Anyone can now test new Xbox One feature updates

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Microsoft first opened up its Xbox Insider feedback program to the public back in January, and this week it’s making it easier for people to get access to beta system updates. While you could previously opt into the Xbox Insider program, test builds would only arrive shortly before being rolled out more broadly. Microsoft is now simplifying its Xbox Insider groups, and allowing people to progress through each stage to get earlier access to Xbox One dashboard software.

Known previously as Ring 4, the new Omega ring is the default for anyone signing up to the Xbox Insider program. It will allow participants to get a preview of a new dashboard update just before it’s available broadly (like before), but if enough feedback (known as XP levels) is provided then testers will be able to progress to the Delta ring. The new Delta ring will receive builds earlier, and if enough feedback is provided (and three months of activity) then the Beta ring will be free to join.

These simplified rings are still a little complex, and Microsoft is still restricting the top-tier Alpha ring to invite-only early access. “From time to time, our best Beta and Delta users will get invited to join the Alpha group.” Microsoft is currently testing out its new Xbox One dashboard with this smaller group of Alpha testers, and it’s expected to start releasing this to Beta ring testers later this month.

Microsoft is also working with game studios to provide playtests of unreleased games for Xbox Insiders. Sea of Thieves has been tested through this method, and Paladins will be available in the spring for all Xbox Insiders with an XP level of 10 or higher.

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