Beta test is the software development phase following alpha (beta is the second letter of the ancient Greek alphabet, used as the number 2. It is not nowadays usual to speak of a later gamma test) While in the Beta stage, software is generally functional but many features are either missing or incomplete. The focus of beta testing is reducing the impact of glitches and bugs to users when the game is released publicly, and often incorporates usability testing. The process of delivering a beta version to the users is called beta release and this is typically the first time that the software is available outside of the organization that developed it.
In League of Legends, beta testing went through two different phases:
- The game was in closed beta testing from April 2009 to 21-Oct-2009, with only users that got an invite being able to participate. Every user, including newly registered ones, had 5 invites at their disposal. Additionally, a beta key was granted to every fan of League of Legends on Facebook when it reached 40,000 fans. At the end of this stage, every account was reset to Level 1 but received an exclusive skin as a gift.
- On 21-Oct-2009, League of Legends entered Open Beta, where anyone could try out the game. Open Beta only lasted 1 week, ending with the game's official launch on 27-Oct-2009.