I'm planning out next tier of testing a parachain after local testing. There is both Westend and Rococo testnets, but I'm not 100% sure what the differences are between the two of them.

Which one (or perhaps which order?) is suggested for post-local parachain testing?

Any other differences between Westend and Rococo that would be good to know?

1 Answer 1


This is indeed a very good question.

Rococo is the testnet for all parachains in the Ecosystem (as announced on last Sub0 Conference), and all teams that want to try out being a Parachain, or building on Polkadot, should connect to Rococo.

Rococo's objective

Polkadot has a different infrastructure than what legacy blockchains offer. Builders can build infrastructure, pallets, d(u)apps and parachains, so Rococo aims to be the place where all these builders come to test their builds. For that, it has all the features available on both Kusama and Polkadot (like HRMP and XCM), and even some experimental features, like Beefy.

How to connect to Rococo

Rococo has a special pallet called assigned_slots that works providing either long-lasting slots or short-lasting slots. As long as a team has a production network live (either Polkadot or Kusama), they will have a permanent slot on Rococo. This helps them build their ecosystems and fosters collaboration with other teams as well. On the other hand, if a team is not yet live, it will go to a pool of short-lasting slots, where at any moment in time 5 teams will be connected and they will onboard and offboard on a round-robin fashion.

To connect to Rococo, you can create an issue here. If you are aiming for a short-lasting slot, you need to register your wasm and genesis on chain, then open an issue and have the team connect you. Otherwise, if you are aiming for a long-lasting slot, you will need to create the issue directly so that the team can force you to a specific paraID.


Finally, as a remark, Westend is a network where releases are finally tested before being launched on a production network. It was previously used to onboard parachains just before them being registered as parathreads on either Kusama/Polkadot, but with Rococo this is not being used anymore.

  • And also Westend can be used for testing your polkadot/kusama node setup. Commented May 20, 2022 at 11:41

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