Gaming is something many of us would gladly do for free. Many of us wish we could do more of it!
But what if I told you there was a way you could do exactly that and get paid for it as well? You don’t even have to be that good!
I think that’s what you call “living the dream!”
In this post, we’ll explore how to make money from gaming, or even how to be a professional gamer as your full-time gig. So grab your controller, and let’s make some money!
Don’t you think you can make a lot of money from gaming? Ask PewDiePie what he thinks about that!
(PewDiePie has an estimated net worth of $30 million!)
Perhaps the most reliable, lucrative, and accessible option for making money from gaming, is to play games on YouTube or Twitch. On YouTube, you can create videos providing commentary as you play through the title, while on Twitch you will stream your gameplay live.
If you have a wacky, out-there personality, then this can help. But even “no-commentary” playthroughs can rack up a lot of views on YouTube.
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Simply create your channel, start playing, and then generate interest to get people to come and watch. On Twitch, you’ll need to join the Twitch Partnership program, an offshoot of Amazon’s Associate program (Twitch is owned by Amazon after all). From this point, you’ll be able to earn money from advertisements posted on your videos.
Similarly, YouTube creators can start earning money once they pass 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 viewing hours by joining the YouTube Partner Programme.
There are other ways to monetize these accounts too. For example, you can create a Patreon account to earn money from followers that want to show their support. You could alternatively sell a product of some sort, or land a sponsorship deal. The bigger your view count grows, the more options you will have!
Your success will come down to a combination of selecting the right games (finding a niche is always a good strategy), using smart descriptions and tags, and being consistent. There’s also a big element of luck here though, so while you stand to earn a lot of money this way, it is far from being a “sure thing.”
If you love gaming, then why not record your sessions and try uploading or streaming them? If you make a few bucks, that’s better than nothing! If it goes massive, you may never look back.
Surely being a games tester is up there with being a chocolate taster?
As a games tester, it will be your job to playtest games. This will help developers to find bugs in their game design, as well as to identify areas that could be improved. Perhaps one weapon is too overpowered and it’s ruining the balance of the game. Maybe one level is far too difficult.
Your job is to identify these issues and to provide feedback before the game launches to thousands of angry players!
There are two main ways you can do this:
Testing mobile games as a side hustle
Landing a role as a playtester isn’t necessarily easy if you’re looking to test AAA titles. However, if you’re happy to focus on mobile games and apps, then several sites make the process easy. And for some, this is quite convenient too as it’s an option you can enjoy on your commute or while relaxing with family in the evening. If you want to know how to make money from gaming on mobile, this is a good strategy!
One such site is PlaytestCloud. Sign up and you’ll be sent games to try out (mostly on your mobile device) by email. You then record your thoughts while you’re playing and get paid by PayPal. The site won’t make you rich overnight, and gigs can sometimes be few and far between. But the company is legit and does payout on time. You can stand to earn up to $100 a month on a good month. That’s enough for a fancy meal or even a holiday every few months, so it’s not to be sniffed at. Especially as you’ll earn money gaming!
Becoming a professional video game tester
But what if you want to become a professional video game tester? This is a harder gig to land, but if you get it, the average salary is $67,721 for a game tester. That’s not bad at all, and Glassdoor puts the average even higher at $73,000.
Video game testing isn’t quite as relaxed as casual gaming though. You’ll have specific tests to complete and things to look out for. For example, you will need to use an approach called “matrix testing” to test every different combination of variables in a game. In a fighting game, for example, that might mean fighting as every character against every character! You’ll also need to log your findings methodically and analytically. And of course, not every game you test is going to be to your tastes!
If you do decide to go ahead, you’ll need to start searching for jobs online as you would for any other career opening. There are no specific qualifications or previous positions that you will need to apply for this role, but a little background in programming or video game development certainly won’t hurt. Likewise, being able to demonstrate skill in the genre of game you’re likely to be testing is also handy!
If you want to know how to be a professional gamer, this is one of the most reliable options – just keep in mind that competition is fierce and opportunities are relatively few and far between.
Professional gaming and tournaments
If you want to know how to be a professional gamer in the truest sense of the phrase, that means taking part in gaming tournaments. You’ll earn money from cash prizes, and even from sponsorship deals like any other athlete.
Again, there are two primary routes you can take if this is how you want to be a professional gamer:
As an independent player, you can simply browse gaming tournaments and stake part. There are huge amounts of money to be earned this way (see below), and it’s one of the most fun and straightforward options. The payouts here are huge too, with some players earning six-figure salaries simply from playing games. Of course, you need to be highly skilled, and this is far from a reliable source of income!
To get started, head over to a site like WorldGaming.com and sign up. Before you get ahead of yourself though, you’ll want to choose a game and hone your skills to perfection. Some options include Fortnite, Rocket League, Forza 7, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, FIFA20, and NHL20.
Joining a team
While playing in tournaments can be very lucrative, it isn’t particularly stable. If you want a more stable reliable option, consider getting signed by a team. A typical professional gamer salary this way ranges from $1,000 to $5,000 per month.
Two such teams are Evil Geniuses and Team Envy, but there are many others. While you can always contact the teams directly, the more common path to success is to wait to be scouted. You can do this by becoming extremely proficient in a popular tournament game, and then sharing your skills on YouTube or Twitch. Likewise, showing off your gaming skills by winning tournaments solo can also help get you noticed.
If you want to get started in this world, then it is a good idea to get involved in the community. Learn about the industry, the rules, and culture. If you have the skills, then this will show you how to be a professional gamer.
While this isn’t a fast-track to riches, if you want to know how to make money from gaming on mobile, another option is to “farm” games like RuneScape and Counter-Strike. Essentially, you’ll be creating an avatar, and then doing the busy work and grinding necessary to take that character up to a very high level. From there, you can then sell the player with a high level to someone who wants to start playing with a big head start.
Some characters will sell for as much as $1,000, although that is definitely at the higher end. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you’ll need to sink in a lot of hours to get the character to this level.
Other players will likewise pay large sums of money for in-game items. The Telegraph reports that a castle in the game Shroud of Avatar sold for $6,000; a rare sniper-rifle in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sold for $61,000; and one group of players spent a combined $50,000 on a fleet of spaceships in EVE Online. One player even purchased an asteroid space resort for $10,000 playing Entropia Universe – a game with its complex economy.
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Keep in mind that these are still relatively rare cases, and it would be unwise to plan on a career around farming games. That said, if you have a particular passion for a single game, and it is one that lends itself to farming, there’s no harm keeping an eye out for things you can sell. There are even websites like Gameflip that exist to act like brokers!
Of course, there are other options too. If you want to earn money from gaming, you could also consider becoming a developer, or even a critic! You can teach, you can write books… there are plenty of ways to turn your passion into a career!
So now you know how to make money from gaming. Will you be giving it a try? Let us know what you think in the comments!