"Play-only" place file type for testers

As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to share a private experience with select individuals without either:

  • Creating a public experience and making it active at least temporarily (even with Friends Only, these individuals MUST be friends to play then, and I don’t want ALL of my friends to have access)
  • Making a group and creating an experience under it (and if it’s Team Create, they have access)
  • Or sending them a place file with full access to the game data

If possible, I would like the possibility to export “play-only” files. NOT offline games, but a place file that can only be run and not edited. I assume it would have to run in Studio as a play test due to the limitations of experiences that aren’t actually on the Roblox site.

If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve my development experience because private play testing options remain fairly limited. It’s not a huge lack of security to publish an experience and close it afterwards, but it is certainly a hassle when I would just like to be able to send someone a file.

Again, my aim is purely for play testing before/without publishing an actual experience, I don’t see this as sending people offline, single-player experiences.


This may be inconvenient, but if you really want a place to only be playable by a select number of people you can create a server script that checks the player id of a player and kicks them if their player id doesn’t match one of the playerid’s stored in an array. You’d have to make the place public, but only people who you wanted to play could play.
(I hope I’m understanding what you mean correctly)
validPlayerIDs = {16774335,567533} etc etc

Unless you mean talking about sharing the source code?

It’s certainly a good way of tightening security, but the motions of publishing an experience and opening/closing it when testers are online is still a bit troublesome to me.

I’m looking for a more straightforward way of sending demo builds to play testers without explicitly giving them access to the game’s raw assets & code in a way that is easy to copy and re-distribute. I’m not worried that they would run off with them given the chance, but I’d at least like to make it more difficult should someone want to.

How it is now

  1. Save place file
  2. Publish place to placeholder experience
  3. Wait for play tester(s) to be online
  4. Make experience active
  5. Play tester(s) play
  6. Make experience inactive again for security

How I’d like it to be

  1. Save place file
  2. Send place file to play tester(s) and they play it when they can

This sounds way more tedious than just giving them play-only access through the permissions panel in the game settings…

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Does Access Permissions not work for you here? You can have a private game that is not active/available for anyone to join (including friends), and then whitelist any individual user on the platform to play the game.


We have a group where the game is private, and access is given to our “Testers” rank in the group.


I had been thinking more along the lines of compiled Unity builds rather than Access Permissions when writing this, I suppose it fulfills enough of the same purpose though. Still wouldn’t mind having read-only place files, but I’ll go ahead and mark this as the solution.

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@Subcritical_alt The one and only thing about Access Permissions that rubs me the wrong way is that it requires Team Create to enable any collaborators, even though a particular project I’m working on is being made by myself (not a group game) and I don’t plan to add any other developers.

I’m not saying that turning on Team Create is going to break anything or ruin my workflow, but it would be nice if I could just whitelist players without making the project a TC one. Because if anything, I then have to manage the Permissions and manually each and every play testers for every project that I would like to keep under wraps.

Not that I’m going to continue advocating for it, but with read-only place files I fell I could keep the project non-TC and still send it to pre-established play tester group chats on sites like Discord.


Hm, it doesn’t feel like we should be tying Team Create to Play permission. Can you file a bug report on that for us?

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