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Microsoft is looking for Xbox Alpha and Skip-Ahead Insiders, here's how to apply

Xbox Series S
Xbox Series S (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is looking for Insiders to join the Xbox Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings.
  • These rings are invite-only and allow people to test out upcoming features for Microsoft's consoles.
  • The purpose of the Insider program is to provide feedback to Microsoft to shape future Xbox updates.
  • Only people who understand the Insider process should sign up, as builds from the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings are often unstable.

Microsoft is seeking Insiders for the Xbox Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings. These are invite-only rings that allow Xbox owners to test out upcoming features and to provide feedback to Microsoft. Builds from the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings are often unstable, so only people who understand the development process should sign up. There are more stable Insider rings available, though any pre-release build can have bugs.

Microsoft does not explain the exact criteria for becoming an Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead Insider. "We don't share specific details, but we look at a variety of factors like high-quality submitted feedback, quest/survey participation, and playing games," explains Microsoft (opens in new tab). "More importantly, we select users who let us know they are interested in participating!"

Anyone can apply to become an Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead Insider. Microsoft outlines the steps to express an interest:

  1. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub on your console
  2. Select Activities on the left
  3. Under Available, scroll down until you see Joining new rings
  4. Complete the survey!

Applying does not guarantee that you will become an Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead Insider. Even if you receive an invite, it's important that you join the program as quickly as possible, as spots are limited.

It's generally not a good idea to run Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead builds on your main console. If you have an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, it may be worth using a secondary device to enroll in the Insider program.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.