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, a 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 trough two different phases:
- From April 2009 to October 21st, 2009 the game was in closed beta testing, in which only users that got an invite were 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 King Rammus skin as a gift.
- On October 21st, 2009, League of Legends entered Open Beta, where anyone could try out the game. Open Beta only lasted 1 week, ending on October 27, 2009 when League of Legends was officially launched.