There was a selection headache for Neil ahead of the opener with late injuries in pre-season ruling out Maguire and Bodin for the foreseeable future.
Moult was given his opportunity as the lone striker whilst Robinson and Barkhuizen occupied the wide positions with Harrop sitting behind the frontman.
Ledson had to be content with a place on the bench as Browne partnered Pearson in midfield. There was no place for Huntington or Earl in the squad as new boy Hughes played at left back whilst Davies played alongside Clarke with Fisher at right back.
North End dominated the first half but were wasteful when getting to the final third. This was a recurrent theme last season and has yet to be fully resolved. Robinson had a couple of opportunities but his shots were well wide.
The best chance fell to the visitors as Matt Smith headed wide from close range but apart from that there was little threat from QPR as the sides went in level at the break.
North End took the lead in the second half as Browne looped a header home over the keeper from a ball into the box. It was enough to give Preston the victory.
The home side had opportunities but failed to convert and this will need to be addressed moving forward. QPR are very much a work in progress under new management and almost snatched a draw when Declan Rudd made a brave save from a point blank range shot towards the end of the game.
Preston will face much stiffer opponents this season but their home form will be crucial again this season as teams will likely sit back and soak up the pressure. North End need to be more clinical in front of goal to see some progression over the season.