How to Find Game-Breaking Bugs in Minutes

Game-breaking bugs can completely ruin a player’s experience and should be one of the top priorities for QA testers to find during testing. While some bugs may take hours or days to reproduce, there are techniques you can use to uncover serious bugs very quickly. In this post, I’ll share tips to help you rapidly find critical bugs within the first few minutes of testing a new game build.

  • Look for crashes right away
    • Load the game and push it to crash to test stability
    • Focus on areas that tended to crash before
  • Try weird/extreme combinations of actions
    • Mix and match abilities in strange ways
    • Test edge case scenarios that players might encounter
  • Break the game’s assumptions
    • Do things out of expected order or context
    • Exploit physics and game mechanics
  • Attempt to break story progression
    • Skip events, dialog, cutscenes
    • Sequence break to reach later areas early
  • Go off the beaten path
    • Explore every corner; avoid main quests
    • Look for holes, ways to get out of bounds
  • Play in an unpredictable manner
    • Do not play “properly;” improvise actions
    • Continuously interact with everything in random ways

By aggressively testing for crashes, executing odd behavior, breaking progression, and thinking outside the box, you can quickly sniff out serious issues in a game build that could degrade gameplay experiences if they slip through testing. Focus on digging up the worst bugs as fast as possible.