Where to find beta testers for your board game – Finding beta testers (or playtesters) for your board game can be tricky as a budding game designer! Beta testing your prototype is an important step and should not be overlooked.
Another thing to take into consideration in the board game industry, Beta Testers or more often than not are referred to as “Play Testers”.
So – where can you find beta testers for your board game?
Who and where can you get somebody to see If your prototype works?
This article offers helpful answers and suggestions on how to find beta / playtesters for your prototype board game.
Where to find beta testers for your board game – short answer
You can find beta testers for your board game, by going onto website forums such as Board Game Geek, and FaceBook Groups to ‘virtually’ source and find prototype board game testers.
The most convenient place to find beta testers for your board game is in your immediate surroundings.
To get early game testers to stress test the mechanics of your game, you can ask your friendship group to help in testing the incomplete game or go to board game cafes to find some eager and willing volunteers.
That is a simplified answer to where to find potential beta testers for your game – there more ways of course.
Leave no stone unturned.
Here is a list of other places where can you find beta testers to playtest your game before releasing it into the rampant public domain.
“getting your friends to help you test your game is not a bad way to start.”
Where to find beta testers for your board game – in detail
To delve deeper into how and where to find beta testers for your board game, this list of suggestions and answers offers ways to find both professional and casual board game testers.
Some of these detailed solutions and answers below are based on first-hand experience of beta testing board games.
When considering the beta testers for your board game you should also consider “who” will ultimately play your board game.
Getting friends to help (the ones that enjoy board games)
Getting your friends to help you beta test a game, is a good way to test the mechanics of gameplay early on. Yes, getting your friends to help you test your game is not a bad way to start.
When getting friends to beta test your board game, remember to be kind, generous, and appreciative of their time and support.
Getting your friends to beta test your board game is a good way of spotting early problems with the game mechanics and rules of your game. Your friends can help to fill gaping holes in the gameplay before moving on to iron out the smaller creases in the game.
Another big advantage of getting your friends to stress test your game is that you already know them!
Hopefully arranging a test day should be more straightforward than finding completely new people test your prototype board game. (assuming your friends do live nearby, if not skip to other suggestions)
Beta tester friends (that don’t play board games)
This can be a great way to see if your game is easy to pick up and play by non-board-gamey people.
Occasionally, board games that have been created by independent publishers or larger companies may have too steep a learning curve to be treated as a fun family game that can be picked up and played in 5 minutes.
If that ‘quick to learn’ and ‘quick to play’ method is what you are going for, testing on friends that are a bit less knowledgeable about board games is a good idea.
It is all about having your demographic in mind and trying to find beta testers that may reflect this group.
Using family as beta testers or playtesters for your game
The one main advantage of using the family as beta testers or ‘playtesters’ for your game is that they are convenient and ready to support you (hopefully).
They care about you!
There are drawbacks to using family as beta testers. One such drawback to using family as beta testers is that they may not represent the real demographic of your game!
And they may not be as honest with you in terms of their criticism – or they may be completely clueless when it comes to the game and genre.
And their opinions are – nearly worthless in that case.
*This will vary from family to family of course.
Getting colleagues to playtest your game
If you are already part of a company that creates board games then this should be a given that you are getting the team involved with testing the game, and if you are yet to get the team involved, send an email around to see which departments would be willing to test the game.
If you are quietly building a game as a passion project on your own and wish to see how it works in a live testing situation. Then asking some friendly colleagues to playtest your game is a good idea in your private time.
Hand them the box and watch and learn. But you may prefer to avoid colleagues with a “big mouth”
Where to find beta testers for your board game in other commercial settings
You can find beta testers for your board game in more commercial settings by going onto freelance websites (upwork) and looking for beta or playtesters in your local area.
You can also find beta testers for your board game by offering early editions of your game on crowdfunding platforms such as IndieGoGo or Kickstarter.
Below is a list of detailed suggestions of where you can find Beta testers for your board game from (quasi) professional and commercial settings.
You can find beta board game testers on Board Game geek
Board Game geek is a very active community of tabletop gaming enthusiasts and board game players. If you are looking for a playtester that you feel that would suit your game, then going onto the BGK forums and communities is a good place to start.
It should be noted.
Board game geek tends to have a bias towards fantasy and science fiction genres.
If you’re creating a fun, family, or open mass-market game. These do not always get favourable opinions on Boardgame Geek based on past experience.
Find Boardgame Beta Testers on Facebook
Facebook has many clubs and groups that would be willing to help you playtest your game.
To find these playtesting groups, It will be a case of going onto Facebook and searching for playtesters in these subgroups and communities whether voluntary and paid.
You can find beta testers at “Meetups’
In the board game industry, there are various ways of finding playtesters for your game. It generally comes down to meeting people that are willing to do so or sell their time.
A website called “meet up” has various groups such as this “board game playtesting group based on London”. Go onto to meet up and browse to see if you can find a playtesting group in your local area.
Attend conventions and make conversation
To find potential a playtester (beta tester) for your game you should consider attending conventions (when they are next available to attend) to talk to board game enthusiasts.
If you are a game creator yourself consider hiring a space and allow people to play your game. You can consider offering a complete game if they become part of your crowd.
Using ‘Early’ crowdfunding to find board game testers
If you are considering crowdfunding your board game, you can recruit early playtesters from platforms such as Kickstarter.
By getting ‘backers’ to playtest your game through crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, you can recruit prototype testers as early backers.
It should be noted that you cannot (should not) exchange money for time on Kickstarter, or at least not directly but you can exchange a playtesters time, for an early sample of your board game.
Crowdfunding is also a great way of making contacts.
Find Board Game Testers at a local board game cafe
If you live near a city or town centre you may be able to find a board game cafe that can help you to find beta testers for your board game.
To find these board game testers, you can speak to the owners of the board game cafe and see if they can arrange an evening where you can organise a playtest!
Or allow you to advertise and put something on a notice board in their shop.
Ask around at your nearest Games Workshop (hypothetical / hunch)
Very bold and slightly controversial, but you might find some willing beta tester participants for your board game prototype in a GW shop.
If you looking for playtesters for you board game and it is of a Science fiction genre or fantasy – and features miniatures. You would be in for a slightly better chance of finding some real-life participants here.
Do not go into Games Workshop and ask the shop keepers right off the bat! You may be greeted with an icy silence, as they are there to get you (not the other way round) playing Warhammer and sell their products to you.
If you are in creating a board game with miniatures or even a fan game, then becoming ‘a regular’ (regular customer at a shop) at a local Games Workshop is a potential way of meeting people that will playtest or beta test your board game for the future.
Going into the local GW shop and hoping to find board game testers that day for your prototype may be aiming high. ( Don’t get hopeful)
As an alternative way of finding a beta tester for a fantasy or science fiction styled game going to a local Games Workshop may offer potential – perhaps.
Network with independent board game stores
Another advantage if you live in or near a town or city, is in finding a local board game shop and becoming ‘involved’.
Speak to the people that own the shop and see if they can find you any helpful leads to help play test your board game prototype!
Where to get playtesters for your board game prototype
As with the general topic of finding beta testers for board game. The same can be more of less said the same for where to get play testers for board game prototype.
For early prototyping of your board game you can find play testers is in your local area and in your friendship group.
Friends, family and colleagues are a good way of playtesting the mechanics of your game. It is best to use playtesters that live nearby so you can watch how the prototype of your game plays out in reality and take notes.
If you are part of a creative team, more often than not playtesters for your board game will come from your office, studio or workshop.
In a nutshell of where to get playtesters for your early prototype board game. You should consider people you already know and then take it to the next stage of testing.
Where to find beta testers for your board game the final answer
In order to know where to find beta testers for your board game, you need to take step back and consider exactly who the game will be for and then what are the best ways of finding the beta testers based on the suggestions above.
By far, one of the easiest and most accessible steps to finding playtesters for your board game is by asking family and friends. Your friends are more likely live in the local area and will perhaps share in interest in board games – It is a case of getting them altogether to playtest your game.
And if your friends do not play games, it is still a good way to see how the mechanics and rules work early on the board game development process.
To take beta testing of your board game to the next step you should consider a more focused beta test for your game later on.
You can either see if you can find a beta testing service on a website such as board game geek or if you decide to take it crowdfunding – on Kickstarter offer early access to your game.
And last but not least, another place to find the beta for your board game is my going to board game cafes and dedicated meet groups that playtest games! (as this one shows)
Other handy tips for making your game! (finding beta testers)
If you have found this post helpful in answering where to find beta or playtesters for your board game prototype. You may also find some of the links helpful.
- How to create a fan-made HeroQuest type game
- Ideas for low-cost board games
- Cheap ways to store miniatures
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