Play State of Decay for free and test Windows gaming improvements at the same time with latest Windows 10 19H1 build 18334 (Updated: Both Fast and Skip Ahead builds now available)

Microsoft has just released the Windows 10 19H1 build 18334 for Fast Ring Insiders today, and this is quite an unusual release for the team. Indeed, the only new feature in this build is “technology tailor-made for gaming to Windows,” but the team didn’t share further details today.

Instead, Fast Ring Insiders are asked to play Microsoft’s zombie survival game State of Decay for free for a limited time and share their feedback with the team. Microsoft is apparently looking to get feedback about DirectX bug, and that’s almost all that we know. It’s worth noting that State of Decay launched first on Xbox 360 and Steam back in 2013, but it hasn’t been released on the Windows 10 Microsoft Store, unlike its sequel State of Decay 2 (an Xbox Play Anywhere game released last year on Xbox One and Windows 10).

If you recently joined the Skip Ahead ring, Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar said that you should receive the build 18334 later today.

Update: Skip Ahead Insiders can join in the fun too:

You can learn more about to install the State of Decay test game below:

What’s new in Build 18334

Gaming Improvements

We’re excited to bring technology tailor-made for gaming to Windows. Help us validate these systems work as expected, and play State of Decay for free (limited time only!). Just tell us about any problems you encounter with installing and launching the game.
Note: we only have a small number of available slots currently, so don’t wait too long to sign up. But if you don’t get in this time, don’t worry, we’ll be expanding over the next few weeks so you’ll have more chances. Thanks for making Windows gaming better!

Instructions:

  • If you have an Xbox Live Gamertag, go to step 2 below. If you don’t have a Gamertag, use your Microsoft Account (MSA) to log into https://account.xbox.com and create an Xbox account. Once completed, you will see your Gamertag in the top right of the page.
  • Install the Xbox Insider Hub app on the PC you’ll be flighting on (link opens in Store app).
  • Sign in to the Xbox Insider Hub with your Gamertag.
  • Select Insider Content in the upper left.
  • Select State of Decay.
  • Click Join.
  • If not redirected, click the Show in store button to launch the Store app.
  • Install the State of Decay test game to your machine from the Store app
  • Launch State of Decay and try it out! NOTE: State of Decay is rated M for Mature.
    • As part of the game launch, you’ll be prompted to install DirectX. This is for testing purposes, so go ahead and do the install, and the game will launch afterwards.
  • If you find any issues with the install, or if the game fails to launch, please file a Feedback Hub bug under the Microsoft Store category (pick Download or Install depending on your issue), and include WindowsGamingFeedback in the title.

Known issues:

  • BattleEye software (used by Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and other popular games) does not work correctly with builds flighted to the Windows Insider Fast ring since December. If you have a PC that is not already enrolled in Windows Insider Fast, and you play games that use BattleEye software, we recommend you don’t join Windows Insider Fast on that PC.
  • If you don’t have access to the State of Decay test game, be sure to use the same Microsoft Account (MSA) and Gamertag for the Xbox Insider hub and the Microsoft Store app.
  • If you experience an error related to DirectX, please first file a Feedback Hub bug following the instructions above, and then try the following:
    • Launch the game again. This should trigger the DirectX installer to run which should fix any issues caused by previous install failures.
    • If the above doesn’t work, uninstall State of Decay by right-clicking Start, selecting Apps and Features, and then selecting Uninstall for the State of Decay entry. Then try the download and install again.
    • If you continue to see the same error even after the steps above, you can also try downloading and installing DirectX manually: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8109
  • If the Install button in the Store doesn’t work, please first file a Feedback Hub bug following the instructions above, and then try the following:
    • Restart your PC and try the install again.
    • If the above, doesn’t work, click Start, search for ‘wsreset’ and run that command, then try the install again.
  • There is an intro video that plays at the start of the State of Decay test game which is squeezed into a thin line on left side of screen. Please ignore this issue; the game works fine once the title screen appears.
  • If you have a Microsoft Account on your machine which is a Child account and have Parental Controls turned on for that account, the State of Decay test game won’t install. We are investigating a fix for this in a forthcoming Windows flight.
  • You can install and run the State of Decay test game in a Virtual Machine (VM) if you aren’t able to test on real hardware; the download and install will work fine, but you will experience slow performance when running the game itself. Note: downloading and installing is still very helpful to find issues!

Besides these mysterious gaming improvements that Microsoft will be testing with Fast Ring Insiders, the build 18334 also brings a long list of bug fixes and known issues which you can check on our separate post. As usual, please let us know in the comments if you encounter any issues after installing this build.

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