How to download and play the League of Legends PBE?

It's League of Legends from the future.

Image via Riot Games

League of Legends’ meta changes every season. Even mid-season patches can be impactful enough to shake up the game’s balance, and it takes a while for players to get used to all the changes.

Once a meta-defining patch goes live, all players will need to go through a small learning period to grasp the basics of the new meta. This may cause you to take your first few matches slowly since you’ll spend more time observing the game for notable changes. If you’d like to prepare yourself before a patch goes live, however, you can test upcoming patches in the Public Beta Environment (PBE) before they become available on the main client.

Riot Games tests each game patch on the PBE client first to iron out possible bugs with the help of player feedback. A patch only hits the live servers after a successful PBE test, and more players are always welcome in the PBE. In addition to beta testing, playing in the PBE server can allow players to crack the next patch and stay ahead of the curve when it finally becomes available in the main client. While most of the player base will spend their first days trying to figure out the new patch, you’ll already know all the ins and outs of it, thanks to your time in the PBE.

Here’s how you download the PBE client and start testing the patches before they become available in the live servers.

Check if your account is eligible for PBE access

While Riot always welcomes new players to the PBE, only users who are eligible can sign up to participate.

Players who’d like to sign up for the PBE client will need to make sure their League of Legends account has Honor level three without past bans. This means you’ll need to have a clear conduct summary.

If your account is new and you’re just getting started in League, you can increase your Honor level by receiving honors from your teammates at the end of your matches. Most players submit honors for all of their teammates at the end of good games as a courtesy, and you should be able to unlock Honor level three quickly with a daily playing schedule.

Sign up for the PBE

When your account hits Honor level three without any past bans, you’ll be able to sign up for the PBE.

Head over to this page and click on Log In. Sign in with your Riot account to check your eligibility. If your account passes the eligibility test on Riot’s website, then you’ll be guided through the rest of the process to create your PBE account.

Once you’re done creating a PBE account, you’ll be forwarded to the download page, where you can pick the PBE client for your operating system. The installation process is identical to the main client. After you install the PBE to your computer, you’ll have two copies of League, but one will be PBE and you’ll need to use your PBE login details to sign in.

Are all skins free in PBE?

Screengrab via Riot Games

Considering players are asked to test out all aspects of the game, skins are also included, making it one of the main appeals for players to try out the PBE. To allow players to test out all the skins they want without any restrictions, all PBE accounts will have access to easy missions that’ll grant them loads of Blue Essence, which can be used to unlock items from the in-game shop.

All PBE accounts’ level kicks off from 30, so all there’s left to do will be to kick back and enjoy the upcoming patch before the rest of the player base.

How to report bugs in the PBE?

If you stumble upon a bug in the PBE client, look for a button that features an insect. Once you click on the button, the client will ask you to categorize the bug and you’ll be able to enter more details to help the developers check out what you’ve found out.

Any bugs that can be created by following certain steps should get fixed before the patch moves on to the live servers and player feedback helps a great deal when it comes to finding out as many of them as possible.

While playing in the PBE is fun of its own, you’ll also have some duties to fulfill as a player. Riot looks forward to any kind of feedback from PBE players to iron out its latest patch, so keep an eye open for bugs or errors and report them to Riot, preferably with screenshots.

Even if you’re just looking to try out a few skins, your main goal should still be trying to help Riot as much as possible so the rest of the player base can enjoy a flawless patch when it goes live.

Your progression in the PBE won’t affect your main account in the live version of the game since they’re technically two different accounts.