The Sea of Thieves Insider Program is now live

RIP, Pioneers.

After a slight delay, the Sea of Thieves Insider Program is now live!

(Note: some users may have issues registering or getting the Insider build for the next day or so. Be patient, it’s not going anywhere.)

Previously group of players with access to pre-release test builds of the game was known as Pioneers. This was a relatively small, closed group, made up of players originally from the early Alpha testing phases.

With the Mega Update on the horizon, which will bring a huge amount of substantial changes to the game, along with the fact that some previous updates had introduced serious bugs to the live game (which is the reason an active Pioneers group was started up again during the middle of 2018), it’s obvious that Rare wants as many people playing the advanced builds as possible.

The new Insider Program introduces a host of improvements:

  • The program is opt-in (sign up here). Anyone who owns or plays (Game Pass) the retail version of the game can become an Insider, agree to the NDA, and download and run the Insider builds.
  • There’s a new hub at to get information on the Insider build patch notes, and links to the Insider Forums for discussion and feedback.
  • Insiders who play the test builds will earn rewards to use in the retail version of the game, like gold and exclusive cosmetics!

Pros and Cons

If you’re trying to decide whether to join Insiders to play the upcoming builds, here’s a little “Pros and Cons” list to give your decision some context. Bad news first…


  • It can take significant time away from playing the main game, for very little in-game benefit.
  • New, potentially unannounced features will be spoiled.
  • New features are often buggy or broken.
  • The above means you’ll usually completely lose the sense of excitement that comes with the full retail releases of new builds.
  • You can’t tell anyone about anything you do or see in the Insider builds.


  • You get early access to new features.
  • You get to help test and give feedback to help make the game better.
  • You have a better view for the upcoming direction of the game.
  • You get some in-game gold and cosmetic rewards for taking part regularly.

If you love Sea of Thieves and you want to have some hand and helping test the game and give feedback on the direction of features and gameplay, sign up now and get started as an Insider!


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