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A New Round of Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead Invitations

The Xbox Insider program is sending out additional invites for Alpha and Alpha Skip-ahead over the coming weeks. Additionally, we expect to send out invites regularly throughout the year.  You will receive a notification if you are eligible to join one of the invite-only rings. If you are invited, you will see a toast upon sign-in that tells you what ring you were invited to.  

How do the Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha rings differ from other rings in the Xbox Update Preview? 

All Preview rings receive pre-release system updates which may include new features and experiences, and the Alpha rings (Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead) receive these pre-release builds prior to any other ring, and often more frequently. Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead users provide critical feedback we know team Xbox can trust. 

What is the difference between the Alpha rings?

  • Alpha Skip-Ahead – An invite only ring that receives preview builds of a future Xbox OS release
    • “Future” release means these builds may not be released to the public for some time. In other words, this will be a preview of a release after the next public release. As such, Alpha Skip-Ahead may contain different features than other rings
  • Alpha – An invite-only ring that receives preview builds of the next upcoming Xbox OS release
    • This is a preview version of the next OS that will be released to the public
    • Alpha receives a pre-release version of the next build before any other ring
    • Alpha may have features different than both Alpha Skip-Ahead and at times other Xbox Update Preview rings

How we select users for Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead

While we cannot share the exact recipe we use to select invitees, we can say that broadly, the things that we look for in ideal Alpha invitees are:

  • High-quality submitted feedback
  • Quest/survey participation
  • Participation in playtests
  • Participation in the Windows Gaming preview
  • More than anything, we are looking for users who are enthusiastic about participating

I’m already enrolled in Alpha Skip-Ahead or Alpha, what is the best way to participate?

Continue filing excellent feedback, finish surveys/quests, and participate in playtests!  

I received an invitation, what next?

If you receive an invitation, follow these steps to register:

  1. Launch the Xbox Insider Hub on your Xbox console
  2. Select Previews
  3. Select Xbox Update Preview
  4. Select Manage
  5. Choose the Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead ring, then select Done
  6. Take the required console update

Are you a PC Gamer? 

If you are a PC gamer, you can participate in PC Gaming previews through the Xbox Insider Hub app on a supported Windows PC.  Joining the PC Gaming Preview grants early access to Xbox App for PC, Game Bar, and Windows Gaming Services. Additionally, participants may get access to some games and app previews early. Finally, participation in the Windows Gaming preview is one of the criteria we look at for Alpha/Alpha Skip-Ahead invites.  

Interested in joining? Follow these steps: 

  1. Download the Xbox Insider Hub app from the Microsoft Store 
  1. Select Previews 
  1. Select Windows Gaming 
  1. Select Manage 
  1. Select Windows Gaming and hit Save 

I am already enrolled in an Alpha ring, but am no longer interested in participating, what should I do?

If you are enrolled in Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead and would prefer to return to a public ring (Beta, Delta, or Omega) or return to public builds, you can follow the instructions above, and simply select a different Preview ring or select “Leave Preview” to return to public builds.

I left an Alpha ring and no longer have access, what happened? 

We continue to evaluate Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead enrollment. If you left an invite-only ring or were inactive for a period of time, we may have removed access. This in no way affects your ability to join Alpha or Alpha Skip-Ahead in the future. If you continue to be active in the program, you may be invited again. We are always investigating ways to make invite-only rings more accessible.  

Space is limited, and Alpha and Alpha-Skip Ahead membership is given on a first come basis

Bear in mind that if you receive the invitation to either of the Alpha rings and are interested in participating, it is important to act as soon as conveniently possible. Invitations themselves are not guarantees for participation because spots are limited.

Related links:

Xbox Insider Program FAQ

About Preview Rings

How to file feedback

Xbox Insiders Reddit

Xbox Insider Twitter (@xboxinsider)

A New Report a Problem Experience Is Available to Xbox Insiders Starting Today! – Xbox Wire