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Xbox Alpha and Skip-Ahead programs now accepting applications for testing features

Xbox Series X restock september
(Image credit: Future)

The Xbox Alpha program is accepting new members for exclusive Skip-Ahead features.

As first reported GameSpot, Xbox is now accepting applications for the Xbox Alpha Service and, by extension, the Skip-Ahead feature. Over on the Xbox Wire,  the company explained that anyone with an Xbox One, Xbox Series X, or Xbox Series S can now sign up for a chance at entering the Xbox Alpha tier.

For those unfamiliar with the program, this is one of the higher preview tiers for Xbox owners. Whereas anyone can sign up to the Beta or Delta levels of the Xbox Preview programs, the Alpha tier requires users to manually apply and be accepted by Xbox for entry. If successful, you'll receive a notification on your Xbox console that you've been accepted into the Alpha tier.

Once in, Xbox Alpha tier members can try out new features that will be coming to all Xbox owners at a future date. This means things like dynamic backgrounds, which Xbox plans to launch to all users in the future, but needs feedback on before it can proceed with a general launch. Xbox Alpha members are actually able to provide feedback to Xbox on upcoming ideas and features before they roll out.

Speaking of dynamic backgrounds, Xbox just launched a brand new dynamic background themed around Halo Infinite this past week. Xbox Series X and S owners can now download the new background to prepare to finish the fight when Halo Infinite launches next week. Halo Infinite's multiplayer mode might be out right now in open beta, but the campaign of 343's sequel is set to debut a brand new adventure for Master Chief in the middle of next week.

Check out our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a complete look at all the games on the horizon for Xbox's more powerful new-gen console.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.