Introducing: Preview Channel

Introducing: Preview Channel

Into the Unknown

At CitizenCon 2953, we unveiled the Preview Channel—a new channel running in parallel with our live servers, aimed at facilitating the smooth integration of emerging technologies onto the live servers. Read on for details.

Throughout the development of Star Citizen, we’ve achieved numerous technological milestones, each bringing us closer to the immersive universe we’ve always envisioned. When a foundational technology comes online for the first time, it often requires a time of adjustment. It’s an iterative process that sees our team combat unforeseen challenges by inventing solutions on the fly. A process that can often cause disruptions for those who simply want to log in and play. 

That’s where the Preview Channel comes in. A new environment where we will deploy and test new underlying technology in an isolated environment to protect the reliability and playability of the live service. Upcoming foundational technology such as the Replication Layer Split and crash recovery will roll out on the Preview Channel first. These technologies will be tested and hardened in Preview Channel before making their way to PTU for migration to Live. In the future, when we’re ready to deliver Server Meshing, you can expect it to go to Preview Channel first for its effects to be observed and tested before it goes to PTU. Any new technologies on the Preview Channel must be validated, graduated, and ultimately mission-proven before making their way to a live release. 

This means that if you aren’t interested in testing the latest new technologies, you can simply connect to the live game and dive right in. Those amongst you eager to get their hands on the latest cutting-edge tech will be able to connect to the new Preview Channel to do just that. 

But be warned, the Preview Channel is not for the faint of heart. You should always expect the unexpected when testing in this environment. This means that things will work, and then they won’t, that servers will be online… and then suddenly go offline. This is the wild west, a true testing environment where experimentation is the norm and all bets are off. You should never connect and expect healthy progression or reliability, but instead expect uncertainty and the potential for issues related to gameplay, connectivity, or maybe something even more unexpected. We really want to stress this to manage expectations – this is our boiling pot of new tech, and new tech which will live in the Preview Channel, until it’s in a good enough place to make the migration over to our live servers. 

Intrepid explorers will be excited to learn that we’ll be properly inaugurating the Preview Channel by opening the Pyro system within the environment this month. As mentioned above, there will be plenty of unknowns, and we need brave trailblazers like you to face them with grit and determination. Read on for a detailed schedule. 


We’re excited to announce that on Tuesday, October 31, we’ll open access to Pyro on the Preview Channel. We’ll utilize a randomized selection process, pulling from Digital Goodies Pack owners, Concierge, and our most active testers, followed by our usual wave process. More details to come.

We can’t wait to hear what you think about the lawless wasteland that is Pyro.

We’ll see you in-game!

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