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Valorant devs promise test server (PBE) is coming in first half of 2021

In a new edition of Riot Games' "Ask Valorant" series, the developers revealed that a test server, or PBE, is coming in 2021.
Valorant devs promise test server (PBE) is coming in first half of 2021

Perhaps Riot Games' best quality when it comes to being a developing studio is its communication with the community. Fans of League of Legends or Valorant rarely don't know what's going on or what's being worked on. The developers are usually clear with their intentions for both games, which is a trait that's diminishing in the industry today.

This is apparent in their recent comments on the infamous stutter glitch in Valorant. 

For Valorant specifically, Riot Games have a series of blog posts called "Ask Valorant". This is simply a few community questions that the developers answer in hopes of raising awareness around some hot-button issues.

Valorant test server(Picture: Riot Games)

In the latest edition (#10), Riot divulged some information on a highly-requested community feature, being a test server. 

Valorant to receive a test server in 2021 

For those familiar with League of Legends, you might know this feature as 'PBE', or Public Beta Environment. LEague has had this feature for quite some time and it's what helps separate it from other multiplayer titles on the market. 

Essentially, the PBE is a dedicated place where players can test out new features, content, and experimental updates that have not yet been released into the game.

Not only is it a break from the mundane standard matchmaking, but it's also something Riot Games uses to receive feedback on upcoming changes.

League of Legends PBELeague of Legends has long had a PBE server allowing players to play with new features and changes. (Picture:  Riot Games)

Valorant players have been asking for a similar feature since the game's inception and it looks like one is finally coming. Corrie Hardin, Senior Release Manager at Riot, responded to the question of "Is Valorant going to get a test server?"

"Yes! We will be creating a selectively updated pre-release environment, or PBE, sometime in the first half of 2021. Specific features/queues will be advertised or limited and patches will be targeted for a certain length of time in advance of going live."

So it appears that sometime during the first six months of 2021, Valorant will receive a test server of some kind. There's not an official word on what this could look like from a gameplay standpoint but some assumptions can be made. 

The test server will likely be set on a map and act like a standard match of Valorant. Perhaps Riot Games would use Deathmatch over the regular mode to avoid the games taking too long. As for the content, players should expect elements like new agents, weapon balancing changes, nerfs to existing agent's abilities, etc. All of this would be playable and the players could then deliver feedback to the developers on how the changes felt in-game. 

Hardin went on to talk about this feedback-delivering process. "This will also help us to gather more information so we can capture performance changes and expose bugs early that players might run into."

While it's not as close as some fans would like, it's nice to see Riot working towards a feature that should improve Valorant for the foreseeable future.