If you’re interested in building and testing applications on the Ethereum network, you’ve probably heard of Rinkeby and other testnets.
These alternative networks offer a safe and cost-effective way to experiment with Ethereum applications without risking real funds on the main network, and this makes them an important part of the crypto ecosystem.
But how do you actually add these testnets to your MetaMask wallet? In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to add Rinkeby and other testnets to your MetaMask wallet, so you can start building and testing your own Ethereum applications today or experimenting with the network.
What is Rinkeby or a Testnet in General?
In a nutshell, a testnet is a network that runs parallel to the main network, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, but is used for testing purposes. Since we are using MetaMask wallet, Rinkeby, Ropsten, or other test networks we’ll talk about today are Ethereum test networks.
Testnets allow developers and users to test out new features, applications, and smart contracts without risking real cryptocurrency on the main network.
After all, developing an application in any programming language is a game of trial and error. And you wouldn’t want to lose your assets because of a bug.
And that’s also their biggest advantage. Testents enable developers to identify and fix bugs before releasing the application or feature on the main network.
In addition, test networks are also useful for experimenting with new use cases or for beginners to do their first few transactions completely without risk.
Also, note that almost any network has its own testnet environment. You can notice that when importing any custom network to MetaMask. You usually have the option to choose Mainnet or Testnet.
When it comes to Rinkeby, it’s an EVM-compatible network that mimics the Ethereum blockchain and its behavior.
Now let’s take a look at how to enable them in your MetaMask wallet!
How to Add Rinkeby Testnet to MetaMask
When it comes to crypto networks, you usually have to research the web to find RPC URL and other details and manually import it to MetaMask.
Instead, you just need to enable test networks in the MetaMask settings, as ETH testnets come pre-packed in your wallet.
Add Rinkeby Test Network to MetaMask Extension
1. First, unlock your wallet with your password.
2. After you have logged in, you need to go to your wallet settings. To do so, tap on the profile picture and select “Settings.”
3. Once you move to settings, you get a lot of customization options to choose from. Although it would be logical to find testnets in the network tab, you’ll actually need to visit “advanced” settings.
4. Now scroll down about halfway down until you see the toggle option to “Show Test Networks.” Toggle the button ON to show all pre-configured testnets in your wallet.
5. Now, you’ll see the Rinkeby test network besides the other four testnets in the network selector.
Enable Rinkeby Testnet on the MetaMask Mobile App
Using Rinkeby or other test networks is a lot easier on the mobile app since you don’t have to enable anything.
Just launch the app and unlock it using your passcode or biometrics. Once you appear on the app’s main screen, select the network selector at the top.
A new dialog will pop up featuring all your available networks, including Rinkeby and other testnets.
How to use Rinkeby Testnet and Get ETH There
Since it’s only a test network, the assets obtained don’t carry any real-world value. You don’t need to purchase Ether tokens (ETH) on the Rinkeby testnet. You can quickly get as much as you need for free.
To get Rinkeby ETH on your MetaMask wallet, you need to use the Rinkeby faucet. The process will be similar to any other testnet, just search for its faucet on google.
And that’s exactly what you need to do to request tokens to your wallet on the Rinkeby testnet.
First, visit faucet.rinkeby.io. However, the Rinkeby faucet requires you to use a social profile to request funds; either Facebook or Twitter. That’s because even testnet uses computing power to confirm transactions, if you could get ETH just by pasting your address, it could lead to spam attacks.
Make a public post or tweet containing your wallet address that you can copy from your MetaMask. Then, copy the link to your post and tap “Give me Ether.” You can then select how much you need.
Then go back to MetaMask, and your funds should arrive there shortly after.
Can you Withdraw ETH from Rinkeby?
The ETH on Rinkeby or any other testnet is only meant for testing purposes and has no real-world value. So attempting to withdraw it would be pointless.
If you want to withdraw real ETH, you’ll need to do so on the main Ethereum network. You can easily switch between the Mainnet and Testnets in your MetaMask wallet by clicking on the network dropdown menu located at the top.
However, you can send test ETH from one wallet to another to really test the network. But Ether on any test network can’t leave the testnet.
By now, you should have a good understanding of what Rinkeby and other testnets are, how to add Rinkeby testnet to your MetaMask wallet, and how to use Rinkeby to get ETH for testing and experimenting with your Ethereum applications.
Testnets like Rinkeby provide a safe and cost-effective way to test out new features and applications without risking real funds on the main network.
However, it’s important to remember that the ETH on Rinkeby and other testnets has no real-world value and cannot be withdrawn or used for real transactions.
Keep that in mind. It’s not uncommon for people to try to scam someone using testnets.