the completion of our Insider Survey. You’ll also need to confirm your email address when you’re done.

[Q]: Do I need an Xbox Account? What if I don’t have one?
[A]: Yes, an Xbox Account is required. If you don’t have one, don’t despair! Creating an Xbox Account is free and takes less than five minutes. You can create one by visiting aka.ms/accountcreate. Once your account has been set up, you can use it to register for the Sea of Thieves Insider Programme.

[Q]: If I sign up, am I guaranteed access to Sea of Thieves tests?
[A]: All eligible Insiders will have the opportunity to play Sea of Thieves before the game releases! We’re currently adding players to our Technical Alpha in waves with each play session which means you may have to wait for an invitation. All Technical Alpha participants are drawn from our pool of Insiders which has recently exceeded 250,000 people. Note that the date you sign up for the Insider Programme also has no bearing on your eligibility.

[Q]: How can I improve my chances of being selected for future testing phases of the game?
[A]: First and foremost, we use the data from the Insider Programme sign-up survey to help us select players. We're looking to bring in a range of different kinds of players over time, so there's no "right" way to answer the survey. Beyond that, we're looking for Insiders who can provide meaningful feedback to our development team. Two ways our team can evaluate that are by monitoring who's active in our Forums, and who completes the surveys we send as part of our Insider mails. While neither will guarantee inclusion in a testing phase, both are helpful to us - beyond our primary survey considerations - in evaluating who might be a good fit for our current testing phase.

[Q]: Am I still eligible to play in the Technical Alpha without an Xbox Live Gold membership?
[A]: Taking part in the Sea of Thieves Technical Alpha involves playing online over Xbox Live, so unfortunately we're not able to invite Insiders who are ineligible to play online due to the lack of an active Xbox Live Gold membership.

[Q]: What’s the difference between the Insider Programme and Technical Alpha?
[A]: The Insider Programme is available to everyone and is designed to bring you closer to the development of Sea of Thieves with exclusive content, regular surveys, and the opportunity to be invited into testing phases. Sea of Thieves testing phases describe any period during which we grant access to the game early to help us gather valuable feedback. For these phases, we will be selecting participants from our pool of Sea of Thieves Insiders. The Technical Alpha is our current testing phase.

[Q]: Why do I need to be 18+ to sign up?
[A]: There are a couple of reasons for this. If Insiders are selected to take part in one of our upcoming test phases, they’ll be required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement so that they don’t publicly share information on the game. This NDA will also cover any exclusive information that all Insiders will learn through our email updates. As an NDA is essentially a contract, there’s a legal requirement for the person signing to be 18 years or over and so this carries through to the Insider Programme as a whole.

[Q]: Does the requirement for an Xbox Live account mean that the test phases will be Xbox One only?
[A]: It doesn’t! We want both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC players in our test phases, so pick your platform and look forward to future updates letting you know if you’ve been selected to participate.

[Q]: I’ve signed up but haven’t received my verification email, what gives?
[A]: If you’ve run into this issue then you can get a new verification email sent via your Sea of Thieves website account. Click the gamerpic icon at the top right and select Account. In there you should find an option to resend the verification email to your current address, or change your address and trigger a new verification email.