Those currently participating in the Gears of War 3 beta will be able to invite their friends into the fray from May 8.

Gears 3 Beta Getting Buddy Keys on May 8

From May 8, the "Never Fight Alone" part of the Gears of War 3 beta kicks off. This will allow players to use "buddy tokens" to invite friends into battle. Every player who has played at least one game in the beta will get a token, but additional ones can be acquired by purchasing Gears content from the Marketplace or adding a 12-month Live subscription to your account. Spending 20 hours or more on the Gears beta (including time already spent before May 8) and more than 100 hours of any Gears of War title to date will also net a token.

There's a maximum of five tokens per person, and players have to complete the tasks to acquire them by May 4 -- that's this Wednesday -- to get hold of them. The tokens themselves will be distributed by email from May 8, giving players a week to play with their friends before the beta concludes on May 15.