Testing Your Game Center-Aware Game

To help you test your game, Apple provides a nonproduction development environment for Game Center. This development environment duplicates the live functionality of Game Center, but is separate from the live servers. The development environment allows you to test your Game Center features without making your game visible to regular users. You should thoroughly test your game in a development environment before submitting it for approval.

Testing a Game Center-Aware Game

Before submitting your game to the App Store, your game can only run in the Game Center sandbox test environment. Use the sandbox test environment to test the Game Center integration of your game. To do this, go to Settings > Game Center and enable the Sandbox option as shown in Figure 10-1. Then launch your game and sign into Game Center when prompted. If this is the first time you have used your AppleID with the Game Center sandbox, you may need to complete your sandbox Game Center profile.

Figure 10-1  Enabling the sandbox option

Otherwise, enter your live account information (signing you in to the live environment. Table 10-1 shows which builds run in which environments.

Table 10-1  Different kinds of app builds



Game Center Environment

Simulator build


Development environment

Developer build


Development environment

Ad hoc distribution build

Beta testers

Development environment

Signed Distribution build

End users

Live environment

A development environment does not allow sharing of information about what games are being played. This prevents your testers from revealing the existence of your game to other players.

Testing Your Game in iOS Simulator

Leaderboards and achievements work the same way in iOS Simulator as they do on a device. However, matchmaking invitations may not be sent or received while your game is running in iOS Simulator.