League of Legends players have discovered what seems to be an offline mode within the game’s Public Beta Environment (PBE) server.
Players have long been wanting an option to hide their in-game activity from their in-game friends. The offline mode, as the community has named it, has been asked for on numerous occasions on both Reddit and Riot Games’ official forums in the past. Riot is now possibly testing its implementation on the PBE.
League of Legends is a team-based game, and Riot often encourages playing with friends. There have been in-game achievements for premade games, the flex ranked queue gave players an option to compete in ranked with up to four friends at a time, and more. However, players sometimes want to play alone without having to explain to their friends why they’d rather not group up.
A recent Reddit post shows a summoner appearing offline while in the PBE client. At the same time, the user sees their entire friend list as being offline as well. It’s unclear if this is just a bug on the testing server or signs of a new feature, but players are sure hoping they have discovered a new offline mode. The post was well-received, with players saying that it’s about time this change was implemented.
Allowing players to appear offline while they’re actually playing a game, however, might be more complicated than that. If the purpose of the mode is to hide someone’s activity, it’s questionable how that would be handled with players’ profiles, match histories, and third-party software that uses such information. If a player is scared that their friends might take their wish to play alone personally, having them find out they have been purposely avoiding them through other means might also be an issue.
Regardless, there are players that prefer playing alone without having to put their friends down or getting distracted by their messages. And ten years after the release of League of Legends, it might be high time for Riot to implement this highly desired change to the friends’ system. As of now, the developer hasn’t said anything about it publicly.