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What you need to know about the new Xbox Insider Program rings

The biggest change is that finally Xbox owners do not need to be invited in to the program to begin with, anyone can opt in. But that doesn't mean you're going to suddenly be able to jump into the Alpha ring and get the hottest new features on your console first.

You still have to earn your stripes.

What are the new rings?

Previously there was an Alpha and Beta ring, accompanied by Ring 3 and 4. Now the latter two have been replaced by the Delta and Omega ings respectively.

What's the difference between them?

This image from Microsoft best explains it. Essentially, anyone can opt in at the Omega Ring level and progress begins from there.

You're now able to move up through the rings based on your time within the program and how prevalent you've been with submitting feedback. It's now possible to move up as high as the Beta Ring without a specific invite.

So how do I get in the alpha ring?

This is still an invite only preview ring and Microsoft holds the keys to access. Invites are sent to not only Insiders who submit the most frequent feedback, but also those who submit the best quality feedback with details on issues. Not just rants!

Occasionally Microsoft now says it will invite some of its best Beta and Delta Insiders up to the top ring.

How many updates can I expect every month?

This varies based on the ring you're in. It goes from 1-8 per month on the Omega level right up to 15-20 for the Alpha Ring. If you're concerned about internet data usage, consider carefully whether you can accept multiple OS updates per month.

Any other new features?

Recently Microsoft has been offering early access to apps and games for some of its Insiders. Paladins and Sea of Thieves are two recent examples, and Microsoft says they're still working on such perks.

Along with games, Xbox Insiders can also get early access to unreleased Xbox console apps and updates, so keep checking the Xbox Insider Hub to see if new content opportunities are available to you!

That's a quick breakdown of what's new, but you can read Microsoft's post in full on the Xbox Wire (opens in new tab). If you're just joining the program for the first time, head into the Store on your console, download the Xbox Insider Hub app to get started.

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

8 Comments
  • This is the way it should have been in the first place. At least with the 360 you had the chance to join each time.
  • Hey, I do have access to all 4 rings. I'm level 7 with a tenure of 5 months. I can even select Alpha! I was ring 4 before the change. Anyone in the same situation? I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
  • Could be a bug, could be you're that lucky!
  • I actually received a formal invitation to join the Alpha ring!!!
  • Finally I can move from ring 4 to beta ring.
    Doesn't eben show Alpha ring in the list for me to try selecting
  • Yeah I only see all of them as in the image up top because I got in the alpha ring when it first started.
  • I tried moving from ring 4 to beta but it look like it asked me did I want to leave the preview is that normal even tho I selected beta? Says its pending now and I can't see what happened
  • I'm sure you'll get it.