Frequently Asked Questions About Beta Keys

The beta refers to a phase in a software's development cycle in which the developers have implemented most of the features but an unknown number of bugs are still present in the code. These beta keys give you exclusive access to the beta testing phase of a program's development cycle. Choosing the right products can be difficult, but eBay makes the buying process easier to navigate.

How do you choose the right beta key?

The beta period is typically the first time the full game or software is available to the public. Although the product is almost feature complete, major bugs or crashes can still occur. When choosing a beta key, you should consider the following factors:

  • Software - Beta periods are available for all kinds of software, but the most common beta testing is likely to involve video games due to the sheer number of bugs that need to be ironed out during the development period. If the software you want to test is nearing its release, then check to make sure it's entering beta testing.
  • Length - Beta periods may only occur over a period of weeks or months. Sometimes the testing is intermittent. For example, the testing may stop briefly before returning a short time later.
  • Closed vs. Open - A closed beta is only available to an exclusive group of people through invitation. An open beta tends to be open to everyone or at least a much larger group.
How does beta testing work?

Beta testers are given exclusive access to the game or software for a given period of time. During that time, they are allowed to use the software as normal, but they are obliged to report any bugs they find. Although they are ostensibly free volunteers, beta tests may be given discounts or other incentives in return for the time they spent working on the beta phase of the game.

What systems do beta keys come on?

There are a number of beta keys available on eBay at various price points. The price usually depends on both the game and the system the game runs on. Some of the systems that these beta keys come on include:

  • PC
  • Xbox One
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • Nintendo DS