Independent Software QA Testing Services

Game Testing 101

A Complete Guide to All Game Testing FAQs


Game testing is primarily a subset of game development, it is a software testing process solely aimed at quality control of video games including discovery and documentation of all potential software defects. The interactive entertainment software testing genre is a highly technical niche field that requires prior computing expertise, analytic skills, competence, patience, critical evaluation, and endurance.

Testers are assigned to log defects, glitches, and ‘bugs’ found in either the programming code or graphic layers. Game testers ideally should have a background of playing different games on a multitude of platforms. They must notate and reference all problems found in the detailed reports, meet deadlines with all project assignments, and level up to complete the game titles even in the most difficult play settings. Game testers additionally need to be highly observant to spot all the minor defects in the game build.

Did you know?
A common misconception lies that all game testers engage with the alpha or beta versions of the game, reporting occasionally found bugs. In reality, it’s a stark contrast, as game testing is highly focused on finding bugs using established and tedious methodologies prior to the alpha version.

QA is a highly critical component in game development, although the video game industry inherently does not have a standard testing methodology. Testing starts as soon as the first code is written and exponentially increases as the game progresses toward completion and end stages. The main QA team tests the game from its first QA submission stages till as late as post-production. Early in the game development process the testing team is relatively kept small focussing initially on daily feedback for new code changes. As the game approaches the alpha stage, more team members are deployed where test plans and test cases are written. A good bug-reporting system is deployed. As the project enters the beta stage, the test teams proceed with clear assignments and requirements for each day. A Tester’s feedback may determine final decisions on the exclusion or inclusion of final features. Further introducing testers with fresh perspectives may help identify novel bugs. At this point, the project head engages in daily communication with the client and department heads.

Testers receive scheduled uniquely identifiable game builds handed straight from the developer’s end. The game is play-tested and noting any uncovered errors. Ranging from bugs to screen art glitches, logic errors, and level bugs. Game testing requires a creative gameplay skill to log in subtler bugs. QA testers often implement concurrency control to avoid logging the same bugs multiple times.

The game-test team is required to test all lately-added features and content without much delay. Ranking bugs according to an estimate of severity that are deemed critical to functionality.
The categorization of defects is as follows –

A – Are High Priority critical bugs that can potentially prevent the game from being shipped, or may possibly crash the game? Potentially preventing its market launch.

B – These are essential defects that require attention; however, the game may still be playable. However, some B-level bugs are equally severe to an A-level High Priority bug.

C – These are subtle and obscure problems, often being recommendations rather than actual defects.

Game testing process and methodology

Identification. Incorrect program behavior is meticulously analyzed and identified as a defect.
Reporting. The defect is further reported to the developers using a defect tracking system. The defect scenario and steps to reproduce it are included in the report with documentation such as screenshots and video recordings.
Analysis. The developer is responsible for the logged defects, i.e. the programmer or game designer excavates the malfunction. Although outside the scope of a game tester’s responsibilities, the programmer might require further information or evidence from the tester.
Verification. After defect fixing, the tester verifies and attests to the same.

Although there is no standard method for game testing. Standard best practices and methodologies are constantly refined and may differ for different types of games.

Functionality testing is commonly associated with “game testing”, as it requires playing the game in some form. However, Functionality testing is not extensive technical knowledge. Game testers often look for general defects within the game itself or its UI, such as instability, mechanical issues, and game asset integrity.

Compliance testing is the sole reason for the existence of game testing labs.
First-party licensors for console platforms have certain strict technical requirements for titles to their licensed platforms.
The formatting of standard error messages, handling of memory card data, and handling of legally trademarked and copyrighted material are the additional responsibilities of game testers. A single violation in submission for license approval can potentially get the game rejected, incurring additional costs in further testing and resubmission. The time frame delay can cause the title to lapse an important launch window, potentially costing the game owners even more money.
Compliance can additionally refer to regulatory bodies such as the ESRB and PEGI, when the game targets a particular content rating. Testers should report any objectionable content that is deemed inappropriate for the desired rating. Quite similar to licensing, games not receiving the desired ratings must be re-edited, retested, and resubmitted at a further additional cost.

Compatibility testing is normally required for PC titles, towards the end of development as compatibility depends mostly on the final build of the game. Two rounds of compatibility tests are done – early in the beta stage allowing time for issue resolution, and later in beta or during release candidate. Major functionalities of the game on various hardware configurations are meticulously tested. Compatibility testing further ensures that the game runs on all possible configurations of hardware and software. The hardware encompasses brands of different manufacturers, device versions, and additional assorted input peripherals such as gamepads and joysticks.
The testers evaluate the performance and results to match the game’s advertised minimum system requirements.

Soak testing involves leaving the game running for prolonged periods under various modes of operation, like idling, pausing, or on the title screen. This testing requires no further user interaction beyond the initial setup. Automated tools are deployed for simulating repetitive actions, such as mouse clicks. Soaking can also help detect memory leaks or rounding errors that surface manifest over a period of time only. Soak tests are usually regarded as one of the primary compliance requirements.

Beta testing is executed exclusively during the beta stage of development. Often the beta often refers to the first publicly available version of a game.

Regression testing is further performed post all bug fixes are executed by the programmers. The QA team checks in to relocate bugs via (regression) and re-run similar tests to check in for further defect leakages. That second stage is often termed “halo testing” involves testing bug peripherals for other similar bugs.

Load testing is deployed to test the limits of a system, the maximum possible number of players on an MMO server, the number of sprites active on the screen, or the multiple threads running in a particular program. Load testing requires simulating heavy traffic and heavy multiplayer activities measuring the breaking point of a gaming application to enable its functionality performance correctly when under load.

Game testing process and methodology
The exciting part of the game development process is its testing phase. Prior to every single production release, each game gets tested carefully, during its extended QA testing process. Game testers log in defects like missing textures, unbalanced utilities, map gaps, page loading time frame, and sluggish and slow control responses. A complete end to end QA / QC compliance assures all end users a faultless, entertaining, and interruption-free gaming experience, and therefore is an essential step in the entire game creation process.
Why is Game Testing Service required?

Playtesting video games is crucial since it can potentially reduce additional associated expenses. Making game levels that don’t function or aren’t profitable isn’t ideal. Playtesting can ensure early detection of severe errors, prevent fatal defects, and manage critically looming production issues.

The target audience and end user must experience the visual design, gaming experience, ease of use, and all controls functionality seamlessly. Hence, game testing is deemed highly crucial and essential to significantly expand a game’s market outreach and its subsequent success.

What happens if you don't do Game Testing?

The critical drawbacks include bad UX, defect leakage in the final product, a relatively smaller user base, and lesser revenue generation.

Thought Frameworks Game Testing Service Approach

Our game testing service is available on multiple platforms, including consoles, mobile devices, desktop apps, and game clouding. Our experience and testing facilities can warrant a seamless gaming user experience. Since games are also software, they are not entirely unique from other applications that we test. Our internal testing team has all QA criterions covered when coming to testing gaming software. Here are our standard game-testing methodologies:

Installation testing
Game scenario testing
Regression testing
Multi-user testing and Multi browser testing
Usability / UI testing
Functional testing
Ad hoc testing
Localization testing
Performance testing
Compatibility testing

We also provide free pilot projects for service trials as well.

The right time to deploy this test?
Best practices must be standardized right from the inception of a game’s development, but with that said, a stable running project can be further tested and perfected preventing future possibilities of defect leakages.
Roles in Game Testing
  • Game producers are responsible for setting testing deadlines in coordination with marketing and quality assurance. They also manage many items outside of game testing, relating to the overall production of a title.
  • Lead tester, test lead or QA lead is the person responsible for the game working correctly and managing bug lists. A lead tester manages the QA staff. The lead tester works closely with designers and programmers, especially toward the end of the project.
  • Testers are responsible for checking that the game works, is easy to use, has actions that make sense, and contains fun gameplay. Testers need to write accurate and specific bug reports, and if possible provide descriptions of how the bug can be reproduced.
  • SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) or Technical Testers are responsible for building automated test cases and frameworks as well as managing complex test problems such as overall game performance and security.

Tools deployed are

  • Browser stack for game testing on mobile devices
  • Postman ( game-related microservices testing tool)
  • Netload, Jmeter (performance testing tool)
Must Opt

Other Additional Services that Compliment Game Testing are

  • Automation Testing Services
  • Security Testing Services
  • Accessibility and Usability Testing
  • Performance (load) Testing
Value Addition
The Thoughframeworkers and their experience in Game Testing
  • Exponentially increasing The Number Of Development Cycles
  • Achieving Resilience And Ease Of Execution of All Workflows
  • Greater Product Scalability
  • All Feature Delivery On Time

About Thought Frameworks

Thought Frameworks is a U.S. based leading QA and software testing organization that’s been in business since 2009, armed with the ultimate solutions for all your software’s QA testing challenges. Having headquarters both in California, USA and a fully functional well equipped QA Test Lab in Bengaluru-India, that delivers premium QA and QC services endlessly across different Industry domains and niches. An ISTQB Silver Partnered Company, our superhuman test team heroes have delivered numerous successful QA and QC projects for clients across the globe. Get powered by our deep dive bug hunting process that helps your software in clocking release cycles on time while delivering excelling quality and functionality.

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