Microsoft recently announced a brand-new testing program for the Halo series. The company describes the new "Halo Insider Program” as a "new way" for fans to work with developer 343 Industries by testing new releases and helping improve them before launch.
Anyone can sign up right now, but you should know that it requires you to sign a confidentiality agreement. After that, you’ll be asked to complete a survey with a series of questions related to your history with, and interest in the Halo franchise, including specific titles and modes of the game.
Besides that, you'll also be asked to provide details that may get you into pre-release testing periods called “flighting” programs in which 343 will provide access to new releases to a subset of the community and gather feedback and data before rolling out the product publicly.
The Halo Insider Program will replace the MCC Insider Program that was used to test Halo: The Master Chief Collection's numerous updates on XBOX ONE. Existing members of the MCC Insider Program should be aware that they will have to re-register for the for Halo Insider Program. People signing up should make sure that their Halo Insider Program information is correct since it will improve your chances of being selected.
For PC specifically, you'll need to provide a DXDIAG upload and send over your SteamID as well. 343 Industries issued a statement saying:
"We know everyone is super eager and excited to get started but please be patient-- tweeting at the team and posting in the forums asking to be included or demanding to know why you're not included won’t help the process.”
Entrants should also be aware that even if they do get into the Halo Insider Program, they might not get selected for each flight. For example, 343 might want to test future Halo releases against specific hardware configurations on PC, so not everyone may need to participate. The company has stated:
"With MCC on PC specifically, the team is going to need to ensure they have specific representation across a broad matrix of PC hardware configurations.”
Entrants who do get into a flight will want to really participate as 343 might not invite back those who don't. The company says:
"Often flights require a critical mass of players online at a particular time, and maybe in a particular region, so your location and availability could also come into play. Once flighting is up and running, the team will likely also focus on active participants who play and provide feedback as candidates for ongoing flighting while players who don't actually participate may find they're not included in subsequent releases."
The upcoming release of Halo: MCC on PC will happen in stages. Each title will be released individually so it looks like 343 will test each game with Halo Insider members first before a public launch.
Microsoft has also confirmed that Halo Infinite will be playable early through testing, so it’s safe to assume that the Halo Insider Program is returning for that game as well. For more information on the program head over to the Halo Insider’s FAQ page.