The Art of Bug Reporting in Game Testing: Tips and Tricks

Bug Reporting in Game Testing - Tips and Tricks
29May, 2023

Game testing is an essential aspect of game development, as it helps identify and fix bugs or glitches that could potentially affect the game’s overall quality and player experience. One crucial part of game testing is bug reporting, where testers report the bugs they find to the development team so that they can be fixed. However, bug reporting can be challenging, especially when it comes to communicating the issue effectively to the development team. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for mastering the art of bug reporting in game testing.

Tips and Tricks for Bug Reporting in Game Testing

1. Title/Bug ID

The title of the bug report should be descriptive enough to give the reader an idea of what the issue is without being too long or complex. It’s important to be specific and accurate in your description so that the developer or QA team can easily understand what needs to be fixed. For example, if you’ve noticed distorted text in the FAQ section of a game’s homepage, your title could be “Distorted Text in FAQ section on <name> homepage”.

In addition to a clear title, assigning a unique ID to the bug can also help to streamline the bug reporting process. This can be especially helpful when there are multiple bugs being reported, as it allows the team to easily differentiate between different issues and track their progress. For example, you could use a numbering system to assign IDs to each bug, such as “BUG-001” or “GAMETEST-002”.

2. Reproduce the Bug

When you encounter a bug in a game during testing, it’s important to try and reproduce the bug consistently so that you can confirm that it’s not just a one-time occurrence. This involves trying to repeat the same actions or steps that led to the bug multiple times to see if the issue occurs consistently. This helps to ensure that the bug is not just a random occurrence or a fluke, and it can also help to identify any specific conditions that might be causing the issue.

Reproducing the bug multiple times also helps to provide more information to the development team, as it confirms that the bug is a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. If the bug is only a one-time occurrence, it may not be a significant issue and may not require immediate attention from the development team.

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3. Steps to Reproduce a Bug

Post encountering a bug in a game, provide clear and concise steps to the development team, explaining how to reproduce the issue. The clearer the steps are, the easier it is for the development team to identify the source of the problem and to address it quickly.

Here are some tips for writing effective steps to reproduce a bug:

Number the Steps: Numbering the steps in a clear and consistent way can help developers to easily follow the sequence of actions required to reproduce the bug. This can also make it easier to identify where in the process, the issue is occurring.

Be Specific: Each step should be as specific as possible, including the exact actions required and the expected result. This can help to minimize confusion and ensure that developers are able to accurately replicate the issue.

Keep it Simple: Avoid including unnecessary steps or details that could distract from the core issue. The goal is to provide a clear and concise set of instructions that can be quickly and easily followed.

Here’s an example of how to write effective steps to reproduce a bug:

  • Open the game and navigate to the “Settings” menu.
  • Select “Graphics” from the options and set the resolution to 1920×1080.
  • Start a new game and play until you reach the third level.
  • Pause the game and select “Quit to Menu”.
  • Start a new game and play until you reach the third level again.
  • Observe that the game crashes and returns to the desktop.

4. Environment

One of the key aspects of effective bug reporting in a well-established mobile game testing company is providing detailed information about the environment in which the bug was observed. This is because bugs can often be environment-specific, meaning they may only occur on certain devices, operating systems, or in certain network conditions. In order to effectively identify and resolve these types of bugs, it’s important to provide specific information about the environment in which they were observed.

When reporting a bug, QA testers should include the following details about the environment:

  1. Device Type: This includes the specific hardware and device model on which the bug was observed. For example, “iPhone X” or “Samsung Galaxy S21”.
  2. Operating System: The name and version of the operating system on the device. For example, “iOS 14.5” or “Android 11”.
  3. Tester: The name of the tester who identified the bug, in case there are multiple testers involved in the project.
  4. Software Version: The version of the software being tested and in which the bug appeared. This can help developers to identify if the bug has already been fixed in a more recent version of the software.
  5. Connection Strength: If the bug is related to network connectivity, it’s important to mention the strength of the internet connection at the time of testing. This can include details like “4G”, “3G”, “WiFi”, or “Ethernet”.
  6. Rate of Reproduction: This refers to the number of times the bug has been observed, as well as the specific steps involved in each reproduction. This information can be extremely helpful in identifying the cause of the bug and replicating it for further testing.

Also Read: Difference Between Testing and Debugging

5. Expected Result

The expected result section of a bug report is crucial for developers to understand how the software is supposed to function in a given scenario. By providing detailed information about what the user expects to happen, developers can better gauge the extent to which the bug is disrupting the user experience and identify the root cause of the problem.

For example: When a user selects a product to add to their cart, the expected result is that the selected product should be immediately visible in the cart. This means that the product information, such as the name, quantity, price, and any other relevant details, should be accurately displayed in the user’s shopping cart.

Additionally, the cart should also update in real-time, reflecting any changes made to the selected product, such as the quantity or price. This will ensure that the user has an accurate view of their cart contents and will help them make informed purchasing decisions.

Game Testing

6. Actual Result

The actual result describes what the software is actually doing, as opposed to what it is supposed to be doing. For example, if the bug is causing the software to crash, provide details on when and how the crash occurs. Does it happen consistently or only under specific conditions? Are there any error messages or codes associated with the crash?

If the bug is causing the software to pause or become unresponsive, describe when and where this happens. Is the software freezing during a specific operation or task? Does it happen immediately upon starting the program or after some time?

In either case, it’s important to provide as much context as possible. For example, if the bug is related to a specific feature or function, describe what that feature does and how it is used. This will help developers narrow down the scope of the issue and identify potential problem areas.  Ultimately, the more detail you can provide about the actual result of the bug, the better-equipped developers will be to investigate and resolve the issue.

Also Read: Mobile Game Testing Checklist

7. Provide Screenshots or Videos

Screenshots or videos can show the specific issue or error message that you encountered and can also show the steps you took to reproduce the bug. This information can be especially useful for the development team, as it can help them to identify the root cause of the problem and work towards a solution more quickly.

In addition, visual aids can help to prevent miscommunication and misunderstandings between testers and the development team. Sometimes, the language used to describe a bug may not be clear or may be interpreted differently by different individuals. However, a visual representation of the issue can provide a clear and concise explanation of the problem, allowing the development team to address the issue more effectively.

8. Bug Severity

Assigning the appropriate severity and priority level to bugs is a critical part of the Quality Assurance process. This helps developers understand the extent to which the bug affects the system and prioritize their efforts accordingly.

Bugs can be categorized into four levels of severity: Low, Minor, Major, and Critical. A Low severity bug won’t result in any noticeable breakdown of the system, while a Critical bug is capable of triggering a complete system shutdown. Similarly, bugs can be classified into three levels of priority: Low, Medium, and High. A High priority bug must be resolved at the earliest, as it affects the system adversely and renders it unusable until it is resolved.

Also Read: Guide To Write A Quality Bug Report

9. Test Different Scenarios

Testing a game in different scenarios helps to identify potential bugs that may occur under different circumstances. In fact, by testing the game in different scenarios, testers can ensure that the game is functional and working as intended under a variety of conditions and can identify and report any issues that arise.

Different scenarios can include various aspects of the game, such as different levels, game modes, or multiplayer options. Testers can also test the game under different conditions, such as different network speeds, graphics settings, or device configurations.

For example, testing a game’s multiplayer options under different network conditions can help to identify any network-related issues, such as lag or connectivity problems. Testing a game’s graphics settings under different configurations can help to identify any graphical glitches or performance issues. Testing a game’s levels or game modes can help to identify any issues that may be specific to certain areas of the game.

Testing under different scenarios also helps to ensure that the game is released with the highest possible quality, as it helps to identify and address any potential issues before the game is released to the public.

10. Test with Different User Accounts

Different users may have different preferences and settings that can affect how the game performs, and testing with different user accounts can help to ensure that the game works correctly for all users. For example, a bug may occur when a user has a specific language setting or when a user has a certain type of account. By testing the game with different user accounts, testers can identify these types of bugs and report them to the development team for resolution.

Some of the different types of user accounts that can be tested under game application testing services include accounts with different settings, accounts with different permissions, and accounts with different levels of experience or skill.

11. Use a Bug Tracking Tool

Bug tracking tools help testers to manage and track the bugs they report, making it easier to keep track of the bugs and their status throughout the testing process.

Bug tracking tools allow testers to report bugs in a centralized location, making it easier for the development team to access and address the issues. They also allow testers to provide additional information about the bug, such as screenshots, videos, and detailed descriptions, making it easier for the development team to understand and reproduce the issue.

In addition, bug tracking tools provide a way for testers to track the status of the bugs they report, such as whether they have been fixed or are still under investigation. This helps testers to stay informed about the progress of the bug fixes and to provide additional feedback as needed.

Bug tracking tools also help to ensure that bugs are not forgotten or overlooked during the testing process. By having a centralized location to report and track bugs, testers can ensure that all issues are reported and addressed before the game is released.

Also Read: Top Bug Tracking Tools for Successful Software Testing

12. Avoid Duplicates

Reporting duplicate bugs can waste valuable development time and resources, as the development team may spend time investigating and addressing the same issue multiple times. Before reporting a bug, testers should take the time to check if the issue has already been reported. This can be done by checking the bug tracking tool or communication channels used for bug reporting to see if the issue has already been reported by another tester.

If the issue has already been reported, testers should avoid reporting it again and instead focus on providing additional information or feedback on the existing bug report. This can include providing additional details on how to reproduce the issue or describing any additional circumstances under which the bug occurs.

By avoiding duplicate bug reports, testers can help to streamline the bug-reporting process and ensure that development time is spent addressing new and unique issues. This can help to ensure that the game is released with the highest possible quality and that all significant issues are identified and addressed before the game is released.

13. Provide Feedback

Feedback helps to ensure that the issues are adequately addressed and resolved and that the game is released with the highest possible quality.

After the development team has addressed a reported bug, testers should take the time to test the fix and provide feedback on whether the issue has been adequately resolved. This feedback can include information on whether the issue has been completely fixed, whether any new issues have arisen as a result of the fix, and whether the overall gameplay experience has improved.

In addition to providing feedback on bug fixes, testers should also provide feedback on any improvements made to the game during the testing process. This feedback can include information on any new features or enhancements that have been added, as well as feedback on the overall gameplay experience.

By providing feedback, testers can help to ensure that the game is released with the highest possible quality and that all issues are adequately addressed and resolved. Feedback also helps to facilitate communication between testers and the development team, allowing for a more collaborative and effective testing process.

Also Read: Reasons Why A Professional Game Tester Is Important for Game Testing

Final Thoughts

Effective bug reporting is a critical component of game testing, as it helps to ensure that the game is released with the highest quality. By reproducing bugs, providing clear and specific information, using visual aids, prioritizing bugs, testing different scenarios, testing with different user accounts, using bug tracking tools, avoiding duplicates, and providing feedback, testers can help to identify and address issues that may negatively impact the game’s user experience.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, the importance of effective bug reporting will only continue to grow. With the increasing complexity of games and the diversity of platforms and devices available, testers will need to continue to adapt and refine their bug-reporting skills to ensure that all issues are identified and addressed.

Advancements in technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, are also expected to impact the way bugs are reported and addressed in the future. These technologies may help to streamline the bug reporting process, making it easier and more efficient to identify and address issues.

Avatar for Mit Thakkar
About The Author
Digital Marketer at KiwiQA: Software Testing Service Provider Company Worldwide.

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