Skip to content

Practicing with the Test Network

An Ethereum test network (testnet for short) is an Ethereum blockchain, functionally identical to the standard Ethereum blockchain, but it's intended to be used for testing smart contracts before they go live onto the main "real" blockchain (called mainnet). Testnets run in parallel with mainnet - there are actually several of them running right now!

You can read more about some of the Execution Layer testnets here if you like. Rocket Pool uses Holesky for its Execution Layer testnet. You can use a block explorer for it here if you'd like to take a look at it:

The same concept applies to the Consensus Layer as well. Rocket Pool uses Holesky for its Consensus Layer testnet. You can find a block explorer for it here:

Because the networks are intended for testing, ETH on them is given out for free to help people test. This ETH cannot be transferred to mainnet; it must stay on Holesky and has no real value, so you can think of it as Monopoly money.


DO NOT use your real ETH from mainnet at any point if you are trying out Rocket Pool's test network! You will lose your funds forever if you do this! You should only use test ETH that you received on the Holesky network from a faucet (described below)!

Configuring the Testnet

The default configuration of Rocket Pool using Docker handles all of the settings involved in using a testnet for you automatically. There's nothing special you need to do.

If you're using a different setup with an external execution or consensus client, or are running your clients natively without Docker, then you will need to set this up manually:

  • For Geth: add --holesky to the launch command.
  • For Lighthouse: add --network holesky to the launch command.
  • For Nimbus: add --network=holesky to the launch command.
  • For Prysm: add --holesky to the launch command.
  • For Teku: add --network=holesky to the launch command.
  • For Lodestar: prefix the launch command with LODESTAR_NETWORK=holesky

Check the next section to learn how to get some test ETH on Holesky, which you'll need to test Rocket Pool out.

Getting Test ETH on Holesky

To use the Rocket Pool test network, you'll need ETH on Holesky. Luckily, you can get this for free using a faucet - an automated service that will provide you with Holesky ETH to test with.


You will need to provide an Ethereum address in order to receive test ETH.

If you are just trying to stake your ETH normally and receive rETH, please review the Staking Guide before getting Holesky ETH. You will be prompted to return here at the appropriate step.

If you are planning to run a node, please go through the Node Operator Guide to set up a node and create a new wallet first. You will be prompted to return here at the appropriate step.

Rocket Pool provides a faucet in its Discord server. Join the server and head to the #support channel.

Here, you can ask for testnet ETH. You will need to provide your node address.


The testnet faucet bot is no longer directly accessible to the public due to previous abuse. It is only available to the dev team and prominent members of the community. To receive testnet eth, run the below commands, state your intentions in the channel. Be patient and someone will access the faucet on your behalf.

If you aren't planning to register a node and just want some ETH to test staking to receive rETH, type the following command in the channel:

!holeskyEth <your holesky address>

without the angle brackets. If your wallet doesn't have any ETH already, the bot will send your wallet 1 ETH to test with.

If you are planning to run a node, do the following:

  1. Start by running the !holeskyEth command above to acquire enough ETH to register your node
  2. Register your node (see the Preparing your Node page for instructions)
  3. Run the following command to get 8 Holesky ETH so you can create a validator:
!holeskyOperator <your holesky address>

In order to use !holeskyOperator, the address you provide it must be a registered Rocket Pool node. Therefore, you must follow these 3 steps in that order.

Getting Test RPL on Holesky

If you're testing out node operation, you'll need some test RPL in addition to test ETH. To get this, you'll need to use the Smartnode stack's command line interface (CLI) tool. You'll want to set up the Smartnode stack following the Node Operator's guide before collecting RPL from the faucet.

Once your Smartnode CLI is installed and you have a wallet assigned to your node, you can access the built-in RPL faucet. Use the following command to check on its status:

rocketpool faucet status

The output will look like this:

The faucet has a balance of 1999400.000000 RPL.
You can withdraw 600.000000 RPL (requires a 0.500000 GoETH fee)!
Allowances reset in 26585 blocks.

The faucet is on a timer, so each node operator can only use the faucet once every 4 or 5 days.

  • The faucet balance indicates how much RPL is still available.
  • The withdraw amount shows how much RPL you can receive from the faucet during the current cycle. If you already used the faucet, this line will change to let you know that you can't use it again this cycle.
  • The reset timer shows how long (in blocks) it is until the next cycle, at which point you can use the faucet again. The amount of time remaining (in minutes) is approximately this number * 13 seconds per block / 60 seconds.


The RPL faucet charges a 0.5 holesky ETH fee to use it, in order to prevent people from abusing the system. You'll need to have at least this amount in your node wallet already in order to use it!

When you're ready to receive RPL from the faucet, use the following command:

rocketpool faucet withdraw-rpl

After a short wait, you'll see the following output:

Successfully withdrew 600.000000 RPL from the faucet.


From time to time, the faucet may be abused or run out of RPL. In this case, please head over to the #support channel in the discord and request it in the same nature as ETH.

!holeskyRpl <your holesky node address>

This will provide you with 600 of the legacy (v1) RPL token, which is analogous to the original RPL token on mainnet. Rocket Pool uses a new (v2) RPL token which supports the inflation used to reward node operators.

To learn how to swap legacy RPL for new RPL, follow the steps in the Creating a Minipool (Validator) guide.