Understanding betas, demos, and trials on Xbox One

In addition to selling complete games, Xbox Live provides different ways to try out a game before you buy it. The most common ways are betas, demos, and trials. While details will vary from game to game, the below FAQ should help you understand the differences and commonalities with these offers.

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What is a beta (or alpha)?

Betas and alphas are early, incomplete versions of a game. From time to time, a publisher may choose to release an alpha or a beta through Xbox Live to encourage the public to help test their game. Common examples include multiplayer betas, in which hundreds of thousands of gamers can stress-test game servers in a real-world environment. For information or assistance with a particular beta, contact the game’s publisher.

What is a demo?

A demo is a limited version of a game intended to let interested gamers try it before purchase. Demos usually offer a very limited window into the game—usually just a few levels or features.

What is a trial?

Trials are the full version of a game, but with limitations for people who haven't purchased it yet. Unlike a demo, which may only have one or two levels, a trial may be the whole game but only playable for a few hours prior to purchase. If you choose to purchase, the trial unlocks the full game and you don’t need to download it again.

How do I get a beta, demo, or trial?

Betas, demos, and trials are available to the public in Microsoft Store on Xbox One on your console, just like full games. Some games, especially betas, will not be publicly available and may require a code to get access. Others may only be available through special offers such as EA Access. Contact the game’s publisher for details on how to gain access to their title.

Can I earn achievements in a trial?

Maybe. It's up to the individual game publisher to determine if they offer achievements in a trial.

I earned achievements in a trial. Will I lose them if I don’t buy the full game?

No. Any achievements earned are permanently part of your Xbox Live profile.

I used all the time in my trial. Can you add more?

No, we can't add time to a trial. Neither Xbox Support nor the game publisher can make this adjustment.

My trial didn’t give me as many hours as I thought it would. What gives?

A trial’s countdown is based on the hours the game is running on your console, even if you're not actually playing it. Pausing the game, or allowing it to run in the background while you use another app does not pause the countdown. To ensure you get the most time from your trials, be sure to quit the game before moving on to something else. Here's how:

  1. To return to the Home screen, press the Xbox button  to open the guide, and then select Home.
  2. Highlight the game’s tile.
  3. Press the Menu button  on your controller.
  4. Select Quit.

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