Recent experiments on Tokamak à Configuration Variable have made significant progress toward partial detachment of the outer divertor in neutral beam heated H-mode plasmas in conventional and alternative divertor configurations. The heating power required to enter H-mode was measured in a range of divertor configurations. It is found that at the core densities most favourable for H-mode access, the L–H threshold power is largely independent of the poloidal flux expansion and major radius of the outer divertor, and in the snowflake minus configuration. A factor 2 reduction in the outer divertor power load was achieved in ELM-free (using a fuelling and nitrogen seeding) and ELMy (using nitrogen seeding) H-mode plasmas. No significant reduction in the outer divertor particle flux was achieved in the ELM-free scenarios, compared with ~30% reduction in the most strongly detached ELMy cases. The poloidal flux expansion at the outer divertor was not found to significantly alter the cooling of the divertor in the ELM-free scenarios.