Replays Coming to the PBE For Alpha Test

Replays Coming to the PBE For Alpha Test

Update: PBE is now online, and replays are there!

No, you didn’t read the title wrong – an official replays feature indeed exists, and we’re about to open it up to some player testing on the PBE.

We’ve been working hard on this much-requested feature for a while now, but there’s still work to be done before it hits live. Rolling out replays to millions of players is no small feat, and there are some pretty big infrastructure and service challenges that we still need to tackle before they’re ready for a live release.

We’re planning on testing this feature for a few months, but here’s a look at the replay features heading to PBE:

  • Replays from your match history: After you complete a game, a replay will be stored on the servers for a limited time. During this window you can view the replay of a recent game through your match history.
  • Browse your replays: You can review any replay you’ve previously watched through the replay browser in your summoner profile.
  • Watching a replay: When you load into a replay, you’ll have the same interface and control scheme you’re used to from spectator mode. The key difference is that the far right of the timeline is now the end of the recorded match rather than the latest point in a live game.
  • Share replays with friends: You can give a replay file to a friend by right clicking on the entry in your replay browser and clicking "Show In Folder." This will pop up the folder containing your replay. Send the file to a friend, and he can view it by dragging the file onto his open client.

So why the long testing period? Well, on top of the service challenges, there are some fun complications involved with backwards compatibility. As such, we’d love replays to get the same thorough, extensive testing as Spectator Mode. As you recall, we held numerous beta periods over the course of that launch, and these periods of testing really helped us fine tune that feature. 

If you’re a current PBE member, we need your help improving and polishing replays! We hope you’ll take the time to leave us your comments, suggest new functionality and report any problems you run into. Here are a few annotated screenshots to help you get the lay of the land:

You can watch the replay of a recently-played game directly from the match history. Just search for the summoner whose replay you’d like to view, select the game and click the “Watch Replay” button. Once you watch a replay it gets saved into your browser.

In the PBE client, you’ll see that you have a new button in the upper right corner under your RP and IP totals. This button takes you to the replay browser, where you can view any of the replays you’ve previously watched.

You can rename one of the replays in your browser for later reference by double clicking the name.

If you’d like to send a replay to a friend, you can find the file itself by right clicking on the replay and selecting "Show In Folder." Remember that to view your replay, your friend will have to drag the file onto his open client.



  • #9 drkmgic

    so can u save a specific replay just in case u decided you wanted to keep it?

  • #10 darkChozo

    If you ever watch a replay it downloads and saves it so you can watch it anytime. You only get 7 days to download it, though, then it gets deleted off Riot's servers.

  • #12 VardenSC

    So I have to download/save the replay manually after each game? Shouldn't it store my replays in my folder?

  • #13 darkChozo

    Yeah, you do. The replays are recorded server-side by necessity (the clients don't have the necessary data to record everything in a replay), so you'd have to download a replay file for each game. Replay files are about 5MB; that's 50MB per ten man game. Multiply 50MB by however many games of LoL are played a day (that infographic from a while ago pegged LoL with 12 million active daily players, for a sense of what that number could be), and you're hitting server load issues super fast.

    It's not ideal, but it makes some sense on Riot's part. It's not like everyone's going to really want to watch every game they play a week later anyway, and the infrastructure needed to allow that would be kinda ridiculous.


  • #14 VardenSC

    the clients don't have the necessary data to record everything in a replay

    How come? The client processes all the data from the server (everything that's going on in the game) anyway. Shouldn't it be able to store them at the same time?

    5MB?! The largest file in my StarCraft II replay folder takes about 450KB and it's a replay of some crazy mod with 8 players. Average file takes about 50KB. I know it's 1v1 replay, but it's still much, much smaller after some basic multiplication.

    To be honest, it's not a replay system I expected.

  • #15 darkChozo

    The way LoL is set up, the client only gets the information it needs to display a screen to the player. I don't know exactly how far it goes, but at the very least the client doesn't know anything about what's in the fog of war. I think it might go as far as not sending information about what's happening off the screen, so if you unlocked the zoom somehow you wouldn't be able to see enemies until they'd be on the screen anyway, but I'm not sure about that (minimap data is presumably sent separately).

    That kind of set up is great against stopping hackers (no maphack if the client literally doesn't know where things on the map are), but does introduce a lot of complexity in doing something like a replay, which is why it took forever.

    As for the file size, if I had to guess, I'd say that SC is just recording player input and then playing it back within the engine, while LoL is actually keeping track of every unit in the game. The file size sounds about right there (2 players * 100 APM * 15 minutes * 12 bytes per click [x,y,time] = 36KB, as an example). I can barely guess at how much data a continuous game state would take up, but suffice to say that it would be more than just player input. But that's just a guess, could be bad optimization or something.

  • #16 VardenSC

    at the very least the client doesn't know anything about what's in the fog of war

    I didn't know that. That explains a lot :) Thank you.

  • #8 Nakhan

    So wickedly awesome is an understatement.

  • #7 MarcoFoxRoberto

    Poor lolrecorder. It's not like I'll miss it, but it probably sucks for the guys that made the app a few years ago and that have been updating it all this time.

  • #11 NTGHaruhi

    I don't see that lolreplay will be forgotten just yet. It can save the game as well as all the chat and other stuff which sometimes is good.

  • #6 OuterRaven


    Bye LoL Recorder, I hardly knew ye.

  • #5 Lockheed300

    YESSS!!!! WP, Riot... WP.

  • #4 EuWGasgano


  • #1 ryalz

    brb uninstalling lolreplay

    Last edited by ryalz: 2/14/2013 2:00:56 PM
  • #2 Inzani7y

    g fucking g


  • #3 PelliaSingh


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