Playing games gives you a chance to relax from the rigors of daily life, but it can also be a great way to make some money. According to statistics, there are about 244 million gamers in the United States.
21% are under 18 years. 38% are between 18 and 34 years old. 26% are between 34 and 54 years. 9% are between 55 and 64 years and 6% of senior citizens above 65 years of age.
There are more people playing games than ever before across all ages, genders, and locations. So I thought I’d share some interesting tips that can also help you make money while playing games.
We now know that playing games can be both fun and profitable. But how do we make the most money playing the games we love? Are you looking to make money playing games? If so, this post highlights the best legit ways to make money playing games.
Let’s dive in.
- Get paid to test games
- Become a quality assurance officer
- Use Get-Paid-To (GPT) sites
- Start gaming podcasts
- Create or design your own game
- Compete in gaming tournaments
- Stream live online on Twitch or Mixer
- Apply to work with an eSports team
- Start a YouTube channel and offer gameplay tutorials
- Produce and sell video game-related merchandise
Here are the best ways to make money as a gamer.
1. Get paid to test games
Get paid to play games? It’s not just a joke! Game developers always need gamers to test their games. Gamers provide feedback that helps developers to make the games more fun for all players.
For instance, gamers break down and analyze a game to determine why it may be fun or not for the end-users. Game testers work on games long before they are released.
There are plenty of ways to get paid to test games. You can be a focus tester, beta tester, or even get paid over the phone to give your opinion on a new brand of game.
Some companies pay you about $50 to $150 for a 20-minute play session. So if you love games, this could be the perfect way for you to make some cash in your free time, while helping make the next great game.
2. Become a quality assurance officer
The job of a quality assurance (QA) tester is to make sure that a piece of software or a game is ready for release before the public can get its hands on it. QA testers find bugs in software and report them to the QA lead.
They also fix these bugs before the product is sold to ensure they won’t appear in the product once it’s sold to the public. The main purpose of a QA tester in a company that makes video games is to test all the games before they are released to the public.
If you’re a good gamer, you could make some full-time money working in quality assurance. When you play games for a living, you analyze and report errors. If any errors are found, the development team patches them. This means less frustration for the end-user and more fun for your test group.
QA testers are more concerned with products that already meet a certain level of quality as determined by the developers as opposed to game testers who try to break the game.
3. Use Get-Paid-To (GPT) sites
If you haven’t heard of GPT (Get-Paid-To) sites, it’s time to learn about them. GPT sites are a great way to make some extra cash safely online. They offer payment for doing the things you already do online such as playing games, but for rewards.
Some companies offer surveys and focus testing for free games, but you could end up being charged to take part. It’s best to do your homework and filter companies who charge for your time from those that are just looking for feedback
Learn more: 11 best GPT sites.
4. Start gaming podcasts
There are many benefits to running your podcast, including creating a new income stream. You can start a gaming podcast as an affiliate for games-related products with an occasional affiliate link included in your episodes.
The other benefit is the perceived credibility you will build from having your platform to talk about games. Make sure to start podcasting with high-quality equipment if you want to attract sponsors and have listeners look up to you as an authority figure in the gaming community.
Starting a gaming podcast is not as difficult as you think. Well, before you start podcasting for fun and pocket change, there are a few things you should be aware of. You can get started without any prior experience or special equipment.
If you already have a computer or laptop, then you are all set. An estimated amount you can expect to make in affiliate sales if your podcast has about 10,000 downloads per episode is between $500 and $900.
Learn more: 9 tested and tried ways to monetize your podcast
5. Create or design your own game
Games and gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry. Becoming a game designer or developer if you can code could be a great way to make a living. If you love gaming and are good at making games, it is worthwhile to consider this career option.
In some cases, you do not need to know how to code to build or develop your own game. Although it might be quite expensive, if you have enough money you can spare or secure financial backing, gaming projects are lucrative.
Another option is you can join or set up a team to develop the game. It’s even better if you have friends who are developers, animators, and illustrators. Pull your resources together and come with a game with nice concepts.
An alternative is available if this seems too time-consuming. You can pitch your idea to a major video game company if you have an idea or a concept for a game. If they’re interested, they might need you to work with their developers or buy the idea from you.
As a game developer, you can earn about $6,000 to $12,000 per month depending on your skills and expertise. The income potential will be greater if you can work multiple remote gigs as well.
Learn more: 12 ways to become a successful web designer
6. Compete in gaming tournaments
A variety of professional and amateur gaming tournaments exist, either in-person or online. Most tournaments offer decent cash prizes for the winners, and many even provide travel support as well.
These tournaments are a great way to make some side money playing games. Go for the gold and get a first-hand taste of fame and fortune by competing in gaming tournaments.
Through multiplayer online games or gaming tournaments, you can compete with some of the industry’s best or make a name for yourself. Not only will you get to meet people who share common interests with you, but you’ll also gain exposure.
7. Stream live on Twitch or Mixer
If you’ve ever played games online like COD or League of Legends, then you may want to give streaming a try. Watching live entertainment is at an all-time high, and more and more people are trying their hand at live entertainment via streaming.
If you enjoy playing video games, why not turn that hobby into a paycheck? Streaming on Twitch or Mixer is a great way to earn money while doing something you love.
When you broadcast, it’s important to interact with your viewers as they may have questions or feedback that could help you improve your channel. The options for making money here are donations from fans or live viewer subscriptions.
The only real investment you need is a powerful computer and apps to capture your screen. This method allows you to play games and interact with your audience while being compensated for your time.
8. Apply to work with an eSports team
eSports is an industry that relies heavily upon teamwork. If you’re good enough to play games for a living, there’s a good chance you’ll be the perfect person to work with a team.
It’s important to note that working with an eSports team is not about being able to play games well: it’s about being able to work well with other players. Some online games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Dota 2 have eSports teams that are sponsored by different companies.
Teams are in constant need of support staff to improve their players’ performance, so you can get an early foot in the door there. Since companies sponsor teams, you can contact them directly to look for sponsorship or benefits.
9. Start a YouTube channel and offer gameplay tutorials
We are living in the “Age of the YouTuber”. Have you ever thought about starting a channel that offers gameplay tutorials?
If enough people see your passion for gaming, and your intense skills playing FIFA or Call of Duty, you could make an income doing what you already love to do. And the best part about it is that everything is free to start.
Here are some of the things you can do with your gaming YouTube channel.
- Sell in-game resources
- Upload walkthroughs on YouTube
- Offer existing game reviews
- React or run a commentary on the highlights and features of a new game
With the popularity of video games ever-growing, more and more people are looking for ways to get better at these games. With an active YouTube channel, you can offer gamers helpful tips and tricks on how to get far in different games.
10. Sell video game-related merchandise
Many gamers are passionate enough about the games that they play to spend lots of cash on enhancements and extras for their experience. If you’re passionate about a game, consider selling game-related merchandise to other, more enthusiastic fans.
That old controller you have outgrown might be exactly what a more casual gamer needs to upgrade his equipment so he can face the challenges at the next level. The following are some ideas of game-related merchandise you can sell
- Design and sell custom T-shirts and hoodies
- Pins and Patches
- Emoticons and Stickers
- Books and guides
- Fan costumes
- Signed copies of games you’ve played (if you’re a pro gamer)
- Video game accessories
- Game currency
- Personalized item
- In-game content
Think about what people pay at places like eBay for things your character collects or uses during the game and capitalize on that. Video game enthusiasts love to collect new and vintage items from their favorite franchise or game.
What do you need to play games for money?
Playing games is great. Making money from playing games is even better. You need an audience to make money from your games, whether you are a professional gamer, an entrepreneur, or a parent trying to pay for college. The opportunities are endless.
Besides, you also need a computer and an internet connection. To perform profitably, it might also help if you live in an area with a high population or where playing games for money is legal. Lastly, all you need is your enthusiasm for games, and the desire to make money.
Nonetheless, this is only a hunch based on what I’ve noticed trying to make money playing video games.
How can I increase my game earnings?
There are things that you can do to make more money playing games. First, you have to know which games you will be playing. Some games are better suited for money-making than others.
Also, you need to love or at least enjoy playing them. It’s a lot easier to make money if it’s not an effort. Furthermore, you should probably focus on one game – but play other games too.
Additionally, many gamers make money by getting advertisements placed on their streams, which is a great way to earn passive income.
What are the benefits of making money playing games?
While it’s nice to make money playing games, the real benefits are being able to play the games you love, meet new friends, and experience the fun of social gaming. Perhaps the most important aspect, there is the independence of not having to rely on someone else for income.
Game opportunities are endless. One of the biggest benefits that one can get from making money by playing games is that you have a source of passive income with little effort.
The benefits of this are that the money is freed up to be spent however the individual sees fit. It also frees up your brainpower so that you can work on other endeavors to increase your chance of success.
Do I need a lot of friends or an online streaming community to make money playing games?
No, you don’t. Why? Any game that you are good at will allow you to make money. You don’t need to have a lot of friends or subscribers unless you want to earn revenue by playing games with them.
You can also use online streaming platforms such as Twitch to find people who will watch you play games. The ability to make money playing games is all about confidence and consistency in your performance if you’d like to earn consistent income for your efforts.
Can playing games for money be a full-time gig?
Yes, but it’s not usually an easy one. You’ll be the judge of whether this is something you’re interested in, full-time or part-time. Whichever way, it can certainly supplement your current income. For most game testers, playing games will become a part-time job at best.
To game test full-time, you must be skillful at the games you test, and be able to point out bugs quickly and accurately. Playing games for money is a profession but not in the way most people would imagine. Most of the professionals playing games for money do it as a side-job or a way to make extra cash.
A select few can play games for money full-time though typically they are sponsored by some company or use their royalties from their eSports team. That is why many of the people you see streaming on Twitch are employed full-time and simply doing it on the side.
Playing games for a living is the dream for gamers. However, the route to being a professional video game player is not an easy one. It takes many years of devotion and practice to become one of the top players in the world.
There are no limits to the number of ways you can make money playing games. Anyone can make money playing games. Make games your new hobby, and watch your income climb.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you are a teenager or college student reading this article, I am sure you will find my article on how to make money as a college student interesting.
You can also make it as a teenager without a college degree. Check out my post on the 19 practical tips on how to make money without a college degree. Aside from playing video games to make money, you can also learn how to make money with online paid surveys.
Thanks for reading.