How to Beta Test PC Games for Free on Steam

Valve is changing the way Steam Game Beta Access works for the better. Rather than forcing you to enter a special key from a game developer to participate in beta testing, the new Steam Playtest feature makes it much easier to find and register to test games yourself.

Playtest differs from Steam’s Early Access program, which allows customers to pre-purchase the game – often at a discounted price – to access unfinished builds. According to an official Valve post, the Steam Playtest is “free for developers and customers.” “It does not support commerce or monetization and does not replace Steam Early Access. You can even use the Steam Playtest before or at the same time as Early Access. “

The catch is that publishers can limit the total number of players allowed in the Playtest beta, as well as the amount of time players have access to the game. (Using the beta Playtest does not add the full game to your library; you will receive nothing after the beta is complete.)

Joining Playtest on Steam is easy. Simply load the game’s store page on Steam and click Request Access if a beta is available. (The button will only appear on games participating in the Steam Playtest.)

If the Playtest is full, you can still request access if the developer opens the trial to more players.

Since the Steam Playtest is technically still in beta testing, Total War: Elysium is the only game to launch the Playtest beta, but more games are likely to come soon. As it stands, the beta versions of Playtest do not show up in Steam store listings, so there is no easy way to find new ones. If you’re interested in a game, be sure to keep an eye on it on Steam, then follow the development studio and publisher on social media, or subscribe to their newsletters to be notified of any beta tests in advance.

Otherwise, Steam has search filters and store categories for early access games and demos . Reddit is also a good source for finding games with builds or early access demos, and probably Playtests as well. Finally, many gaming projects on Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms offer demos, betas, or early access, either as a way to generate interest or to reward sponsors.

[ PC Gamer ]

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