The Beacon Academy Initiation is a process that all first-year students possibly go through upon arrival at Beacon Academy.
Instructors grade the students for the duration of the initiation but do not intervene in any way.
In "The First Step", Professor Ozpin, Glynda Goodwitch, and the new students arrive at Beacon Cliff for the first part of their test. Ozpin mentions the dangers and possibility of death during the initiation, advising the students not to hesitate to destroy everything in their path to succeed. It is also explained that, once in the Emerald Forest, their partner for the next four years would be the first person they make eye contact with.
They will then head north to an abandoned temple to find and return one of the relics. These relics are newly chosen by the headmaster himself for the test each year. (In the year the RWBY team partook, the relics were chess pieces.) It was also stated that the students would be watched by staff members, but that those watching them would not help because their job is simply to observe.
The students were then launched one at a time into the Emerald Forest, using their own landing strategy to land safely (except Jaune Arc, who was saved by Pyrrha Nikos). Upon landing in the forest, each student eventually found a partner either on purpose or by accident and the duos started making their way to the temple. Along the way, the students were faced with attacks from different types of Grimm all over the forest. While some managed to beat their enemies, others failed and were forced to retreat.
Through the initiation, the students are put into teams comprised of four students each, who are formed based on the two pairs that took the same relics, such as Team RWBY, with both pairs taking the white knight piece.
At the conclusion of Initiation, Ozpin announces each team based on the relic they retrieved. He names and appoints a leader to each team.
- Ruby Rose
- Weiss Schnee
- Blake Belladonna
- Yang Xiao Long
- Jaune Arc
- Nora Valkyrie
- Pyrrha Nikos
- Lie Ren
- Cardin Winchester
- Russel Thrush
- Dove Bronzewing
- Sky Lark
- Ruby Rose and Weiss Schnee
- Blake Belladonna and Yang Xiao Long
- Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos
- Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie
- Kerry Shawcross stated on Twitter that Blake was, in fact, in the launch sequence. Whether this was him taking advantage of Blake's absence and similarities to a ninja for a joke or covering for an error was unknown at the time, but it was further revealed in the RWBY Vol. 1 DVD commentary that they did not show her landing strategy because, as Kerry stated, "She's a cat, she'd just land on her feet."
- Nora mentions the forest to Ren before they even leave the locker rooms. This suggests the setting for the initiation, as opposed to the rest of the test (apart from the forming of pairs), is either not a secret, or a secret that was not well-kept.
- According to Ozpin, before the test started, it is possible to die during the Initiation. Given the tone of his voice and the dangerous nature of the Grimm, it is likely he is telling the truth.
- The students are monitored from a distance using scrolls.