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I know how the song goes, but I’m not sure that a pirate’s life is really for me. It seems exciting, but I think sailing the seven seas would eventually leave me hankering for amenities like Wi-Fi and The Cheesecake Factory. So I think I’d rather go with something like Microsoft’s Sea of Thieves instead.

The Rare game studio responsible for the online multiplayer pirate simulator is planning a small test for the Windows 10 version this weekend. This is part of an effort to ensure Sea of Thieves will run well when it arrives later this year. On Saturday, Rare will invite approximately 1,000 PC players as part of this technical alpha to try the game’s mechanics, which include working together to sail vessels and to fighter other crews on other ships. The tiny test group will give the developer early feedback about aspects directly related to the PC release as opposed to the Xbox One version.

Microsoft showed off Sea of Thieves at the Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow last year, and it is one of a few new Microsoft games that fans seem to have high hopes for. When the game debuts later this year, it will join other hits like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Play Anywhere program. This enables customers to purchase the game once with the option to play it on an Xbox console or a Windows 10 PC. And to ensure a smooth launch, Rare is getting started early trying to identify problems.

Primarily, this test is so that Rare can check to see how well its “auto-detect settings” feature works. The studio is building Sea of Thieves for a wide range of devices, and it wants to ensure that the game will run well immediately if people have an older system or a high-powered rig. Auto-detect searches your computer for its CPU and GPU configuration, and it will adjust the game’s performance accordingly — although you can tinker with the options yourself if you choose to.


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Rare also wants fans to provide feedback on the default keyboard-and-mouse control scheme. The game will have custom keyboard bindings, but the developer once again wants to do its best to give players a satisfactory experience after that first boot.

Finally, Rare did say it would expand its Sea of Thieves testing in the future on both Xbox One and PC. And we are bound to hear more about it at E3.

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