Riot Games announced plans for a test server in Valorant that would contain pre-release builds for official game patches. These limited servers will perform a function similar to League of Legends’ Public Beta Environment that lets Riot detect bugs and receive player feedback sooner.
Riot Senior Release Manager, Corrie Hardin, said that the PBE is targeted for an early 2021 release. Just like in LoL, there’s going to be a certain amount of time before a PBE patch will go to the live servers; typically two weeks.
In simpler terms, this will be the safe space Riot uses for testing anything from new Agents to crucial bugs before sending the patch out to its millions of players.
Crossover players from League of Legends who’ve tried out the PBE, a separate download from the main client, will be all too familiar with the shenanigans that players can come across on the beta servers.
It’s unclear if Riot would also use the PBE to test out new cosmetics as well. There’s been a couple of instances, as fixable as they were, where a new skin presented a competitive advantage or brought along with it a new bug that could have been spotted in a testing phase.
Regardless, Valorant’s sister title has benefited from the PBE in the past, especially in the way of character balances. In a tactical shooter like this, this could also apply to specific weapon balances or creative strats that need to be tweaked before they harm live Ranked games.
“We hope to expand on what we have learned and provide an early access experience that does not drastically differ from the live version of Valorant, but still allows for a glimpse into what we are working on,” Riot said in their Ask Valorant Q&A blog.
There has been a trend of Omen bugs appearing soon after a new map or update releases. The PBE servers would be the perfect place for players to rip apart a proposed patch for any potential game-breakers.
The early access arena will be a popular destination for pros and casual players to refine feedback for changes that need to be made in Valorant.
Expect Riot to release more information as we get closer to the release window, sometime in the early year within Episode 2.