Finding bugs in your game can be frustrating, but that’s what game testing is for! It is a vital part of the game development process and helps to tease out all of them nasty little bugs!
There are several different types of bugs in game testing, and we are going to explore them today. The last thing you want as a game developer is for your game to glitch during gameplay or affect the user experience.
While even the best developers try to minimise bugs during development, it’d be pretty hard to be perfect. That’s why game developers and game testers come hand in hand to create the best game possible.
Follow along to learn about the different types of bugs in-game testing. If you have a game development project with bugs that you need fixing, get in touch with us today.
What is a bug?
A bug is something that hinders the player from playing the game. These could be glitches, defects or unusual sounds that impact the overall gaming experience.
A bug usually takes place because of a fault in the code in the game build. That is where game testing comes in to help pull out any of those unwanted mistakes in the code. Once the bug is found, it is sent to the developers to analyse and fix the code.
If you had to sit there and scrape your code to try and see if there were any mistakes, you would be there for days. The best way to catch a bug is to test the game and see what defects come up. That way, you know where to look for mistakes.
Game developers have ratings for the severity of the bugs, which we will go into more detail about in this blog. This is to tell the developer which bug is the most important and fix it first.
Top 7 types of bugs in game testing
There are several things that can go wrong when developing a game that causes bugs to form. However, today we will look at the most common types of bugs in game testing.
Freezing or Crashing
There is nothing worse than a game that crashes several times in a row. It is not ideal and a game developer’s worst nightmare!
Probably one of the most common types of bug is freezing. It stops the game from working during gameplay or when it has launched. A crash typically happens when the player asks the game to perform the following action that is not programmed correctly and responds by crashing.
There are many reasons why a crash can happen, in fact, so many that it requires a lot of creative thinking to pinpoint the bug causing the issue.
Like a crash, a freeze happens when an action is not programmed correctly, and the game freezes. Very similar to human activity, when they don’t know how to do something, they freeze.
There are many reasons for freezing as well, but a common issue is memory overload. The problem in this instant lies in the minimum system requirements.
To put it simply, it is when a video game is not performing an action that it should be able to. Or it serves a different action to what you acted. This is called a gameplay defect.
These types of bugs in game testing stop the user from playing. It might prevent them from jumping, swinging, ducking or running, leading to them either losing the game or switching off out of frustration.
It is common to hear that the ‘weapon is bugged’ or ‘the player is bugged’ as it means the game is playing up and not doing what it is intended to do. For example, in the Sea of Thieves, there are reports that the game only allowed players to use cannonballs and bananas from the inventory. This really affected the game and did not allow players to play correctly.
You really don’t want your game to have a bug affecting the text as it could cause you some embarrassment. The last thing you want your game going viral for is lousy spelling and grammar!
Text bugs can be incorrect spelling, unaligned text, bad grammar or incorrect language. Now, a minor text issue can go unnoticed and might be that bad in the grand scheme of the game. However, a major problem could completely change the storyline and confuse the player.
You also don’t want to be making sloppy mistakes on your game through text being off-centre or not using grammar properly.
The most critical type of text bug is when it comes to translating to another language. Games can be distributed anywhere in the world, so you might need several language options. In addition, some languages require different accents and characters that the game might not support.
Similarly, if the length of the text is different in another language, the code might not take that into consideration. This can make the text either too big or small on the screen, can be hard to read or look odd.
Lots of mobile games have recently tried to rely on google translate to at least make the game understandable. They don’t claim to have a perfect translation; they just aim for the game to be somewhat understandable so they can play.
For these types of bugs in game testing, a big team of game testers are needed to understand different languages. This way, you can be confident that text bugs can be spotted.
This bug should be renamed a heartbreaker. The saving glitch is every gamer’s worst nightmare.
Imagine you are playing your favourite game; you have got to the next level and unlocked some insane features. Just to find the next time you play, none of it is saved. Heartbreaking.
Players invest time and energy into games and could easily be put off a game if it does not save. A player wouldn’t want to put in the same precious time just to be disappointed again, so they would stop playing. This is not what you want as a game developer.
That’s why these types of bugs in game testing need to be caught overwise; it could jeopardise the future of the success of your game.
An example of a save glitch in a Nintendo game, the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, made it impossible for players to complete a quest. The files kept getting corrupted and left some very frustrated players.
The graphic glitch affects the overall experience of a game. It may distract the player, make it hard to play and just lower the whole quality of the game.
Glitches may be the wrong image being displayed, flickery texture or character distortion. While it might not impact the gameplay directly, it can make playing the game uncomfortable by constantly having to put up with a glitch in the game.
It is not the most common bug; however, it is one of the more complicated glitches to solve in the graphic processing unit (GPU). If the problem is in the GPU’s speed or is incompatible with the way the game has been programmed, it can be tricky to fix.
These types of bugs in game testing are vital to catch. In-game purchases bugs can leave you with some very angry customers.
This is a sensitive area as the players spend money on the game and expect it to deliver that promise. If the game has a bug, it will stop the player from progressing and wasting their money.
In-game purchases could be unwanted pending charges, failed purchases or errors when trying to purchase. These can not only affect the user’s experience but also stop people from playing your game and purchasing from within the game.
For example, the game can crash during the purchase, take the money and not recognise it when it is loaded back up. Or the game could block the item from being bought because it has been registered but did not process correctly.
Game testing to catch these bugs is so important because they are super hard to fix once the game has already launched.
Audio problems can impact gameplay in a number of ways.
It can be missing audio clips, which could lead to the player missing essential elements of the game. This can be really disorientating and change the overall impact of the game.
Or, the music from the game could come out unintentionally. For example, it could not be as loud as it needs to be, or it could glitch and play over and over. It could even play at the wrong time, leading the game to not make sense.
The problem with these types of bugs is that they massively affect the user’s experience. It can be off-putting if you are at an important part of the game and the music starts looping, or sound effects are played at the wrong moment.
In the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the game audio bug causes the sound to fade. This is terrible when an enemy is approaching, but you can’t hear because the sound has disappeared.
Type of Bugs in Game testing- Ratings
So now we have looked at the types of bugs in game testing, we need to determine how bad they actually are.
There are five ratings that help game testers explain to game developers how bad the bugs they have found are. Game developers can gauge the severity of the bugs and what needs to be focused on first.
These different kinds of bugs can help developers categorise and sort through programming errors to make the game bug free as quickly as possible.
As explained above, a crash bug is where the game freezes or closes so the player can no longer process in the game. This can also be called Crash to Desktop (CTD).
This could be triggered by anything in the game, so they are really hard to localise. It could be when loading up or when you kill an enemy. They are really problematic and a bug that game developers do not want in their games at all.
Therefore, if you have a crash (A) in your game, the game tester will advise the game developer to fix this first. This is because these types of bugs in game testing affect the whole gameplay and hinder you from even progressing to find other bugs.
A severe bug is one that quite literally stops the player from progressing. It is not quite a crash but a glitch in the game that means the player can no longer play.
For example, it could be a door not opening that was meant to open so the player can’t move. Or it could be an item not appearing in a room needed for the player to get to the next level. This could stop the player from playing or confuses them, making them think they are doing something wrong.
Severe bugs are bad because they can change the whole game. It could cause the player to be stuck for hours, thinking they are missing something and not progressing.
Game testers will therefore tell game developers that they need to fix these pretty urgently as the game tester can’t even get past a certain point.
General (C )
Unlike A and B, general C does not necessarily hinder the game progression. However, it still causes a problem in the gameplay.
This could be glitches or text issues that annoy the player. Glitches could be a previous scene flashing onto the screen for a few seconds every now and then. Or the grammar not being correct when translated to another language.
These don’t stop the player from progressing in the game and allow the game to still play. However, game developers don’t want these in their games as it affects the overall quality of the user experience and looks sloppy.
These are the types of bugs in game testing that would be highlighted as important but fixed but not an immediate issue.
It is in the name; these types of bugs in game testing are minor. Meaning that they are noticeable but not a priority.
Similar to general; however, there are more subtle issues. Such as the mouth of the character not moving when speaking or the character’s arm moving at the wrong moment.
These don’t hinder the gameplay or disturb the user experience too much. However, they still need to be mentioned to the game developer but don’t need to be a priority to fix. Nevertheless, it will still, to some extent, affect the quality of the game, so it needs to be reported.
These are minor cosmetic issues. These types of bugs in game testing won’t damage the game but need to be changed to make the game look good.
You wouldn’t have a fashion show and send a model out in the wrong designer’s clothes. Therefore, you wouldn’t want your characters in your game in the wrong outfits.
Cosmetic issues could be an object appearing in a different colour than what was programmed. Or the sky texture being applied to the ground. These confuse the player and leave them questioning whether that was intentional or not.
While not super important, game testers still find these bugs and report them to game developers as an E bug.
Conclusion: Types of Bugs in Game Testing
Game development is a long process that requires a lot of patience, time devoted to discovering bugs, lots of software testing and creativity. Game testers are a game development team’s best friends as they help to weave out all the bugs within the code.
The types of bugs in game testing can vary from game to game, so it is so important to have a good team of people testing the quality of your game. Outsourcing your development and game testing will help you to maintain a better user experience. The more eyes, the better.
Don’t get us wrong; completely eliminating the chance of glitches and bugs in your game is almost impossible. However, investing in a good team can help you to produce the best quality game possible.
We hope this blog has helped you to understand some of the types of bugs in game testing to take forward in your game development. If you need help with your game development, get in touch with our team today.