VALORANT To Get A League of Legends-Style Test Server

Riot Games has revealed that VALORANT will be getting a public test server, similar to League of Legends’ Public Beta Environment (PBE), sometime next year. The information was revealed by VALORANT’s senior release manager, Corrie Hardin, in Riot’s latest “Ask VALORANT” blog post. Hardin confirmed the addition of a test server can be expected “some time in the first half of 2021.”

The tenth “Ask VALORANT” blog post was released yesterday, where various members of the development team answered questions from players regarding weekly challenges, smurfs, and a potential future test server.

League of Legends’ PBE allows players to try out new character builds and future game updates before they go up on live servers. This system allows Riot to take in player feedback faster, and fix any important issues before the patch goes live.

VALORANT senior release manager Corrie Hardin confirmed that this is in the works for the first-person shooter, giving an estimated release date of “the first half of 2021.” Hardin explains that specific features of the PBE will be “advertised or limited,” and that patches will be tested for certain lengths of time before officially launching. VALORANT’s PBE will be similar in practice to League’s, helping the development team “capture performance changes and expose bugs early.”

Also addressed in the blog post is the issue of smurfs, and what measures Riot is taking to discourage smurfing in VALORANT. Senior producer Ian Fielding assures the asker that the team is “taking action to combat [smurfing]” with a “behind-the-scenes system” for unranked play, as well as one for ranks Iron through Diamond. The system tracks individual performances in lower-ranked games, and boosts players who make a “highly disproportionate impact” in those games to higher ranked matches.

On a question regarding adding more weekly challenges to the game, senior production manager Naoise Creavan states that the team is unsatisfied with the challenge system as it currently stands. Some challenges require too much of a grind, while the challenges were meant to “provide a bulk source of XP progress and tie some playful texture to the progression experience.” The team is working to create entertaining missions while not promoting “unhealthy play patterns.”

VALORANT is currently in the third Act of Episode I. Episode II is expected to start some time next year.

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