Sea of Thieves launches final beta, and it's open to everyone

We're barrelling towards Sea of Thieves' March 20 launch, and the development team at Rare is kicking off one last beta test to ensure its services are ready to go. But while previous tests have been limited to Sea of Thieves Insiders and those who preordered the game, this final test is open to everyone on Xbox One and Windows 10.

On top of the content that was available in previous tests, Rare says that players will get to check out two new features: Merchant Alliance voyages and Skeleton Forts. The Merchant Alliance will add another aspect of collection and treasure hunting to the gameplay mix,. Skeleton Forts, on the other hand, present unique opportunities to engage in some intense combat for a chance to earn great rewards. You'll be able to spot occupied skeleton forts if you see a skull cloud over a particular location. Just be sure to look out for competing bands of pirates that may have spotted the fort as well.

As this is a beta test, Rare warns that players should expect issues to crop up, particularly around spending gold in the store. And since this beta is open to everyone, Rare says it may occasionally limit new player inflow to limit issues related to server load. But if you're playing on Xbox One X, the good news is that enhancements for the console will be in place for this test, allowing players to see everything in 4K.

If you want to jump in and give Sea of Thieves a shot ahead of release, the final beta is set to run from March 9 through March 11 at 2 a.m. PT / 5 a.m. ET. You can download the final beta now at the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Xbox One. If you have issues installing the beta, Rare has further instructions available.

Sea of Thieves is scheduled to release on March 20 and is up for preorder now for $59.99.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl