Valve is adding a feature to Steam to allow developers to invite people to test their games right from the Steam app without the need for a beta key. The new feature, called Steam Playtest, will allow interested testers to click a button in the game list on the Steam store to request access and be added to the queue.
Here’s what the button looks like, from Total War: Elysium Steam site. child prodigy and Iron conflict is also running Public Tests, and Valve said The Verge that all three games are still accepting requests for new testers.
Developers will be able to see how many people have access to the experiment, how many have expressed interest and are waiting for access, and how many have been manually invited to participate in the experiment. Developers will also be able to add more testers from the Playtest status screen. And when developers finish an experiment, the button asking for access to it is removed from the game’s Steam store page and the game is pulled from the user library.
Valve says that Playtests is not meant to replace Steam Early Access and that games may even have Playtest alongside the Early Access version. Playtests also won’t support trade or monetization. Valve notes that Steam Playtests is currently in beta and the tools are subject to change, but if you want to try out Playtests for your game, Valve has a contact form that you can fill out here.