If you’ve ever dreamed of playing video games for a living you may be aware that there are people who actually do that and do very well for themselves financially. But what you’re probably not aware of is how they do it. Maybe you’ve wondered how you can break into the industry and get paid to play video games. Whether you want to build a full-time career playing games or you’re looking for your next side hustle to make some extra cash there are several ways you can make that dream of yours come true.
Best Ways to Get Paid to Play Video Games
There are three main ways you can get paid to play video games. I’ve summarized each method below and ranked them in order from most difficult to least difficult. You’ll find detailed explanations of each method below the summary.
- Become a professional video game player
- Stream your video game play online
- “Work” as a professional video game tester
Professional Video Game Player
Difficulty Rating: Hard
The beauty of becoming a professional video game player is that you can make a LOT of money. Just take a look at some of the top gamers of the year and check out their earnings. There is definitely money to be made here but the road to riches for a professional gamer is paved with hours of training each day, development of expert gaming skills, and intense competition from the best gamers in the world.
If you want to become a professional video game player get ready for lots of work. It’s not going to be easy because you’ll literally need to bring your A-game in order to come away with some cash. Professional video game players are analogous to professional athletes. Only a very small percentage of them are good enough to make a living at it. That’s why this option gets a very high difficulty rating. It’s just not going to be easy at all but if it’s the path you want to pursue then GOOD LUCK! I’m rooting for you.
Stream Online Game Play
Difficulty Rating: Moderate
One way to bring in some cash for doing what you love is by recording your personal game play and sharing it with the world. Services like Twitch (purchased by Amazon in 2014 for $970,000,000) make it easy to stream your game play in real-time to your followers. But, therein lies the challenge!
Making money by streaming your game play requires that you actually have a large following of people who want to watch your content. Unless you already have a massive online following you can expect that building up a steady monthly income is going to take quite a bit of time to get going.
Primary Source of Income from Twitch
The first way to make money on Twitch is by getting a cut of the subscription fees that Twitch charges to your subscribers. Unless you’re a top tier content creator, Twitch will take a 50/50 cut of every single paid subscriber that follows you. For the very best content creators, with a large subscriber base, Twitch only takes 25% of the $4.99/month subscription fee and the gamer gets 75%. So the more subscribers you have the more money you make. That’s not a bad deal at all but getting to that point is the hard part.
If you’re following along and doing the math with me you know that in order to make $5,000 per month in income from subscription fees you’ll need to have 2,000 subscribers each paying $4.99/month to subscribe to your game play. That’s gonna take a while to build up to.
Twitch Affiliate Program
If you already have experience streaming on Twitch and haven’t yet discovered how to monetize your experience then you should definitely consider signing up for the Twitch Affiliate Program. You’ll need to have at least 50 followers to qualify but don’t let that stop you. Go out and find enough followers to qualify for the affiliate program because that will help you make some money on Twitch. You can learn more about the Twitch Affiliate Program on their website. Streaming your game play for money makes Twitch a great way to get paid to play video games.
Alternate Income Sources from Twitch
Other ways to earn money on Twitch is via ad revenue, paid donations from viewers, and sponsorships. All of these income methods require that you have lots of followers. That’s why this method is considered moderately difficult.
It’s not difficult in the sense that it takes a rocket scientist to figure it all out because it doesn’t. It’s difficult in the sense that it will take lots of time, patience, persistence, and consistency to build up a large and loyal base of raving fans that will actually pay money to watch your content. If your content is engaging and entertaining, and you enjoy investing your time in this way, then streaming may just be the thing you’re looking for.
If you have neither the time nor the desire to build a fan base then keep reading because there is a faster way to get paid to play video games and it may just be right up your alley.
Professional Video Game Tester
Difficulty Rating: Easy
If the thought of working from home while making a huge impact on a multi-billion dollar industry appeals to you then you might be the kind of person that would do very well as a video game tester.
A video game tester is a person hired by major game development companies to beta test video games that haven’t yet been released for sale to the public. The job of a video game tester is to play unreleased video games and then provide feedback to the development company about the game or to identify and report any bugs that may be present in the game. It’s critical that developers have the information they need to resolve problems with video games before customers pay cold hard cash to purchase them. Imagine how upset you’d be if you spent a lot of your money on a video game that was full of glitches and bugs.
Game companies need people like you to help make the games better before they are released to the public for sale and that is the single most important reason why they are willing to pay you, the video game tester, big money.
How to Find Video Game Tester Jobs
So how do you find those elusive video game tester jobs? One thing you could do is go straight to the company that you want to work for and see if they have an online job board with a list of available jobs. Not all video game development companies make their job openings public so this can be challenging to say the least. You may end up wasting a lot of time just trying to find a list of available jobs.
Another thing to try is checking out online job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. In fact, if you type in “video game tester” into the search bar on these jobs sites you’ll probably find some jobs that are available. Here’s an example search on Indeed and another one on ZipRecruiter. As you can see there are actual jobs available for game testers – but keep in mind these are just a few of the many jobs actually available. You’re not seeing everything.
Fastest Way to Get Hired as a Video Game Tester
If you’re ready to get to work fast then you’re not gonna want to waste your valuable time searching for open jobs or submitting your resume to online job boards hoping that a gaming company sees your resume before the hundreds of other people that applied for the same job. Keep in mind that when you submit your application for a job on one of the many online job boards you’re competing with hundreds, and possibly thousands, of other people all applying for the same job. Unless you already have a stellar resume and years of experience this approach probably will not return the results you want.
There is a better way. If you want to fast track your access to these jobs and skip the line ahead of the hundreds of other people who applied online at places like Indeed and ZipRecruiter then consider this option instead. It will fast track your access to jobs that you’ll never find listed publicly and put you way ahead of everyone else.
Don’t waste any more of your valuable time. Get to work faster and start earning sooner.
So there you have it. As you can see there are definitely opportunities to make money by playing video games for a living or just as a side hustle to make some extra cash. The question is what path will you choose to make your dream a reality.
If you have mad gaming skills then maybe a career as a professional gamer is in your future. Or perhaps you’d rather enjoy building up a large online following and stream your game play to thousands of followers who pay to watch you play.
But if you’re looking to make money quickly, without having to waste your time hunting for the open jobs, and you like the idea of positively contributing to the development of an upcoming video game then consider a career as a professional video game tester. After all, that’s the quickest path to making money and you can start it all right here.