The first tests conducted that were available to the public were on a modified Nuketown map. The only gun available was the M4 carbine, using an older model that does not look similar to the M4 in-game today. Bullets left long grey trails, and characters would oftentimes be unable to vault correctly. The player GUI resembled more of Call of Duty: Ghosts rather than Battlefield 3, as it currently does. This was soon changed.
Eventually the then-unnamed Crane Site map was introduced, (which has been relatively unchanged since its initial release) and a small and simple click-button-for-gun loadout menu was added.
Sidearms included the M9, M1911, Glock 17, Glock 18, MP412 REX, and the Deagle 44. There was also a truncated shotgun called the Serbu Super-Shorty, which could be taken as either a primary or secondary and was re-added as only a secondary some time after the game went into beta.
The only mode was Team Deathmatch, which had no time limit or kill cap. The Phantoms were green, while the Ghosts were red. A player had an infinite grenade stockpile.
At some point during these updates, a fragmentation system for the terrain was added. This inclusion only lasted for a short time, and was eventually removed. Players could take advantage of this to hide in the storage towers and shoot out with impunity, or break into the stairwell of the parking garage. After a few patches, the Sten was removed.
Eventually a new map appeared: Ravod 911. Once again, this map remains relatively unchanged even to this date. Ravod 911's tallest rooftops were accessible by a ladder, leading to a swarm of snipers atop the roofs who often completely broke the round until they got bored and left. These towers are now inaccessible save for glitching on top of them.
Multiple weapons were introduced about the same time - the MP7, Remington 870, AK12, AN-94, C7A2, G36, M16A4, M16A3, FAMAS, BFG 50 (called the Serbu BFG-50), VSS Vintorez (with a scope similar to the one on the Dragunov SVU), the Dragunov SVU itself, and the MK11.
After that, the game did not get any major updates. Soon, Phantom Forces became free, using a new framework, and went into its open beta stage. This new framework required a full reworking of all weapons to use it and greatly reduced the number of weapons available in-game. They are being slowly re-introduced over time as Shaylan remodels each one. However, re-adding the old alpha weapons now seems to be a low priority.
Phantom Forces Demo Testing was a phase in which the creator, Litozinnamon, tested his CSG guns, models and scripts.
Demo Testing began in December of 2014. The game and its framework were very basic and featured around 15 weapons without customization. By Christmas of 2014, Litozinnamon added a paid access fee of 75 robux for players who wished to play and test the game earlier. This period of "pay-to-play" is known as Alpha Testing. By August of 2015 Lito switched it back to where anyone could join for free. After around two months, Lito decided to move on to Beta Testing and closed the place on September the 23rd.
During the first month of demo testing, weapons were lacking and there was only a single map. After Alpha Testing was over, weapons were beginning to be better scripted with new key elements such as attachments being added. Lito had also expanded the map selection to 3.
Phantom Forces moved on to Beta, which is the version that contributed much to the game's development. In the Beta, the Developers prioritized on adding more content instead of improving or tweaking the framework, which was mostly done in Alpha. Players that had participated in Alpha Testing received the in-game title in chat of "Alpha Tester".
On 8 December 2016, the long anticipated UI update was finally released, and the game went out of beta. The UI update, however, was received rather poorly due to many bugs, skin lag, the Rogue One promotion event, the Base Luna map, and a few other reasons. Over time, many bugs have been fixed. Alpha Testers had their Alpha Tester tag changed to "Vet" after some time.